People: Vistry Partnerships; Axon Garside; Deloitte Legal; Kennedys; Redwood Bank

Stuart Rennie

After a period of substantial growth, regeneration specialist Vistry Partnerships has appointed Stuart Rennie as its new finance director for the North West region.

Stuart joins from ENGIE where he started working across various complex long term outsourcing contracts with local authorities before occupying the role of head of finance for the North West Places & Communities business.

Shortly after joining the business, Stuart said: “Everyone at Vistry Partnerships has an incredible amount of ambition, and the business keeps going from strength to strength. I am, therefore, incredibly pleased to be joining their dynamic team and I look forward to helping the business reach new heights in the North West.”

Stuart’s new role will see him tasked with supporting the business to deliver its ambitious strategy while ensuring there are robust systems in place to enable profitable growth and managing working capital to ensure funding is in place for future developments.

Vistry Partnerships’ divisional managing director for Central and North, James Warrington, said: “We are working with some fantastic partners, councils and housing associations in the North West and the business is continuously expanding. Stuart’s appointment reflects our commitment to take this growth a step further, and he will help to drive the financial performance of the business as we strive to reach our ambitious targets.”

The new finance director will join Vistry Partnerships’ regional office in Warrington, and his appointment is part of the business’s broader recruitment drive as it looks to strengthen its workforce. Over the past few weeks the North West team has added several employees to its ranks, including a new sales director and land and partnerships director.


Axon Garside has appointed Andrew Shaw to the newly created role of director of CRM Consulting and Services.

Andrew joins Axon Garside to lead the roll-out of its new HubSpot CRM service offering.

Axon Garside said its new HubSpot CRM service offering will allow it to provide expertise in an area that other digital marketing and inbound agencies traditionally lack.

With Andrew at the helm of this new division, he will help guide new and existing clients through HubSpot’s CRM process, with ideas on how to constantly update and refresh their end-to-end customer management process with his expert knowledge and know-how.

Andrew said: “After working with Axon Garside as a client for the last five years and seeing the results they can achieve, I’m thrilled to be joining the team and helping build a new branch to the business.”

Andrew Shaw

Andrew brings more than 30 years of experience accelerating growth in sales, marketing, and customer-led transformation as both a consultant and in the industry. As a consultant within large multinational organisations, Andrew is well versed in creating bespoke CRM solutions that will deliver results. With numerous sales, marketing, and customer roles in B2B organisations under his belt, Axon Garside is looking forward to the growth and expertise Andrew can offer both the team and clients.

Ian Guiver, Axon Garside managing director, said: “Andrew joining the team is a real coup for Axon. I have been conscious that there’s an opportunity to provide our clients with support not just around Hubspot CRM but across the whole sales and marketing piece for some time.

“After several discussions with Andrew, it became clear he felt the same. Pushing forward to provide a more holistic and complete Hubspot solution makes sense as Hubspot becomes increasingly dominant across sales, marketing and service departments.”

Axon Garside operates from offices in Manchester and London.


Deloitte Legal has appointed Claire Bell as partner and head of the firm’s pensions law offering.

Building Deloitte’s national pensions law practice from Manchester, Claire will be responsible for combining Deloitte Legal’s legal advisory and legal business services expertise with the firm’s existing capabilities within the pensions space.

Advising clients in respect of pensions law for more than 16 years, Claire joins Deloitte Legal from DLA Piper UK where she was a partner. Prior to this, Claire trained at Womble Bond Dickinson and worked at Eversheds.

A fellow of the Pensions Management Institute and former chair of its North West group, Claire recently won Mentor of the Year at the Women in Pensions Awards 2020.

Since qualification, Claire has acted for a broad spectrum of clients in respect of pensions issues, including trustees of defined benefit pension schemes, employers sponsoring such schemes, public sector bodies, contracting authorities and contractors bidding for contracts. Claire has also acted for corporates carrying out transactions, restructuring their groups, or trying to reduce their pension liabilities.

Claire will work alongside Deloitte Legal’s corporate, M&A, outsourcing and employment lawyers while also integrating with its actuaries, consultants, administrators and investment consultants in providing an end-to-end solution for clients.

Claire Bell

Deloitte’s growing Manchester practice is now made up of more than 900 people. This includes recent addition of a new cyber team of 16, a new cohort of in excess of 80 graduates and Brightstart apprentices, and expansion of the firm’s Consulting North team that is targeting a headcount growth of 60.

