Finance

All the latest appointments and promotions in the South West

Companies across the West of England have continued to hire and promote staff as we head towards Christmas.

Firms in sectors including law, accountancy, finance and commercial property have announced significant senior appointments in recent weeks.

Here, BusinessLive takes a look at some of the people moving up in their professions.

If you have a new or recent appointment or promotion you’d like featured in our next roundup, please email [email protected] – and include a picture!

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Dorset Chamber

Dorset Chamber chief executive Ian Girling, left, and former Sunseeker chief Phil Popham, who has joined the chamber’s board

Former Sunseeker and Lotus Cars chief executive Phil Popham has re-joined the board of Dorset Chamber.

He will help steer the county’s leading business support organisation forward after taking a non-executive director position.

Mr Popham previously spent two and half years on the chamber’s board from 2016 to 2018 during his time as chief executive of Poole-based luxury superyacht brand Sunseeker.

He has also had executive roles at Lotus Cars and Jaguar Land Rover, and recently launched his own consultancy supporting businesses with growth and transformation.

Dorset Chamber chief executive Ian Girling said: “It’s quite a coup to welcome Phil back to the board. He brings exceptional experience, expertise and knowledge to an already strong team of talented and committed directors.”

Mr Popham added: “It is a great privilege to sit on the chamber’s board and support Dorset’s dynamic and diverse business community.”

Ridge

Ridge Bristol new Partners L-R Sam Mills, Sarah Davis, James Milne-Smith
Ridge Bristol new Partners L-R Sam Mills, Sarah Davis, James Milne-Smith

Property and construction consultancy Ridge has appointed three new partners to its Bristol office.

Ridge has grown its Bristol team by more than 40% in 2021 – delivering on projects including Royal United Hospitals Bath and City of Bristol College.

James Milne-Smith joins Ridge Bristol as a cost management partner. He will push the strength of the Ridge multidisciplinary offer into new sectors, according to the firm, with a focus on health, residential, commercial, hospitality and leisure projects.

He joins from a 15-year career at Currie & Brown where he most recently held the role of director.

Sarah Davis joins Ridge as a building surveying partner and will draw on her public sector expertise to grow the firm’s roster of education and healthcare clients. She will also lead the building surveying team to develop its private sector offering.

She joins from WSP where she spent four years as technical director, co-leading a team of 24 surveyors across the country.

Sam Mills also joins as a partner from international engineering consultancy Ramboll, where he spent seven years as a director at its Bristol office.

He will work closely with local contractors and planners to offer a full spectrum of structure and civils services, including engineering, design, and risk management.

Phil Baker, partner at Ridge and head of its Bristol office, said: “Sarah, Sam and James complement our strong group of partners who are already delivering on prestigious projects in the region.”

Fraser Allen Estate Management

Jodie Fraser (centre) with her new team members Carol Gaston (left) and Alice Baker
Jodie Fraser (centre) with her new team members Carol Gaston (left) and Alice Baker

Fraser Allen Estate Management, which manages blocks of flats in Bristol, Bath, Wiltshire, Stroud, Cheltenham and London, has hired Alice Baker from Cheltenham and Carol Gaston from Lanwern, Wales.

Ms Baker will be employed as property services manager, while Ms Gaston will be taking on the role of property coordinator dealing with Fraser Allen’s initial maintenance enquiries.

The team will work on a hybrid model- from an office and working from home.

Ms Gaston has worked for much of her career in the beauty industry, including running her own salon with a business partner. Ms Baker previously worked as a qualified beauty therapist in five-star spas across Gloucestershire, performed treatments on celebrities and managed small teams of people. She has mentored students at the college where she once trained and undertook a BTEC in training and education.

“I am absolutely delighted with our new team members, Carol and Alice,” said founder and managing director Jodie Fraser. “They have both brought new energy to the company as we grow.”

LCP

Adam Martin has joined commercial property firm LCP
Adam Martin has joined commercial property firm LCP

LCP, the national commercial property and investment company, has announced the appointment of a new director in its Bristol office.

It has promoted Adam Martin, associate director in its South West office, to director.

Adam, who joined LCP in 2019 and has more than 13 years’ experience in commercial property, will remain head of the Bristol office, with responsibility for the asset management of LCP’s industrial and retail holdings in the region and the oversight of the company’s national headlease portfolio.

James Buchanan, managing director of LCP, said: “Adam has played a key role in the development of our operations in the region. We are pleased to appoint him as director at a pivotal time in our company’s growth and look forward to him continuing to make a vital contribution to LCP’s success.”

