People: Sixty Eight People; Trowers & Hamlins; City of Liverpool College; Beech Tree Private Equity; Clarke Willmott; Alfresco Brands

Rebecca Oliver

Digital marketing manager, Rebecca Oliver, has joined Sixty Eight People, the Manchester-based specialist hospitality recruitment agency.

After seven years working within North West-based digital marketing agencies such as Bring Digital, JGM and ICG, Rebecca will use her experience to support Sixty Eight People with its website development, online marketing campaigns and deliver a digital strategy which will help it to achieve its growth objectives.

Rebecca said: “Sixty Eight People is a three-year-old start-up with an amazing purpose – ‘through people we will revolutionise our industry’, helping hospitality grow, re-stabilise, and face the challenges associated with what’s been described as a ‘mass exodus’ of the workforce through the pandemic.

“I can’t wait to support them in fulfilling their purpose but also working in hospitality earlier on in my career, it almost feels like I’m coming back to my roots to help an industry I know and love.”


Top 40 law firm Trowers & Hamlins continues to strengthen its corporate and commercial team in Manchester with the addition of two new partners, Paul Ellaby and Victoria Robertson.

Victoria specialises in all types of commercial contracts, data privacy and intellectual property and has wide ranging experience advising a variety of clients in a number of different sectors including owner-managed businesses, larger corporates and the public sector. A qualified lawyer of 15 years, Victoria joins Trowers from Weightmans.

Paul has more than 30 years’ experience advising on the transactional and corporate governance-related issues encountered by companies, their directors and shareholders throughout the corporate lifecycle. He is known for his work on corporate transactions, particularly mergers and acquisitions and private equity and venture capital investments. He has particular expertise in the technology and healthcare sectors.

Victoria Robertson and Paul Ellaby

Suzanne Benson, partner and head of Trowers’ Manchester office, said: “Huge welcome to Paul and Victoria. The growth of our teams in Manchester is exciting, not only in that it truly reflects the increased diversity of our service and our client base across the North West, but it also shows our unique resilience during the pandemic as over the past two years we increased our headcount by 19%.”

The duo will be further expanding their teams in Manchester over the coming months.

Victoria said: “This is a brilliant opportunity to join a team that is focused on growing its national practice and providing clients with excellent advice, with a focus on expanding further in the North West. I look forward to working alongside the team as we continue to grow both regionally and at a nationwide level.”

Paul said: “The corporate team at Trowers are renowned for being passionate about their commitment to ensuring that clients have access to leading legal services and with the considerable growth of the team over the last few years, Trowers are firmly cementing themselves as one of the fastest growing firms in the corporate space.”

The appointments follow recent key lateral hires including Danielle Ingham specialising in employment in Manchester, Sean Donovan-Smith bringing financial services expertise and Steven Raize, a specialist in advising owners, trade buyers and PE funds on transactions in the TMT and recruitment sectors.


The City of Liverpool College (COLC) has introduced a new role that will play a pivotal part in the development of the organisation’s equality and diversity curriculum, underlining the college’s commitment to improving student outcomes.

Dr Monica Chavez has been appointed director of social and cultural curriculum and will oversee activities relating to social and cultural capital, as well as supporting the resilience of students from disadvantaged backgrounds.

In the newly formed role, Monica will be responsible for developing and implementing development strategies, while also ensuring the college continues to further its already existing mission to be an organisation characterised by its social inclusion, equality and diversity work.

Dr Monica Chavez

Monica joins the college with a wealth of experience in teaching and development, including her role as senior consultant and educational lead at British Council, and most recently her position at the University of Liverpool as educational developer.

Originally from Mexico, Monica moved to the UK in 2005 as an international student and has first-hand experience of the challenges a person of colour faces when entering the professional world.

Elaine Bowker, principal at The City of Liverpool College, said: “I am excited to welcome Monica to The City of Liverpool College as our Director of Social and Cultural Curriculum. Her wealth of knowledge and expertise, as well as her first-hand experience, makes her the best person to build on our existing strengths and achievements, and to ensure that the college forges ahead with our commitments to creating an environment in which everyone is able to flourish beyond their studies.”

