People on the Move: MHA Moore and Smalley; IN4.0 with The Landing; Tackling the Blues; Gallagher; ME Group

From left: Andy Webster, Andrew Matthews, Danny Houghton

Accountancy and business advisory firm MHA Moore and Smalley has appointed experienced management accountant Andrew Matthews to lead its Liverpool office.

Andrew joins the firm as a partner after three-and-a-half years as group finance director of fast-growing Merseyside-based manufacturer and exporter Inciner8.

At Incincer8 he was part of the management team that oversaw significant growth and expansion of the incineration specialist.

Prior to this, Andrew spent more than eight years at DSG Chartered Accountants in Liverpool as audit and corporate finance director.

MHA Moore and Smalley has significantly expanded its presence in Merseyside since opening a permanent office at 20 Chapel Street in the city in 2018.

Andrew, who grew up in Liverpool and lives in Sefton, said: “I’d already experienced life as a client of MHA Moore and Smalley during my last FD role in industry, and had been impressed with the wealth of knowledge in the firm and its commitment to helping clients plan for the future.

“It’s a privilege to be given the opportunity to help the firm further grow its reach and client base across Merseyside, the Wirral, West Lancashire and North Wales. I’m particularly looking forward to renewing and developing relationships with the professional community and our clients.”

Danny Houghton, partner of MHA Moore and Smalley, said: “Merseyside and its surrounding regions have been a key driver of growth for the firm and we’ve supported a wide range of owner-managed businesses, including manufacturers and exporters via our association with Baker Tilly International.

“Andrew’s time in both practice and industry have given him first-hand experience of advising a business and the challenges of growing one, too. Coupled with his deep understanding and knowledge of the region, he was the perfect candidate to lead our Liverpool office.”

In addition to his management accounting, audit and corporate finance expertise, Andrew’s time as an FD has helped him develop specialisms in high-growth business planning and strategy, international trade, manufacturing operations, and shareholder tax planning.

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IN4.0 with The Landing has boosted its executive team with the appointment of two industry leaders, further enhancing its capabilities in the immersive tech and cyber arena.

Bev McGowan, an industry leader in data and information security, joins the MediaCityUK-based digital and innovation hub as director of cyber security, while Simon Benson, a global leader in XR user experience and award-winning Sony PlayStation pioneer, joins as director of immersive technology.

The double appointment comes as The Landing enters an exciting new phase of growth after its management was recently handed to fast growing tech firm, IN4.0 Group, to drive a new era of innovation excellence.

Bev has more than two decades of experience in cyber security working in financial services, banking and the insurance sector where she held a number of leadership roles in governance, risk, compliance, data governance, security and privacy.

She is also CEO and founder of The Specialists Hub and CyberPRO Security Services and Training and is chair of the Cyber Expert Group for the Cyber Resilience Centre for Greater Manchester.

Bev McGowan and Simon Benson

As director of cyber security, Bev will spearhead The Landing’s critical cyber security assets, including the launch of a Security Operations Centre to support Greater Manchester’s SMEs to reduce their risk of cyber-attacks.

Bev’s role will also be instrumental in developing a strong diverse digital talent pipeline within the cyber space.

Simon is the co-founder of Realised Realities, a specialist virtual reality and immersive technology consultancy.

Previously, he was the director of Sony’s Immersive Technology Group where he was instrumental in the creation and roll-out of stereoscopic 3D gaming and was a founder member of the PlayStation VR project.

In his new role, Simon will create a centre of excellence for immersive technology and will accelerate the use of VR and XR to businesses across the region. He will also lead the recruitment and growth of The Landing’s Immersive Technology start-up and scale-up community.

Simon said: “Immersive and interactive media is fast becoming an influential media element in our world and for the younger generation it’s their primary form of entertainment and media.

“Knowing that we’re bringing all that together at this location and putting that quality stamp on it and maximising its opportunity to make this a centre of excellence is exciting.

“This is an opportunity to bring my world-class expertise to the heart of MediaCityUK and to enable businesses that are stepping into immersive technology to take those first steps with confidence.”