SWCRC

Lorrin White, CEO at Bamboo, left, and superintendent and SWCRC director Mark Moore
Lorrin White, CEO at Bamboo, left, and superintendent and SWCRC director Mark Moore

The Cyber Resilience Centre for the South West (SWCRC) has appointed Cheltenham-based Bamboo Technology Group as its third board member.

The SWCRC is a police-led, not-for-profit organisation which helps small and medium-sized businesses in Cornwall, Devon, Dorset, Somerset, Wiltshire, Gloucestershire and Bristol build and improve cyber resilience.

Bamboo Technology Group is a leading provider of connectivity, data, and cyber resilient IT solutions. Centrally located in the heart of the growing cyber community in Cheltenham, the company has over 20 years’ experience working with SMEs and small corporates in highly regulated markets. The company mission is to shape and develop business futures and people’s lives by realising the full potential of ICT.

Superintendent and SWCRC director Mark Moore, said: “The addition of Bamboo Technology Group to the centre’s board will add further weight to our provision of essential cyber security steer and support for businesses in the South West of England.”

Lorrin White, chief executive at Bamboo added: “We see a huge amount of value in the free membership and education that is offered by SWCRC and want to use our own expertise to help support the growing base of micro-businesses in the South West.”

Business West Planning, Transport and Climate Group

Atkins’ Jonathan Foster-Clark named as co-chair of Bristol’s Planning, Transport and Climate Group
Atkins’ Jonathan Foster-Clark named as co-chair of Bristol’s Planning, Transport and Climate Group

Jonathan Foster-Clark, senior transport strategy advisor at Atkins (a member of the SNC-Lavalin Group), has been named as co-chair of the Business West Planning, Transport and Climate Group.

The group provides an independent voice on planning, transportation infrastructure and related climate change issues in the city region.

He will take over from Roger Key, who is stepping down after 13 years to retire.

A 25-year veteran of the planning and transportation industry, Mr Foster-Clark has worked on a number of high-profile national projects, including the long-term transportation strategy to support the Midlands Engine programme.

In 2017, he worked with local authorities across the West of England to develop a similar strategy to support long-term growth to 2040.

He said: I’d like to thank Roger for the support he has given me and more broadly for his work in establishing this group as the voice of business on key local planning and transport matters.”

Mr Key added: “Jonathan has been an incredibly active member of the group over many years and brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to help drive the development of this region forward.”

Apex Group

Paul Monahan has joined Apex as head of corporate services, Jersey, and Chantal Slabber as head of client services & operations, Jersey
Paul Monahan has joined Apex as head of corporate services, Jersey, and Chantal Slabber as head of client services & operations, Jersey

The global financial services provider has appointed Paul Monahan as head of corporate services, Jersey, and Chantal Slabber as head of client services and Operations, Jersey.

Mr Monahan will be responsible for driving the continued development and growth of Apex’s corporate services offering on the largest Channel Island, reporting to Stephen Reilly, who is head of corporate solutions for Jersey.

He joins Apex Group from Langham Hall where he was executive director and co-head of Funds.

Ms Slabber will be responsibility for the overall quality of all deliverables of the operations team. She most recently held the role of head of operations at UBS Trustees (Jersey), following experience of working at KPMG Channel Islands, PwC and Capitec Bank.

Mr Reilly said: “Jersey continues to play an important role on the global financial services stage and is now home to one of Apex’s largest offices.

“We are delighted to welcome Paul and Chantal to the Jersey office to lead our corporate services and client services teams, respectively. These hires are further evidence of our commitment to attracting, retaining and training the best talent the market has to offer.”

Blackfinch

Caroline Hallatt has joined Blackfinch as chief operating officer
Caroline Hallatt has joined Blackfinch as chief operating officer

Gloucestershire-based Blackfinch Group has appointed Caroline Hallatt as its new chief operating officer.

She has more than 30 years in the financial services industry, spending the last four working as executive director at St James’s Place, where she focused on regulatory oversight, as well as overseeing people, client excellence and operational development.

Ms Hallatt has also held several senior positions at Zurich and Nationwide.

In her new position, Ms Hallatt will play a “key role” in ensuring Blackfinch plans its operational growth and executes strategically to remain client-focused and operationally efficient, according to the firm.

Richard Cook, chief executive and founder at Blackfinch said: “I look forward to welcoming Caroline into the senior leadership team at Blackfinch. Her skills and experience will be critical in driving the next stage of our growth.”

