People: Medicash; NatWest; Pure Residential & Commercial; Slater Heelis; Kingswood Homes
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Health cash plan provider Medicash has announced that Jonathan Brown, who joined the Medicash board in December 2020, will take over the role of chair, subject to regulatory approval. It comes as Lord Field of Birkenhead steps down after 18 years of service, 10 of those as chair.
Brown has more than 30 years of experience as a corporate lawyer. Operating out of Hill Dickinson’s Liverpool office, he specialises in all forms of the mergers and acquisitions market, including IPOs, development capital and joint ventures. He has acted for a wide variety of clients and has excellent experience in a wide variety of industry sectors.
He currently sits on the boards of Derwent Lodge Estates and PHD Industrial Holdings, while also being the chair of law firm Hill Dickinson and Praetura Group, a financial services investment and lending business.
During his career Brown has helped transact the sale of Swinton Insurance N.I. to Abbey Insurance and acted for Stobart Group in the acquisitions of many businesses, including James Irlam & Sons and London Southend Airport Company.
Brown said: “I am very excited to be appointed chair of an organisation that has over 150 years of history and heritage, and at a time when it continues to grow and innovate within its marketplace.
“I’m taking over the reins when the business is in a very strong position and I look forward to continuing to help shape the firm to keep meeting the future needs of our customers.”
Despite the pandemic, 2020 was a record-breaking year for new sales at Medicash with more than 97,000 new policies sold, a seven per cent increase compared with the previous record.
The first half of 2021 has been equally strong with more than 54,000 new policies sold by June 30, meaning that Medicash now covers in excess of 325,000 policyholders across the UK – 70% of all new business in 2020 came from companies who previously had no health cash plan in place.
Sue Weir, chief executive, said: “We are delighted that Jonathan has accepted the role of chair. He brings with him considerable expertise and experience which will be invaluable to Medicash as we look to continue the growth of the business. I would also like to thank Frank for the significant contribution made during his role on the board, including the last 10 years as chair.”
Adam Clayton has been appointed as the Local Enterprise Manager where he will be working with the Greater Manchester LEP as part of the Expert in Residence Programme.
NatWest has launched its Expert in Residence programme across the UK, dedicating 28 roles based in branches and communities to help female entrepreneurs realise their growth ambitions. The initiative is launched in conjunction with the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) and the Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs) across England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland
The 28 Expert in Residence roles will be based in NatWest branches, in growth hubs and in their wider community, and will be available to host events, provide expert insight and advice on business finance, and support their LEP to access additional expertise to help female-led businesses achieve their potential. These roles will also support with lending and banking services in partnership with specialists from the bank.
Expert in Residence is the latest action taken by the bank following the Rose Review of Female Entrepreneurship, which was launched in 2019 and co-authored by NatWest’s CEO Alison Rose. The review demonstrated that up to £250bn of new value – equivalent to one million SME businesses – could be added to the UK economy, if women started and scaled new businesses at the same rate as UK men.
Alison Rose said: “Since the launch of the Rose Review in 2019, strong progress has been made in breaking down barriers facing female entrepreneurs, with considerable commitment and action across financial services and the wider business landscape. Yet there is more to do and, post-pandemic, support which is practical, face-to-face, and tailored to local communities, will be critical in enabling entrepreneurs to rebuild and thrive.”
St Asaph and Daresbury-based Pure Residential & Commercial has made new appointments to the head office team as it settles into its newly-completed 11,000 sq ft office space, built and delivered by its sister company K & C Construction.
The most senior of the new appointments is Mike Roberts who joins Pure as contracts manager from construction specialists Ardmac.
Mike is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Building and brings with him a wealth of experience in the construction sector with a track record of delivering multimillion-pound developments to the highest specifications and ensuring projects are delivered on time.
He will be responsible for overseeing all the company’s site developments covering Cheshire and North Wales, with a pipeline of more than 750 homes in Denbigh, Prestatyn, St Asaph, Llanfair DC, Ruabon, Chester, Frodsham and Bodelwyddan.
Also joining the Pure team are Madeline Freeman, a recent Honours graduate from Liverpool John Moores University in Quantity Surveying, and Luke Galvin as design and technical assistant.
