People: CERT; Infinity; Assetz Capital; Meadow Foods; Office Tech Holdings

Chris Hosty and George Konstantakopoulos
X The Business Desk

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North West property developer CERT property has expanded its senior team with two new appointments.

Chris Hosty has joined the business as head of design, while George Konstantakopoulos has been brought on board as head of innovation and ventures.

Having run his own architecture practice, Chris has worked across multiple property sectors including residential, commercial and leisure, counting CERT as one of his clients. Now, his new role will include responsibility for ensuring consistency across all CERT projects and developing a clear direction for the company’s future.

Chris said: “Having worked for myself for the best part of 10 years, I felt the time was right to switch things up and try something new.

“Low carbon construction and new ways of living sustainably are essential for the future of our communities – this role appealed to me as it will allow me to utilise, progress and share my sustainable design skills as an architect, as well as weave in experience from my time as a consultant. There are some incredibly progressive CERT projects going on at the moment and I can’t wait to be a part of them.

“As CERT grows and expands into new service lines in the future, one of my main tasks will be to ensure all areas of the business are coherent and align well with one another – I’ll be working across various teams, helping to bring together different elements to take the company forward and truly lead the market.”

He added: “There’s an amazingly talented team here already, so I’m looking forward to playing a role in CERT’s next chapter and helping to build on its success.”

Howard Lord, managing director at CERT, said: “We are really proud to have someone of Chris’ calibre on board. Chris joining our team is such a natural step – we have worked on many projects successfully together, he understands us intimately and our commitment to delivering high quality design and implementing modern methods of construction across our schemes going forward.”

Heading up the innovation and ventures department is George Konstantakopoulos, who previously worked for an arts, culture and social innovation enterprise, FutureEverything, leading on social innovation & enterprise for and Horizon 2020 project.

George was also programme manager for Innovate Manchester, an events and innovation workshops programme that brought together international corporates, start-ups and academia to collaborate in shaping innovative solutions for a more human-centric, ethical and sustainable future.

As part of his role at CERT, George will spearhead investment in businesses that innovate and match the company’s own goals on sustainability, including creating a strong proptech vision for the future.

He will work with the wider team to identify businesses that can enhance how CERT’s tenants, both commercial and residential, live and work.

As part of the ventures division, CERT is also committed to promoting diversity and women in business, with Feel Good Club – the wellbeing café at Hilton House in Manchester – a key example of this.

George said: “I’m inspired by CERT’s vision to disrupt the market and stand out from the crowd and I’m thrilled to join and be part of such a modern and forward thinking business.

“A huge part of my role will be to understand the challenges and opportunities we have as a business, and across the industry, to identify advancements in our operations, supply chain and customer service, for example.”

He added: “I have a real passion for innovation, sustainability and creative problem solving using technology, so it’s very exciting to be able to apply this at CERT, and join what I can already see is an extremely skilled bunch of people.”

George’s integration into the team will open up new opportunities to take CERT forward and help develop new tech-focused solutions as the company continues to go from strength to strength.

Howard added: “Tech utilisation and innovation in the property industry is something we strongly believe is long overdue and we aim to be at the forefront of the proptech revolution.

“We are keen to invest in, and implement, the most exciting new tech ideas out there and George’s experience will be invaluable to help us achieve this goal.”

CERT operates developments across the North West, with commercial offerings including Hilton House in Manchester, Duke & Parr in Liverpool and Elevator, also in Liverpool, while residential sites include Insignia and Kinetic, both in Old Trafford, and Popworks in Ancoats.

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Martech SaaS provider, Infinity, has appointed Hannah Delaney as its VP of marketing.

Hannah will support Infinity’s ambitious growth plans, following strategic investment and the acquisition of ResponseTap – which, it says, confirms its position as the leading conversation intelligence partner for brands and agencies.

Hannah brings more than 20 years’ experience in IT and consumer electronics marketing, having developed and implemented brand, channel and digital marketing strategies for global organisations including Samsung Electronics.

At Samsung, Hannah led the design and delivery of the company’s channel marketing strategy to attract and retain customers and drive an increase in premium market share and category growth. She also brings extensive experience of building high performing teams at HTC, Exertis and Nokia.

Hannah Delaney

To support its international growth, Infinity has appointed Alejandra Chamorro, who joins the business’s Spanish team as agency account director. With extensive agency-side experience, Alejandra will focus on extending Infinity’s agency partnership network in Spain, working alongside country manager, Jose Benavides.

Hannah said: “I am thrilled to be a part of the Infinity journey. Throughout my career, I have been engaged in the digital transformation space, global product launches and channel marketing activation. I’m excited to make a positive impact to Infinity’s long term plan, empower business performance through intelligent digital engagement and informed conversations.”

