21 top North West appointments you may have missed

Many North West firms have been defying the Covid pandemic, economic uncertainty – and the summer break – to continue making new hires throughout July and August.

Big regional employers including EY, Redrow Homes, Manchester Airport Group, Hiring Hub and Vermont are among those to have made additions to their employee count, with the last month having seen a significant amount of movement.

Here, BusinessLive rounds up 21 of those top appointments that you may have missed.

Anna Evans-Kerr

Redrow Sales Director Anna Evans-Kerr

Anna Evans-Kerr has been appointed head of sales for Redrow Homes in the North West.

The firm said she has adapted quickly to a brand new role and led her team in adapting to a novel way of working in light of the coronavirus pandemic.

Having originally joined the company as a sales consultant seven years ago, Anna has risen quickly through the ranks.

She was appointed head of sales just days before the UK entered a nationwide lockdown, presenting her with more challenges than most taking on a new leadership role.

Anna said: “The key emphasis is to work within Government and industry guidelines to keep employees and customers safe, but also offer our home buyers an enjoyable experience while purchasing their new home.

“In addition to strict social distancing, these measures include greater use of technology to demonstrate each development and its homes, thus reducing the need for paper brochures.”

Lee Benecke

Lee Benecke of Manifest MCR

Manifest Manchester said it has fulfilled the latest of its strategic growth plans in less than six months of opening the doors by appointing Lee Benecke as digital content strategy director.

The latest appointment strengthens Manifest’s unified communications model, across clients including Hotels.com, Tommee Tippee, Logitech, Chivas Brothers and ZipCar.

Manifest Manchester launched in late 2019 and is already fulfilling plans to become a global creative content hub for Manifest.

The agency, with offices also in London, New York and Stockholm, was awarded International PR agency of the year for the second year in a row and operates with a unified communications model across all markets.

Lee said: “Although I am only just joining Manifest now, my love affair with this agency started a long time ago. I have always been a fan of the work, the people and the culture within Manifest and I saw this as an eventual home for me.”

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Karen Smart

Karen Smart says there is a route towards achieving the airport's 25-year goals
Karen Smart
(Image: Nottingham Post)

Manchester Airport Group has announced the appointment of Karen Smart as managing director.

She moves to the UK’s third largest airport, having held the same role at East Midlands Airport, which is also part of the MAG group, for the past two years.

Reporting into the current Manchester Airport CEO, Andrew Cowan, Karen will be responsible for the day-to-day running of the northern gateway.

She said: “It’s a hugely interesting and challenging time in the world of aviation and I feel privileged to take on this role at Manchester Airport.

“As the entire industry looks to recover from the global pandemic, I look forward to ensuring Manchester Airport once again plays its vital role of connecting the North to key international destinations, whilst keeping passengers and staff safe.

“Furthermore, as passenger volumes grow and we see a return to pre Covid-19 numbers, I look forward to ensuring our continued commitment to the environment and local communities, whilst creating economic opportunities to benefit the whole region.”

Anna Sinclair and Marie Fletcher

Manchester-based Price Slater Gawne solicitors has announced the growth of its in-house costs and wills, trusts and probate departments, with the appointment of Anna Sinclair and Marie Fletcher, following recent expansion in other areas of the firm.

Anna joins the team as a costs lawyer, while Marie joins the wills, trusts and probate department as a legal assistant.

Victoria Price, director, said: “The new members of our team have all started with us during Covid lockdown and their ability to settle in and to get to grips with their case loads quickly and to develop great relationships with their colleagues, remotely is a testament to their ability, experience and resilience.”

Peter Searle

Peter Searle, chairman of Hiring Hub

Recruitment platform Hiring Hub has appointed industry veteren Peter Searle as Chairman.

With over 30 years of experience in the recruitment sector, Peter was the CEO of Adecco for more than ten years, and Spring Group in between 2006 and 2009.

In addition to Hiring Hub, Peter is the executive chairman of Airswift and a non-executive director of fellow Manchester-based recruitment tech company, Broadstone.

Hiring Hub is used by over 500 employers, including Deliveroo, Dyson and SSE, who use its network of recruitment agencies to find quality candidates for hard-to-fill roles.

Based in Manchester’s Northern Quarter, it is led by founder and CEO, Simon Swan.

Simon said: “Peter is excited by our vision to place transparency and trust at the heart of recruitment. Our goal has always been to champion the value of recruitment agencies while using technology to facilitate better relationships between them and employers. Peter is right behind our mission, validating Hiring Hub’s ambition to make people feel good about recruitment.”

