People: Hurst; Artorius; Insurance & Mobility Solutions; Assetz Capital; Studio LWD

From left: Sarah Haley, Adrian Young, Liz Gallagher

Tax specialist Sarah Haley has re-joined accounting and business advisory firm Hurst as a manager from a Big Four firm.

Sarah began her career at Hurst in 2006 as a graduate trainee. She qualified there as a chartered accountant and later as a chartered tax adviser. The University of Manchester graduate remained until 2015, when she moved to KPMG.

She said: “I really enjoyed being at Hurst previously. The variety and quality of work, and the exposure I gained, were second to none. I moved away to a Big Four firm and gained more compliance experience, but missed the advisory aspect and the variety of work offered by Hurst.”

She added: “It’s great to be back and it feels like I have never been away. I’m looking forward to getting stuck in again.”

Liz Gallagher, Hurst’s head of tax advisory, said: “We’re delighted to welcome Sarah back into our tax team. With her professional qualifications and experience, she is an excellent addition to the team providing high quality tax advice to our clients.

“While Sarah’s last role was predominantly corporate-focused, she will now be able to apply her skills across the full breadth of taxes.

“She knows and understands our clients and the range of tax issues that affect owner-managed businesses. Her experience will hold her in good stead when dealing with our clients, who are becoming increasingly sophisticated.”


Independent wealth advisory firm Artorius has announced the appointment of Gareth Thomas to the role of head of investment management.

In a new role for the firm, Gareth will report to Gerard Lane, chief investment officer, as Artorius expands the size and breadth of its discretionary and advisory offering.

Gareth has served in a number of senior investment roles at UBS Wealth Management, most recently as head of investment content UK and head of portfolio management UK. Prior to UBS, Gareth worked at HSBC Global Asset Management and Nelson Money Managers.

Established in 2015, Artorius is based in Manchester and advises clients across the UK from its offices in Manchester, London and Zurich. The firm provides long term unconflicted wealth planning and investment advice for financial services professionals, UK business owners and entrepreneurs, private equity professionals and individuals inheriting wealth, including through divorce.

Artorius manages more than £1.25bn of family assets and is independently owned by management, employees, and a small group of high net worth individual shareholders. Assets have grown by £250m (circa 25%) in the nine months since April 2020 and the group has an ambitious growth strategy in place.

Gareth Thomas

Gareth said “This is an exciting time to be joining Artorius as they continue their growth journey. The direction of travel is away from big banks towards truly independent firms providing specialist mandates for large and sophisticated clients, as well as core discretionary offerings. I am delighted to be joining the team and working with them to provide an outstanding investment offering for our clients.”

Gerard Lane said: “After a successful career at UBS, Gareth will enhance the capabilities of the investment team in delivery of both discretionary and advisory services. Gareth’s experience and calibre will support Artorius as we continue to grow, allowing us to address client needs and ensure breadth of investment experience.”

Chief executive, Paddy Lewis, said: “I am delighted to be working with Gareth again, having spent 12 years working alongside him to build the successful investment offering at UBS. Gareth’s knowledge and experience will be a significant addition to our already successful and growing discretionary and advisory offering.”


Paul Stacy, founder of Wunelli and serial telematics technology entrepreneur, has joined Crewe-based IMS (Insurance & Mobility Solutions) from LexisNexis Risk Solutions, where he held the roles of R&D director and director of automotive development, EMEA.

He takes on the new role of global business development director at IMS, reporting to CEO Nick Corrie.

Stacy’s arrival at IMS marks the latest in a string of senior hires over the past 18 months, including ex-Octo N America CEO, Nino Tarantino, in the US, and ex-JLR executive Leon Hurst in the UK.

The company also added COO Christoph Burtscher (ex-dunnhumby) and CTO Nik Southworth to its executive team. The business took on a minority growth capital investment from Three Hills Capital Partners in 2019.

