People on the Move: Joseph Holt; Optionis; Anwyl Homes; Cirrus; ADT Workplace

Richard Kershaw, right
X The Business Desk

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The great-great-great grandson of legendary Manchester brewer Joseph Holt is now working alongside his sister at the iconic business – making it the first time in the company’s 170-year history that siblings from the Holt family have worked together

Andrew Kershaw , 29, will join his sister, brewer Jane Kershaw, and will be training for six months in all aspects of the business, which has remained in the same family for six generations.

Jane 33, is the first female member of the Holt family to have worked for the brewery and was recently crowned Brewer of the Year by the Institute of Brewing and Distilling.

Manchester-born Jane and Andrew have both gained experience working in other areas of the brewing industry, both in the UK and abroad before joining the family firm.

Their father, chief executive of Joseph Holt, Richard Kershaw, says he is delighted that another member of the family will be coming to work alongside him.

He said: “I spent 20 happy years working with my father, Peter. He used to say that I speeded him up and that he slowed me down. But it seemed to be an effective way to work and I’m looking forward to continuing the tradition.

“Especially since this is the first time in Holt’s history that a set of siblings from the family have worked together.”

The brewery was established in 1849 by weaver’s son Joseph Holt and now has 126 pubs and employs 930 people.

It is currently celebrating its 170th anniversary

Andrew said: “I’m so delighted to be joining my family at Joseph Holt. And I’m so proud to be part of the first set of siblings to work for the brewery in this next stage in our family history.”


Professional services provider Optionis Group, which includes the brands SJD Accountancy, ClearSky Accounting, Parasol, First Freelance, Nixon Williams, ClearSky Business and Brian Alfred, has appointed a new chief executive to replace Derek Kelly, who has retired after 10 years with the company.

Doug Crawford has taken up the role after leaving Leicester-based conveyancing firm My Home Move, where he spent seven years as the company’s CEO, turning it into the clear market leader in this sector.

With a career spanning more than 25 years, Doug brings with him extensive experience of working with professional and financial services businesses in the UK, helping to develop, implement and oversee strategic growth plans.

The change in leadership marks the beginning of the next chapter for Warrington-based Optionis, which works with UK contractors, freelancers, and small businesses and is a provider of accountancy, tax and umbrella employment solutions to the UK’s flexible workforce. The firm is backed by private equity specialist Sovereign Capital Partners.

Doug Crawford

As well as putting people management at the forefront of the company’s business strategy, the new CEO is looking to invest in new technologies to meet and support the needs of the modern flexible workforce.

With ever-changing legislation across the industry, the firm’s commitment to leading the way in compliance and expertise will be a cornerstone under Doug’s leadership.

He said: “I’m thrilled to join Optionis at such an exciting time, with the company currently going from strength-to-strength.

“It’s already clear that Derek has left a fantastic legacy, both in terms of the company’s financial health as well as its internal culture. I’m excited to take on the challenge of facilitating future growth, while building on the company’s history and heritage as the leading market provider.”

He added: “Within any professional services business I believe people are the key to success, so we plan to continue investing heavily in hiring the very best people. We will also focus on driving new technologies to further augment the level of market-leading service and support we provide to our customers and business partners across the UK.

“Another part of my role will be to implement strategies that will allow us to deliver on our ambitious growth plans. Progressive thinking, particularly in the ever-changing marketplace, will be key to drive the company even further forward, including strategic acquisitions to strengthen our stable of brands.”

Optionis Group employs around 600 head office staff and has offices across the UK.


Residential developer Anwyl Homes has promoted Phil Dolan, from Stockport, to the role of managing director of its Cheshire and North Wales region.

Based at the company’s head office at Ewloe in Flintshire, Phil assumes operating responsibility for the day-to-day running of Anwyl’s fast-growing Cheshire and North Wales region overseeing all aspects of the housebuilding and sales process from land acquisition and planning to technical and commercial development, build, sales and customer care.

Working closely with group managing director of housing, Mathew Anwyl, Phil has a clear brief to maintain and develop Anwyl’s presence in its North Wales heartland and drive the company’s growth across all areas of Cheshire to meet its ambitious expansion and turnover objectives.

Well qualified for his new role, Phil has nearly 25 years’ experience in the industry.