Bev said: “I’m excited about what we are building at The Landing and what we are doing aligns with my experience, vision and values.

“With the acceleration of digital transformation, we need to make sure we have the best security and privacy assets to mitigate any risk of cyber attacks to the region’s SMEs and act as an enabler for innovation.

“It’s also important for us to provide people with opportunities and make sure digital training is accessible to all. We’ve already seen a massive increase in the uptake of cyber apprenticeships in the SME market, so there’s a big demand for training in this sector.”

Mo Isap, chief executive of IN4.0 Group, said: “I am delighted to welcome both Bev and Simon to the team. Together they bring a wealth of experience in cyber security and immersive technology and understand the critical role this plays in the SME community.

“Their pedigree and leadership will enable us to develop a world class incubation for start-ups and scale-ups to accelerate faster and stronger at The Landing than anywhere else.

“Equally, we want to make sure people across the GM region have fair access to digital skills and training.”

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Award-winning mental health programme Tackling the Blues has appointed six new recruits to grow activities at a time when mental health has never been more important.

Delivered by Edge Hill University, Everton in the Community and Tate Liverpool, the programme promotes mental health in education through sports, physical activity and the arts.

Tackling the Blues is delivered by students and staff across Edge Hill’s Department of Sport and Physical Activity and Faculty of Education and, since its launch in 2015, has engaged with almost 1,000 young people across Merseyside and West Lancashire.

Funding for the new recruits follows on from a £527,000 funding award from the Office for Students and Research England earlier this year in recognition of the vital impact it has on the student experience. The programme received the award for demonstrating the benefits it brings to students, graduates and external partners through involvement in knowledge exchange activities.

Emily McCurrie has joined Edge Hill’s Faculty of Education as the partnership development and engagement manager and will spend the first two years of her post leading the operational activity of Tackling the Blues. Prior to joining the programme, Emily lived in Scotland for 18 years, where she studied health psychology and worked as a cognitive behavioural therapist in the NHS.

Emily will focus on developing partnership engagement with schools and education providers to create opportunities for student employability, work experience and enrichment activities.

Tate Liverpool has appointed Dr Emma Curd and Phil McClure as Tackling the Blues coordinators to oversee the development and delivery of the new arts strand and they will work to encourage young people to use art as a tool to explore, understand and aid their emotional health and wellbeing.

Emma is an artist, facilitator and researcher. During her career she has facilitated workshops and learning programmes in galleries, museums, libraries and higher education institutions, while Phil was previously the lead for participation and democracy at Halton Youth Provision, where he supported young people dealing with issues around substance abuse, hidden harm and emotional health and wellbeing. In addition to this, he led on LGBTQ+ youth work in the borough.

Everton in the Community has recruited James Ratcliffe as a new Tackling the Blues coordinator to help develop the programme’s sports and physical activity strand. James previously completed his MSc in Sport, Physical Activity and Mental Health at Edge Hill, where he gained experience as a lead mentor on Tackling the Blues.

Clockwise from top left: Rachel Wilcock, Aston Monro, Dr Emma Curd, Phil McClure, Emily McCurrie, James Ratcliffe

Edge Hill has recruited two research assistants, Rachel Wilcock and Aston Monro, who will be responsible for measuring the impact of the programme on children and young people and will evaluate how student mentors benefit from knowledge exchange opportunities.

Rachel joins the team following three years in another research assistant role at Edge Hill, where she conducted programme evaluations for community-based programmes that address mental health and suicide concerns in the North West.

Aston has recently graduated from Edge Hill with an MSc in Sport, Physical Activity and Mental Health, during which time he received a bursary from the UEFA Foundation to work alongside Tackling the Blues as a mentor and researcher.

Professor of Sport and Physical Activity, Andy Smith, and Dr Helen O’Keeffe, from the Faculty of Education, both lead on the project at Edge Hill. Prof Smith said: “It is fantastic to be expanding our team as we reach such a significant point in the programme’s journey.

“To date, Tackling the Blues has engaged with 1,000 young people across Merseyside and West Lancashire with the aim to positively impact the lives and mental health of our communities. In such uncertain times for the world, we are looking forward to extending our reach and influence to help even more children and young people in the region to promote mental, physical and emotional literacy and improve their self-esteem and confidence, with the help of our student community.”

