32 major North West appointments and promotions you shouldn’t miss as Manchester and Liverpool firms continue to grow

Top North West businesses including Kellogg’s, PwC, TalkTalk and Essar Oil are among those to have made big appointments in the past fortnight.

Firms of all shapes and sizes have wasted no time in making a host of key hires as lockdowns ease further and business confidence continues to grow.

If you have got a new or recent appointment or promotion you’d like featured in our next roundup, please email tom.houghton@reachplc.com.

READ MORE: 14 growing firms creating thousands of jobs in Manchester, Liverpool and across the North West

Here, BusinessLive runs through the 32 North West appointments from the last few weeks that you shouldn’t have missed:


Forensic accounting and insolvency practice Inquesta has hired Noreen Iqbal
Forensic accounting and insolvency practice Inquesta has hired Noreen Iqbal
(Image: Kris Gleave)

Greater Manchester-based forensic accounting and insolvency practice Inquesta has hired a specialist from law firm Pinsent Masons to head a new team.

Noreen Iqbal has joined as forensic director to lead the new business intelligence, fraud investigation and fraud prevention team.

Inquesta co-founder and forensic division director Rob Miller said the new service was a logical step in the firm’s development as it expands its offering and geographical reach.

He added fraud cases are likely to surge as a result of the pandemic, and the new division will equip Inquesta with the capacity to meet demand. Further recruitment is planned to grow the new team.

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Manchester-based Kellogg’s has appointed a new HR director.

Christopher Hayden-Hayes has been promoted to oversee the people strategy across the UK and Ireland after 10 years with the cereal and snacks giant.

Mr Hayden-Hayes started his career with the business straight out of university in 2011 as a HR administrator and has since progressed through a number of roles within Kellogg’s HR function.

He said: ‘’Having been with Kellogg’s for more than a decade, I’m excited to now be leading the people strategy for the business’ operations in the UK and Ireland.

“I truly believe that at Kellogg’s, our people are our most competitive advantage and I aim to continue to build world-class capabilities, attract and develop top talent and drive meaningful engagement.

“I’m proud to be part of a broader HR function at Kellogg’s that’s recognised for powering commercial growth, creating a cultural legacy and boldly driving change through equity, diversity and inclusion.’’

Forbes Solicitors

Emma Swan, Jennifer Smith, Amy Stokes, Jonathan Holden and Ruth Rule-Mullen of Forbes Solicitors

Forbes Solicitors has appointed a new partner as it continues to grow its employment team and further strengthen its Manchester presence.

Jennifer Smith joins from JMW Solicitors and will be responsible for supporting clients nationwide as well as spearheading the firm’s Manchester growth as it continues to expand its employment practice as part of its overall corporate and commercial offer.

She will be based in Forbes’ Manchester office and will work closely with the wider employment team, as well as the firm’s other specialisms across its network of 11 offices.

She said: “At a time of considerable change in the market, the opportunities for businesses across the region are significant. The team at Forbes is in tune with what clients are looking for in a legal adviser and I am extremely excited about the future direction of the business.

“This was a genuinely appealing and exciting chance to join a dynamic, entrepreneurial firm – one with a strong reputation and compelling, approachable culture.”


Design lead creative agency WeThree has appointed Jonathan Ross as MD to drive the business into the next phase of expansion.

With a career that has seen Mr Ross in leadership roles across the globe for over 20 years, WeThree said it will benefit from his strategic creative experience, wealth of industry knowledge and his love of solving business problems.

Mr Ross said: “I am extremely excited to work with David and the team at WeThree.

“Most agencies claim to reset businesses and solve business problems, but these guys really do with a strong track record of working with the world’s biggest brands.

“When I was introduced to David and I heard about how the team works I wanted to be a part of it. As we emerge from the pandemic, agencies like WeThree who embrace home working, agile teams and a strong work ethic will be the guys to succeed. I’m looking forward to getting stuck in.”


Robert Elstone

The former boss of Everton and Super League Rugby has joined PricewaterhouseCoopers where he will act as a senior advisor to the sports business advisory.

Robert Elstone joins PwC from Super League, where as executive chairman, he played an important role in securing its independence, restructure and rebrand.

His time in charge saw a “significant growth” in both TV audiences and commercial revenues, and attracted a substantial offer of private equity investment. He stood down in March after less than three years in the role.


