People: MC2; Be the Best Communications; Assetz Capital; GHP Legal; Alcedo Care

Jonny Saatchi

MC2 has appointed Jonny Saatchi as managing director as the strategic marketing communications agency sets its sights on increased headcount after back-to-back record years.

Saatchi joined Manchester-based MC2 as a graduate in 2012 and progressed to looking after the agency’s most complex clients, while leading on operations and new product development. He will be responsible for taking the 40-strong team through its next phase of growth, with a focus on attracting and developing talent, winning new business and growing existing clients.

The agency made the move to 100% employee ownership in February 2021, making every individual in the business a partner. Over the past two years it has doubled down on creating a working environment designed around the needs of its talent – with a focus on development, flexibility and wellbeing.

MC2 specialises in high growth businesses, with particular expertise in tech, financial services and placemaking. In the past 12 months it has grown its client base with new wins including fintech companies Total Processing and BankiFi, multi channel ecommerce business Tactus Group, housing developer Northstone and the Government-backed British Business Bank. They join long term clients including business advisory firm Deloitte, cyber security expert NCC Group and GC Business Growth Hub.

The business was established in 1999 by Mike Perls and Jenny Morgan, and the past two decades have seen it grow to become one of the largest independent marketing agencies in the North. It is also an active member of global communications network IPREX, which brings together leading independent marketing agencies in all major markets across the world.

Mike Perls, chair and founder at MC2, said: “We have always understood the importance of creating the conditions that allow brilliant people to develop at pace. Jonny’s development into a leader and a strategic thinker that can drive our business forward is a testament to that.

“There’s an extraordinary group of talent at MC2, and I’ve no doubt Jonny will inspire our people to deliver even greater things for the ambitious organisations we are privileged to work with.”

Saatchi said: “Our people are what makes MC2 special. Every individual brings positivity, energy, drive – and most of all togetherness. It’s that combination which enables us to do brilliant work for clients who are experiencing rapid growth and need a trusted partner to go on the journey with them.

“I am incredibly proud to take on this role. MC2 gave me the chance to really develop and I am committed to ensuring everyone in this business gets the same opportunities I did, while bringing in talent that matches the brilliance we have here already.”

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Chris Walker, left, and David Ottewell

Be the Best Communications has appointed data and political journalist David Ottewell as head of communications, data and insight.

David joins Be The Best Communications from the New Statesman Media Group where he was head of data journalism, creating the group’s data journalism content strategy and workflow and playing a key role in the delivery of new news websites to cover global foreign investment, energy and infrastructure, technology, cities and urban issues, and capital flow.

Prior to that David was head of data journalism at Reach, where he created a team that delivered an average of more than 100 national and regional front page stories a year, as well as some of the company’s best performing content online.

David led the Reach team to multiple national and international awards for editorial quality and innovation and has been credited with revolutionising data journalism in the UK, creating a model that has been copied by national and regional media outlets across the country.

He had earlier worked as political editor and hub news editor at the Manchester Evening News for more than a decade.

The Ancoats-based agency has appointed David after revenue grew by 80% last year. Be The Best Communications provides integrated PR, public affairs, and digital communications for businesses in the property, construction, infrastructure, energy, professional services and tech sectors. The agency also works with housing associations and local authorities to craft narratives and promote new residential and commercial property developments, places and destinations.

Chris Walker, managing director of Be The Best Communications, said: “As a business we are committed to helping organisations tell the best stories and create the best narrative so our clients can build strong relationships with their target audience.

“David is an exceptional storyteller and is nationally recognised for his skills in building award winning teams of journalists. David’s appointment reflects our commitment to deliver the best content and the best insight for our clients and is a signal of our ambition to build a communications agency in Manchester which can compete with the very best in London.”

David said: “I am very proud of my journalistic career and innovative, impactful teams I built. But both journalism and communications are evolving, and I’ve thought for some time the most pressing challenges of the future are about how to do communications better.

“I was hugely impressed by Chris’s passion and commitment to build better communications campaigns and his vision of a data-fuelled PR, public affairs and digital communications agency.

“Traditional communications agencies may ‘use’ data in some of their work, but they typically lack the skills to locate, create, analyse and visualise data to find stories that resonate with new business targets and policy makers. Our team combines those skills with a deep understanding of policy issues to give businesses and organisations better stories to tell.”

