People: Clearwater International; Santé Group; PM+M; Vine Hotels; Liverpool John Lennon Airport

Julian Brown
X The Business Desk

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Clearwater International, the global mid-market corporate finance house, has appointed Julian Brown as chief executive, along with his addition to the firm’s international board of directors.

The appointment comes on the back of a record period of growth which saw the business, which has a Manchester operation, complete more than 90 deals worth £7.6bn and grow by more than 20% in the past six months. Julian Brown takes over from Michael Reeves, who, having led Clearwater International as CEO since its inception almost seven years ago, has decided to focus on his role as UK managing partner and board member of the UK business.

Clearwater International’s new CEO arrives with almost 30 years of international corporate finance experience in Europe and North America and will work across regions and with all 55 of the firm’s partners to deliver a comprehensive company growth strategy.

Brown spent 15 years at PwC building and running its corporate finance businesses in Spain, Canada and latterly the USA, as well as sitting on its global corporate finance board with responsibility for North and South America.

His experience ideally positions him to move Clearwater International forward with its ambitious growth plans as well as deepening the recently-announced relationship with KeyBanc Capital Markets.

Julian Brown said: “Clearwater International is a business that has grown into an established, trusted and well known brand across Europe in a relatively short space of time. I am both honoured and humbled that the partners have entrusted me with the exciting role of driving the business further forward.

“The partners in this business are outstanding entrepreneurs and business people in their own right, and this resonates strongly with our clients. My role as CEO is to work with this amazing pool of talent to help them realise their full combined potential as a business.

“I have spent the summer months travelling to meet partners and staff around the business and am excited not only by the quality, energy, dedication and professionalism of our people, but also by the client-centric culture of the firm.”

UK managing partner and international board member, Phil Burns, who led the search, said: “We are delighted that Julian has chosen to join Clearwater International and lead the further growth of our independent business. Julian has a proven background, and we are confident that with his leadership we will achieve our ambitious growth plans.

“He will also further the development of our teams with a focused energy on our culture and values that makes Clearwater the trusted adviser to support our clients and connections to achieve their goals.”

Michael Reeves, said: “It is the right time to pass the baton to a new leader of this incredible business. In the last seven years the business has experienced phenomenal growth which has placed us consistently in the top 10 financial advisory firms in Europe.

“I am proud of what we have achieved in the last seven years and am confident in the strong foundation that has been laid for Julian to lead the further growth of our business.”

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The Santé Group has appointed Lee Pinnington to the board of its health and wellbeing business Nugent Santé.

Promoted from compliance manager, Lee is now compliance director of Nugent Santé. His promotion follows recent board appointments to the Preston-based business of Rob Rigby, sales director and Alison Wignall, director of operations.

Lee Pinnington

Lee joined Nugent Santé in April 2019, as compliance manager after spending 11 years with Blackburn-based private Chase Templeton.

Santé Group chief executive, Paul Nugent, said: “I’ve known Lee and from working together at Chase Templeton and was always impressed by his professionalism.

“Since joining us in 2019, Lee has been instrumental in delivering class-leading compliance systems that ensure we provide a high quality service.

“He’ll play an essential role in helping develop the Santé Group of businesses as we look to expand our footprint in the North before growing the company nationally. His responsibility will be to guarantee a quality service while working with our other directors from the wider Santé Group in helping develop and communicating our competitive edge.”

The Santé Group now employs 27 people at its Lancashire headquarters but expects headcount to treble over the next five years.

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Blackburn and Bury-based PM+M, the chartered accountancy, business advisory and wealth management group, has welcomed its latest group of apprentices who will be working across the audit, accountancy and advisory, cloud accounting and tax teams.

Due to continued expansion the firm has recruited four new apprentices. Joining PM+M’s Blackburn office is Marcus Feeney, 20-years-old, from Adlington, part qualified apprentice, Jack Groundwater, also 20, from Preston, and Deenah Khan, who is 19-years-old, and lives in Rossendale. The Bury office welcomes Ivan Lister, who is 18-years-old, and is from Rossendale.

From left: Ivan Lister, Jack Groundwater, Marcus Feeney, Deenah Kahn

The new trainees will receive hands on experience alongside classroom study as they work towards their qualifications.

