People on the Move: Oakwood Valuation Surveyors; Very Group; Gallagher; SAS Daniels; Greensill

Lydia Sirovica

Altrincham-based property experts Oakwood Valuation Surveyors has promoted office manager Lydia Sirovica to graduate surveyor, 12 months after she joined the firm on a temporary basis to assist with development of the newly-formed business, which is based at Station House.

Oakwood managing director, Graham Bowcock, said: “Like all businesses we have had an unusual year that has not been without its challenges.

“Lydia has consistently stepped up to the plate and dealt with not only learning the ropes of a new job, but the raft of changes that have occurred. She quickly got involved in our professional work, assisting with site inspections and report writing – her academic background in literature has proven to be a big asset in this aspect, along with her willingness to learn quickly.

“It has been a pleasure to work alongside Lydia and it seems a natural step for her to be recognised as a graduate surveyor with a pathway for professional training. She has the makings of a fine property valuer and adviser.”

Lydia said: “I am delighted to be taking the next step in my career with Oakwood. Having dipped my toes into property surveying over the past year I am excited to take the plunge into the industry.

“No-one could have predicted the challenges that came with 2020, however I look positively to 2021 with an eagerness to grow and progress, both personally and professionally. I would like to thank Graham for all of his support over the last year and look forward to continuing my journey with Oakwood as a graduate surveyor.”


Liverpool online retail giant The Very Group has appointed Steve Pimblett as chief data officer.

Steve joins from Wejo, a UK scale-up behind technology used in connected cars. Most recently he held the dual role of CDO and chief information officer at the firm, which has tie-ups with General Motors, Daimler and Hyundai.

Steve Pimblett

Prior to that he was CDO at Betsson Group, the NASDAQ-listed online gaming company, and general manager of data at

Steve, who will report to CTO Andy Burton, will oversee all things data at The Very Group, including strategy, science, analytics and engineering.

He said: “It’s an exciting time to join The Very Group, which has an ambitious vision for the future, and is growing as more and more UK consumers shop online. I can’t wait to work with the team to use our wealth of rich customer data to improve business performance.”

Andy Burton, chief technology officer at The Very Group, said: “Steve is an outstanding leader with real technical know-how. His experience will let us further build our data capabilities to give our customers the best, most relevant experiences and help us make even faster, better decisions.”

The group has also hired Paul Hornby as digital customer experience (DCX) director. He will join in January 2021 and report to Andy Burton.

Paul, who previously held roles including head of ecommerce and head of transformation at The Very Group, will re-join the company from Matalan, where he was ecommerce director for three years. During that time he led Matalan’s digital transformation, working closely with all areas of the business.

Paul Hornby

As DCX director Paul will lead a range of product-focused agile squads with the goal of giving customers a truly seamless digital experience across mobile and online.

Paul said: “I can’t wait to re-join the team and get started. The Very Group is a special business for me, and it has exciting plans for the future with more people shopping online than ever before. By continuing to develop an outstanding online experience, we can help to attract and retain even more of these new customers.”

Andy Burton said: “We’re delighted to welcome Paul back. He’s an exceptional leader, strong technically and knows how The Very Group ticks. He was responsible for some standout innovation first time around, and I’m confident he’ll lead the team to even bigger improvements to the customer experience this time.”


Gallagher has welcomed a new development executive to its Sale office as the insurance broker continues to strengthen the support of its client base in the North West.

Jason Houlihan joins from Marsh Commercial, where he was an account executive in the broker’s Newquay office.

With more than 10 years’ insurance industry experience, in his new role Jason is responsible for business development in the North West region, with a particular focus on South Manchester and Cheshire.

Gallagher’s Sale office, based on Marsland Road, employs 25 risk management and insurance specialists, supporting a broad range of businesses, with sector specialisms including education and motor trade insurance.

Jason Houlihan

With additional operations in Manchester city centre, Liverpool, Chester and Lytham St Annes forming part of its 70-strong UK retail branch network, Gallagher has a sizeable presence in the North West, with more than 300 insurance professionals across the region supporting organisations of all sizes with their insurance and risk management needs.

