People on the Move: BDO; C4 Projects; Optionis; CBRE; Palatine Private Equity

Rob McCann

Accountancy and business advisory firm, BDO, has appointed Rob McCann as a partner in its North West M&A team as the business continues to strengthen its practice across the region. Rob joins from Lloyds Bank where he was a director.

With more than 18 years’ experience Rob has extensive corporate finance expertise working within the mid-market.

At BDO Rob will work with the M&A team across the North, leading the team in Manchester and building on his experience in the local and national private equity market to help businesses achieve their strategic investment and exit ambitions.

Ed Dwan, partner and head of the North West at BDO, said: “At BDO we are committed to attracting and retaining the very best talent across the North West.

“The firm has had a stellar 12 months in the region and nationally which has enabled us to continue to invest in our people. Rob will be a welcome addition to the team and will further strengthen our M&A practice.”

Rob McCann added: “BDO is leading its markets in the region and beyond, from private equity and AIM to privately-owned businesses. The opportunity to work with entrepreneurial and ambitious fast-growth companies really attracted me to this role and I look forward to building upon the team’s already strong reputation.”

Since announcing its merger with Moore Stephens at the beginning of the year, BDO has appointed 12 new partners since January spanning the business’ national offices including the recent hire of tax partner Liam O’Doherty to BDO’s Manchester office.


North West-based architecture, project management and cost consultancy practice C4 Projects has appointed Amy Briers

as the firm’s newest associate.

Amy joins C4 from premium automotive specialist Taylor Design Architects, where she acted as senior architect and lead revit coordinator, completing a series of Audi and Jaguar Land Rover new builds for Inchcape and Sytner.

Amy has been a chartered architect since 2007 working with a number of practices including Thorpe, Whyman & Briggs Architects, Aedas & Provan & Makin Architects.

Amy Briers

This news follows on from the firm’s relocation to the Quayside building in Stockton Heath earlier this year.

Damian Horridge, managing director at C4, said: “With over 12 years’ experience in education, premium car showrooms, residential, commercial and community/leisure, Amy is highly regarded in these areas. This is a strategic move which will allow us to identify and deliver new opportunities and further strengthen our team at associate level.”

Amy said: “I’m passionate about the improvement of design, particularly through the use of BIM. C4 has recently gained BSI BIM certification and so I’m really excited about the prospect of working with the firm and being involved in their ongoing success story.”


A recruitment drive at professional services provider Optionis has seen a total of 19 new employees join the firm’s Warrington headquarters.

The new hires have been appointed across a range of roles at the company, which works with UK-based freelancers, contractors and small to medium-sized businesses and is a provider of accountancy, tax and umbrella employment solutions.

Six of the recruits have taken up positions within the business development team, alongside three in the client services team, seven recruits in the marketing team, and a further three in the sales team.

Across its UK offices, Optionis employs around 600 staff and operates a number of established accountancy brands, including Nixon Williams and First Freelance, as well as umbrella employment provider Parasol.

Optionis new starters

“We’re delighted to be expanding our offering with these new appointments, which reflect the growth we’re seeing across our core market in the UK and our ambitions for the future,” said Mark Beal-Preston, chief commercial officer at Optionis.

“We place a lot of emphasis on investing in our people and one of our key aims is to attract and retain the very best talent to enable us to continue our growth trajectory.

“From additional skills and qualifications right through to charitable initiatives and fundraising, we aim to be a great place to work where people come to forge long-term careers.”

He added: “All of the new recruits joining us bring their own level of skills and expertise and will only work to further enhance our company as a market-leading professional services provider.”

Based in Warrington, the Optionis Group has offices across the UK and encompasses seven brands, including SJD Accountancy, ClearSky Accounting, Parasol, First Freelance, Nixon Williams, ClearSky Business and Brian Alfred.


Real estate advisor, CBRE, has appointed Mike Gorman as a senior director.

In his new role, Mike will help lead the strategic growth of CBRE’s regional offering in multifamily housing, residential investment and development in the North of England.

Mike is a residential specialist with more than 18 years’ experience in the industry. He was a partner in Knight Frank’s regional residential capital markets team from September 2018.

Mike Gorman

Prior to that, he spent four and a half years in the residential capital markets team at CBRE, working across the offices in Manchester, Leeds and Liverpool.

Mike will join CBRE’s UK development and residential capital markets team and will be based in the Leeds office. His work for clients in the evolving UK multifamily sector will extend across the North of England.

John Ogden, executive director and managing director of CBRE’s Northern business, said: “Mike will be joining a very successful capital markets team which includes Colin Thomasson, Guy Hurwood and Tom Sinclair, who have funded some of the biggest residential transactions in the North.”

Peter Burns, managing director of UK development and residential capital markets, CBRE said: “Mike Gorman is a familiar face to many of us, he’s a talented expert with a wealth of experience, and we’re very pleased to welcome him back to CBRE in his new role at an exciting time for the sector.”


Palatine Private Equity has boosted headcount in its Manchester office with the appointment of David Chapman as business development manager.

David has more than 10 years’ experience in business development, with five of those working in the legal sector.

He joins from Shoosmiths where he held the position of bid and new business manager for almost three years. Prior to this, he spent more than two-and-a-half years at Hill Dickinson.

In his new role David will be working with the investment team to identify, progress and maintain relationships with potential investee management teams. As well as this, he will coordinate Palatine’s efforts and activities with advisors and network contacts.

While based in Manchester, David will work on a national basis across both of Palatine’s active funds: the Buy-Out fund, which targets investments between £10m and £30m; and the Impact Fund, which backs businesses with a positive impact on society or the environment.

David Chapman

David Chapman said: “It’s an exciting time to be joining Palatine.

“The firm has an excellent reputation for backing ambitious management teams and adding significant value, whilst also transforming their operations to become more socially and environmentally responsible – a huge area of focus in the private equity space. I’m looking forward to helping the investment team identify and realise investments.”

Ed Fazakerley, partner at Palatine Private Equity, said: “We’re delighted to welcome David who has a wealth of experience in business development and brings a different perspective.

“He will be working closely with Charlotte Ashton, our senior business development director and the wider team to help generate opportunities and demonstrate the value Palatine can bring.”