Askaroff moves into the chair at Posturite

Leading South East businessman Nik Askaroff has been appointed chairman of Posturite (UK) Ltd, international market leader in the design, manufacture and supply of ergonomic office solutions.

The move comes almost exactly two years after Nik opened Posturite’s new Sussex headquarters in his capacity as chairman of Sussex Enterprise.

It heralds an exciting new era for the company, based at Berwick, near Lewes, which 15 years ago pioneered the UK development of office furniture designed to help people avoid back problems.

It has recently completed a major restructuring which has seen co-founder and managing director, Ian Fletcher-Price, acquire a majority shareholding and ten of the senior management team buy individual stakes in the business.

Nik, chief executive of management consultants EMC Ltd, has been an adviser to Posturite for the past two years and now becomes its chairman having made his own investment in the business which has a massive blue-chip client base including the BBC, HSBC, Barclays, Royal & Sun Alliance, American Express and IBM.

Ian Fletcher-Price said: “We are delighted that Nik has accepted our invitation to join the board as chairman. He is one of the highest-profile business people in the county and an exceptionally talented individual with a wealth of experience of running growing businesses.”

In addition to heading Sussex Enterprise and serving as an ambassador for East Sussex, Nik is chairman of Southern FM, a non-executive director of the Genesis Group and Owl Video Systems, and managing director of Anglo-Dutch Meats, one of Eastbourne’s largest private employers.

He said: “Posturite has always been an innovator in this important field. Indeed, the concept of ergonomically-designed furniture was largely unknown until Ian designed his first angled writing board in 1990. Since then the company has grown by ensuring it offers customers the best and most practical ergonomic solutions.

“It is now ideally placed to capitalise on the growing awareness that companies and organisations have of the need to protect their biggest investment – their staff – as well as their own bottom lines by investing in furniture and equipment that will cut the vast amount of lost productivity caused by musculoskeletal problems.

“The EU calculates that up to two per cent of economic output is being lost each year due to worker back pain and repetitive strain injury. In the UK alone, back pain is blamed for the annual loss of close to 120 million working days.

“These are horrendous figures, but fortunately a rapidly growing number of employers are recognising that they can do something about it by equipping their people with ergonomically sound work stations and accessories.

“Posturite’s business is gradually moving more towards preventative sales as companies begin to recognise the value of front-end investment in the health of their workforce. They want to help stop musculoskeletal problems developing in the first place rather than simply buying equipment to alleviate symptoms once they have arisen.”

Posturite started life in a garden shed in Herstmonceux in 1990 and was based in Hailsham until it moved into a converted Sussex mill at Berwick in 2003. It now employs more than 80 people.

Thirty business development managers and assistants, each a qualified DSE workstation assessor, provide a nationwide support network for companies and organisations requiring advice on the ergonomic efficiency of their office furniture and accessories. Posturite also has retail outlets in Bristol and Edinburgh.