People: Insurance giant hires new director; Land consultancy to grow geotechnical division with latest recruit; and more

Kirsty Walker

National insurance broker Swinton Group has appointed Kirsty Walker as its new director of insurer development and product.

Walker will report to marketing director Anne Kirk, and will be responsible for relationships with Swinton’s insurer partners and supporting delivery of the growth agenda.

She will also head-up the products division and continue to develop a competitive Swinton product set for target customers.

Walker joins Swinton from Rural Insurance, where she worked as a commercial director and was responsible for delivering business growth and customer delivery. She brings more than 20 years’ experience in commercial insight and has spent over seven years undertaking a variety of senior leadership roles within AXA’s corporate partnerships division.

Kirk said: “We are delighted that Kirsty has made the decision to join Swinton. She will be key to achieving our growth agenda and delivering our transformation journey to enable us to compete in the future.

“This is a key appointment for Swinton, and highlights our focus on our insurer panel.  Our partner insurers are hugely important to our success, and developing strong relationships will help us to remain competitive in the market.”

Greater Manchester land and built environment consultancy The LK Group has recruited Garth Brownsword to head up its geotechnical division as the business sows the seeds for further growth.

Brownsword has been tasked with growing its Geotechnical division by 25% a year.

The news comes just a month after the Radcliffe-based business, which its celebrating its 20th anniversary, reported record annual results which saw its turnover grow by 11% to £3.26m. It also saw profits rise by 10% over the same time period.

Brownsword has been appointed as principal geotechnical engineer after joining the company from Terraconsult. He was previously at Mott MacDonald.

Geotechnical engineering involves the analysis, design and construction of foundations, slopes, retaining structures, embankments, roadways, tunnels, landfills and any other developments that are made of or supported by soil.

Conor Leyden, managing director at The LK Group, said: “After reporting record annual results we are now putting the building blocks in place for further sustainable growth of the business.

“As a business we have been buoyed by a housing and construction boom in our key markets of Manchester, Liverpool and West Yorkshire and as these regions prepare to invest more in housing and infrastructure we see no signs of this stopping. The Greater Manchester Combined Authority alone plans to build 227,000 homes over the next 20 years.
“Garth has an excellent track record of delivering exceptional results for clients and his appointment is a major milestone as we continue to expand the business over the coming months and years.”


Two associate directors have been appointed by 5plus Architects to take staff numbers to 74 between studios in London and Manchester.

Fiona Dunn joins after 12 years with Allies and Morrison where she had involvement in various projects, including 100 Bishopsgate and the London Olympic Park with Arup Engineering.

Lucinda Rudge has wide experience from a senior role at Mossessian Architecture leading multiple large scale mixed use developments both in the UK and abroad including Msheireb Downtown Doha in Qatar and working with Google and Argent at Kings Cross, London.

5plus director David King-Smith said: “These are two key appointments and it’s great to have Fiona and Lucinda’s wide ranging experience, skills and shared passion for simple, elegant architecture as part of the team.”

Ainscough Industrial Services, the North West based multi-disciplined engineering company, has welcomed Jonathan Briggs as divisional director for its AIS Integrated Services M&E division.

Briggs has a wealth of experience in the electrical field which included successfully running his own electrical contracting business and also previously working for Ainscough Industrial as a the electrical contracts manager.

Ainscough Industrial CEO Matt Ainscough said:“ I am delighted to welcome Jonathan as the new divisional director of our Integrated Services M&E division. This appointment reflects our commitment to further developing our business in both the UK and Internationally. Jonathan brings with him a wealth of experience and knowledge at a key point in the evolution of Ainscough Industrial Services.”

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