Mr Hindle has worked in the industry for 43 years, starting as a trainee at an independent merchant before developing his career at Jewson where he held the role of managing director from 1999 until 2012. Since 2009 he has held the position of general delegate for Saint-Gobain UK, Ireland and South Africa, leading the development and growth of the group in these countries.

Last year Mr Hindle was given a global role as senior vice-president in charge of sustainable habitat – a key aspect of Saint-Gobain’s strategy. He also sits on the World Green Building Council Advisory Board and the CPA Industry Principals Council.

"I have been in merchanting all my working life and it’s given me an enormously rewarding career," said Mr Hindle. "For some time at Saint-Gobain I’ve worked to give something back – whether this is through the work we’ve done to make the industry more attractive to younger people or launching our charity Together partnership back in 2002. So when the BMF board approached me to take this role, I was pleased to accept.

"The BMF has changed considerably over the last five years and I’m very happy with the route it is taking. John Newcomb is doing a great job as MD and my role is to help the BMF develop to meet current and future challenges. They now have a very strong membership base and I’m keen to see it develop further. The aim must be for the vast majority of merchants, whether national or independent to join so the BMF really can speak as the voice of the industry. We are all working on the same playing field with the same rules and regulations for all, and our representation will be stronger together rather than working apart."

Speaking for the BMF Board, Stewart Pierce said: "We are delighted that Peter Hindle is taking on the chairmanship of the BMF and we have found an excellent successor to Terry Parker. The depth and breadth of Peter’s experience gives him a unique understanding of the history and evolution of our industry and the challenges and opportunities that face us today. He not only has a vast knowledge of the merchanting industry but his current roles at Saint-Gobain give him great insight into manufacturing, which is a huge advantage when you consider that almost one third of the BMF’s members are suppliers.

"Peter’s level of experience has also given him a wide range of expertise and insight about the workings of our industry, which is increasingly important to the BMF as we seek to influence dialogue with government over policies affecting the industry."

BMF MD John Newcomb is looking forward to working with the new chairman, whose vision for the industry presented at last year’s conference in Portugal was well received by national and independent merchants and manufacturers alike.

"Peter is one of the industry’s best known and respected figures, something that was acknowledged by a Lifetime Achievement Award last year," said Mr Newcomb. "I can’t think of anyone better to help the BMF move forward and I will value his support in the coming months and years."

One area where Peter Hindle is keen to get involved straight away is the BMF’s forthcoming Youth Recruitment Campaign.

"For some time I have been working to make our industry more attractive to young people starting out in work," he said. "I am very keen to continue this and develop the merchant profile and attract even more young people to join the industry. I started at the age of 16 but today there are very few 16 to 19 year olds entering the industry. We need to get the message across to schools and colleges who really aren’t aware of what a rewarding, diverse and challenging career merchanting can offer. It is something close to my heart and if John thinks I can help, I’m more than happy to contribute to the campaign."