Preston-based Inspired, a consultant for energy procurement, utility cost optimisation and legislative compliance, has announced the appointment of Dianne Walker to the board as an independent non-executive director.

She is currently senior independent director and chair of the audit committee for Scott Bader Co. Ltd, a non-executive director for Cygnet Texkimp and non-executive chair of J&L Elevator Components.

Prior to holding non-executive roles, she spent 12 years at PwC, in a senior management role in its North West practice.

Non-executive chairman Richard Logan said: “We are delighted to welcome Dianne to the board.

“She adds significant finance, audit and compliance experience, and brings with her a skill set that complements those of the existing non-executive board members.

“The board looks forward to benefitting from Dianne’s knowledge and expertise as we work towards another year of significant growth and development.”

Advanced Medical Solutions Group

Cheshire-headquartered Advanced Medical Solutions Group, the surgical and advanced wound care specialist company, has hired Chris Locke as its chief technology officer.

In this role he will take full responsibility for all innovation, research, development and technology assessments for the group.

He will be responsible for delivering the increasing pipeline of high value innovation projects within our expanding portfolio, as well as identifying external technology opportunities complementary to the business.

Mr Locke joins AMS from Acelity, having spent 20 years as a senior manager within the $1.6bn global KCI franchise.

Interpath Advisory

Interpath Advisory has announced that it has appointed Ben Smith as a director in its growing debt advisory team.

Based in Manchester, he joins Interpath Advisory from Bibby Financial Services (BFS), where he led BFS’ corporate sales team to deliver a range of asset-based lending solutions through its intermediary network to UK SMEs.

He joins Interpath’s UK Debt Advisory team, led by managing director John Miesner.

Mr Smith added: “Whether facing challenge or opportunity, the range of funding options available to businesses has evolved enormously over the past few years, meaning the requirement for sharp, clear-headed independent advice has never been more pressing. I’m excited to be joining Interpath at this exciting stage in their journey.”


The bathroom supplies group behind the Triton and Johnson Tiles brands has hired Thomas Willcocks as group business director – UK.

Norcros, which is based in Wilmslow, has said Mr Wilcocks will have operational responsibility for the group’s UK business segment and will report to Nick Kelsall.

He joins the senior executive committee of the Norcros Group, which now comprises CEO Nick Kelsall, CFO James Eyre and group counsel/company secretary Richard Collins.

This new role will allow the group to further develop its growth strategy including the continuation of its successful acquisition programme.


Manchester-based digital agency Access has recruited Lisa Jones
Manchester-based digital agency Access has recruited Lisa Jones

Manchester-based digital agency Access has recruited Lisa Jones as talent acquisition and development director.

She joins the company in the newly-created role from 21GRAMS and previously McCann Manchester and HAVAS LYNX where she held similar positions.

She will be responsible for recruitment, retention and growth at the agency, with a key part of her remit implementing a new leadership mentoring programme.

This latest senior level appointment comes alongside four other new digital hires within the agency this month.

Craig Perks has joined the team as a senior developer, to lead a squad within Access’ burgeoning delivery teams.

The agency has also taken on Alexander Gada, as a junior developer, as well as another twodegree apprentices from MMU.

Eleanor Johnson and Isabella Vaughan have both signed up with Access for this coming academic year to take part in the scheme.


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Manchester planning and development consultancy Lichfields has announced a senior appointment as it continues to develop and grow its operations.

Rebecca Hilton has been promoted to the position of associate director at the firm’s office at Ship Canal House in King Street, where she is joined by Alex Davies, who steps up to the role of senior economics consultant.

The promotions come as Lichfields has continued to maintain a resilient performance during the pandemic and sees a resurgent planning sector for the rest of this year.

Chief executive James Fennell said the promotions are well deserved with both contributing “significantly” to Lichfields’ growth during challenging times over the last 12 months.

He added: “Well done to Rebecca and Alex. Our investment in highly talented people is the linchpin of providing top quality advice to our clients. We look forward to them continuing to grow their careers at Lichfields and contributing significantly to our future success.”

Rise at Seven

A Sheffield digital agency says it expects to double headcount by the end of the year as it continues on its expansion path into the North West.

