People: Quantuma; PM+M; Contact Originators; Made Tech; Professional Speakers Association

Jeremy Woodside

Business advisory firm Quantuma has appointed regional restructuring adviser, Jeremy Woodside, as managing director, following a year of strong growth in the firm’s North West practice.

Over the past 12 months the firm has seen a more than 100% rise in demand for its services across the region, with headcount in the North West now rising to 13.

Jeremy is a chartered accountant and qualified insolvency practitioner and brings more than 25 years of experience to Quantuma, having worked as partner for national mid-tier accounting and consulting firm, RSM, for 20 years prior to which he was at PwC for five years.

He is also a regional committee member of the insolvency and restructuring trade body R3.

Throughout his career Jeremy has advised directors, creditors, lenders and other stakeholders across a range of sectors on distressed and stressed trading positions.

In his new role Jeremy will be based in the firm’s Manchester office, focusing on providing insolvency and restructuring advice to SMEs across the North West.

Since launching its Manchester office in 2019, Quantuma has continued to invest in its regional practice to support further growth. Earlier this year the firm acquired insolvency boutique, Bell Advisory, further strengthening its services to North West businesses, and providing the foundation for further expansion.

Jeremy Woodside said: “I am excited to work with the team in Manchester to accelerate the firm’s growth in the North West. 2020 was a challenging year for many businesses, so demand is naturally high for those advisers who can support businesses in further developing resilience and adapting their response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“In just two years, Quantuma has developed an outstanding reputation in the North West for providing a broad range of independent advisory services, and I am looking forward to building on this as we look to help many of the region’s businesses rebound and return to growth.”

Carl Jackson, chief executive at Quantuma, said: “Our North West operations have grown exponentially in the last 12 months, which means that we have been able to support more businesses than ever across the region throughout what was an incredibly difficult year.

“We have known Jeremy for a long time, and it is fantastic to welcome someone of his calibre and reputation to the firm at this very exciting time in our journey. This is a further step-change to our investment in the North West and Jeremy’s appointment reflects our desire to continue developing our brand with leading practitioners.”

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PM+M, the Blackburn-based chartered accountancy, business advisory and wealth management firm, has strengthened its wealth management team with the appointment of James McIntyre who joins as a director.

James’s new role will see him provide strategic financial planning and wealth management advice to PM+M’s client base of private individuals, businesses and business owners. He will also be working closely with, and supporting, Antony Keen, partner, with his ambitious plans to grow the wealth management arm of the firm.

James McIntyre

James joins PM+M from Mattioli Woods, previously Taylor Patterson, where he was a senior consultant. He has also previously worked at RSM Tenon and Nationwide Building Society.

Antony Keen said: “James has some fantastic experience and real determination to succeed so we are delighted that he is now part of our team. I am confident that he will add value and will bring some fresh insights and ideas that will benefit his colleagues and clients.”

James said: “I was born in Blackburn, so I have a real affiliation with the town, the Ribble Valley and the whole of Lancashire.

“Over the years, PM+M has become part of the ‘very fabric’ of the area so it feels like the right fit for me. I am excited to be starting this new journey and having the ability to help shape the future of the wealth management function alongside Antony.”

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Stockport-based Contact Originators, the innovation-led UK packaging origination, graphics management and flexographic plates manufacturer, has announced the promotion of two key employees who have both enjoyed lengthy careers with the company.

Steve Mulcahy, CEO of Contact Group, said he was delighted to announce the dual promotions at the end of a challenging, but still successful, year for Contact. The changes see Nick Mitchell move from the role of general manager to operations director, and Les Jones from print innovation and product development manager to technical director.

Mr Mulcahy said: “Both Nick and Les have made significant contributions to the business, our customers and industry.

“Their promotions are a well-earned reward for their dedication. They have both worked incredibly hard and provided outstanding service throughout their many years with us.