She added: “COVID-19 shone a spotlight on CX. We have a huge opportunity to help our clients harness the power of conversation intelligence and analytics to connect with their customers more effectively. Infinity’s solutions help companies to finally close the loop on CX, both online and offline – the holy grail for all brands.”

Matthew Whiteway, chief commercial officer, said: “I’m delighted to welcome Hannah to the team. This position is pivotal to the success of Infinity, and is one of a number of key strategic hires we are making as we target growth of 30%+ per annum.

“Hannah’s depth of experience and passion for implementing brand, channel and marketing strategies will be an enormous asset as we continue to grow and bolster our talented leadership team here at Infinity.”

Infinity has offices in Manchester, London, Madrid, San Francisco, Baltimore, and Reigate.

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Assetz Capital has strengthened its origination team with four new relationship directors as it targets lending volumes of £1bn per annum.

The specialist finance lender, which specialises in commercial mortgages, bridging and development finance, is bolstering the team to deliver its ambitious growth plans, following successful lending through the two government recovery schemes,CBILS and RLS, and the full restarting of retail funded lending.

Ciaran McGivern joins from Santander and is a chartered accountant with more than 20 year’s banking and finance experience. With a well established network, Ciaran will be covering a wide geography in the North from Manchester across to Newcastle.

Top left Jarrod Lathom, top right Michael Baker, bottom left Ciaran McGivern and Ricky Humphreys

Jarrod Latham joins from HSBC and will be covering London and the Southeast. Jarrod brings more than 20 years’ sector experience to the position, including extensive work with large corporates.

Michael Baker has arrived after 18 years with Barclays where he focused on supporting property investors and developers. Michael is also covering London and the South East.

Ricky Humphreys joins after 10 years with NatWest where he managed a mixed portfolio of property, development, and trading business customers. Ricky will be operating from Northamptonshire.

Mark Standley, national commercial director at Manchester-based Assetz Capital said: “I couldn’t be more pleased to be welcoming Jarrod, Michael, Ricky and Ciaran to our team. They bring with them a huge amount of experience and knowledge – all of which will be incredibly important in hitting our ambitious growth targets in supporting small and medium sized businesses and house builders.

“As we move back to relative normality in the market but are seeing banks reduce their lending to SME businesses, our real world approach to lending is more important than ever. Whether it’s commercial mortgages, development finance or bridging, we’re committed to finding solutions that really deliver for both our borrowers and brokers.”

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Meadow Foods has announced the appointment of Sophie Lyons as its new marketing manager. Sophie will assume responsibility for managing the company’s marketing strategy and delivery as Meadow Foods looks to further extend its product ranges and reach to customers.

Sophie Lyons

Sophie will predominantly be working with the commercial and NPD teams, but will also be supporting the HR function with increasing employee engagement across the business. She joins Meadow Foods from Roberts Bakery and has eight years of experience working in marketing and the FMCG industry, having also held positions with Bradgate Bakery and Noble Foods.

Mark Chantler, CEO of Meadow Foods, said: “We’re delighted to welcome Sophie to the team. It’s an exciting time to be joining the business as we look to further build our profile and develop exciting new products and partnerships for our customers.”

Sophie Lyons said: “I have a great passion for food and love working within the food production and service industry. Meadow Foods is a proven business and it’s exciting to be joining the business as it extends its range and reach to customers.”

Meadow Foods operates from four BRC AA accredited sites in Chester, Peterborough, Holme-on-Spalding Moor and Dolgellau where it manufactures value added ingredients seven days a week for some of the UK’s best known food companies.

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Office Tech Holdings, the new owner of out of town workspace in Dukinfield, Globe House, has appointed Sarah Bennsir as the new food and beverage manager at the fast growing business hub.

Sarah joins having previously worked at Macdonald Hotels and as an HR manager at Tesco.

With more than 20 years of experience in hospitality, Bennsir spent the past few years leading refits, opening new stores and bringing them to life store manager at Starbucks and as part of Village Hotel Group.

This announcement marks the continued development of Dukinfield’s Globe House cohab workspace which aims to provide high quality, membership led business services for flexible workers across Tameside.

Sarah Bennsir

Bennsir will head up the on site restaurant, Babushka’s Lounge and Bar. Essentially starting two separate businesses from scratch, Bennsir will be responsible for recruiting the entire hospitality team, including chefs and front of house staff as well as devising a successful menu.

Aside from serving quality food from a brilliant menu, Bennsir will be in charge of delivering an excellent all round customer experience to encourage positive first impressions.

She will also be responsible for implementing a full training programme for all new recruits, as well as regular team meetings so that clear standards of quality are understood from the off.

Jason Dixon, CEO of Office Tech Holdings, said: “Sarah is a key addition to the Office Tech team and has already made huge progress in premises licencing, recruiting and promotion of the new restaurant and bar offering at Globe House.”

Sarah said: “It’s great to be a part of the Globe House project. It is no doubt going to be challenging, but extremely rewarding.”

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