Robert Sansom, chairman of Nottingham-based independent merchant group Frank Key, has announced his decision to retire after more than 50 years in the industry.
The management team, comprising of Sansom’s eldest daughter, Victoria, son, Ben, son-in-law, Richard Meeks, and James Norton, Group managing director, will collectively lead the business forward. Sansom says: “My confidence in the management team and strengthened Board means that as from 30th June 2021, I will be retiring and stepping back from any day to day involvement in the business. Ownership will remain within our family, as it was when I took over. The business will continue to provide a wide range of support for our customers for many years to come.”
In addition, Sansom says that his youngest daughter Ellie and a Non-Executive Director will join him and wife Erica on the Board to provide strategic guidance and support to the Management Team, as they develop the next stage of Frank Key’s success.
When Sansom joined the company in 1973, it was tucked away in a Daybrook yard next to the iconic Home Brewery on Mansfield Road. Today it is one of the biggest builders merchants in the East Midlands and Yorkshire, with 19 branches stretching from Keighley to West Bridgeford.
He says: “It is hard to believe Frank Key started out in business in 1907, and even harder to think that when I became involved in the 1970’s, it consisted of 1.5 men (one full time, one part time), a lorry and a tractor with a seized engine, because it had not been used for two years. We have steadily grown the business, through expansion and acquisition, to the point where we now have 19 depots, 215 staff, over 30 vehicles delivering daily to an area stretching from Lancashire & Yorkshire, down through Derbyshire to our heartlands of Nottinghamshire. I could not be prouder of where we are today. I feel very lucky to have a family behind me, supporting this decision, and a brilliant Management Team to keep Frank Key on track.”