People: Metalube; Known Nutrition; Alliance Manchester Business School; Shoosmiths; Your Housing Group

Steve Hart

Metalube has appointed Steve Hart as finance director. His role will also include commercial management responsibilities at the Irlam manufacturing site.

Steve brings 14 years’ FD experience to the group with focus on financial control, financial and management reporting along with providing commercial support. He qualified as a Chartered Management Accountant while working for American manufacturing conglomerate, Rockwell International.

In 2004, Steve joined FWL Technologies, a business acquired by Anisa in 2006. He became finance manager of the merged supply chain logistics and managed services business. Sanderson Group plc acquired Anisa in 2017 where Steve was appointed to FD of the Sanderson supply chain logistics business, responsible for financial control and performance reporting with commercial and general management remits alongside.

Metalube managing director, Robert Brown, said: “We are already reaping the benefits of Steve’s experience particularly in the highly challenging supply chain logistics area of the business and driving through our recent acquisition of Vapor-Tek. He is also making a tremendous contribution to our board, and we look forward to his invaluable input as we grow our specialist lubricant brands globally.”


Known Nutrition has welcomed Suzy Glaskie, health coach and founder of Peppermint Wellness, as head of wellness.

Headquartered in Cheshire, Known’s mission is to make health and beauty supplements that combine high efficacy with great taste. The company has recently launched a collagen supplement that combines scientifically proven ingredients in an all-natural formulation.

Suzy Glaskie

Suzy, 51, said: “I’m excited to be joining Known and to be partnering with a brand that genuinely cares about the wellbeing of its customers. Having experienced the benefits of collagen for myself, I’m looking forward to raising awareness of its crucial role – not only for how our skin looks, but for our overall health. That’s particularly crucial as women enter the menopause, when reserves of collagen plummet dramatically.”

Amy Nicholson, head of brand at Known, said: “As a company, we stand for authenticity and our aim is to create real change in people’s wellbeing. Suzy is known for making wellness simple, real and accessible. She has vast experience of empowering people to take back their health through simple lifestyle tweaks and we’re delighted to have her expertise and passion on board to inspire change.”

Through her Altrincham-based practice, Peppermint Wellness, Suzy works with individuals and companies across the UK to help people to regain their physical, mental and emotional wellbeing. She also hosts the Wellness Unwrapped podcast which has a loyal following of listeners around the world.


Prof Raquel Ortega-Argilés has been appointed Chair of Regional Economic Development at Alliance Manchester Business School.

She will be based in the Innovation, Management and Policy (IMP) Division and will be a member of both The Productivity Institute (TPI), and the Manchester Institute of Innovation Research (MIoIR). She takes up her post on June 1, 2022.

The award-winning academic previously held the Chair in Regional Economic Development at the City-REDI research institute at Birmingham Business School, and her current research work focuses on urban and regional inequalities and development, innovation and entrepreneurship.

She also researches topical, current issues such as the regional impacts of Brexit and COVID-19 and the regional effects of the digital economy and automation.

Prof Raquel Ortega-Argilés

Prof Ortega-Argilés said she was thrilled to be joining AMBS: “This is a wonderful opportunity to further develop my work on the empirics on innovation, productivity and levelling up.”

Prof Fiona Devine, head of Alliance Manchester Business School, said: “With her expertise in regional economic development she will add considerable strength to our cluster of colleagues describing and explaining regional economic growth and offering practical policy solutions for regions which need extra support of all kinds.

“This topic is one of the most pressing challenges for the UK as it emerges from the global pandemic and the opportunities for renewal that need to be taken.”

Prof Dame Nancy Rothwell, President and Vice-Chancellor of The University of Manchester, said: “I am thrilled that Prof Raquel Ortega-Argilés is taking up such a prestigious and important role here at The University of Manchester. Her work on urban and regional inequalities, and on the regional impacts of issues such as Brexit, COVID-19, the digital economy and automation, will, I’m sure, have far reaching impact and value.”


Shoosmiths has added new expertise to its construction practice with a partner hire in Manchester.

The law firm has recruited Ian Hardman, who is a specialist non-contentious lawyer with more than 20 years’ experience advising on construction and engineering matters.

Ian arrives at Shoosmiths from Weightmans where he was a partner and head of its Manchester construction team, working on key projects including a £250m distribution centre in the North West.

As the latest in a series of senior hires, Ian’s arrival sees Shoosmiths’ construction practice grow to more than 25 staff, comprising eight partners and 17 lawyers. Ian joins the firm’s Manchester office and working alongside current head of construction in Manchester, John Cleaveley, is set to support both existing and new clients in the real estate, construction and engineering sectors.

Ian Hardman

Patrick Garner, partner and head of Shoosmiths’ construction practice, said: “Ian’s arrival bolsters the construction practice and legal services we can provide – bringing valuable experience advising on large scale regeneration projects, and energy and infrastructure schemes. He is also adept at growing a practice and will play a pivotal role in expanding our client base.

“With Ian joining and other hires, we have now increased the size of our Manchester team by 50% in response to new client wins and an increase in instructions.”

Ian has experience working for both public and private organisations, spanning contractors, developers and funders. He has qualifications in construction law, arbitration and public procurement and is able to advise on all aspects of a construction project.

He said: “Shoosmiths is working on some of the UK’s most significant building projects. The firm’s construction team is commercially-minded and ambitious. However, what makes it truly stand out, is its ability to help clients de-risk and deliver transformational construction and engineering schemes, spanning infrastructure, commercial and residential property, and urban regeneration.”


Birchwood housing provider Your Housing Group (YHG) has appointed a new chair, Richard Groome.

Richard will start his new role on March 31, replacing YHG’s current chair, Kathy Doran, who, after nine years on the YHG board and four years as chair, will be retiring from her position.

Richard has served on the YHG board for five years, most recently as deputy chair, and has a wealth of experience from both the public and private sectors.

He has held various senior roles throughout his career, including chief executive of a healthcare buildings provider, and has served on audit and risk, customer services, repairs, integration and improvement committees.

Richard Groome

Brian Cronin, chief executive, said: “Our board play a vital role in how we operate as an organisation. We have no doubt that Richard will continue to champion our vision to create more places for people to thrive and to be recognised as a sector-leading landlord.

“We also want to thank Kathy for her contribution and commitment over the last nine years. During her time on the board Kathy has fully supported our vision and we can’t thank her enough.”

Richard Groome said: “I am looking forward to the various challenges and opportunities that are ahead as we (the board) continue to play our role in Your Housing Group’s journey to achieve their vision. I am taking over as chair at an interesting time with an important sustainability agenda ahead for the group.”

To support Richard, Darrell Mercer has been appointed as deputy chair. Darrell joined the board in January 2021, and is currently the chief executive of A2Dominion Housing Group, but will be retiring from this role in August 2022. He has more than 40 years of experience in social housing and development.

Your Housing Group has recruited several new members over the past year to strengthen the board with more housing experience.

Last year the board also launched its Board Apprenticeship Scheme, which is aimed at increasing the diversity on the board by providing opportunities for underrepresented groups to gain board experience.

On October 1, 2021, Your Housing Group appointed two board apprentices, Nuno Cebola and Raj Bal who, over the next 12 months, will gain first hand experience and understanding of what it means to be a board member.