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Specialist lender Assetz Capital has appointed a new relationship director to its bridging and intermediaries portfolio as it continues to strengthen its short term finance offering.

Adam Bluma joins from NatWest, where he served as team leader in real estate finance and spent 11 years working in several personal and commercial banking roles. During his tenure as portfolio manager in real estate finance, credit delivery, Adam approved lending requests for residential and commercial investment and development projects and reviewed customers’ development costs to identify potential risks and solutions.

Adam Bluma

Adam brings a wealth of experience in customer service and industry knowledge to Manchester-based Assetz Capital, where he will support colleagues and brokers across the UK from his base in the North West.

The appointment follows a wave of new hires in the lender’s bridging team this year, including the recruitment of Mehwish Mirza as senior relationship manager and Laleta Buctkuar as relationship director, and the promotion of Colin Mottram from senior relationship manager to relationship director.

Adam Bluma said: “Assetz Capital’s ambition drew me to the business, and I’ve felt that ambition in abundance in my first few days with the company. I’m really looking forward to making an impact on the intermediary market with our real world lending solutions, and helping the team to achieve great results.”

Mark Standley, national commercial director, said: “Adam fulfils a key role in our growing bridging team and shares in our growth ambitions, so we are delighted to welcome him to Assetz Capital. We are seeing a significant increase in short term finance activity, so his appointment comes at a great time as we target one billion of lending per annum across all our solutions.”

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Law firm GHP Legal has announced the qualification of a new solicitor who will be based at its dedicated commercial and property department.

Molly Drake joined GHP Legal at the firm’s Wrexham head office in August 2019 when she returned to her home town after finishing university. Molly studied law at Cardiff University, achieving a First class LL.B, and went on to the University of Law, Christleton, Chester, to do a combined Masters in Law, Business and Management, in which she gained a Distinction.

Initially working for the firm in a paralegal support role, GHP Legal soon recognised Molly’s talents and awarded her a solicitor training contract. She qualified as a solicitor in November 2021, and joined the firm’s commercial and property team at The Cross, Oswestry.

Molly Drake

GHP Legal purchased and remodelled the former Co-operative Bank premises at The Cross in 2019, to accommodate a planned expansion and merger with Milton, Francis & Hughes and to house the firm’s dedicated property and corporate division.

The scheme won a Civic Society award for making ‘a significant contribution to the landscape and life of the community’. At the time, senior partner Richard Lloyd said the new offices reflected GHP Legal’s confidence in Oswestry town centre, their commitment to fighting the demise of the high street and their wish to improve the local access and development of legal services.

He said: “Molly has been dedicated to her chosen profession from the beginning and is without doubt one of our rising stars. I congratulate her on qualifying as a solicitor and am particularly delighted to welcome her as a member of the team that I head up.”

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As the company continues to grow at pace and with 12 offices across the North West, Alcedo Care Group has appointed a social media marketing manager, Beckie Kinsella from Liverpool.

Beckie has worked in digital communications and digital marketing for more than 10 years, starting out at a charity that supports women into business before moving on to a progressive housing association followed by a pharmaceutical firm.

She has amassed a wealth of experience and knowledge over the years from a number of sectors and is well placed to support Alcedo Care and its digital strategy.

Beckie Kinsella

Beckie is tasked with managing PPC and search campaigns, ensuring they achieve optimal results. She is also responsible for producing content for social media platforms, including copywriting, design and video, working closely with the wider Alcedo team in each office to raise awareness and generate leads.

Her ultimate aim is to grow the brand’s online presence, highlighting the company’s high quality care and passionate people. She wants to establish Alcedo Care as the market leader in all things social media marketing, both performance wise and creatively, and will do this through exploring the current landscape, identifying opportunities and setting a tone for how care providers can utilise social media channels.

Beckie said: “I was attracted to Alcedo’s values and culture, which really shapes the business. The whole team lives and breathes the brand and this is important to me as I like to believe in what I do and who I am doing it for. The company is ambitious, which fits me perfectly as I want to work for a firm that I can grow with, too.”

Managing director, Andy Boardman, said: “I’d like to welcome Beckie to the team and firmly believe that she will play an instrumental role in shaping and delivering our social media marketing plans.

Run by husband and wife team Andy and Jo Boardman, the company was established in 2017, and has a 700-strong team of skilled carers.

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