People on the move: Businesswise Solutions; UCLan; HECSU; Savills

Brendan Flood
X The Business Desk

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Property entrepreneur and Burnley Football Club director Brendan Flood has joined North West energy firm Businesswise Solutions as a non-executive director to aid its growth plans.

Flood, who is a former managing director of property investor Modus Properties, is the founder of UCFB Holdings which started at Turf Moor and now educates over 1,700 foundation level, undergraduate and postgraduate students in Burnley, Wembley and the Etihad Stadium, Manchester.

He is also the co-founder of Orlando City Soccer Club, who play in the Eastern Conference in the Major League Soccer (MLS) in America.

Frazer Durris, Managing Director of Businesswise Solutions, with office in Manchester and Lancashire, said: “We are fast becoming a leading player in the UK mid to corporate broker market with a focus on multi-site clients spending £100,000 to £20m per annum.

“Our key differentiator is our complete utility management service and focus on innovation; driving better solutions for customers and helping mitigate increasing energy costs.

“Brendan has a wealth of knowledge and experience under his belt and his support in our rapid growth plans will be invaluable.

“His knowledge of the commercial property market was also a major factor as we expand our energy procurement and management services with developers, property management agents and property portfolios; a key sector for us.”

Flood said: “I am excited to have the opportunity to be involved with the development of Businesswise; I have been impressed with their growth up to this point and their very clear progression plans for the future.

“Businesswise is very innovative and customer focused. They are continually looking for ways to expand their product portfolio to help customers in a wide range of industries save more money on their energy and utilities. Using my business experience, particularly in the property industry, I am looking forward to helping them continue to grow and innovate.”


The University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) in Preston has made a key appointment to strengthen its latest business support initiative for Lancashire SMEs.

Robert Sheffrin has joined as investment director, a role which will see him build the University’s Investment Readiness programme.

Led by experienced venture capital investors, the programme provides businesses with investors’ insight into how to strengthen their potential for receiving equity investment.

Part funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), completion of the scheme will make it easier for businesses to access the most appropriate equity funding, while also making it easier for investors to back good opportunities.

With 25 years’ venture capital investment experience in the UK and abroad, Sheffrin is a former director of the British Business Angels Association and past president of the Manchester Society of Chartered Accountants.

Previous roles include venture capital fund manager for Enterprise Ventures, before he went on to establish international venture capital consultancy VCAS, whose clients included the World Bank Group and International Finance Corporation (IFC).

Sheffrin said: “An investor led investment readiness programme has been the missing link in supporting deal flow to equity investors. With my investment experience and knowledge of international investment readiness programmes, I look forward to developing quality businesses for introduction to investors nationally.”

Pete Leather, head of IP and commercialisation and investment readiness programme director at UCLan, said: “We are delighted that Robert has joined the Investment Readiness team to deliver this exciting and novel approach to investment readiness support.

“Robert has a wealth of experience and knowledge from the equity investment market, and his insight into how businesses can best prepare to increase their chances of securing equity investment and his network of contacts in the sector will form a core component as we support ambitious businesses across Lancashire.”


Mike Hill has announced that he will retire from the Higher Education Careers Services Unit (HECSU) and its subsidiary Graduate Prospects in the late summer after 17 years as chief executive.

Graduating with a degree in law from the University of Manchester in 1983, Hill worked for Guardian Media Group in Manchester before taking up his current role in the city based on Booth Street East. He has held a number of board positions, including Chair of the National Association of Student Employment Services.

In the years that he has been at the helm, Hill has led the transition from print publisher to multimedia organisation. Graduate Prospects now has a portfolio of 12 digital and print publications.

Graduate Prospects is the only careers organisation to invest its profits back into education through its parent charity HECSU. Hill has championed investment in research, services and products to the benefit of the sector including the landmark Futuretrack (2006-11) project, which was the first study to track the experiences of students through university and into work and is seen as a landmark study.

Jayne Rowley, currently deputy chief executive, will step up and take on the responsibilities as acting chief executive for at least a year from July 1, 2017. She is an expert in the provision of shared services to higher education, supporting providers in careers, employability, work experience and postgraduate study.


Adam Mirley has joined Savills’ Manchester as a director in the development team.

His appointment bolsters the already 18 strong department across the north at the international real estate adviser.

With 15 years’ experience in the North West planning and development industry, Mirley joins Savills from Lambert Smith Hampton where he was responsible for a team of six staff in the planning and development consultancy team.

In his role at Savills Mirley will specialise in development consultancy for public and private sector clients and residential investment advice for institutions and developers.

He said: “After spending more 12 years in my previous role, I am excited by the challenges which lie ahead at Savills.

“I was attracted by the opportunity to join a well established development team and feel that my experiences working with the public sector and in residential investment will add to the already strong offer in the Manchester office. I am looking forward to getting started.”

William Ward, head of development for Savills in the North, added: “Adam joining us is entirely consistent with our policy of selectively recruiting the best people in the market.

“He has been tasked with increasing the Manchester office’s exposure to public sector work streams and securing residential investment opportunities and his expertise and experience across the North West make him incredibly well positioned to do an excellent job.”