“Their commitment to the business during what was a very challenging year – with both the devastating fire at our Stockport premises and managing our move to Dukinfield, before then working under the restrictions of a global pandemic – has been nothing short of incredible.”

Nick Mitchell joined Contact 25 years ago as an apprentice in the commercial department. In the years that followed he has held various positions throughout the business, gaining valuable experience and knowledge in many aspects of reprographics on his way to becoming general manger.

Les Jones, left, and Nick Mitchell

In his new role Nick will oversee the day-to-day running of Contact and work to align the challenges of its customers with the business’s own long-term strategy.

With more than 30 years’ experience in print and packaging, Les started his career as a printer and so has an invaluable, first-hand understanding of the challenges and complexities faced by the industry.

By the age of 18 he had worked his way up to print manager and was helping develop the first real high quality print on a corrugated press in the UK. As technical director Les will focus on delivering world-class innovation to the customer base, developing print and testing new products and techniques to help Contact to maintain its leading position.

Mr Mulcahy added: “I’m really thrilled to be promoting from within for these key roles in the senior management team. Both Nick and Les are renowned in our industry for their technical expertise and their focus on identifying and implementing improvements.

“They have both worked to raise the benchmark in innovation and I’m personally delighted to see this recognised as we move into a new era for Contact.”

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Made Tech, the public sector technology delivery expert, has continued its rapid growth with the appointment of a new head of health and Manchester market principal, Hazel Jones.

Joining at a time when the NHS has had to rapidly embrace digital solutions, the role will see Hazel use her expertise in technology and healthcare to lead Made Tech’s digital transformation projects across the health service.

She will be working to modernise legacy applications and working practices, accelerate digital service delivery and enable improved digital capabilities within client teams.

Hazel brings with her more than 20 years of digital transformation experience across both public and private organisations. Most recently, she acted as interim head for NHS Blood & Transplant Rapid Covid Response and senior director at Push Doctor, as well as previously holding the role of apps & wearables programme director at NHS Digital.

Hazel Jones

She said: “Working for the NHS I have seen first-hand how COVID-19 has brought challenges that have led it to embrace digital technologies so it could still operate and treat patients safely. The pandemic has been a turning point for the NHS and as it continues to optimise its digital capabilities, I hope to offer my experience and passion to accelerate the health service’s journey through digital transformation.

“I believe that technology delivery companies working for the public sector shouldn’t simply turn up, install digital solutions and then leave. They should support organisations to evolve their workforce’s skills and digital capabilities through co-working.

“This will ensure they have the tools and techniques to continue to grow and evolve their digital expertise. These values are shared by Made Tech and I can’t wait to get to work and do whatever I can to make a difference in the healthcare sector.”

Rory MacDonald, Made Tech chief executive, said: “Hazel brings with her the knowledge, expertise and passion for healthcare that we know will not just benefit Made Tech but the entire public sector. Her leadership will allow us to continue supporting the NHS through its digital revolution and help ensure it is providing the best solutions possible to the UK, staff and patients.”

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The Professional Speaking Association (PSA) has elected Penny Haslam as its North West regional president.

The former journalist and BBC Breakfast News business presenter launched her career as a motivational speaker in 2014, winning the associations’ national Speaker of the Year award 12 months later.

She said: “2020 was a challenging time for the speaking industry, but our members have been impressively quick to take their keynotes, talks and workshop sessions online.

Penny Haslam

“I predict a growing trend that takes us beyond 2021 for virtual events and conferences. Businesses and organisations that scrapped in-person events over the past 12 months are looking for a COVID-proof alternative to bring their people together this year.

“Remote working is also posing new issues for business. Our members have seen a spike in demand for talks and workshops covering leadership, confidence and communication. My PSA colleagues and I have found success by revising our talks using more intimate on-screen skills.”

She added: “Event organisers are also waking up to the success of online events. Anecdotally, we’ve seen them better attended, with more audience engagement than traditional conferences. Many of my clients are now considering whether virtual events should be a regular feature.”

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