Scott Gemmell

Scott Gemmell of OBI

OBI has appointed Scott Gemmell to head up its capital markets team, following a raft of new business wins.

Scott, who was previously a director and head of capital markets at LSH in Manchester, will be joining the newly-expanded transactions and asset management department – servicing OBI’s extensive client base, which boasts some of Manchester’s most high-profile developments.

Previously, he was a director in JLL’s North West valuation team for 12 years, working on landmark schemes and developments such as St. John’s, Spinningfields, the NOMA estate, and Grosvenor’s Liverpool One.

Scott’s appointment brings Manchester-headquartered OBI’s headcount to 35 people, following five new hires across Q2 2020.

Scott said: “OBI’s reputation and client base is fantastic. There’s an incredible energy running through the core of the business with an uncompromising client focus, and this presented me with the right move at the right time.

“The firm has achieved so much over the past decade and I’m looking forward to being part of OBI’s future success.”

Victor Christou

Victor Christou of YFM Equity Partners

YFM Equity Partners (YFM) is continuing its focus on growth stage investment, particularly in the technology sector, with the appointment of venture capitalist and entrepreneur Victor Christou who takes up the new position of partner, head of growth, at the specialist small business investor that operates across the UK.  

Victor began his career as an academic at the University of Oxford before launching a spin-off business, Opsys, in 1997 that pioneered OLED display technology.

After selling the business in 2002, he founded Aborescent and then moved to Oxford Capital Partners in 2005 where he was a senior investment manager before joining Wellington Partners as a venture partner. In 2013 he joined Cambridge Innovation Capital, where he was CEO for almost four years.

David Hall, managing director of YFM said: “Victor’s breadth, depth and wealth of experience through investing in and managing businesses across all stages of their growth journeys, coupled with a deep insight of investors’ needs, is a rare combination of skills. His ethos and approach are also a great fit with the YFM culture.”

Emma Corrie

Emma Corrie of Napthens

Regional law firm Napthens has strengthened its offer in employment law in Liverpool with the appointment of Emma Corrie as associate legal executive.

With diverse experience of advising employers across the whole range of employment issues, Emma has dealt with day-to-day employment law and HR advice through to complex discrimination matters.

Emma also has extensive experience of representing clients throughout employment tribunal proceedings, including those with sensitive and complex issues, and has specialist knowledge in discrimination claims.

Emma said: “This is a great time to be part of the ambitious growth plans of Napthens in Liverpool as the firm grows the service and the team to provide a comprehensive offering to the business communities of Merseyside.”

Chris Gallagher

Mark Colton, Mark Connor and Chris Gallagher or Vermont

Vermont has appointed Chris Gallagher as managing director as part of a move that will see the development and contracting group expand its operations to include more projects in the private rental sector.

Chris joined Vermont in April 2015 and has overseen the delivery of some of Vermont’s key residential projects in the North West, including its £200 million X1 Media City development in Salford and Peel and Regenda’s £21m residential development, Plaza 1821, at Liverpool Waters. His role has also included reviewing Vermont’s systems, training, and recruitment.

Vermont, which is headquartered in Liverpool, was founded in 2004 and is led by chief executive Mark Connor.

The business operates across the residential and student accommodation sectors.

“My new role will bring clarity for our team and our customers as we continue to deliver major projects and grow the business,” said Chris.

“Vermont does have a fairly unique approach and a developer-contractor business model. We have negotiated pipeline of work as opposed to just being a traditional contracting business. Our clients can draw on our extensive experience in the sector.”

Andrew Milne

Nichols plc board director Andrew Milne is to replace Marnie Millard as group CEO.

He has been with the group for seven years having joined in July 2013 as commercial director for Vimto Soft Drinks.

The firm said Andrew has extensive experience in the soft drinks industry having also been sales director for the Northern region of Coca Cola Enterprises before joining the group.

Prior to that, he worked at GlaxoSmithKline as a trading director.

John Nichols, non-executive chairman, said: “On behalf of the board I would like to thank Marnie for her significant contribution to the group in the last seven years and wish Andrew every success in leading the business during the next phase of its development.”

Joe Citrine

Joe Citrine of Pixel Kicks

Pixel Kicks, the Manchester based full-service digital agency, has appointed Joe Citrine as its newest front-end web developer. Joe joins Pixel Kicks from IGOO in Liverpool where he worked for three years.

