People on the Move: Napthens; Metis; Signature Brands; Stax Trade Centres; Aggressive Growth Marketing

Gillian Rigby

Solicitor Gillian Rigby has joined the family team at regional law firm Napthens.

She will be based across the firm’s offices in Preston and Southport, and has more than a decade’s experience in family law.

Gillian is a member of Resolution, the national organisation for family lawyers and other professionals committed to the constructive resolution of family disputes.

She advises on all aspects of family law including divorce and finances, adoption, and pre-nuptial and cohabitation agreements.

Gillian has a particular expertise in matters involving finances and disputes concerning children.

She said: “Napthens is well-known in the region and I knew of the family department by reputation. I’m looking forward to getting to know Napthens’ clients and to making a real contribution to the team here.”


Metis Real Estate Advisors has announced a raft of promotions and a new hire.

Suzanne Wainwright has been promoted to director, advising clients including Liverpool One and Manchester Arndale, and Luke Nicholson has been made an associate director, working within the retail and leisure leasing team.

Suzanne Wainwright

In addition, Rafi Margulies is joining Metis as a senior surveyor.

Reflecting his experience working for a range of property companies and high net worth individuals, Rafi will specialise in asset management and investment agency at Metis.

Rafi was previously at JMC Surveyors and Property Consultants.

Dan Davies, director of leisure at Metis, said: “Metis is going from strength-to-strength, extending its reach beyond the North West and working with an increasingly diverse and creative client base.

Luke Nicholson

“As we grow, however, it is vital we maintain our focus on providing exemplary service, and that means investing in people.

“The promotions of Suzanne and Luke are very well-deserved and reflect the key roles they play in the business, whilst Rafi adds new experience and perspective to the Metis team.”

In the last 18 months the retail team was leased over 500,000 square feet of retail and leisure space in the North West.

Rafi Margulies

“The Metis Leisure team is the largest dedicated leisure agency outside of London and acts on over 35 schemes across the country, acquiring over 30 restaurant units last year whilst acting for 13 different occupiers.

“The investment team has, in just three years, completed over £1bn of real estate transactions throughout the UK on behalf of institutional investors, developers, property companies, government bodies and private investors, involving a variety of lot sizes.


In what is a significant new move for the business, drinks specialist Signature Brands has appointed Sinéad Lowe, previously customer development manager, retail & national accounts at Love Drinks, as head of marketing.

Her role will be to oversee and implement a marketing strategy that will drive brand awareness, improve communication and bolster both on-trade and off-trade sales.

Owned by LWC Drinks – the UK’s largest independent drinks wholesaler – Signature Brands produces, represents and distributes an impressive portfolio of spirit, beer and cider brands, including Old J Spiced Rum, Empress 1908 and Cruz Campo, but up until now has done little to formally market itself.

In addition to Sinéad’s appointment, the Manchester-based organisation has also appointed Emma Scott as PR manager to raise the profile of Signature Brands – and the brands it represents – externally.

Sinéad Low

Nic Ponticakis, head of Signature Brands, said: “We are delighted to have both Sinéad and Emma on board.

“Sinéad brings over 15 years’ experience in the drinks industry, building her knowledge and experience in sales and marketing roles in the hospitality, distribution and wholesale sectors.

“Sinéad has a passion for great quality liquids and thrives in clearly communicating the provenance of brilliant products and adopting a strategic approach to brand building. Sinéad was also previously an incredibly valued and respected employee of LWC Drinks for many years, so she’s in very familiar territory and it’s great to have her back.

“Emma brings a fresh and objective perspective on communications, having previously undertaken roles both inside and outside of the trade.

“With just short of 10 years’ PR experience, Emma will be overseeing, events, social and traditional media, reporting directly into Sinéad.

“We welcome both Sinéad and Emma to Signature Brands and look forward to seeing the impact strategic marketing can bring.”


Manchester-based Stax Trade Centres has appointed Mark Hallows as area sales representative, covering the North West region.

This is the third such appointment in recent months as the Stax sales team continues to grow in strength and experience.

In addition to expertise gained as a sales executive at Humbrol and Minky, Mark has spent some 25 years working for Stax.

During this time his various roles have seen him working closely with DIY and tool retailers, a solid foundation from which he can help to maximise Stax business growth in the North West.

Mark Hallows

“Working out of our Manchester branch I’ll be supporting existing customers to grow their sales, and targeting new business opportunities,” he said.

“It’s a great role and I’m looking forward to presenting the benefits of partnering with Stax to a wider audience of independent retailers.”

Stax operations director Tim Ball said: “This is very much a key appointment for us as Mark has great deal of experience and knowledge to offer our existing customers in the North West, and he’ll be able to provide them with outstanding support.

“When it comes to new customers, Mark’s long association with Stax makes him an ideal person to communicate the many benefits we offer.”

Stax is a non-food wholesaler, and provides trade-only wholesale support for a wide range of independent retailers across the country.


Aggressive Growth Marketing has expanded its team following a period of rapid growth.

The Preston-based marketing and business development firm has recruited three new team members this year to help service its roster of international clients. The appointments expand the agency from a solo operation in May 2018, to a team of nine.

Based at Marshall House, Ringway, the agency was founded in 2014 by CEO, Kelly Bolton.

The firm provides growth-focused marketing, business development and sales for clients to help them to increase their revenue, grow their business and save money and time.

Aggressive Growth Marketing looks after several prestigious companies, including Baker Street Dental and Swiss-based private jet firm, Vertis Aviation.

The agency has recruited Adam Beardow as lead creative and graphic designer. Adam brings 12 years’ industry experience to the team and will work to push clients’ businesses forward by maintaining high quality brand messages across all marketing channels.

David Cowlishaw joins the team as creative marketing executive and is responsible for developing fresh and innovative marketing content.

Completing the hat-trick of new recruits for 2019 is Rose Warren as business development manager, who brings considerable experience from the property sector.

The expansion follows Aggressive Growth Marketing’s move into new premises last year, investment in a re-brand and new website and nomination for the ‘Social Media Agency of the Year’ Award at The Drum Marketing Awards in 2017.

Chief executive Kelly Bolton said: “We’re extremely proud to be working with some amazing clients and our rapid growth is testament to our strong work ethic, team spirit and commitment to results.

“We’re looking forward to our best year yet and the new talent we have brought on-board will guarantee that we continue to grow our reputation as one of the best agencies in the industry.”

From left: Adam Beardow, Rose Warren and David Cowlishaw