People on the Move: Colliers International; Intelligent Conversation; Simpson Millar; Avison Young; Milk Jnr’s & Kidworks

Peter Gallagher

Global real estate company Colliers International has announced that Peter Gallagher has been appointed new head of its Manchester office.

With more than 40 years’ experience advising on a broad range of mixed-use commercial developments across Greater Manchester, Peter joined Colliers as a director in the national offices team in 2014.

During his time with Colliers Peter has continued to be involved in major place-making projects across the city, while providing trusted leasing and marketing advice on a number of high-value office schemes for clients including Hermes Investment Management, Royal London Asset Management and Legal & General.

“Peter is a highly-respected member of the Manchester business community and a trusted advisor to clients, having played instrumental roles in transformative projects that have helped shape Manchester into the truly cosmopolitan city it is today,” said Tony Horrell, chief executive UK & Ireland, Colliers International.

“From his involvement in rebuilding parts of Manchester after the 1996 bombing, through to his current work providing development, leasing and marketing advice on the major mixed-use redevelopment scheme NOMA, his knowledge and understanding of the city and its players will be invaluable as he moves forward as our new head of the Manchester office.”

Peter added: “I am proud to be a part of the incredibly talented team of professionals we have working here in our Manchester office.

“Since joining Colliers five years ago I have been impressed with the way in which our people are empowered to be masters of their own destiny.

“This entrepreneurial spirit garners a sense of pride through which employees have the freedom to be creative in the way that they respond to clients’ needs, allowing Colliers to offer something different from our competitors.

“It is exactly this ethos that I hope to encourage and promote as I embark on this new role as head of Colliers’ Manchester office. I look forward to continuing to work in partnership with my fellow Manchester colleagues to nurture our emerging talent, embracing new technologies, as we strive to provide the best possible service to our customers, whilst having a bit of fun along the way.”

Peter takes over from Andrew McFarlane who steps down following eight years as Colliers’ Manchester office head. Andrew continues in his role overseeing Colliers’ regional activity.


Strategic communications agency Intelligent Conversation has made three new senior hires as it targets continuing growth – including appointing Jim Stringer, formerly of gyro, as its first head of insight.

Jim, who was creative strategist at global B2B comms agency gyro for 11 years, joins healthcare expert Alpa Bisarya and digital marketing specialist Rachel Ferguson as the latest members of the now 15-strong Intelligent Conversation team.

The expansion follows a strong 2018 for the Manchester-based agency, which recently announced a new leadership team in its 10th year.

Jim’s appointment reflects the agency’s growth in strategy delivery and high-level thought leadership content. He is a planning heavyweight with 30 years’ experience in B2B marketing and advertising.

From left: Rachel Ferguson , Jim Stringer and Alpa Bisarya

Alpa brings 20 years’ experience in PR and journalism, including eight years in healthcare roles, most recently as communications lead with NHS Digital.

Rachel ran her own consultancy after seven years with Pelican Communications, where she became an associate director.

Fritzi Wemheuer, deputy managing director of Intelligent Conversation, said: “These important appointments further strengthen IC’s offer of direct access to senior talent, each bringing specialist knowledge to complement our existing team.

“We are very excited to appoint someone of Jim’s calibre as head of insight. As a planner and a strategist he will help us to find new strategic opportunities for our clients – and with his creative brain he will give us fresh jumping-off points for inspired campaigns.”

IC’s client portfolio covers big global B2B, healthcare and consumer brands, as well as UK blue-chips and public sector organisations.

In 2018 the agency added Alliance Manchester Business School, Danish foundry equipment brand DISA, and friendly society the Oddfellows to its client list. In January, the team renewed a six-figure project contract with a major global energy brand.


National law firm Simpson Millar has taken the next step in its ambitious £50m growth strategy with the appointment of a new director of HR.

Helen Sutton will be taking on the brand new role to support the firm’s expanding workforce in Manchester as part of its ongoing commitment to investment in its people.

Joining the firm from Northgate Plc and with past roles at Johnston Press, Hallmark Cards and BAE Systems, Helen brings 15 years of HR experience, with particular expertise in leading successful organisational change programmes, such as employee engagement and organisational effectiveness.

Her new role seeks to support the firm’s growth on the back of its two recent acquisitions of Liverpool-based law firm EAD and North West-based firm JWK, and will look to revamp and modernise the firm’s ways of working to innovate its legal practices.

Helen Sutton

Greg Cox, Simpson Millar chief executive, said: “We are delighted to appoint Helen as director of HR. Her role will provide valuable support for our growing teams across the UK and will help us develop new innovative ways to modernise our legal services, and ways of working to benefit employees and clients alike.

“Her appointment comes at an exciting time in Simpson Millar’s growth plans, following acquisitions and appointments to ensure that we are best placed to meet the growing and ever-changing needs of our clients.

“Helen brings a wealth of experience to the table and I am sure her expertise will enable the firm to become even more innovative to push our growth plans forward.”

Helen said: “I’m extremely excited about working at Simpson Millar to help deliver the ambitious growth plans, and to ensure that all employees feel supported, informed and engaged as we move towards achieving the Simpson Millar vision.

“I am looking forward to creating and delivering a strong people plan that will make the company a great place to work for everyone.”


Dulcie Bolland has been promoted to director within the firm’s lease advisory team at Avison Young’s Manchester office.

Dulcie originally joined GVA in 2012 as an associate, prior to the company’s recent merger with Avison Young, after previously working in the same role at BNP Paribas Real Estate.

In her new role she joins Shawn Ganguly to co-head the lease advisory team, advising clients on rent reviews, lease renewals and re-gears in all commercial property sectors across the North West, on behalf of landlords and tenants.

Dulcie’s promotion to director is in recognition of the high level of service that she has provided clients with over the past seven years.

She said: “It’s an exciting time at Avison Young and I’m delighted to now be a director within the newly-expanded business.

Dulcie Bolland

“As one of two directors in the lease advisory team we’ll be working closely to explore new opportunities and grow the team, whilst still delivering the high level of service that we’re known for.”

Chris Cheap, Avison Young managing director UK regions, said: “It’s crucial that we continue to invest in and support our employees, so that they not only meet Avison Young’s growth expectations as a business, but they also exceed their own goals as individuals.

“Dulcie’s promotion further demonstrates the strength and expertise that we have here at the Manchester office, and we look forward to seeing her continue to develop her career at Avison Young.”

Over the past 10 years Avison Young has grown from 300 real estate professionals in 11 offices in Canada to, approximately 5,000 real estate professionals in 120 offices in 20 countries.


Milk Jnr’s & Kidworks – the Manchester-based agency which specialises in creating engaging kids activity packs for some of the world’s biggest family brands – has promoted Royston Scott to procurement and logistics director.

Royston has worked at Milk Jnr’s & Kidworks since its inception in 2010.

His new role will see him head up all the procurement and logistical aspects of the business, including the tendering of projects and liaising with its supply chain, from initial briefing all the way through to the manufacturing process and fulfilment.

His remit includes dealing with factories and production suppliers across the UK, Europe and Asia, as well monitoring product safety legislation and scheduling to ensure every pack is safe for children to use and is delivered to clients on time.

Royston Scott

The agency’s client roster includes the TUI Group, Oman Air, the National Trust and Etihad Airways.

Royston said: “I’ve been part of the Milk Jnr’s & Kidworks journey since the start, so this promotion means a lot – especially as I am now part of the executive management team, so I will play a key role in fulfilling our objectives of driving the business on to the next level.”

Zoe Telfer, client services director, added: “Royston is an integral part of the business so his promotion is hugely deserved and recognises the value he adds to our clients and team.”

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