People on the move: Signature Living; Assetz Capital; GSTS; Ignition; ebb3

Mike Mounfield

Liverpool-based hotel developer Signature Living has appointed former executive chef Mike Mounfield to spearhead the food operational aspect of the ever-growing company.

With the award-winning developer’s portfolio constantly growing it was important for the company to appoint someone as Director of Food Operations who will take leadership across every site and deliver outstanding work across the entire organisation.

Mounfield, who trained as a chef, worked for several hotel groups in London and Chester and in commercial catering, feeding guests of directors in his town of Runcorn, and Chester where he held the post of executive chef for a large bank.

He was recognised by the Master Chefs of Great Britain during his time working in Manchester, and has cooked in an array of destinations including Malibu, Chicago and Prague and during this time supported the development of those wanting to learn about food, cookery and the industry.

Mounfield describes his work in the hospitality sector as “varied and exciting” because as well as running kitchens, he has also created food props for TV including shows such as Cold Feet, Coronation Street and the remake of the Forsythe Saga.

He has also consulted for large companies on kitchen design, work flow and menu design and worked with Cambridge University to reduce food costs at one of its largest colleges.

Since then, Mounfield has spent several years working in further education. He is credited with being the creator of the Lakes Hotel School in Cumbria. His work in Cumbria attracted recognition from Cumbria Tourism and Cumbria Life, as well also attracting a Catey Award nomination for his contribution to the industry.

Following a successful stint in Cumbria, Mounfield moved back to his hometown of Runcorn in 2012 to continue his work in hospitality education.

During this time, he developed and created the L20 Hotel School; a concept that saw the industry’s elite working alongside those studying food and food service, and those with aspirations to enter the hospitality sector as chefs, managers and service supporters of the project included Kenny Atkinson, Mark Greenway, Nigel Haworth and Lisa Allen to name just a few.

He then moved on to work at the City of Liverpool College as an assistant principal and looked after Visitor Economy.

Mounfield’s new role with Signature Living will see him oversee the group’s food operation in Cardiff, Liverpool and Preston, and as other locations open, Mike will add these to his responsibilities.

He said: “It only felt like a matter of time before I joined Signature Living. Working closely with the owners Katie and Lawrence (Kenwrigh)t and managing director David Hughes over recent years has made joining the company an easy decision. The role I have is not only exciting but very varied and every day feels like a new project is generated.”

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Assetz Capital, one of the UK’s fastest growing peer-to-peer finance platforms, has announced that Samantha Williamson has joined its rapidly expanding regional relationship director team.

She will cover the South Manchester region, working closely alongside local businesses and guiding them through the borrowing process.

Williamson joined Assetz Capital from Positive Commercial Finance where she was a business development manager, focusing on helping business facilitate growth and expansion through non traditional methods.

Prior to this, she also held management positions at RBS and Santander. Williamson’s role at Assetz Capital is centred on educating local businesses about the value in acquiring finance through the peer-to-peer platform and ensuring the borrowing process is as simple as possible.

Stuart Law, chief executive of Assetz Capital, said: “Assetz Capital has its head office in Manchester and as such we know first hand the struggles that local businesses can go through to acquire funding through the more traditional methods.

“The appetite for P2P lending here is growing and Samantha brings a great wealth of knowledge to her role as Regional Relationship Director. It’s going to be an exciting year for Assetz Capital as we continue to grow and Samantha’s experience is invaluable to the team.”

Williamson said: “I’ve worked for many years supporting SMEs around Manchester and believe Assetz Capital offers a much needed solution for those struggling to acquire finance. My role will be to raise the profile of peer-to-peer lending throughout South Manchester and to ensure that businesses which gain funding through Assetz Capital are guided through the process.”

Founded in 2013, Assetz Capital is now the third largest peer-to-peer business lending platform in Europe, and one of the fastest growing in the market.

It is one of only two Defaqto “5 Star” rated P2P platforms, and also recently announced that its investors have earned gross interest of more than £21m in just four years, and over £100m was lent to British SMEs in 2016.