Creative agency Rise at Seven has opening a new office in Manchester, following on from its expansion into Chicago earlier this year, while also ramping up recruitment.

The firm, which has 95 employees, is currently hunting 15 new members of staff and expects to double headcount by the end of the year.

El Chetcuti, former head of brand at Missguided, will head up the firm’s content marketing team as head of campaigns.

Formby Hall Golf Resort & Spa

Formby Hall Golf Resort & Spa has hired Tanya Andrews
Formby Hall Golf Resort & Spa has hired Tanya Andrews

Formby Hall Golf Resort & Spa in Merseyside has appointed a new spa manager.

Tanya Andrews joins the resort’s management team with over 10 years’ experience in the beauty therapy and spa industry.

She will be responsible for the management and day to day running of the resort’s Spa, driving service excellence, product innovation and staff development.

She began her career as a therapist at Peckforton Castle in Cheshire before progressing into a variety of spa management positions at hotels such as Macdonald Craxton Wood Hotel & Spa and Signature Living Group’s 30 St James Street in Liverpool.

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H&H Classics

Nick Bicknell has been appointed by H&H Classics
Nick Bicknell has been appointed by H&H Classics

Nick Bicknell has been appointed by H&H Classics to manage its sales and business development team.

He has spent almost 30 years in senior management within the automotive sector with some of the leading marques, including Rolls Royce, Bentley, Porsche, Ferrari and Aston Martin.

Simon Hope, chairman of H&H Classics, said: “We are delighted to have Nick join us just as the pandemic is ending and normal business can resume. His arrival could not be better timed.”

Clough & Willis

Clough & Willis has hired Fiona Jackson
Clough & Willis has hired Fiona Jackson

Bolton and Bury-based law firm Clough & Willis has made another appointment in its growing residential property team.

Fiona Jackson has joined to lead the conveyancing service at its Little Lever office.

Mrs Jackson, who has worked in the law since 1980 and qualified as a fellow of the Institute of Legal Executives in 1995, will focus on all aspects of residential conveyancing, including both sale and purchases, as well as more complex matters including lease extensions, purchase of freehold estates, adverse possessions, and title reconstructions.

Her previous position prior to joining Clough & Willis was at Crompton Halliwell, and before that she worked at AFG.

The Armstrong Partnership

Leigh Armstrong has joined Chester-based B2B marketing agency, The Armstrong Partnership
Leigh Armstrong has joined Chester-based B2B marketing agency, The Armstrong Partnership

A client services director with global cross-category experience in marketing for leading brands has joined Chester-based B2B marketing agency, The Armstrong Partnership.

Leigh Armstrong joins as client services director after relocating from Leo Burnett’s Chicago office, bringing almost two decades’ experience to the industrial sector specialist agency.

As client services director, she will be responsible for building relationships with existing clients and prospects, as well as staff development and driving revenue growth at the agency.

She said: “After spending over five years across the water, first in Toronto and then in Chicago, I’m all too excited to be back on British soil and working for Armstrong.

“This agency has a real air of excitement about it, with an impressive international client list and an abundance of talent that’s hungry to deliver results.

“I can’t wait to get stuck in and help Armstrong deliver even more for its clients as it enters its next phase of growth.”


Business advisory firm Quantuma has hired Gareth Pugh
Business advisory firm Quantuma has hired Gareth Pugh

Business advisory firm Quantuma has bolstered its North West team with the appointment of Gareth Pugh, who joins as a senior manager.

Mr Pugh has over 20 years of refinancing, restructuring and insolvency experience, holding a long-term position at mid-tier accounting and consulting firm RSM UK, where he was an associate director in the restructuring advisory team.

In his new role at Quantuma, he will work with the firm’s growing North West team, developing and managing relationships with accountants, lawyers and lenders, helping to further cement the firm’s offering in the region.


Moneypenny, the leading global outsourced communications provider has appointed a new CFO, Andrew Collis, who was previously CFO at Mobica, a global software services company.

Mr Collis started his career at Deloitte and joins Moneypenny with a “wealth of experience and a passion for people based organisations”. He is an expert in helping to scale up global businesses and driving rapid growth plans.

Joanna Swash, Group CEO at Moneypenny, said: “We are delighted to welcome Andy to our fast-growing team and are excited about the fantastic experience he will bring to Moneypenny.