Monica Chavez said: “My role is one which aligns all of my career missions and purposes, and allows me to further the already amazing work that the college does. My mission is about bringing opportunity and success to everyone. It doesn’t matter what life has handed you. What does matter is how you grow, and what qualities and skills you cultivate.”


Beech Tree Private Equity, with offices in Manchester and Birmingham, has promoted Adam Rudd to partner and he has joined the partnership of Beech Tree alongside the co-founders Andy Marsh and Paul Franks.

Adam joined Beech Tree in 2015, shortly after the firm was founded. Since joining Beech Tree, Adam has been heavily involved in the firm’s technology sector and has led a number of transactions including Beech Tree’s investments in BCN Group, Transparity and Performanta as well as working with the teams of Ancoris, Learnlight, Wavenet and Redstor.

Adam Rudd

Managing partner, Andy Marsh, said: “Adam fully deserves the promotion to join the partnership. Adam has been instrumental in the success of Beech Tree and has progressed rapidly through the ranks to now being a partner. He has huge deal experience, a hunger for origination and has driven the performance of the portfolio businesses he is involved with. I’m delighted with his progress and thrilled he is now a member of the partnership alongside myself and Paul.”

Managing partner, Paul Franks, said: “This is a great achievement for both Adam and Beech Tree. Adam has been instrumental in all our technology deals and I’m delighted to now have Adam in the partnership. With Adam’s background being in technology, he has played a huge part in bringing deep sector focus into the private equity lower mid-market and I expect us to deploy significant capital from our current fund into the technology sector.”

Adam Rudd said: “It is amazing to look back on what we have built as a team since Andy and Paul started the firm. It has been a fantastic journey so far and I couldn’t be more pleased that Andy and Paul have asked me to join the partnership. I look forward to continuing to work with the team as we continue our investment strategy of backing great teams in our three sectors – technology, tech-services and financial services.”


National law firm, Clarke Willmott, has added a new partner to its commercial property team in Manchester.

Neil Powell

Neil Powell specialises in development, acquisitions and landlord and tenant work. He handles planning promotion agreements for both promotion companies and landowners and the subsequent disposal to national house builders.

He also acts for a number of niche housebuilders in site acquisition work and has extensive experience in the retail sector.

Neil said: “Clarke Willmott is enjoying a dynamic period of growth and development and I’m thrilled to have joined at such an exciting time.

“I’m looking forward to continuing to grow the practice, with a particular focus on retail development schemes and planning promotion work.”

Clarke Willmott is a national law firm with offices in Birmingham, Bristol, Cardiff, London, Manchester, Southampton and Taunton.


Rising customer demand for equipment in the outdoor cooking market has led to the appointment of a new sales director at an expanding North Lancashire firm.

Chris Morgan, 42, is taking the reins at Poulton-le Fylde-based Alfresco Brands, a supplier of outdoor cooking hardware, fuel sources and food accessories for retail outlets.

Alfresco Brands is spinning off from sister firm Innovative Food Ingredients to become a limited company in its own right following a period of rapid business expansion.

Chris will take overall responsibility for widening the client and customer network at the company, which also provides behind the scenes support with supply chain services including e-commerce fulfilment, dropshipping, third party logistics and warehousing.

Chris Morgan

He has a wide range of national and international business development, trading and relationship management experience. His career has included senior managerial roles working with household names such as Fentimans, Kettle Foods UK, HB Clark and VX3.

Chris said: “Customer and retailer demand for authentic wood fired cooking is still rising as the trend for entertaining at home continues. With brands such as The Alfresco Chef and Petromax, we’re seeking further expansion by adding to our network of retail outlets and growing our customer base.”

Alfresco Brands director, Mike Brennand, said: “Our family-run business has established itself as a trusted distributor in the UK over the past seven years and we’ve been able to develop a portfolio of leading brands. Chris has the international pedigree to take us in the right direction and elevate the business to the next level.”