Ms Hallatt added: “It’s exciting to join an organisation with a strong heritage and where CEO Richard Cook is growing the business at pace.”

Ms Hallatt has also worked for various charities over the last 25 years, the most recent being the Prospect Hospice, where she has been a board member for eight years.

Azets

Accountancy firm Azets has announced several promotions across its Cheltenham and Gloucester offices, as well as a new appointment
Accountancy firm Azets has announced several promotions across its Cheltenham and Gloucester offices, as well as a new appointment

The accountancy firm and business advisor to SMEs has announced several promotions across its Cheltenham and Gloucester offices, as well as a new appointment.

Martyn Freeman, who takes up the role of funding and strategic partnership director at Azets Cheltenham, has over 20 years of experience in the finance sector and has joined from NatWest. He will be supporting clients with all aspects of fundraising, as well as reviewing existing banking facilities and providing business advisory services, alongside the specialist teams within Azets.

Katherine Parkin has been promoted to associate director in the Azets Cheltenham branch, following her attaining the status of a ‘Responsible Individual’ for audit regulatory purposes. She leads the charity and not-for-profit sector in the office, as well as holding a corporate portfolio.

Pete Reed, who has been with Azets since he left college in 2012, has been promoted from senior manager to associate director within the Gloucester office.

Based in the Cheltenham office, Jess Ellis has also been promoted from senior manager to associate director, having joined Azets in 2005 as a junior.

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The pair will continue to provide audit, accountancy and general advisory services to their clients, as well as managing their audit teams.

Gareth Edwards, who works across the accounts and business advisory services and rax teams at Azets Cheltenham has been promoted to senior manager after achieving Chartered Tax Adviser status last year. He will continue to offer compliance and general advisory services to SME clients.

Tom Cheetham has also been promoted to senior manager, having been with the team since 2017. He will continue to manage a portfolio of clients in the accounts and business advisory Services team, as well as concentrating on technological advances and efficiencies to assist clients and account processes.

O’Brien Media

The Swindon-based digital agency has appointed Dylan Fernandez into a new business specialist role.

He will help customers understand the digital marketing options open to them to aid their Covid recovery efforts, according to the firm.

“I’m thrilled to welcome Dylan to the team,” said Chris Grant, head of design and development at O’Brien Media.

“As our first hire since Covid began to wreak havoc on a global scale we wanted someone who understood not only the digital options available to customers but also the benefits of face-to-face communication.”

Mr Fernandez said it was an “exciting time” for the world of digital marketing.

He said: “I’m enjoying using my experience to expand local and national businesses’ understanding of how to utilise their digital presence to enhance sales and brand awareness to their target audiences.”

Meyers

Natasha Morris has joined Meyers, the home-based estate agency
Natasha Morris has joined Meyers, the home-based estate agency

The home-based estate agency franchise has welcomed a new estate agent for Ferndown, Dorset.

Natasha Morris has worked in the property industry at large corporates including Countrywide, as well as for independent agencies since the age of 18.

She said: “I’ve worked in traditional agency settings for many years before taking a break to have a family. I’m now excited to become a self-employed agent for the first time under the umbrella of Meyers’ highly reputable brand.”

Mark Meyer, chief executive of Meyers Estate Agents added: “Our community connections, agents’ local knowledge plus our focus on excellent customer service set us apart. We employ the most modern, proven marketing methods to attract buyers while at the same time, putting our customers at the heart of everything we do. We are now delighted to welcome Natasha as our new starter in Ferndown.”

Smith & Williamson

Left to right: Kirsten Thompson, Helen Bassett and Nigel Hardy
Left to right: Kirsten Thompson, Helen Bassett and Nigel Hardy

Smith & Williamson, which is part of wealth management and professional services firm Tilney Smith & Williamson, has strengthened its senior team in Bristol with the announcement of several new promotions.

Helen Bassett, formerly a director in the assurance and business services (ABS) team, has become a partner.

She leads the business outsourcing services team in Bristol and has more than 20 years’ experience helping high-growth businesses. She is a specialist advisor to tech businesses across sectors including fintech, cyber security, agencies, medtech, AI, animatronics, SAAS, mixed reality, realtech, gaming, product development and experience tech.

Kirsten Thompson has also been promoted to associate director in tax and Leigh Cecil a senior consultant in financial planning.

There are also four new senior managers at Smith & Williamson in Bristol – Natasha Bennett and Jon Rennicks (ABS) and Robert Davies and Tara Meadus (tax) – and two new investment managers, Emily Lunt and Rory Mason, plus four new assistant managers.

