People: MHA Moore and Smalley; Your Trust; Voicescape; Kingswood Homes; M247; Addleshaw Goddard
North West accountancy and business advisory firm MHA Moore and Smalley has recruited a new technical director, further adding to its expertise across a range of business areas.
Keeley Lund has joined from Grant Thornton UK, where she most recently spent two years as senior manager in the audit quality monitoring department.
She also spent 11 years at the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy (CIPFA) as technical manager, covering external and internal policy and technical matters.
Keeley specialises in quality and standards monitoring and her role will involve responsibility for all technical matters while ensuring high quality standards across the firm.
Graham Gordon, managing partner, MHA Moore and Smalley, said: “Keeley has a strong background in ensuring standards across the organisations she has worked for.
“MHA Moore and Smalley prides itself on providing a premium service to our clients while upholding the highest regulatory and quality standards. Keeley’s addition to the team will add to our strong technical expertise in this area.”
Keeley is a fellow of the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy. She said: “I’m excited to be working in a growing, progressive firm which is constantly striving to improve its high standards as well as its overall client offering.”
Rochdale-based culture and leisure charity, Your Trust, has elected a new chair of the Board of Trustees, who will lead in delivering the recently published five-year strategic plan. David Gelsthorpe will replace Roger Platt, who has come to the end of his two, four-year terms as chair.
David has been on the board as a trustee since 2020, and brings a wealth of experience to the role with his background as Curator at Manchester Museum, as well as being a trustee at the Natural Science Collections Association. He first engaged with the Trust when working as a partner on the Dippy on Tour exhibition and programme.
He said: “We’ve got exciting plans ahead and I intend to use my role to support the delivery of these and deliver the best possible future for the people of Rochdale borough. We are here to support people to be healthier, happier, and more culturally rich. People are at the heart of what we do.”
The Trust’s new Strategic Plan comes with an updated mission and vision statement, a focus for tits work over the next five years, to inspire healthier, happier, and creative people by bringing together Your Culture, Your Health, and Your Community.
Voicescape, a software business that provides tenant engagement solutions for social landlords and local authorities, has strengthened its senior leadership team with the appointment of a non-executive chair.
Dean Dickinson joins the board to help support the Manchester-based business in the next stage of its growth journey. Formerly CEO at Castleton Technology – a software and managed services provider to the public and not-for-profit sectors – he brings more than 35 years’ operational experience in the software industry to Voicescape.
John Doyle, founder and CEO at Voicescape, said: “Welcoming someone of Dean’s calibre and expertise is a real win for the Voicescape team. He’s got a huge amount of experience in running SaaS businesses in and around both social housing and the public sector. His previous roles with Advanced Software and Castleton Technology, in particular, mean he understands this particular stage of the Voicescape journey and his knowledge and guidance will be invaluable.”
In the latest financial year, Voicescape saw revenues more than double, with the team expanding by around 60%, as the business gears up to deliver another significant year of growth in 2022/2023. Current forecasts anticipate 80% revenue growth in the year ahead, with further incremental growth of its workforce.
Prior to joining Castleton, Dean was managing director of Advanced Business Solutions, part of Advanced Computer Software Group Limited, where he led significant growth of the public sector and enterprise division following the acquisition of COA Solutions. Dean was part of the senior management team that sold ACS to Vista Private Equity for £725m in March 2015. He has also acted as non-executive director at LiveLead – a sales lead generation specialist.
Dickinson said: “Having worked in the software market and across the public sector for many years, I immediately recognised the growth potential that exists at Voicescape. The team has developed unrivalled technology that’s helping to address both existing and emerging pain points being experienced by social housing providers and local government – two equally similar, yet unique markets.”
Kingswood Homes has promoted Lesley Myers and James Brown to the roles of sales director and architectural director, respectively, as the business continues its ambitious growth plan.
Lesley, from Standish, joined Kingswood in August 2020 and has worked in new homes sales for more than 25 years, including almost 18 years at Redrow.
She said: “Since I joined Kingswood, we’ve developed a strong sales team with a training and mentoring programme to ensure a consistent approach across the business. This has helped deliver on sales targets and ensure high levels of customer satisfaction. I’m proud that my role in leading the sales team has been recognised and am looking forward to helping even more people secure their new homes.”
In the 12 months to March 2021, the end of Kingswood’s last financial year, the business more than doubled the number of homes built a year – increasing from 36 homes in 2020 to 77 in 2021, with a further 50% increase forecast in the current financial year. The company is targeting 250 homes a year by 2024-25.
