People: No Brainer; KCC Live; MHA Moore and Smalley; Eversheds Sutherland; Cazenove Capital

Laura Rudd

Digital PR, content and SEO agency, No Brainer, has announced the appointment of former SEO lead at FTSE 250 company HomeServe as its first head of SEO and insights.

Laura Rudd joins from home repairs and improvements giant HomeServe to lead the agency’s search engine optimisation (SEO) support for clients, as well as helping shape data-led campaigns for the Warrington-based agency.

She brings more than two decades of experience in agency, in-house and consultancy roles, having spent almost three years at HomeServe where she oversaw year-on-year growth in organic search and traffic.

Now, she’s tasked with developing No Brainer’s range of paid, owned, shared and earned services as it eyes further growth across the North West and the UK.

Laura said: “We have big ambitions to strengthen our SEO offer as an agency and ensure it is complementary to the traditional and digital PR, content and social media services we’re already famous for.

“We have a clear plan to deliver more digital-first strategies for new and existing clients that demonstrate outstanding ROI. We’re already working with clients to show how impactful SEO and PR can be when they work together, and how we can use data to shape strategies that allow brands to connect with their audiences in a way they haven’t before.”

No Brainer managing director Gary Jenkins said: “Laura joining the team is a landmark appointment for the agency and comes at a time when proving your worth in PR, content and SEO is more important than ever.

“Data and insights are at the heart of everything we do as an agency, so Laura’s appointment will help us enhance that across our range of services from digital PR to content marketing and social.”


MD Creatives creative director, Miguel Doforo, has been appointed as director of community radio station KCC Live as he continues to work tirelessly to engage the future generation of creatives in the Liverpool City Region.

Miguel Doforo

Having been involved with the Knowsley-based community station since 2017, Doforo’s work will involve sharing good news stories, recruiting local talented DJs and presenters to showcase their talents on the airwaves and playing the biggest and best songs to put smiles on faces across the area.

Bolstering the ranks already by bringing well-known presenter Claire Simmo, hot-prospect DJ Erik McKenna and station manager Dan Sellman through the doors, KCC Live will now be looking to go from strength to strength as it plans towards its 20th anniversary in 2023.

Miguel Doforo said: “To become station director of a radio station I’ve been involved with for many years is an incredibly proud moment for me and I have so many huge ideas to take KCC Live to the next level in 2021 and beyond.

“First and foremost I will be continuing to grow the station in the Liverpool City Region, as we strive to give local creatives the chance to gain experience and learn on a massive platform.”


Accountancy and business advisory firm MHA Moore and Smalley has further strengthened its corporate finance team as it prepares for a significant increase in deal activity in 2021.

The firm has appointed Peter Williams as corporate finance director at its Manchester office.

Peter joins after more than seven years with the corporate finance team in the Manchester office of UK and European accounting firm Azets, where he was a director. His previous experience also includes roles with PwC and Mazars.

His appointment comes after the firm advised on M&A transactions with a value of more than £200m in 2020 and predicted the region could see a record volume of deals in the first quarter of 2021.

Peter Williams

Andrew Feeke, head of corporate finance at MHA Moore and Smalley, said: “We expect to be kept very busy in the first part of this year due to good liquidity in the funding market, the anticipated changes to capital gains tax bringing some transactions forward, and the likely increase in deals involving distressed businesses and assets.

“Peter is a highly experienced corporate finance professional who will be a great addition to our team, both in the short term as we deal with a significant number of transactions, but also as we plan to guide our clients through the longer-term recovery.”

Peter, whose appointment takes the firm’s corporate finance team to eight members, said: “I know most of the team through working with them on transactions during my previous roles and I had no doubt that this is a firm and a team I wanted to work with.

“These are undoubtedly very challenging times for people and businesses, but times like these also present opportunities. As an independent firm with a national and international reach, we are well placed to help our clients plan for a better tomorrow and I’m delighted to be joining the team.”

Peter will advise clients on business sales, purchases and fundraising. He has significant expertise advising business owners in the owner-managed SME market, including a broad range of experience from private equity transactions through to trade sales, MBOs and fundraising.


Eversheds Sutherland has welcomed Phillip Birchall as partner to its real estate team in Manchester.

Phillip joins the firm from Pinsent Masons, where he has been a partner since 2016.

He brings valuable experience to the team across the full range of real estate transactions from investment and landlord and tenant to finance and corporate joint ventures. He specialises in complex and nationally significant multi-phase development and regeneration projects involving JVs and strategic partnering agreements in sectors including industrial, leisure, office, sports, retail and mixed-use.

Nancy Brown, partner and head of Eversheds Sutherland’s Manchester real estate group, said: “We are delighted to welcome Phillip to the real estate team in Manchester where he will focus on strengthening key regional and national sector growth areas, targets and priorities with us.

“Phillip has a strong profile within the local market and his ability to deliver work for high calibre clients is proven in his track record. We’re thrilled that he is now part of the Eversheds Sutherland team.”

Phillip Birchall

Phillip said: “I am excited to be joining Eversheds Sutherland’s award-winning real estate practice and collaborating closely with its market leading team within the UK and with colleagues across its global network.”

Phillip joins Eversheds Sutherland’s 60-strong Manchester real estate team, of which six are partners. The team has a strong public and private sector client presence within the North West, with a client base that includes Muse Developments, Homes and Communities Agency and Barchester Healthcare.

Nationally, the real estate practice has more than 400 real estate lawyers, including in excess of 60 commercial and residential specialists, 40 dedicated planning lawyers and 60 construction lawyers. The practice advises all sectors, including infrastructure, residential, office, leisure, industrial, hotels, student accommodation and mixed use developments.


Cazenove Capital, the UK wealth management business of Schroders, has appointed five talented hires as part of its regional expansion strategy, including two in the Manchester office to further strengthen the growing North West team.

Adam Bickell joins from Kellands Hale where he worked as an independent financial planner.

Prior to that Adam worked for Coutts & Co and NatWest Private Banking.

He has 18 years of financial services experience and nine years’ experience of advising HNW families on their investment strategies and long term planning. Adam is a Chartered Member of the CISI and joins as a wealth planner for the North of England client base.

Daniel Brint joins from UBS in Manchester as an assistant portfolio manager looking after clients based in the North West region.

He is an Associate of the Chartered Member of the CISI and holds the Investment Operations Certificate.

Mary-Anne Daly, Cazenove Capital chief executive, said: “We are pleased to have attracted individuals of this calibre to the firm as part of a strategy to reach a greater number of regional business owners, entrepreneurs and other wealthy families.

“This increased regional presence will ensure these clients can benefit from personalised local service and the breadth of Cazenove Capital’s investment and wealth planning offering.”

Karan Sejpal, team head responsible for business owners and entrepreneurs and the UK regions, said: “These latest appointments are an important step towards realising our growth ambitions and harnessing the regional client demand that we are seeing, particularly in the Midlands and the North West.”