People: Boyds; C&C Insurance Brokers; CFG Law; Velstar; Your Housing Group

Neil Chakrabarti

Pharmaceutical and biotech product development consultancy, Boyds has announced the appointment of Neil Chakrabarti as chief financial officer.

Neil is an experienced financial leader and has worked with a number of businesses across the sector, including biotech start-up Autolus Therapeutics, pharma business Vectura Group, multinational medical device manufacturer Medtronic, and private equity-backed business Independent Clinical Services.

He said: “The company is experiencing significant growth and I am looking forward to bringing measurable value to the team. Working with Alan and the management team I will be contributing to the development of the business strategy, helping to improve processes and develop systems to support the growth and a move to greater efficiencies.

“Boyds clearly has an enviable reputation in the market and I am looking forward to driving and supporting growth plans as the company expands its market share.”

Alan Boyd, president and CEO, said: “Over the past 12 months I have been taking time to reflect on the direction Boyds needs to take. I have been working with the management team and the specialist life sciences team at BDO, to take Boyds to the next level in its growth. This has involved looking at our systems and processes, but also assessing the skills needed for the coming years.

“Neil’s appointment is instrumental in this and I am pleased to welcome him to the team. His expertise, challenge and focus will add value to the business as a whole, whilst helping us to build robust systems and processes which will support activities across the entire business.”

Boyds, which was established 16 years ago by Prof Alan Boyd, recently announced the launch of its biggest recruitment drive to date, creating up to 10 roles. The company is also in the process of establishing an office in the US, which it plans to open this year.


C&C Insurance Brokers has continued its ambitious expansion plans with a new Scottish operation.

Opening in April, C&C’s new Dumfries & Galloway function will be run by Lauren Kerr who joins the business to develop business opportunities in the Scottish region.

During 13 years with Towergate Lauren earned an impressive reputation within the transport haulage & logistics industry and will continue with C&C’s strategy of growth within the sector.

Lauren Kerr

Managing director, Malcolm Cooke, said: “We are delighted to welcome Lauren into the business and to a successful working partnership. Our continuing strategy of rolling out a branch network by targeting talented individuals is gathering momentum.”

C&C’s move into Scotland follows the creation of branches in Newport, South Wales, Chester, the Midlands and Leeds.

Lauren said: “I’m looking forward to the freedom of working for one of the UK’s leading independent brokers and the opportunity to further expand the C&C brand.”


Expanding serious injury business, CFG Law, has announced six promotions among its team, including two new partners and three members of its support teams.

All six of this year’s promotions go to female colleagues at the Cheadle-based firm, which is also welcoming six new colleagues at its newest offices in East Anglia next week.

Solicitors Emily Kalwak and Vicky Whitney, who specialise in supporting people affected by brain and spinal injuries, are both promoted to partner after three and five years, respectively, with CFG Law.

Emily Kalwak

Two other members of the team have been promoted to be senior associates – solicitor Ashwini Kamath along with Katie Carroll from the firm’s risk and compliance function.

And the promotions for 2021, which are all effective from April 1, are rounded off by brand and marketing expert Emma Yemm and business intelligence analyst Faye Roberts, who both become associates.

Chief executive, Richard Clark, said: “Emily, Vicky, Ashwini, Katie, Emma and Faye have all played a significant role in our success in recent years and totally deserve their promotions. I’m delighted that we’ve able to recognise their efforts.

“Promoting six female colleagues, including three who work in non-legal jobs, shows that everyone’s contribution is valued at CFG Law. It doesn’t matter what your background is or what your role is, you can progress here based on the part you play in our business.”

Vicky Whitney

CFG Law announced in February that it had recruited a highly respected serious injury team for a new office in Bury St Edmunds and a consulting office in Cambridge.

The past 12 months has also seen David Hilton join as a partner to launch its Court of Protection and private client offering along with serious injury partner Matt Evans.

Associate Philip Cooper and new head of IT and business improvement, Wayne Lord, have also been added to the team as the firm continued to expand and recruit through lockdown and the various COVID restrictions.


Liverpool-based Shopify Plus partner agency, Velstar has appointed a finance and operations director and head of client services to bolster its offer and drive continued growth, following a spate of new client wins, including AVON, Robert Goddard, SCI-MX and Cosatto.

Holly Roberts

Holly Roberts brings with her more than 10 years of experience in creative and digital agency operations. She joins Velstar, which also has a Manchester operation, from the brand engagement agency, Owl Live. As finance and operations director, Holly will head up the operational side of the business, ensuring Velstar maintain a seamless delivery of projects as it continues to scale.

Meanwhile, Katie Evans joins as head of client services, having been attracted to Velstar’s client roster and vibrant culture. She will help build on existing client relationships and support Velstar’s global reach.

Katie Evans

Katie has previously worked in various client-facing roles across the digital industry in both the UK and the USA, and has more than 10 years of experience, helping B2C clients and businesses achieve their commercial objectives.

Managing director, Dan Sheard, said: “Over the past 12 months, we have grown significantly. In fact, it’s been a record-breaking year for us.

“We are very excited to welcome Holly and Katie to our dynamic team. Hiring them was the crucial next step we needed to make in order to support the continued growth of the agency. I am confident that they have the skills and expertise to help us achieve our goals in 2021 and beyond.”


Warrington-based Your Housing Group has appointed Jacque Allen as deputy chief executive, 12 months after she joined the team as chief operating officer.

The promotion streamlines the group’s senior structure, while emphasising the importance of anchoring Your Housing Group’s business priority and commitment to ‘be a great landlord’.

The appointment will enable chief executive Brian Cronin to direct his attention on the future and the group’s long term strategic direction.

Jacque said: “I’m proud to be part of Team YHG as we continue to build on the many strengths that already exist within the organisation.

“You often find out what an organisation is about in a business interruption situation and certainly the COVID pandemic comes under that heading.

Jacque Allen

“I look forward to what we can achieve over the next 12 months – particularly in preparing for the new Building Safety Regulation and embracing the Social Housing White Paper and new Consumer Standard.”

The new business plan under Jacque will see the delivery of a £480m investment in developing new homes and £219m of asset reinvestment over the next five years.

Jacque is passionate about inclusion in the workplace and communities and is looking forward to shortly launching the group’s inclusion campaign, “It’s not enough to…”.