In his new role, Joe will be focussing on the building and maintenance of sites using React, JavaScript and WordPress for the agency’s diverse roster of clients which spans the property, technology, medical research, hospitality and leisure sectors.

Commenting on his new role, Joe said: “I wanted my next move to deliver a portfolio of first-class clients and work. I’ve long admired Pixel Kick’s work so it seemed like a natural fit.”

Adam Bradbury

Independent Growth Finance has appointed Adam Bradbury as ABL business development director.

Adam joins IGF after two years at BNP Paribas Commercial Finance, and his new role will involve a specific focus on Manchester.

Adam has 10 years’ experience working in commercial finance including two years at MC Vanguard in Liverpool, and five years at HSBC in Manchester.

Adam specialises in finding flexible funding solutions for clients, focusing on asset based lending for events such as MBO, MBI, fund raises, acquisition and growth.

Adam said: “Over the years I’ve seen advisors start to flock to the North. There is truly some fantastic businesses up in the North, specifically in the Manchester region. There is a focus on investment in the tech and manufacturing industries, which IGF is keen to tap into more.

“Now is the time for dynamic lenders like IGF who can move quickly and work with integral SMEs, making sure they come out strong on the other end of these uncertain times.”  

Graham Carberry

Sales director of Restfull Nights, Graham Carberry

Liverpool-based bed manufacturer Restfull Nights is marking the end of lockdown with the appointment of new sales director, Graham Carberry.

Specialising in the design, manufacture and installation of beds, mattresses, sofa beds and comfy chairs to the hotel and contract sector, Restfull Nights counts some of the biggest names in the hotel business among its clients and is looking forward to supporting the industry in its post Covid-19 recovery.

Graham will steer the company’s sales and marketing efforts and will also lead on the launch of an exciting new product range later in this year.

Managing Director, John Law, said: “We’re delighted that Graham will be joining the Restfull Nights team.

“We have worked alongside Graham on a number of projects in the past, and his experience both of the sector and the sales function is second to none. He is perfect for the role and ideally placed to help us drive the company forward whilst maintaining our core values.”

Latest North West Business News

Stephen Church

Stephen Church of EY

EY has announced the appointment of Stephen Church as the new office managing partner for Manchester and markets leader for the North of England.

Stephen is taking over from Bob Ward who has been in role for nearly four years and will be relocating back to London to focus on turnaround and restructuring client work as a strategy and transactions partner.

He will now lead EY’s multi-disciplinary team in the North of England, comprising of tax, consulting, assurance, people advisory services and strategy and transaction professionals in providing services to both the public and private sectors.

He said: “I’m really pleased to be taking on the role as Office Managing Partner for EY’s Manchester office and Markets Leader for the North. I’d like to thank Bob for his fantastic work in successfully growing the business over the last four years – he’s done a fantastic job and I have big shoes to fill.

“I intend to build on this success and our commitment to Manchester, and the whole of the North region.

“We will continue to invest in local talent as well as recruit highly skilled people to ensure that we can meet our clients’ growing needs with people based in the North who know the market. We are committed to growing our North business and will continue to make the necessary investments to respond to market demand.”

Caitlin Jones

Caitlin Jones of IFA Acumen Financial Partnership


West Lancashire IFA Acumen Financial Partnership has appointed Caitlin Jones as its new receptionist.

Caitlin will be the first person visitors to the company’s Burscough office meet, with her appointment bringing Acumen’s headcount up to 18.

Jon Landy, director, at Acumen said: “Our teams were working from home on alternate days even before lockdown so the working arrangements now being adopted by companies across the board are already familiar to them.

“Against the challenging backdrop of recent months, it’s great to be able to attract young talent who see their long-term future in the financial services industry.

New director and four senior promotions at NorthEdge Capital

The appointments and promotions at NorthEdge

NorthEdge Capital, which manages over £650m of private equity funds aimed at the North and Midlands regions, has recruited a new director and made senior promotions in its Manchester office.

The firm, which focuses on companies seeking equity investment to support MBOs, development capital and equity release transactions, has recruited Liam May as a director.

Liam joins from NVM Private Equity where he was an investment director investing in a range of companies across the North West.

His experience includes roles with GCA Altium and EY.

At NorthEdge he will be responsible for originating, transacting and managing investments.

The business has also promoted James Hales to director, head of origination and George Potts to director within the North West investment team, as well as Jordana Cropper and Dan Matkin to investment directors.