Chris Hardman, corporate partner and regional lead for Deloitte Legal, said: “Claire is a fantastic addition to our growing North West legal team and illustrates our commitment to investing in local talent to enhance our regional offering. Claire will be building out a team to supplement our existing corporate and commercial lawyers and we are very much looking forward to working with her.

“Combining her deep experience advising major regional corporates, public bodies and trustees across the full spectrum of pension law matters with our existing pensions advisory business is a compelling proposition.”

Claire Bell said: “The team at Deloitte Legal is expanding rapidly and it is fantastic to contribute to providing a full service offering to clients. Further, there is real value in Deloitte offering legal advice alongside pensions consultancy, actuarial, administration and investment advice.

“Not only does this improve efficiency, this is also a more collaborative approach that ultimately leads to cost savings and a better experience for our clients.”

The appointment follows Deloitte’s recent acquisitions of Kerr Henderson, a pension scheme administration and actuarial consultancy, and Kemp Little, a technology and digital law firm.

Mark McClintock, head of Deloitte’s UK pensions business, said: “With Claire’s arrival we will now be able to provide a new legal dimension to our pensions clients.

“Whether providing general legal advice or interpreting pensions liabilities for a complex transaction, Claire’s concrete understanding of pensions law and experience across the public and private sectors will be tremendously valuable.”


Global law firm Kennedys has boosted its newly relocated office in Manchester with the hire of regulatory partner, Nathan Buckley, from Clyde & Co.

Nathan specialises in regulatory defence work, particularly corporate manslaughter/gross negligence manslaughter, health and safety, environment and motor crime investigations and prosecutions, together with inquests across all industries.

His practice is focused on representing both organisations, as well as individuals, and he is highly experienced and skilled in providing strategic and pragmatic advice in the immediate aftermath of an incident to protect his clients’ immediate and long-term position, reputation and revenue.

Nathan is joined by Steven North, senior associate, who also joins from Clyde & Co. Nathan and Steven will be joining the 20-strong national regulatory team and will be based in Manchester in their new offices located at Trinity, John Dalton Street, and will work closely with regulatory colleagues in the firm’s Sheffield and London offices.

Nathan Buckley, left, and Steven North

Nick Thomas, senior partner, said: “Our growth is always led by client demand and need. We have recently enjoyed significant expansion in the North following the opening of our new office in Leeds and the move to our new, larger, premises in Manchester, alongside our existing office in Sheffield. Nathan’s expertise will help to establish a hub in Manchester with a view to growing our regulatory team’s work in that area.”

Partner, Richard West, said: “I am delighted that Nathan and Steven have joined our market-leading regulatory practice with a view to strengthening our national offering from Manchester.”

Nathan said: “Joining Kennedys’ nationally recognised regulatory team presents me with an exciting opportunity to establish a hub in Manchester, where the regulatory work Steven and I do can be delivered as part of a national team. I believe the synergies between my practice and Kennedys’ regulatory team and wider departments offers the foundations for a very successful partnership.”


Another senior appointment has been made by a Warrington challenger bank, as it secures a new director of operations with nearly 20 years’ experience in the financial services sector.

Over the course of his career, Sebastian Mrotzek has worked in multiple roles across commercial banks, start-ups and regulators, and he has now joined the Redwood Bank team.

Prior to his new role he was working for a London-based fintech start-up during its banking licence application stage. There he held the title as deputy chief operating officer and head of banking operations.

He has also held senior positions at the Prudential Regulation Authority and was a member of the Bank of England’s technology and projects board.

Sebastian said: “I am thrilled to be joining such an experienced team at both management and operational levels. Redwood Bank has a genuine passion for achieving great customer outcomes and I’m excited to become part of the bank’s journey as it continues to develop and grow.

Sebastian Mrotzek

“Working in a challenger bank provides me with the opportunity to influence the direction of the company, without the constraints of legacy systems and set ups. In addition, it also provides a platform in which one can engage in the end-to-end operations.”

Sebastian started out as a financial services analyst at Datamonitor, before moving to Citigroup, Accenture, HSBC Global Asset Management, Barclays Retail and Business Bank and Lloyds Bank Global Transaction Banking.

His role is a multi-faceted position that spans banking operations, credit operations, information technology and project management.

Gary Wilkinson, CEO and co-founder of Redwood Bank, said: “This is a key role as it supports the smooth running and full operations of Redwood. Sebastian’s job involves ensuring all activities are conducted in a regulatory compliant manner, while also making sure all our customers are well looked after.

“We are impressed by Sebastian’s vast and varied experience and general management approach. There’s no doubt he’s set to become a very welcome addition to the Redwood team, and we welcome him with open arms.”