People: Network Space; Acumen Financial Partnership; Cowgills; Beswicks Legal; Essar Oil UK

Tom Dawson
X The Business Desk

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Commercial real estate investor and developer, Network Space, has appointed Tom Dawson as investment director, strengthening its investment proposition regionally.

Tom has moved client-side following six years within Knight Frank’s capital markets team where he focused on the acquisition and disposal of business space investments across the North West.

Working alongside Martin Mellor, managing director of Network Space Investments, Tom joins with a mandate to grow the existing Network Space industrial portfolio in an extremely active and competitive market. Its acquisition strategy is focused on value-add industrial property (up to £15m), targeting well located, single and multi-let assets across the North West, Yorkshire and Midlands.

In the past 12 months Newton-le-Willows-based Network Space has acquired several high profile investments and development opportunities, totalling £40m. These include Newfield Industrial Estate (Stoke on Trent), the Sovereign Distillery (Huyton) and the Cartwright Group site (Altrincham), as well as a number of off market deals across Yorkshire and the North West.

Martin Mellor said: “We are delighted to welcome Tom into the business, he has an excellent track record in the industry and I look forward to us working together as we continue to our growth.”

Tom said: “This is an exciting new challenge. Network Space are a well established and respected property company with ambitious plans to grow their industrial portfolio. I’m eager to capitalise on my market knowledge and industry contacts to unlock new acquisitions and drive our value-add strategy.”


A new apprentice has boosted the ranks of a West Lancashire independent financial adviser (IFA).

Arie Hogendoorn is the latest addition to Acumen Financial Partnership’s established apprenticeship programme and brings the company’s headcount to 21.

Arie Hogendoorn

The firm, based in Burscough, is enjoying a period of growth and is currently managing more than £300m of clients investments.

Angela Maher, managing director, said: “We’re proud of our record of attracting and training apprentices and after spotting Arie’s potential during a week’s work experience, we were delighted to offer him a chance to start a career within the financial services sector.

“We have a close knit team of advisers and support staff all with a range of different experiences. It’s a good mix creating an environment where everyone feels confident and able to contribute to the business as it grows.”

Arie Hogendoorn, trainee financial planning co-ordinator, said: “I’m grateful for the opportunity having just completed my A-level and BTEC exams in the summer.

“I’ve already received fantastic support from the team here and the apprenticeship will simultaneously provide invaluable experience for the paraplanner role itself alongside my professional exams.”

Last year two of Acumen’s previous young employees were shortlisted for awards with one going on to win Lancashire Business View’s Apprentice Award.


Following a year of unprecedented growth, Cowgills corporate finance has further bolstered its team with the appointment of two new partners, Dave Furlong to lead on debt advisory and Andrew Nelson to lead transaction services.

Alongside the existing corporate finance and strategic services offerings, these additions enable Cowgills to provide a full range of deal advisory services to clients.

An experienced banker and equity investor with more than 20 years’ industry experience of lending and investing into SME businesses, Dave Furlong joins the corporate finance team as partner, heading up the team’s debt advisory service. In addition, Cowgills’ lead advisory team will benefit from Dave’s recent experience with early stage venture capital investments.

This appointment will strengthen Cowgills’ existing team and enable a deeper focus on supporting the region’s fastest growing early-stage businesses. Previously with Mavern Capital Partners, Dave has worked with both Lloyds and HSBC Commercial Banking and also headed up the Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund.

From left: Dave Furlong, Andrew Nelson, Sam Davies

Andrew Nelson has also been appointed as partner to lead Cowgills’ transaction services. Having worked with KMPG for 17 years, Andrew is highly experienced on both buy and sell side transactions and across all sectors of the market.

He said: “I am very much looking forward to building Cowgills’ transaction services capability alongside the fast growing and highly successful corporate finance team. We are able to bring deep experience and a fresh approach to due diligence that is focused on delivering real value for our clients.

“The full service deal advisory approach that is now offered within the team is a clear differentiator in the mid market and is a compelling proposition for the small to mid-sized corporate and private equity market in the North West.”

Dave Furlong added: “Not only does Cowgills now provide corporate finance, debt funding and due diligence under one roof, but through its tax, VAT and wealth management services it offers a complete advisory service within the one team. Taking that holistic approach is an incredibly compelling proposition and something no one else of our size, is offering. I’m pleased to be joining the team at a time when there is a real opportunity to support those small to medium-sized high growth firms which are abundant in the North West.”

Cowgills’ corporate finance team, which is led by Ian Johnson, Sam Davies and managing partner Paul Stringer, now numbers 19 from its base at ABC building in Spinningfields, Manchester.

Sam Davies said: “Andrew and Dave bring with them an abundance of experience having both worked at the highest levels in their fields. These two strategic hires further build on the momentum generated by the corporate finance team over the last few years.

“We are consistently winning work from both boutique and the ‘Big 4’ accountancy firms and are in the top 10 list of North West financial advisors on the Experian M&A review. Now is a great opportunity for Cowgills to invest in the next generation of new talent and we are excited to welcome Andrew and Dave to the team.”

Last year Cowgills’ corporate finance team delivered deals with an enterprise value of more than £160m, up 48% year-on-year, with £84.5m transacted in the final quarter of 2020 alone.


A highly-regarded family lawyer with particular expertise in high net worth clients and wealth protection has joined the team at Beswicks Legal.

With more than 17 years’ experience, the appointment of Michael Gregory is a huge boost to the firm’s busy family department and comes hot on the heels of this week’s announcement about Beswicks’ acquisition of Altrincham-based Maddocks Clarke.

Michael has worked for a number of large regional law firms in London, Manchester and Cheshire and has extensive experience in all aspects of divorce, separation, financial settlements, cohabitation, nuptial and living together agreements.

Michael Gregory

He is skilled at handling matters relating to high net worth clients and their families and is one of only a handful of solicitors to have expertise in the growing area of fertility and surrogacy law.

Beswicks’ commercial director, Ryan Yates, said: “We are really pleased to have Michael on board at such an exciting time for the firm, he is a very experienced family lawyer with a niche practice in the areas of fertility and surrogacy.”

Michael said: “I know the North West market really well and am excited to be part of Beswicks’ new acquisition in Altrincham. This is an exciting time for the firm and it’s great for me to be part of that.”

Beswicks’ family team supports clients through divorce and relationship breakdown, child arrangement and maintenance matters, dealing with injunctions, financial settlements and business interests, as well as nuptial and cohabitation agreements.


Essar Oil UK has appointed Carlos Rojas as head of marketing and logistics.

Carlos brings with him more than 24 years’ experience, the last 19 of which have been within the downstream oil industry in a variety of commercial, supply, retail and strategy roles both in the UK and Latin America.

Carlos Rojas

He joins from Puma Energy, where he was commercial director for Honduras, general manager for Panama and Colombia and led value chain optimisation for the Americas.

Prior to this, he had worked for Shell UK and Essar in the UK in a number of commercial, supply and strategy positions.

He has an industrial engineering background from Universidad Javeriana in Colombia and an MBA from Manchester Business School.

Chief executive, Deepak Maheshwari, said: “This is an important appointment and I am delighted that Carlos has returned to the Essar fold to further strengthen the integrated solutions we are providing for our customers.”

Essar Oil UK operates the Stanlow oil refinery at Ellesmere Port.