Prior to his promotion to managing director he held the position of operations director at Anwyl Homes and has been with the family business for just over three years, initially joining to set up a new national land promotion division for the Anwyl Group which is going from strength-to-strength.

Phil said: “Anwyl Homes is a dynamic and entrepreneurial family business on a clear and sustainable path of growth with exciting expansion plans ahead.

Mathew Anwyl, left, and Phil Dolan

“We remain committed to developing in North Wales but will also focus on Cheshire, South Manchester and the surrounding areas which are key to achieving our expansion objectives.

“Working with the team, I will drive growth in these areas, proactively identifying land opportunities and securing the best sites for residential development to ensure a pipeline of new schemes are brought forward, built on time and sold effectively.”

Mathew Anwyl added: “Phil has already contributed extensively to our growth plans since he joined three years ago.

“We’re delighted with the success of Anwyl Land and that he’s now taking the lead for our Cheshire and North Wales region.

“I look forward to working with him to achieve our longer term expansion goals of delivering a total of 850 high quality new homes from our Lancashire and Cheshire and North Wales regions annually.”

Established for more than 85 years, Anwyl Group has three divisions: Anwyl Homes, Anwyl Construction and Anwyl Land.


International leadership consultancy Cirrus has appointed Tim Jones as head of operations where he will lead the business’s global delivery team. Tim joins from management consultants Collinson Grant.

Tim possesses a wealth of global experience, having begun his career as an engineer in the nuclear industry. He went on to work with a range of organisations in markets including the United States, Japan and the UAE.

In his career to date Tim has refined his professional skills to focus on operations, mergers and acquisitions, process improvement and cost control.

Tim also has extensive experience of directing major projects across a range of industries and is skilled at leading efficient and effective operations and delivery teams.

At Cirrus Tim will lead the operations team across the consultancy’s London, Wilmslow and Melbourne offices. As part of this, he will continue to help the business’ global clients transform their organisations.

Tim Jones

Dr Simon Hayward, founder and CEO of Cirrus, said: “Tim has joined Cirrus during an exciting period of growth, when we are collaborating with many ambitious global clients.

“He has a passion for breaking down complex problems into simple solutions and is focused on ensuring that all clients benefit from a consistently high level of service.”

Tim said: “Cirrus is a fast-moving and exciting organisation which has a strong reputation in helping to really enhance their clients’ operations.

“This role will enable me to work in collaboration with global clients as they strive to become increasingly innovative, agile and customer-centred in a fast-moving world.”

Tim’s appointment brings Cirrus’ team to a 55-strong workforce globally, servicing high profile clients’ such as GSK, RB and Standard Chartered.


Manchester-based commercial interior design, build and delivery specialist, ADT Workplace, has announced the appointment of Jeremy Cox to operations director.

Jeremy’s appointment is the company’s second significant addition to its senior team in a number of weeks and is another strong move from the organisation as it continues to drive forward with its ambitious growth plans.

Jeremy has more than 30 years’ experience in the construction sector with a career history spanning QS and project management, and involving work on some of Manchester’s most iconic buildings.

Having made his move into commercial fit-out 10 years ago, Jeremy most recently worked for Ardmac where he held the position of operations manager and was responsible for a six-figure workstream delivering both CAT A and CAT B projects.

With full responsibility for the leadership and effective management of the project delivery team, which includes project managers, site managers and quantity surveyors as well as health and safety, Jeremy will also oversee ADT Workplace’s business processes and technology.

Jeremy Cox

Working closely with the rest of the leadership team he will play a key role in meeting the company’s ambitious growth goals as well as building on its reputation for exceptional service and delivery.

ADT Workplace managing director, David Clemetson, said: “Jeremy’s track record, experience and contacts in the sector are second-to-none and we are delighted to have him on board. He brings with him impressive technical, commercial and operational understanding, as well as a proven track record in building relationships and managing teams, which will all be invaluable as we continue to provide first-class workplace consultancy to our clients as well as drive forward with our refreshed business strategy and progression plans.”

Jeremy said: “With such an envied reputation and dedicated team we have an exciting opportunity to capitalise on the growth opportunities presented by the market, so I’m very excited to have joined and to be part of the team that will take ADT Workplace to the next level.”