Since launch, Assetz Capital has become known for its secure investment model where every loan is backed with property, and/or other realisable security in order to reduce the risk of actual loss for investors.

As a result, the company has one of the lowest loss rates in the market. Currently there is more than £500m available and ready to lend to credit-worthy SMEs through the platform.

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GSTS, the Liverpool-headquartered full-service security provider, has appointed a new chief executive and managing director as it seeks to fulfil its growth ambitions.

The company, which protects people and assets in global flashpoints as well as throughout the UK, has appointed David Potts, 56, as chief executive.

Following a successful career in the police, where his roles including CID, firearms and crime prevention, Mr Potts has worked as a security advisor to leading PLCs.

He has been joined by Ian Clarke, 50, as managing director.  Clarke spent 23 years in the British Army serving within the Parachute Regiment and Special Forces Support Group before moving in to the security industry.

He has worked as a risk advisor for major corporations across the world’s conflict zones and is a trained team leader in close protection (body guarding), conflict management and physical intervention.

The appointments follow growth in the company’s corporate services work and are designed to strengthen its operational performance.

“GSTS is one of only a handful of government-approved security providers for close protection services and manned guarding,” said Potts.

“They’re growing parts of our business, but so are day-to-day asset protection and facilities management for corporate installations.  We’re growing across the board and myself and Ian will be working alongside our team to ensure that we build on our reputation for high standards.”

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Ignition, a specialist vehicle and asset finance for SMEs, is continuing to expand with the appointment of three new senior members to its team.

The company, which offers finance for a wide range of assets from plant and machinery to vehicles and business equipment, offers flexible solutions either using its own funds or via joint trading relationships with a panel of major finance houses.

Since its acquisition by Star Asset Finance Group in 2015, it has been driving to expand its workforce and extend its geographical reach.

Stuart Berry has been appointed as broker manager, joining Ignition’s growing broker finance department.

He began his career in the finance industry 20 years ago, and for the last 11 years has been working specifically in broker management roles, most recently at Shire Leasing.  Based near Manchester, he will be primarily focussing on strengthening Ignition’s broker relationships within the North of the country.

With more than 20 years’ experience working in the finance industry both in the UK and internationally, Alan O’Connor has relocated to Cornwall to take up the position of head of own book lending portfolio.

O’Connor  spent many years handling trade finance and risk management in the automotive sector, working for Landrover Jaguar and Aston Martin.

He also gained valuable experience as an Export Finance Manager offering wholesale and retail finance across Eastern Europe and Russia principally within the agricultural equipment sector, with clients including Massey Ferguson, Valtra, Challenger and Fendt.

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ebb3, a Manchester-based technology services business, has announced the appointment of senior sales employees John Leung and Peter Beswick.

The news follows recent investment of £1m into the business by Maven Capital Partners, and will signal the first of many new appointments as part of ebb3’s plans for rapid expansion.

Leung will cover business growth and strategic accounts in the architecture, engineering and construction, and oil and gas sectors. Beswick will be responsible for sales in the automotive and manufacturing sectors.

Leung joins ebb3 from LIG Technologies, a company founded by scientists that focuses on engineering, materials and biology, where he was managing director.

He has worked in senior sales and commercial roles for 21 years, his sales career began at Coca-Cola, later moving into sales for clients in technology, science and IT after that.

He has worked for large corporate companies such as Viacom, M&C Saatchi and BlackBerry.

Beswick has arrived from The Daisy Group (formerly Phoenix IT). He worked in numerous sales roles for Pitney Bowes between 1984 and 1999.

Following this, heworked in commercial roles for IT networking and cloud computing solutions providers. As part of ebb3’s plans for rapid expansion in the current financial year, ebb3 plans to expand its operations team.

The company will look to employ upwards of 20 staff to support the deployment of their cutting-edge technology.

Chris Brassington, managing director of ebb3, said: “We are proud to welcome Peter and John to the team. Both John and Peter have exactly the right skills we need to sell our cutting edge technology.

“John and Peter have come on board as the first of many new appointments as we grow this year, and we look forward to watching the team grow with even more talented employees.”

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