People: AJ Bell; Creative Spark; Time Finance; DWF; Hotfoot

Danni Hewson

Manchester-based investment platform AJ Bell has brought BBC journalist and presenter Danni Hewson on board as financial analyst within its communications team.

She’ll be responsible for producing analysis and commentary across a broad range of subjects including financial markets, economics and personal finance.

Danni joins after spending more than 19 years at the BBC, presenting and reporting on business news across a variety of programmes including BBC Breakfast, BBC News Channel, BBC Look North and latterly Radio 5 Live’s flagship business programme ‘Wake up to Money’.

Charlie Musson, head of communications at AJ Bell, said: “Danni is a very experienced broadcaster and business commentator who is used to unpicking what can be complex topics and explaining them clearly and in a way people can relate to.

“I’m sure her analysis and commentary are going to be a great help to our customers and the financial press.”

Danni Hewson said: “I’m delighted to be joining such a brilliant team and I’m really excited to bring my experience and skills as a journalist and broadcaster to this award-winning investment platform.

“It’s strange starting a new role remotely but the pandemic has made all of us think hard about our financial security, so it’s the perfect time to reach consumers.”

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Strategic branding agency Creative Spark has appointed a new creative director, Michael Nasralla ‘Naz’, the previous design director at White Rabbit.

Naz’s appointment follows a number of new business wins at Manchester-based Creative Spark where his strategic branding and packaging experience will be invaluable.

He has more than 20 years’ design experience managing studios both in-house and internationally. He climbed the career ladder while working in some of the best agencies in the North West.

As design director at Equator Design Naz coordinated campaigns for global brands, he has in-depth experience in food and beverage branding plus vast understanding of digital and social campaign design.

Michael Nasralla

Creative Spark, founder and creative director, Neil Marra, said: “We are thrilled to have brought Naz on board.

“He is a heavyweight creative talent with a wealth of experience in the sectors we are specialising in, plus he also brings digital and social experience that ties perfectly into our offer to clients.

“He has already started to work on some fantastic projects for us and I can’t wait till we can all get back into the studio to work together as a creative team.”

Naz said: “Despite starting work at Creative Spark mid-lockdown, the team has been very welcoming and we’ve hit the ground running on client campaigns. Looking forward to working with the team in real life later in 2021.”

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Time Finance has appointed Simon Holian as business development manager in its invoice finance division.

Simon joins with 10 years’ industry experience, having spent his career driving new business opportunities and supporting UK SME owners access the finance solutions they need to bring their business plans to life. In his new role, he will be responsible for building and maintaining strong introducer relations while expanding Time Finance’s invoice finance offering in North Wales and the North West of England.

Simon said: “I’m delighted to be joining the team at Time Finance who have an excellent reputation for building strong and long-standing relationships with both their introducers and clients.

Simon Holian

“I look forward to building on their success and helping more business owners access the vital funding support they need to grow and prosper.”

Andy Hume, head of sales (North) at Bath-based Time Finance, said: “Simon’s appointment comes at an important time for our business and the businesses we service. With government initiatives due to end over the next few months, SME owners will be looking for supportive funding facilities to help facilitate recovery and growth.

“We have no doubt that Simon will be a great addition to the team, with his proven track record of delivering innovative solutions and building long-standing relationships with his network of introducers.”

Time Finance offers confidential and disclosed facilities ranging from £10,000 to £2.5m, with the added flexibility that its facilities can grow alongside a business.

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Ann Frances Cooney joins Manchester-based law firm DWF from Addleshaw Goddard where she was a legal director and head of the Glasgow employment team. At DWF, she will be based out of the Glasgow office and will lead the employment practice in Scotland.

Ann has specialised exclusively in employment law for more than 15 years. She has vast experience advising on TUPE and workforce restructuring, industrial relations and strike action, enforcing restrictive covenants, handling board and C-Suite severance negotiations and settlement agreements, employment fraud, international mobility, discrimination as well as disciplinary, performance and ill health management. She is an experienced litigator and regularly appears in employment tribunals across the UK.

Her clients include several PLCs, household name organisations, banks and financial institutions, public sector employers as well as SMEs.

Ann has also acted for several senior executives across the UK and internationally. She is also an experienced employment law trainer and regular speaker at specialist seminars for HR professionals and in-house lawyers.

Ann Frances Cooney

Joanne Frew, UK head of employment at DWF, said: “I am delighted that Ann Frances is joining DWF to lead our employment practice in Scotland. Her experience and reputation in the market aligns with our business’s deep pedigree in supporting clients though a huge range of employment matters. I look forward to working closely with Ann Frances and establishing a successful team in Scotland.”

Paul Pignatelli, managing partner of the Glasgow office, said: “Having previously worked with Ann Frances for a number of years, I am delighted to be welcoming her to the team in Scotland. Her experience, manner and style, both internally with our teams and externally with clients will be invaluable for the business.”

Ann said: “I am excited to join DWF and lead the employment practice in Scotland. DWF’s strong national identity and a clear global presence is definitely a key attraction to joining the business. My experience and drive, together with DWF’s reputation in the market, will allow me to create a thriving employment practice in Scotland. I look forward to getting started and working with the team.”

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Lancaster-based creative agency Hotfoot has appointed two new people to its multi award-winning team of specialists. Jazmin Fletcher joins as marketing consultant and Cameron Fitzwilliam joins as web developer.

After growing up in Spain, Jazmin studied marketing management at the University of Central Lancashire – and gained a First – before working in marketing and hospitality in Lancashire, Greater Manchester and Cumbria.

Jazmin Fletcher

As marketing consultant Jazmin will be responsible for producing a range of marketing campaigns across social media, email, websites and print.

Guy Cookson, marketing director and partner at Hotfoot, said: “We are increasingly being approached to produce creative marketing campaigns for clients that stand out from the competition. Jazmin has the right combination of experience, expertise and enthusiasm that our clients really value and we are thrilled to welcome her to our team.”

Whilst studying for a degree in business, Cameron discovered a passion for web development and taught himself to code. Cameron has worked in tech across a range of sectors in London and in Lancashire.

Cameron Fitzwilliam

Aidan Watt, technical director and partner at Hotfoot, said: “We are known for designing and developing custom websites that help drive enquiries and sales for our clients. We are really happy to have Cameron on board as we look forward to a busy 2021.”

The two appointments come as Hotfoot has won a raft of new clients in the retail, logistics, university and charity sectors across the UK.

Hotfoot is an independent creative agency founded in 2006, and recent winner at the Sub 36, Bibas and Red Rose awards.

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