James Brown, from Aughton, is instrumental in designing those homes. He said: “Part of my role is to ensure Shape Your Home succeeds from the initial designing of the floor plan configurations, to cater for different markets, carrying right through to planning, building regulations and working drawings used by the site team and sub-contractors.”
James previously worked as a consultant to Kingswood and prior to that had worked alongside MD Paul Jones on various projects.
Headquartered at Little Hoole, near Preston, Kingswood is currently building and selling homes at Green Hills in Feniscowles, The Hawthorns in Elswick and The Market Quarter in Hatherleigh, Devon, with plans for a new site in the Lancashire village of Hoddlesden and more in the pipeline.
Managing director Paul Jones said: “Lesley and James have helped strengthen their respective departments, providing stability at a time of rapid growth for the business. Their promotions are both justly deserved and reflect their hard work and dedication to ensuring we provide customers with the level of service and quality homes they want, need and deserve.”
Manchester-based global connectivity and cloud services provider, M247, has continued its run of strategic senior appointments with the arrival of its new chief financial officer, Andrew Humphreys.
Andrew has a track record for delivering value in PE, listed and family-owned international businesses, having previously been CFO at global aerospace and defence supply chain business Pattonair and AIM-listed Conviviality Retail. He also spent time as retail finance director at Shop Direct Group and UK finance director at Carphone Warehouse.
He said: “I have been very impressed with the strong management team at M247 and their clear and simple strategy to take the business forward. I am looking forward to working with the wider finance team to introduce a ‘business-partnering’ approach that will help to enable everyone to achieve their goals and objectives.”
Darryl Edwards, CEO, said: “The addition of Andrew as an extremely experienced CFO is another example of our people first strategy which has seen a number of strategic senior appointments over the last six months that are already having a positive impact on our business. We have made a significant investment in our infrastructure and product offering so it is a great time for Andrew to be joining the business and helping to take us on the next stages of our growth journey.”
Andrew replaces former CFO Andy Leitch who has accepted a new role in Scotland to enable him to be closer to home.
Law firm Addleshaw Goddard has announced six new partner promotions in its Manchester office at One St Peter’s Square.
Phil Dupres and Steph Townley (infrastructure, projects & energy), Lizzie Wareing and Ben Edwards (finance), Sarah Foster (restructuring) and Victoria Pool (commercial disputes), will join the partnership from May 1. The promotions are part of a 20-strong round, AG’s largest ever, which will bring the firm’s total global partner headcount to more than 340 from May 1, 2022.
Phil Dupres joined the firm as a paralegal in 2010 and now specialises in complex transactions for signficant public and utilities clients as well as jointly leading the firm’s water sub-sector team, which has a reputation for large project finance deals in the water and waste water market.
Steph Townley specialises in all aspects of social infrastructure with particular experience in PFIs and NHS contracting. She advises on some complex social housing matters, supporting local authorities in navigating their PFI arrangements post-Grenfell, and also heads up AG’s universities group.
Lizzie Wareing joined the firm as a newly qualified solicitor in 2014 and focuses on asset finance, advising a wide range of funders on large scale, high value and complex debt-based asset finance structures across the energy, transport and sustainability sectors.
Ben Edwards has more than 13 years’ experience acting for banks, debt funds, private equity sponsors and borrowers on a broad range of bilateral, syndicated and cross-border transactions, with a focus on leveraged finance transactions.
Sarah, who joined AG as a trainee in 2002, concentrates primarily on transactional restructuring and insolvency across all sectors. She has significant experience providing advice on all aspects of restructuring, business support, turnaround and insolvency.
Victoria Pool has a particular focus on policyholder-side insurance claims and boardroom/shareholder disputes, advising on complex issues concerning directors’ duties and providing an important service line for AG’s corporate client base.
Welcoming the new partners, John Joyce, Addleshaw Goddard managing partner, said: “We are pursuing a very active recruitment drive across all our offices in the UK, Europe, the Middle East and Asia and whilst that ongoing recruitment is an important part of our growth strategy, equally important is our providing opportunities to home grown talent.
“I am, therefore, very pleased to announce these promotions. Each individual has our congratulations and very best wishes. They have all demonstrated exceptionally high levels of performance and potential and we have no doubt that they will continue to play important roles in the future as leaders of our business.”