Nigel Hardy, managing partner in the Bristol office, said: “The fact that Helen joined the firm as an apprentice and has worked her way up to partner shows that we are always ready to recognise and reward rising talent.

“Her promotion – and that of her senior colleagues – demonstrates that post-merger, Tilney Smith & Williamson in Bristol continues to go from strength to strength.”

GWP

GWP Group has made a number of appointments
GWP Group has made a number of appointments

Packaging manufacturer GWP has made a number of new leadership appointments at its Wiltshire production facility, in response to growth in business.

The corrugated box manufacturer has created a number of specialist production teams, each focusing on specific areas of its business. This includes individual print, die cutting, bespoke packaging, and finishing teams.

The change has also seen the appointment of new team leaders, including a mixture of promotions for internal staff and the recruitment of new employees to the business.

The individual teams are now headed up by Adrian Price; Darryn Van Der Merwe; Simon Middleton; Carlton Agambar; Christophe Wright; Hipolito Peres; and Ben Weller, all reporting directly to production manager, Phil Caswell.

Carlton Agambar – who has been with GWP since 2003 – has also been promoted to one of the new team leader roles.

Ruth Cook, managing director at GWP Group, said: “We have had so many challenges to overcome during the past couple of years, particularly from materials shortages and price increases, at a time of exceptional growth and demand amongst our customer base. And this is before even considering the difficulties presented by the pandemic.”

Granger Reis

Jamie Page, right, has joined Granger Reis as managing partner and Esmeé Vermolen has joined as head of technology and innovation
Jamie Page, right, has joined Granger Reis as managing partner and Esmeé Vermolen has joined as head of technology and innovation

The executive search consultancy for the real estate and industrial sectors has appointed Jamie Page its new managing partner and Esmeé Vermolen as head of technology and innovation.

Granger Reis’ previous managing partner, founder Richard Milsom, is now chief executive of the company.

Mr Page was previously managing partner, European industrial team for NASDAQ-listed business Heidrick & Struggles, while Ms Vermolen was an associate at the firm.

She joins Granger Reis as head of technology and innovation, expanding the company’s business intelligence team, lead by Chloe Bush who will step into the role of partner and head of business improvement.

Mr Milsom, said: “We’re re-writing the rule book as we enter an exciting next chapter in our growth. This evolution will allow us to champion authenticity by telling the inconvenient truths the industry needs to hear. Jamie and Esmeé’s experience combined with this new technology will allow us to do just this.”

MHA Monahans

Chris Clark joins as senior client portfolio manager and Jess Mathieson joins as assistant client portfolio manager
Chris Clark joins as senior client portfolio manager and Jess Mathieson joins as assistant client portfolio manager

The independent accountancy firm for the South West has hired to members of staff to its Taunton team as it ramps up plans for growth.

Chris Clark joins as senior client portfolio manager. He has worked with several well-known local firms delivering accounting and tax compliance services as well as more advisory work.

Mr Clark will work closely with other senior members of the team to drive sustainable growth.

He said: “This is an extremely exciting time to be joining the MHA Monahans team. After an incredibly successful 2021, the business has a vision for the future which I am proud to be part of.”

Jessica Mathieson has also joined the company as assistant client portfolio manager. Having carried out her accountancy training with a well-known local firm, she has nearly a decade of experience within the medical accounts specialism as well as numerous other business sectors.

Fiona Westwood, partner for the Taunton and Glastonbury offices, said: “I am delighted to welcome both Chris and Jess to the team.”

Foot Anstey

Ashley Avery has joined Foot Anstey
Ashley Avery has joined Foot Anstey

The national law firm has announced that IP, IT and data privacy lawyer Ashley Avery will be joining as a partner in its commercial team in Bristol.

She will be advising clients on complex data privacy and confidentiality issues, brand protection and exploitation and software development and licensing matters.

Ms Avery joins Foot Anstey from City firm Travers Smith, where she was senior counsel in the commercial, IP and technology department.

While at Travers Smith, she worked with a number of high-profile clients across the technology, pensions, retail and financial services sectors and was seconded to Ambassador Theatre Group and Deliveroo.

She said: “I am thrilled to be joining Foot Anstey and am excited to have the opportunity to build my practice area alongside some excellent lawyers. Foot Anstey has a great reputation for its collaborative and human approach, which very much appeals to me.”

Foot Anstey has also appointed Bristol-based Debbie Asquith who has joined the firm’s farm, estates and rural land (FERL) team as a managing associate, as well as Charlotte Ferguson as its new recruitment manager, based in Exeter.

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