Paul said his immediate focus would be exploring opportunities in new markets where IMS doesn’t currently have a presence: “We want to go beyond our core markets in Europe and North America, leveraging our assets and IP to become a global leader in connected vehicle data. This includes China and Australasia, where there are a number of exciting opportunities on our radar to enter these new geographies, including partnerships.”

Paul Stacy

He added: “I will be working alongside Nick and the executive team to help IMS leverage value as a global vehicle and driving data insights business, supplementing after-market sensor and app data with data directly from the connected car.”

IMS recently launched its Vehicle Data Exchange, which provides live, real time access to vehicle insights and mobility data from embedded hardware, any aftermarket device or smartphone application.

Nick Corrie said: “Paul is one of the foremost personalities in global telematics, an incredible talent and a superb fit. It is great news that he is joining us now, particularly as the global marketplace has recently begun to fully recognise the potential for connected solutions – and we are perfectly positioned to take full advantage.

“He’ll also support our solutions teams to help define future proposition evolution so we can continue to best meet our customers’ and the market’s future requirements.”


Assetz Capital has promoted Andrew Fraser to UK director for the North as it looks to drive more lending to SMEs after surpassing the £1bn mark last year.

Andrew is a banking veteran with 20 years’ experience and will lead a team covering the North East, Scotland and Northern Ireland. Having joined the company in 2015, Andrew has originated more than £100m of loans in Northern Ireland with more than 50% made up of development finance which has created in excess of 700 new homes.

He has also originated £35m through the government-backed CBILS scheme, helping to provide the provision of much needed finance to SMEs during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The appointment comes as Manchester-based Assetz Capital is looking to rapidly grow its client base of SME and house builders and engage new intermediary partners.

Andrew Fraser

National commercial director, Mark Standley, said: “Andrew has an approach to relationship building and deal making that I am sure will complement the team as they push on with the market development activity and growth initiatives already in play. 2021 is set to be a significant year for us as we capitalise on our CBILS pipeline and support SMEs across the UK as the economy returns to some form of normality post-COVID.”

Andrew said: “It will be SMEs and housebuilders that drive the whole economy forward in the years to come – and we will be there to support them. I’m relishing the task of leading the team to have an even bigger impact across the North East, Scotland and Northern Ireland.”


Multi-service brand building agency Studio LWD has appointed a talented university graduate as its first junior designer.

Rebecca Drabble, 22, a graduate of Liverpool John Moores University, joins the Poulton-le-Fylde-based studio after demonstrating a strong sense of creativity and valuable marketing skills during work experience in late 2020.

Despite the role being her first step on the designer career ladder she has a wealth of experience in marketing having opened two Etsy shops as spare time ventures during the pandemic – Modern Day Eclectic, which sells vintage home décor, and Eden and Bliss, which sells letterbox pamper hampers for self-care and wellness.

Rebecca will use her skills and creative eye to support the existing team with rebrands and brand refresh work, as well as the development of new websites, packaging, brochures, marketing collateral and visual assets for companies in a range of industries.

She said: “I have always been creative and love selling online, so when lockdown hit, I set up Eden and Bliss and invested more time into the marketing of Modern Day Eclectic. I never dreamed it would lead to such an exciting opportunity with a successful studio – I just saw so many people isolated from family and friends and I wanted to help people share some love and happiness with their friends and relatives, even when they couldn’t be with them.”

Rebecca Drabble

She added: “To have this opportunity to work on such exciting projects whilst building my career is just amazing, especially after such a difficult year for young people.”

The experience of running a business and selling online is what supported founder Laura Weldon’s decision to recruit Rebecca. Laura said: “Rebecca used her talent to launch a business, market and sell products that people want to buy, whilst also connecting with people on a personal level, and those qualities are hard to find.

“She has an obvious eye for design and an understanding of sales and marketing, and that made her a stand-out person I couldn’t resist hiring.”

Laura added: “Not only has Rebecca achieved the necessary academic qualifications, she has also been out there in the real world and put what she has learnt into practice. That will be invaluable to our clients and the rest of the team.”