People on the Move: Acumen Financial; O’Donnell Solicitors; Redrow

Caitlin Jones

West Lancashire IFA Acumen Financial Partnership has added to its team and strengthened the company’s commitment to training up talent.

As the independent financial adviser’s new receptionist, Caitlin Jones is the first person visitors to the company’s Burscough office will meet, with her appointment bringing Acumen’s headcount up to 18.

With nine qualified advisers and more than £260m funds currently under its management, Acumen has continued to offer a full service to its clients throughout the pandemic with none of its staff furloughed.

The Swordfish Business Park office reopened earlier this month with staff split into two teams working flexibly making more space available for clients to meet with their advisers.

Director, Jon Landy, said: “Our teams were working from home on alternate days even before lockdown so the working arrangements now being adopted by companies across the board are already familiar to them.

“Against the challenging backdrop of recent months it’s great to be able to attract young talent who see their long-term future in the financial services industry.

“We have a strong record of bringing people into the company and backing them throughout their professional development journey.

“Caitlin’s appointment further highlights this commitment and I’ve no doubt she has a bright future with Acumen and will play her part as we look to strengthen further.”

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Saddleworth law firm O’Donnell Solicitors has made two appointments, strengthening its residential conveyancing and commercial teams.

Julian West joins the firm’s award-winning residential conveyancing department as a legal executive to assist with the firm’s high volume of property transactional work.

He is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Legal Executives, specialising in all matters of residential conveyancing, including sales and purchases, re-mortgages and transfers of equity, possessory title applications, and matters requiring title rectification.

The news comes at a time when many firms with conveyancing departments have seen a drop-off in work due to COVID-19.

O’Donnell Solicitors, whose conveyancing team specialise in new-build properties, continued to work at full strength throughout lockdown, progressing transactions and overseeing a good number of completions.

Since the lifting of restrictions on the residential property market and the effective ‘reopening’ of the housing market, the team have overseen completions on a large number of transactions, and have also experienced a surge of new instructions coming in.

In addition to the appointment of Julian, the firm has also taken on new trainee solicitor, Callum Dalloway.

In joining, Callum has become the firm’s second trainee since husband and wife Rebecca and James O’Donnell launched the practice in 2015.

James O’Donnell said: “We’ve always set out to invest in our local community by recruiting locally, and also to help the next generation of legal talent where we can.

“In appointing Julian and Callum we have achieved both of these objectives, whilst also adding capacity to meet the needs of our residential property and commercial teams.

“It has clearly been an usual time over the past few months but we have focused our efforts on adapting and servicing our clients using the best available technology.

“Having made several adjustments to our offices in recent weeks, including installing Perspex screens in our meeting rooms and at our reception, as well as floor and wall signage to ensure social distancing, we are now in a strong position to be able to start to see clients in the office again as we move forward out of lockdown.”

O’Donnell Solicitors started the year with the announcement of new director Gianna Lisiecki-Cunane, who joined the firm’s busy family law department, together with a new head of dispute resolution, Giselle Williams.

Now with five directors and more than 25 staff located across the firm’s two offices in the Saddleworth area, the firm offers a comprehensive range of first class legal services for private clients and businesses.

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Redrow Homes in the North Wesdt has appointed Anna Evans-Kerr as head of sales.

Having originally joined the company as a sales consultant seven years ago, Anna has risen quickly through the ranks.

She was appointed head of sales just days before the UK entered a nationwide lockdown.

While Anna’s first few months as head of sales have proved a huge test, it is one which she and her team have come through confidently. “I am so proud of the sales team adapting to all the changes and also keeping so positive throughout the pandemic,” said Anna.

Anna Evans-Kerr

Her experience of working in sales and customer service positions for premium brands in the car and airline sectors, including Mercedes Benz, will now stand her in good stead to take Redrow’s brand forward as the company looks to build on its strong reputation in the North West and North Wales.

Her appointment came after sales director Jason Newton was promoted to the role of managing director for the North West division, based at Daresbury, Cheshire.

Jason Newton, managing director for Redrow Homes (NW), said: “Anna has an excellent track record for delivering sales in her previous roles and I have no doubt she will enjoy every success as head of sales.

“Her enthusiasm, drive and excellent people skills mean she is well-respected by her colleagues and a great asset to the company.”

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