Michael Salla, Everton in the Community director of health and sport, said: “This addition of high-quality staff will allow us to better address the increasing prevalence of poor mental health among children and young people.”

Dr Deborah Riding, programme manager, children & young people at Tate Liverpool, said: “Working in partnership with Edge Hill University and Everton in the Community in this way gives us, collectively, an exciting opportunity to embed a new way for children and young people with their schools and communities to engage with mental health.”

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Insurance broker Gallagher has announced the appointment of Daniel Launder as branch director of its Chester office to support the continued growth of its client base in the region.

Daniel is responsible for heading up Gallagher’s 16-strong Chester team, based on Boughton, which looks after the insurance and risk management requirements for a broad range of clients in Cheshire, North Wales and Merseyside, from SMEs and private clients to large corporates.

Daniel joins Gallagher after three years at Marsh Commercial, where he was client executive, prior to which he was business partner and commercial account director at NFU Mutual. Daniel also served in the Royal Marines for 10 years as a senior intelligence and security advisor.

He succeeds former branch director, Steve Lowe, who retired in July after leading the team for 21 years.

Meanwhile, Samantha Argyle, who has been part of the Chester team for 18 years, has been promoted to account executive, looking after a portfolio of commercial clients, with a focus on managing and developing existing client relationships and identifying and progressing new business leads.

Daniel Launder

Gallagher has a significant presence in the North West, with more than 300 insurance professionals in Liverpool, Manchester, Sale and Lytham St Annes supporting organisations of all sizes with their insurance and risk management needs.

Daniel said: “Cheshire is one of the UK’s largest and most historical industrial hubs, and is home to a whole host of ambitious and thriving businesses, with a particularly strong representation in engineering, energy, agriculture, as well as professional services.

“With businesses in the region facing uncertain times, it’s important we’re on hand to support them with navigating a challenging risk management landscape. I’m delighted to be taking the helm of Gallagher’s Chester office, and look forward to working with the wider team to grow our already impressive portfolio of clients.”

Stephen Penketh, regional managing director for the North West, said: “Daniel’s strong leadership skills, commercial acumen and passion makes him ideally placed to lead our team in Chester, and to deliver the branch’s growth ambitions.

“His appointment, plus Samantha’s well-deserved promotion, signifies another key milestone in our continued growth, and underpins our commitment to investing in first-rate talent to support our clients.”

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ME Group has appointed Steven Zdolyny general counsel, reporting to group CEO Rob Cooper.

Steven will begin his new role at the beginning of January.

As well as providing legal advice across the group, and managing its external advisors, Steven will be a key lead in the development of ME Group’s service offering.

Rob explained that it is a new role reflecting the continued growth of the group, as it expands both as a litigation funder and a provider of technology-led support services to law firms managing complex and volume disputes.

“I am delighted to secure Steven given the calibre of his experience and achievements to date, and it reflects the continued success of the group in securing high-quality appointments. Steven is an excellent addition to the team as we continue to become the UK’s platform of choice for UK consumer litigation funding.”

Steven said: “This is a great opportunity to join an ambitious business with a clear strategy to give consumers and businesses the help they require to fund complex litigation, and to deliver a world-leading service offering to law firms. I look forward to working with Rob and the rest of the team.”

Steven Zdolyny

Steven has more than 30 years’ public and private sector legal services experience. He is a former winner of The Lawyer, in-house Public Sector Team of the Year and was runner-up and highly commended in the in-house Solicitor of the Year category at The Law Society Excellence Awards.

Previously, he was general counsel and one of the founding directors of Kim Technologies, a global legal technology business. Prior to that, he was the director of legal services, general counsel, chief compliance officer and training principal at EY Riverview Law, and served as a director on the board of Riverview Law Limited.

Steven was elected vice president of Liverpool Law Society in 2019 and has been a director of the Society since 2014.

Based in Cheadle, the ME Group has rapidly grown from its inception in 2017, championing access to justice for consumers.

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