Jason said: “In a year which has brought so many unprecedented challenges for businesses in the North West, it has never been so important for companies in the region to engage the support of a specialist broker to help them navigate the changing risk landscape facing them, and review the impact of the pandemic on their risk profile.

“After returning to my roots in the North West after a number of years in Cornwall, I look forward to building on the positive momentum Gallagher has enjoyed in the region in recent years – through fostering existing client relationships and reviewing our current offering, while identifying new business opportunities.”

Paul Winterbottom, North West regional director, said: “Adding Jason to our team of specialists in Sale reinforces Gallagher’s ongoing commitment to investing in talent in order to bolster our client base in the North West.

“Jason’s in-depth industry expertise, ability to form a rapport with clients and prospects, and entrepreneurial mindset makes him the ideal candidate to help us capitalise on growth opportunities in the region.”


North West law firm SAS Daniels has made two promotions at its Stockport office.

Charlie Wood

Experienced solicitor Charlie Wood has been promoted to associate in the employment law and HR team.

Charlie joined the firm in 2015 as a paralegal before securing a role as trainee solicitor in 2016, and qualifying with the firm in 2018.

The second promotion sees Carly Borne promoted to associate in the dispute resolution team.

Carly joined the firm last year after gaining extensive experience at previous roles in Gorvins and Berg Legal.

Carly Borne

Chief executive Jeremy Orrell said: “We’ve made a significant number of appointments and internal promotions in recent months to support growth in the firm.

“The promotions of Charlie and Carly are well deserved and recognise their significant contribution within their teams.”

SAS Daniels has four offices located in Chester, Congleton, Macclesfield and Stockport.


Fintech Greensill, which has a Daresbury operation, has strengthened its board of directors with two appointments.

Tracy Clarke will join as a non-executive director, effective January 1, 2021, while Patricia Russo has been appointed as a senior advisor.

Tracy will join on her retirement from Standard Chartered. She is currently CEO, Europe and Americas and Global CEO, private banking at Standard Chartered.

She recently announced her retirement following a distinguished 35-year career with the bank. During this time she held a broad portfolio of leadership, compliance, HR, corporate affairs, brand and marketing roles.

Tracy Clarke

She is a director of TheCityUK and sits on the board of England Netball. Previously she was a non-executive director of BSkyB for six-and-a-half years, prior to its acquisition by Comcast, and was a non-executive director of satellite operator Inmarsat until its sale to private equity in December 2019. She holds an MBA from Brunel University.

Maurice Thompson, chairman of the board of Greensill, said: “We are delighted to welcome Tracy to Greensill. She brings a wealth of experience, working at the highest levels within a listed global bank specialising in trade finance.

“She is joining Greensill at an exciting time in our growth trajectory as we continue to accelerate the movement of capital into the real economy, where it is needed most.”

Tracy said: “I am excited to be joining Greensill at this time. I have been impressed by the company’s innovative approach to working capital solutions and improving the way that businesses and individuals are paid. I look forward to contributing to the next chapter of Greensill’s growth.”

Patricia ‘Pat’ F. Russo is chair of the board for Hewlett Packard Enterprise and also serves on the boards of GM, Merck, and private equity firm KKR.

Patricia F. Russo

She has served previously on the boards of Alcoa and Arconic, including a period as interim chair of the latter. She served as chief executive of Alcatel-Lucent from 2006 to 2008 where she oversaw the cross-border integration to create a global telecoms equipment giant.

Pat was chairman of Lucent from 2003 to 2006, and CEO from 2002 to 2006. Prior to re-joining Lucent in 2002, Pat was president and chief operating officer of Kodak. She has spent her career in technology businesses, also including IBM and AT&T.

Maurice Thompson said: “We are delighted to welcome Pat to Greensill. Pat brings a wealth of experience, working at the highest levels in leading global technology companies.”

Pat Russo said: “I look forward to working with Greensill in an advisory capacity. As a leading global fintech with significant potential, I plan to bring my experience working in global technology businesses as well as my governance experience to bear in working with Greensill’s board and management team.”