People on the Move: Absolute; FW Capital; Run2; Aaron & Partners

Suzi Burns

Bolton-based agency Absolute has appointed Suzi Burns as head of communication to develop the agency’s PR offering.

Suzi comes from Manchester-based N Brown Group where she headed up the PR team, the seventh most awarded press office in the FTSE, looking after online fashion brands JD Williams, Simply Be and Jacamo.

Prior to that she spent eight years working for PR agency, Havas.

Reporting into managing director Chris Hodgen, Suzi will be responsible for promoting the agency, as well as adding PR to Absolute’s existing services of brand, campaign and digital.

Suzi said: “I’m really excited about joining Absolute. They’re a fantastic agency producing bold and original work. The chance to add PR to the mix so we can start to offer a truly integrated service is very exciting.”

New wins for Absolute include Redrow, 11 Degrees, St Dalfour, The Pexion Group, York St John University and Leeds Trinity University.

Chris Hodgen said: “Our performance in 2019 gave us the perfect platform to navigate the COVID-19 pandemic and we are firmly looking to the future. The addition of our core services across PR, comms and digital, combined with our physical expansion will allow us to realise our ambition of building one of the best creative hubs in the North of England.”

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FW Capital has appointed an investment executive to strengthen its North West team.

Laura Rees has spent 19 years in business finance, joining FW Capital from Catalyst Finance.

Prior to that Laura worked at RBS Group for 11 years, latterly as a relationship director for the corporate and commercial team in Manchester.

At RBS she oversaw a diverse portfolio of clients ranging from £2m to £40m turnover. She also spent time as a business development manager for RBS Invoice Finance.

Laura Rees

Based in FW Capital’s Manchester office, Laura will be responsible for helping small- and medium-sized businesses (SMEs) access loans of between £100,000 and £750,000 from the firm’s NPIF-FW Capital Debt Finance fund – part of the Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund (NPIF).

FW Capital is able to offer NPIF loans backed by the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loans Scheme (CBILS), which provides facilities to SMEs which are experiencing lost or deferred revenues, leading to disruptions to their cashflow because of the COVID-19 outbreak.

Gary Guest, FW Capital’s fund director in the North West & Cumbria said: “I’m delighted to welcome Laura to FW Capital. Now, more than ever, businesses need the support of experienced lenders and she will be a great asset to the existing team.

“Being able to provide NPIF loans backed by CBILS now means we can step in and provide the support SMEs need to keep going and in time, both grow and thrive.

“The loans are just the beginning for our customers. Looking after these customers with personal, local relationships is what makes us different. How we add value post investment is key and often cited as a reason for coming back to us for further funding.”

Laura Rees said: “I joined FW Capital as I am passionate about helping businesses and FW Capital have an excellent reputation in the alternative finance market.

“Their ability to make quick lending decisions and operate a streamlined and transparent application process makes access to finance a straight-forward experience for businesses.

“The CBILS loans will be vital to keeping businesses afloat during the coming months with the key benefit that no personal guarantees are required for loans of £250k and below. I’m really pleased to be part of a team which is helping to deliver such a necessary source of support.”

To date FW Capital has invested £154m into businesses across the North and created or safeguarded more than 7,300 jobs.

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Manchester-based digital marketing agency, Run2, has expanded its team with the appointment of Gemma Duggleby as head of client services.

Gemma Duggleby

Gemma has more than 10 years of account and project management experience having worked with a variety of blue chip and SME clients across a range of platform and marketing projects.

As head of client services, Gemma’s role is to ensure clear lines of communications across all internal and client teams.

Run2 chief executive, Phil Birss, said: “I am thrilled to welcome Gemma to the Run2 team and she has already hit the ground running, proving to be an invaluable addition to the agency.

“I am confident Gemma will thrive in this role as she continues to strengthen her relationship with our clients.”

The new hire comes in the wake of Run2 joining forces with Liverpool-based agency, Elephant Digital, to create a ‘super agency’ within the North West.

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Legal practice Aaron & Partners has announced the appointment of an experienced solicitor in its wills, trusts and tax team to further bolster its Chester base and support its growing team.

Following increasing demand from private clients, Sarah Parkin has joined the firm as a solicitor with more than 10 years’ experience.

Since graduating from the University of Liverpool in 2008, she has worked at several large practices across the North West and will now use her knowledge to support the highly regarded team.

Sarah is also a full member of the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners (STEP), an international professional body for advisors specialising in inheritance and succession planning, and will be one of six members at the firm – making it the largest STEP-qualified team in Chester.

Clive Pointon, head of wills, trusts and tax at Aaron and Partners, said: “We’re looking forward to welcoming Sarah to the team in Chester as new instructions and additional work for our existing clients continues to grow.

Sarah Parkin

“She brings a great deal of experience and there’s no doubt that her capabilities will be a wonderful asset to our department and the wider business.”

With offices in Chester, Shrewsbury and Manchester, Aaron & Partners currently employs more than 140 people and is also planning to bolster other departments in the weeks ahead.

“The past few months have been incredibly challenging for businesses all over the UK, but I’m exceptionally proud of our team and the efforts we’ve made to provide clients with advice, guidance and support through this difficult period,” said Nick Clarke, senior partner at Aaron & Partners.

“It’s always pleasing to be able to announce new appointments and the fact that we’re continuing to grow our team reflects the demand we’ve continued to see for our services.

“There’s no doubt that the next few months will provide many more challenges for our clients, but there will be opportunities, too, and we will continue to support them with practical and bespoke legal advice.”

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