On the commercial side, Sarah Morgan has joined to manage the customer care team, Yasmin Rowlands as social media executive and Anita Williams as sales manager.
Completing the intake of new recruits is Nelson Bertoni working in technical support to help implement the new Procore cloud-based construction software tool designed to improve efficiencies, reduce costs and delivering real time updates to sites and management.
Managing director, Chris White, said: “It’s been a very busy past 12 months working under COVID restrictions to keep our live sites on programme whilst trying to progress new opportunities and also build and move into our new head office.“
He added: “Having now settled into our wonderful new surroundings and with a strong land bank built up over the past 15-20 years, we are looking forward to continuing to build our team. We are keen to attract bright new talent to support our ambitious growth plans for expansion across the North Wales and North West regions.”
Manchester-based law firm, Slater Heelis, has added to its in-house marketing team with the appointment of Kate Miller as marketing executive.
Kate held previous roles within the non-profit sector including working for homeless charity, Shelter UK, and as a key worker with The Growth Company, supporting the work and health programme commissioned by GMCA to tackle long term unemployment across Greater Manchester.
Kate graduated from the University of Leeds with a first class degree in English Language and Linguistics in 2018 and is already proving her worth in her new role which sees her based at the School Road office in Sale.
She said: “I’m really excited to be joining such a forward thinking, multi-discipline firm which will allow me to really get under the skin of all areas of law when it comes to marketing them effectively. I’ve already worked at a number of non-profit organisations which supported homeless communities and vulnerable groups and the experience I gained there writing monthly newsletters, blog posts and customer good news stories is going to be invaluable.
“My work at Slater Heelis will involve writing and updating internal communications on the intranet, creating content for the website, organising events, supporting activity on social media and working with our PR agencies to maintain a strong presence across all media platforms for the various divisions within the firm.”
Kristen Drummond, head of marketing at Slater Heelis, said: “We were impressed by Kate’s strong writing ability and her experience in the non-profit sector. Her passion for helping to make positive changes in peoples’ lives matches our ethics and she will be an asset to our growing team.”
The appointment follows a raft of new hires at the full service law firm across a range of legal departments. The firm has welcomed seven new legal recruits and four team members in business support roles in 2021 and now has more than 160 employees.
A new role of land buyer has been created at Kingswood Homes as the ambitious business looks to double the number of homes it builds.
Jordan Marsh has taken on the position with the homebuilder, based at its Little Hoole headquarters in Lancashire.
Kingswood aims to increase its output from 100 to 200 homes a year and acquiring new sites is pivotal to ensuring the business continues to grow.
Jordan said: “The business plan at Kingswood is to grow quite significantly over the next five years. To do that, we need to bring in suitable sites, to be able to deliver the new homes at the level they need to support that growth. My title is land buyer, but it’s more of a business development role, looking for opportunities that will work for Kingswood.”
Jordan recognises that it will be a test of his skills to ensure Kingswood is a key contender for new sites amid strong competition in the land market: “The main challenge is finding our niche, the sites where we can be successful, particularly in the increasingly competitive North West land market.
“Any opportunity that comes forward there may be 10-20 other housebuilders also interested in it. My role is to make sure that the Kingswood name is out there and considered for these land opportunities,” he said.
“A large part of the role is meeting land agents and consultants and being able to talk knowledgably about what’s going on in the wider industry and the economy. Relationships are a big part of what makes someone successful in this role – you need to make sure that people want to work with you and come to you when land opportunities come forward.”
Jordan, 28, studied Business Economics at the University of Liverpool and then undertook a Master’s in Real Estate Development at Manchester University, before joining Taylor Wimpey as a trainee land buyer in 2015.
He later went to work for Keepmoat Homes as land and partnerships manager, before joining Kingswood in May this year.
Paul Jones, managing director of Kingswood Homes, said: “The creation of the land buyer role is an integral part of our growth plan as it’s only through acquiring new sites that we’ll be able to meet our ambitious targets.
“Jordan is a welcome addition to the team, bringing a fresh perspective and lots of enthusiasm. We’re confident that he will be able to help us add additional sites to our portfolio, enabling the business to deliver much needed high quality homes.”