Company background

Headquartered in the West Midlands, LoneStar Group is a global manufacturer and supplier of high performance fasteners, sealing products, precision-engineered components and pipeline packages for the industrial and energy markets.

The business supplies blue-chip customers worldwide from its manufacturing and distribution sites in the UK, USA and Middle East. Its components are required to perform in extreme environments where the cost of product failure, in both financial and safety terms, can be significant.

LoneStar was acquired by Epiris in March, and Peter Williamson, with whom Epiris also works as Chair of its portfolio company Diamorph, then joined the Group as non-executive Chair. 

Directorbank’s Simon Thomas has worked with both Peter and Charles Elkington, Partner at Epiris, on a number of other Industrial sector searches and was asked to identify potential CEO candidates to join the LoneStar Group post transaction.

The brief

LoneStar required an exceptionally experienced candidate from a CEO (or Divisional CEO) background to develop and deliver a strong commercial strategy to drive growth in core and adjacent markets globally. With responsibility for driving the strategic agenda in terms of products, innovation and routes to market, the successful candidate would have proven multi-site and international exposure with a track record of growth in industrial manufacturing / conversion / distribution businesses and new product segments. 

Commercially minded with a go-to-market focus and excellent market knowledge, he or she would be an inspirational leader and motivator with high energy and a hunger to succeed. Digital experience in B2B would also be advantageous to the role.

The process

Simon and Alana Grugan, Research & Delivery Consultant, ran an accelerated search utilising both the established Directorbank network as well as a highly targeted recommendation and resourcing approach. A total of five candidates were presented for interview and Richard Pickles was quickly identified as an exceptional CEO prospect.


Richard spent a total of 18 years, in two stints, at NSK, a leading global manufacturer of bearings serving the industrial & automotive sectors, latterly as MD of the Global Aftermarket Division. In between these two periods he was a main board director at AESSEAL, one of the largest global manufacturers of mechanical seals and support systems, serving industrial and energy markets.

Richard was able to join LoneStar as soon as the deal was completed during March 2023.