People on the Move: Redwood Bank; Hallidays; One Manchester; Genr8; CMS

Rob Bowering

A “talented, committed and dynamic” business development manager has been added to the workforce of Redwood Bank, a bank focusing on small-medium sized enterprises (SMEs).

Rob Bowering joins the team covering the South West of England as the bank continues to expand across the country, with the South West being seen a strong area for growth.

Rob has clocked up more than 16 years’ experience working within the banking and finance industry, including working for Barclays Bank and has an in-depth knowledge of the South West region.

He spent nine years as a relationship manager, helping SMEs fulfil their ambitions in Dorset and Wiltshire, and more recently, he worked with brokers and other intermediaries across the South West and South Wales, in helping them arrange finance for their clients.

Gary Wilkinson, chief executive and co-founder of Redwood, in which Warrington Borough Council has a one-third stake, said: “Rob has a wealth of experience in supporting funding for a wide variety of clients including SME and corporate businesses, as well as property investors and developers.

“He’s a welcome addition to our already impressive and experienced team. Rob stood out to us over the course of the interview process as being talented, committed and dynamic, and we’re looking forward to him making his mark as a Redwood Business development manager, as we develop into the South West.”

Rob said: “I am delighted to join the Redwood team and be part of a bank that is so dedicated and committed to its customers and staff. I am looking forward to widening my already strong network and forging new relationships, as I strive to help grow Redwood Bank.

“It’s a huge honour to be asked to join Redwood, which has already scooped so many industry awards, having only been in business for two years.”

Since its inception in 2017, Redwood Bank has invested heavily in technology, people and service.


Stockport accountants Hallidays has announced the promotion of Paul Whitney to managing director, while Nigel Bennett, the current MD, will take on the role of chairman.

In addition to his role as MD, Paul will continue to head up the Hallidays corporate finance team. He has more than 15 years’ experience of mergers and acquisitions, including more recently the development of a highly-successful MBO training programme.

Paul Whitney

Working closely with SME business owners, Paul specialises in maximising client value via strategic business growth and exit planning.

Hallidays recently joined the Xeinadin Group (XGL) an independent group of business advisers and accountants based in the UK and Ireland.

As chief operating officer of XGL, Nigel Bennett will work closely with chief executive Derry Crawley and the rest of the board to build a solid future for XGL.

Paul Whitney said: “Having been at Hallidays for all my working life, I’ve seen many changes over the years and a substantial amount of growth for both Hallidays and our clients.

“Our firm has grown with the fundamental ethos of working within an enjoyable and successful environment, and our main business goal is, and always will be, to help clients achieve and exceed their own goals.

“Being intrinsically involved in the growth of Hallidays and our client base since 1997 has helped prepare me for the role of MD. I look forward to the challenge ahead, knowing I am supported by an amazing team of people.”

Nigel Bennett

Nigel Bennett said: “The position as COO at XGL is an exciting new challenge. I will continue as director and chairman of Hallidays, however, I anticipate that any future involvement on a day-to-day basis will be minimal.

“Paul, supported by Val Wain as finance director and Phil Jones as operational director are, a formidable team who live and breathe the culture of the firm. It makes it an easier decision to move to a new role knowing that Hallidays is being left in such safe hands.

“I won’t disappear from Hallidays completely, but I am intending to fade away as the demands of the XGL role are considerable.”


Housing and community services provider One Manchester has appointed Nicole Kershaw as its new chief executive.

Nicole will join from Halton Housing, where she is currently the chief operating officer.

She will replace One Manchester’s current chief executive, Dave Power, when he steps down in the New Year, bringing a passion for creating thriving communities and working with customers and colleagues to recognise their full potential.

Nicole said: “One Manchester is a fantastic organisation and I am honoured to lead it forward with a team I respect and admire.

Nicole Kershaw

“This is an exciting time to build on the successes to date and reach new heights for the benefit of One Manchester’s people and places. I am very much looking forward to working with the board, executive team and colleagues from across the business over the coming months.”

Dave Power said: “Nicole’s 15 years of experience in the social housing sector and her focus on transformational leadership, innovative service design and creating first class customer experience means she’s well placed to continue the great work One Manchester has been doing for its customers and in its place areas.”


Manchester-based development and regeneration specialist Genr8 has made a further appointment to its project management team as its major projects forge ahead.

Matt Brennan joins the company as project manager from Walker Sime where he worked with a range of clients across various high-profile schemes, including Genr8’s Smithfield project in Stoke-on-Trent.

Brennan brings cross-sector experience with knowledge spanning office refurbishment, residential projects, hotel development and large-scale regeneration projects.

Matt Brennan said: “I have worked with Genr8 for the past year on the Hilton Garden Inn at Smithfield and have developed a real bond with the team. This scheme is at a crucial stage and I’m looking forward to taking on more responsibility working client-side and seeing the project through to completion.

Matt Brennan

“My role at Genr8 will involve working alongside the team in the delivery of both Rochdale Riverside and Smithfield schemes – both major schemes are at an exciting stage – to drive PM services for Genr8 and partners.”

Stuart Dick, development director at Genr8, added: “We are experiencing a real period of growth and have added some brilliant talent to our team in the past year – Matt is no exception.

“His developing experience across sectors for someone at his stage in his career is exactly what we need along with his enthusiasm and confidence, and his existing relationships with the Smithfield team is a real bonus.”

Matt Brennan joins Alan Hall, Lauren Gavaghan and Joel Chandler who were welcomed to the team earlier this year.

Genr8 Developments was founded in 2008 by partners John Early, Mike Smith and Richard Ingham.

It has delivered more than £100m of development in the past five years and currently has projects with a construction value of £80m on site.

Helping to regenerate Rochdale town centre is the Riverside development, 200,000 sq ft of retail and leisure space which will open for trade at Easter 2020, while at Smithfield, Stoke-on-Trent, the company is delivering a first phase of 150 build to rent residential units, together with a 140-bed Hilton Garden Inn, where Genr8 is acting as both developer and investor.

Genr8 is headquartered at Parsonage Gardens, Manchester.


Building on the appointment of Matthew Davies and promotion of Tanya Francis earlier this year, international law firm CMS continues to strengthen its Manchester offering with the arrival of two finance specialists from London.

Ruth Marken and Oliver Ellington have relocated from the firm’s London office in a move which reflects the growing importance of Manchester as a key financial hub.

Ruth Marken, a partner in CMS’s banking & finance team, has more than 20 years’ experience advising across the full range of financing transactions, with a particular expertise acting for corporate, fund and lender clients in the real estate, technology and media sectors.

Ruth Marken and Oliver Ellington

Senior associate Oliver Ellington has 11 years experiencing advising similar clients, primarily in the real estate and fintech sectors.

Mark Haywood, CMS’ head of the North, said: “We are delighted to welcome these two incredibly talented lawyers to the team.

“Their arrival forms a critical part of our strategy to expand our already wide service offering in the North and respond to the growing demand from clients across the region for banking and finance expertise.”

These latest appointments reaffirm CMS’s commitment to its Northern offering and follow the hiring of partner Abby Dry and a team of lawyers to establish an offering in Liverpool in February, the arrival of corporate partner Matthew Davies in April, the promotion of real estate partner Tanya Francis and planning partner Rebecca Roffe in May, and the relocation of real estate disputes partner Simone Ketchell from London to Sheffield in August.

Last month, the firm announced that it has joined the Northern Powerhouse partner programme, a key part of the Northern Powerhouse, bringing together businesses, institutions and organisations who all believe strongly in the economic potential of the North, and support the need for a combined effort by government and business to realise that potential.