“Andy’s background and expertise will be invaluable as we continue to invest in cutting edge technology to further strengthen the Moneypenny brand and position the company for further growth both in the UK and US.”

Rickitt Mitchell

Corporate finance firm Rickitt Mitchell has hired Joe Powell and James Kidner
Corporate finance firm Rickitt Mitchell has hired Joe Powell and James Kidner

Manchester-based corporate finance firm Rickitt Mitchell has welcomed two new hires, Joe Powell and James Kidner.

ACA chartered accountant Joe Powell joins the firm as associate director from BDO where he spent almost a decade, five years of which were in the corporate finance M&A team.

James Kidner has been appointed as corporate finance executive at Rickitt Mitchell.

He began his professional career qualifying as a chartered accountant within PwC’s assurance division.


Salford-headquartered telecommunications provider TalkTalk has expanded its team and expertise with the appointment of Helen McHugh as head of engagement for the North West.

Ms McHugh joins from a recent role as head of business [artnerships at London & Partners – the international trade, investment and promotion agency for London – where she was responsible for business development, corporate engagement and partnership strategies.

She said: “This is a really exciting opportunity to act as a champion for TalkTalk, building lasting relationships with the stakeholders that really matter to our business across the North West. TalkTalk is making great strides in the region and I know there is so much more they want to achieve.

“I have always been a real champion of engagement; be that with businesses, politicians, or the third sector. I’m passionate about the really positive impact these significant strategic and sustainable relationships can have on an organisation.”

Essar Oil

Essar Oil UK (EOUK), the operator of Stanlow Oil Refinery, has appointed Deepak Maheshwari as its new CEO.

Mr Maheshwari succeeds Stein Ivar Bye, who left the firm in April due to personal reasons, shortly after joining in October last year.

Before joining Essar, Mr Maheshwari was CFO and head of strategy at Adani Ports and Special Economic Zone Limited.

He said: “I am delighted to be joining EOUK as CEO and look forward to building on the impressive legacy that Essar colleagues have created.

“The UK’s green economy continues to develop and flourish and the board and I will work hard to ensure EOUK sits at the fulcrum of the UK’s sustainable, low carbon future.”

Myerson Solicitors

Laura Pile, Jennifer Hartley, Karen Taylor, and Seán Hackett of Myerson

Myerson Solicitors LLP has welcomed the arrival of senior associate Karen Taylor who joins the real estate litigation team.

Ms Taylor has over 12 years’ property litigation experience and joins Myerson from Slater Heelis, after having spent 10 years at commercial property specialists Land Law.

She said: “I am hugely excited to be joining the team at Myerson. The firm’s credentials and employee values are exceptional, as well as this year having won Property Team of the Year 2021.

“The property team have played an instrumental role in the success of flagship projects across the UK and Manchester region for decades and I am thrilled to get to work on these inspiring projects with them.”

Sheila Bird Studio

Independent design group Sheila Bird Studio has expanded its team with the appointment of senior designer Georgia Ingleton.

Ms Ingleton has over nine years’ experience within the design industry and has spent the past seven years working on a range of different hospitality and retail projects.

She joins Sheila Bird from Manchester-based design studio, Phaus.

She said: “I’m really excited to be jumping on board with Sheila Bird Studio. The team’s essence of breathing life and soul into every project it turns its hand to has been apparent from the get-go and is what attracted me to a career at the company.

“I’m a real people person, so I can’t wait to meet everyone and get stuck into some new and exciting projects, working collaboratively on the creation of new and inspiring spaces that always put people at the forefront.”

Ten Locks

David Piazzani of Ten Locks
David Piazzani of Ten Locks

Ten Locks, the Irlam-based spirits distributor, has doubled its team with three new recruits nationwide.

Julian Howard, David Piazzani and Gemma Butler join Ten Locks in building a growing portfolio of progressive drinks brands for the on and off trade.

Becky Davies, who heads up the Ten Locks team, said: “We are hugely proud and excited to welcome the three new team members to the Ten Locks family.

“David and Julian bring a wealth of sales experience to the team and have incredible backgrounds in the drinks and hospitality industries.

“As with our other senior members of the team, myself included, having bartending experience brings a richness and a passion for hospitality to the table. “

Business Live – North West