Jane Parry, PM+M managing partner, said: “Recruiting young people and maintaining our apprenticeships programme are integral elements of how we grow and develop the business. We are proud that many apprentices stay with us on a permanent basis and it’s always fantastic to see their careers flourish.

“This new intake are all talented individuals with real potential, so we are delighted they are now part of the PM+M team.”

Deenah Khan said: “PM+M is a hugely respected name in the North West, so myself and my fellow apprentices are really excited about our appointments. Our focus is now on maximising this opportunity and to give our careers a kick start.”

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On the strength of a rapidly expanding hotel and venue portfolio, Vine Hotels has bolstered its senior leadership team with the recruitment of three new general managers, including Jane Haselden who takes the reins at Best Western Cresta Court Hotel in Altrincham.

Jane brings a wealth of senior management experience, including working in the role of general manager at Aspen Hotels, Holiday Inn, and Starboard Hotels.

Since June 1, the company has increased its headcount by 197 staff. Vine Hotels has also rapidly grown in the past 12 months, most recently taking over three hotels, including Bredbury Hall Hotel in Stockport.

Jane Haselden

Vine Hotels chief executive, Garin Davies, said: “All three of our new senior team members have considerable experience in the hotel and hospitality industry and we are thrilled to welcome them on board at what is an extremely exciting time for Vine Hotels.

“Over the past 12 months we have invested heavily in our workforce and thanks to the three new hotels, we have recruited nearly 200 staff members whilst also retaining much of the existing teams in our newly acquired properties. We have also invested in our sales team to ensure that these hotels operate at maximum capacity and profitability.

“We have grown significantly in recent years and that is just the start of our ambitious expansion plans for the future, as we continue to seek out suitable properties to strengthen and grow our portfolio of quality and service-led venues.”

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As the aviation industry continues to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic and Liverpool John Lennon Airport (LJLA) sees more passengers and flights once again, the airport company said it is delighted to be able to announce the latest additions to its apprenticeship programme by recruiting a further three apprentices.

The apprenticeship programme is a key part of the airport’s wider community programme that helps to make a difference to the lives of communities across the city region and gives young local people the skills to develop a career at the airport. By combining work at the airport alongside their college studies over the next four years, apprentices bring fresh ideas and new young talent into the business.

The three successful individuals were selected from a number of applicants keen to seek a career at the airport. BSM engineering apprentice, Luke Whitehead, aged 19, from Bootle and airfield ground lighting engineering apprentice, Jack Boyce, aged 16, from Aintree, will both be undertaking a Mechatronics Maintenance Technician Course at nearby Riverside College in Halton. In addition, finance apprentice, Sean Hughes, aged 18, from Widnes, will be undertaking an Association of Accounting Technicians Course Level 2 with online specialist Kaplan.

The airport has been a long time advocate of apprenticeships, recognising the benefit to young people looking for their first step into the world of work and for the business in being able to nurture and develop high calibre employees. Many former apprentices have subsequently gone on to full time permanent positions and have developed successful careers at the airport.

From left: Jack Boyce, Luke Whitehead, Sean Hughes

Riverside College in Halton was chosen because it is Ofsted Outstanding for Apprenticeships, has an excellent reputation for providing high quality courses and is an ideal fit for apprentices working at the airport.

The college was instrumental in helping to choose the two local engineering apprentices and will be providing ongoing support over the next four years of their studies.

Carol Dutton, LJLA HR and community director, said: “After the challenges of the past 18 months, we are really excited about being able to restart our apprenticeship programme and welcome our three new apprentices to the airport.

“This important scheme is a fantastic opportunity and gives young people the skills to develop a career here at the airport, whilst they, in turn, will no doubt bring fresh ideas and make an important contribution to airport operations.”

Jayne Smith, head of skills and enterprise at Riverside College, said: “We are delighted to be working with such a prestigious employer in the Liverpool City Region to help them develop their future workforce, and to support the sector as it emerges from the pandemic stronger than ever.

“The apprenticeship programme is an ideal way to train employees by combining on and off the job training, and we are pleased to be supporting these new apprentices as they start their career journey at the airport.”

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