People on the Move: Robertson; Hallidays; Ombudsman Services; BXB; Cunning Plan

Alan Richardson
X The Business Desk

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Robertson has strengthened its senior team with the appointment of Alan Richardson as commercial director of its North West division.

Alan will be responsible for managing and developing relationships with new and existing clients.

Dirk Pittaway, managing director of Robertson North West, said: “Alan joins us with a wealth of experience in construction and surveying, and on behalf of the whole Robertson team I’m delighted to welcome him to the business.

“As Robertson North West continues to grow in the region, Alan is the ideal person to join our leadership team and help drive the business forward.”

Alan moved to Robertson from Graham where he was also commercial director for four years, having previously worked at ISG and AMEC, where he started in 1979.

Over the past four decades Alan has worked on 250 projects with a combined value of more than £2bn, which has included working on the iconic National Cycling Centre in Manchester.

Alan said: “Robertson has a great reputation and has delivered some fantastic projects in the North West. In my role, I want to ensure that Robertson North West continues to operate as a robust, resilient business that our clients can trust.

“As someone with 40 years’ experience in the construction industry, I’m keen to support the next generation of industry talent, and this will be a main priority for me as the business expands.”

Robertson North West is part of one of the largest independently-owned construction, infrastructure and support services companies in the UK. The group, which celebrated its 50th year of trading in 2016, consists of 22 companies, employing more than 3,000 staff and has a turnover in excess of £750m.


Stockport accountants Hallidays has promoted two of its client managers to director.

Paul Richards and Tracey Hemingway join a team of eight directors as part of Hallidays’ succession planning. Six of the director team were trained within Hallidays.

Tracey Hemingway

Tracey joined in 2008 and has been instrumental in determining the strategy for the development of the firm’s growing academy sector. She works closely with the not-for-profit sector and more commercial clients.

She said: “I am very proud of my achievements at Hallidays and delighted to be working alongside a great team of people who share my passion for delivering support and growth to all our clients. I feel honoured to be joining the board and am very excited for the future.”

Paul joined in 2002 as a trainee. With a keen eye for detail, he has extensive knowledge of working with SME’s and owner-managed businesses. He works closely with business owners from the solicitor sector to help grow their professional and personal wealth.

He said: “To be made a director of Hallidays is a huge honour and one I’ve been working towards for a long time. The firm I joined as an 18-year-old has changed so much over my time here – it is unrecognisable and all the better for it.”

Paul Richards

Managing director Nigel Bennett said: “Hallidays has always focused on its team. The quality of internal training in both traditional areas such as tax and accountancy and also business advisory is excellent.

“Consequently, we have always had high quality managers waiting to step up to the position of director as the older directors reduce workloads approaching retirement.

“I am, therefore, delighted to welcome Tracey and Paul. I am certain they will provide a massive positive contribution to the board in the years to come in the same way as they have been doing for the firm for many precious years.”


Ombudsman Services, a not-for-profit organisation that investigates unresolved energy and telecoms complaints, has appointed its first managing director.

Simon Palmer, formerly interim chief financial officer at the Cheshire-based outfit, will focus on commercial, operational and strategic matters in his new role.

Matthew Vickers will continue in his role as chief executive and chief ombudsman.

Simon’s appointment forms part of a revamp of the strategic leadership team at Ombudsman Services, which has involved several key promotions.

Jodi Hamilton has been made relationships director, with Amanda Manning assuming the role of strategy director.

Rob Fawcett is now director of systems and data, while Joanna Jepson has been promoted to director of people and change.

Recruitment is ongoing for the roles of operations director and director of regulatory affairs.

Simon Palmer

Simon, a chartered management accountant with experience in sectors including FMCG, retail, wholesale and IT services, described his new role as an “exciting opportunity to make a positive difference to the lives of consumers.”

He said: “Ombudsman Services plays an important role in the consumer protection and redress landscape.

“Together with Matthew and our new strategic leadership team, my goal is to create an organisation that is fit for the future and well placed to respond to the ever-changing needs of consumers, businesses and regulators.”

Matthew Vickers said: “As an accomplished CEO, COO and CFO with a strong commercial track record, Simon brings a wealth of valuable experience to Ombudsman Services.

“His appointment is a key element of our transformation agenda and emphasises our determination to put the organisation on a solid, sustainable footing.

“We are delighted to have him on board on a permanent basis in this key leadership role.”

Ombudsman Services was founded in 2002 and employs around 400 people at its offices in Daresbury, near Warrington.

As well as being approved and authorised by regulators Ofgem and Ofcom to provide alternative dispute resolution in the energy and telecoms sectors, Ombudsman Services administers the Parking on Private Land Appeals (POPLA) service for the British Parking Association.


Dermot Power, the former senior partner of business advisors BDO, has joined the board of contaminated land specialist BXB.

Mr Power joins the Liverpool-based company as it enters a period of sustained growth following its acquisition of sites in Preston, County Durham and Derbyshire and the formation of its joint venture with developer Promenade Estates.

Plans are already being brought forward for the JV’s first large scheme at the former Cowley Hill glass works in St Helens.

Dermot Power

“Demand for BXB’s unique skill set continues to grow as the Government’s policy focus returns to brownfield development,” said Mr Power.

“My role is to help the board deal with the positive challenges of growth and governance whilst advising on how it best shapes future joint ventures.”

BXB specialises in returning difficult brownfield sites with a history of contamination to usable condition and blends technical expertise with planning skills.

It recently announced its intention to seek permission for the redevelopment of 104 acres of the former Cowley Hill glass works in St Helens, which has been identified in the local authority’s Local Plan as capable of sustaining more than 800 new homes.

The company is also working up plans for the former steel works in Wolsingham, County Durham, and Cottam Hall brick works in Preston for housing.

“We’re entering an exciting expansion phase and ensuring that we have the right infrastructure and blend of experience to support the board is vitally important,” said Gary Goodman of BXB.

“Dermot brings a wealth of experience and know-how to bear and we’re delighted to have him on board.”


Altrincham-based marketing agency Cunning Plan has appointed Jon Aldridge to head up its creative offering.

Jon joins Cunning Plan as creative director, previously working at Stockport’s The APS Group where he led the motion and digital design teams.

He brings more than a decade of experience working with clients including Adidas, Accenture, Manchester United, Brother,, and Superdrug.

James Adam, managing director of Cunning Plan, said: “Jon will inspire the team with his impressive list of international clients, but will also further enhance the agency’s place branding credentials thanks to his work with Love Northamptonshire.

“His appointment has come at the perfect time, a number of account wins and ambitious growth plans for the agency means that he’ll have plenty to get his creative teeth into.”

Jon added: “From the moment I met James and the team it was clear we share the same ethos and tenacity to create the absolute best work for our clients. Cunning Plan have a great base and I can’t wait to see what great work we achieve.”

Jon Aldridge