People: Ecogee; JMW Solicitors; PM+M; Envantage; Paragon Bank; Landwood Group

Maria O'Connor

North West energy and construction company Ecogee has recruited more than 30 people to its team as it continues to position itself to become one of the leading contractors in the installation of eco-friendly energy saving measures.

Due to a rise in its energy grant and decarbonisation division, the company has recorded an increased turnover of £9.5m, up from £6.7m 12 months ago, and hired additional contract managers, site supervisors, quantity surveyors and tradespersons to undertake the work, which is currently taking place right across the region.

Managing Director Brendan Helm said: “For me, it is so rewarding to see these figures as I am very aware of the hard work that is happening behind the scenes, and they are a testament to the relationships that we have continued to build and grow over the years since we started back in 2013. We will continue to be advocates for sustainable energy with the hope that more and more people make that switch.”

One of the new starters welcomed to the team is operations manager, Maria O’Connor, who has more than a decade of experience within both energy and construction-led industries and will lead the delivery of all aspects of operations. This includes the business’s four main pillars – new builds, social housing, government eco grants and external wall insulation.

Alongside Maria, Ecogee has also employed three operatives from Thorn Cross Prison in Warrington, which it continues to build up a long standing relationship with. One individual from the men’s open prison and young offender institution has recently become a full-time supervisor for the Aintree business, after completing a 10-month programme following their release.

Brendan added: “We believe everyone deserves a second chance, so we decided to link up with the prison in the hope of investing in people who truly need it. It’s brilliant that they can be involved in something as crucial as this and we will do whatever we can to help.”


JMW Solicitors has promoted Majid Mahmood to the board as equity partner and to joint head of real estate commercial alongside Thomas Pearson.

The news follows another record year for JMW’s real estate commercial team, which, now standing at 50, is one of the largest specialist teams in the region. The 21/22 financial year saw deals totaling more than £1bn – and with a 22% increase in turnover on the previous year – acting for the likes of CityFibre, Blackacre, Northold Group, Grafton Land and Property, Investar Developments and HSPG.

Social housing has proven a particularly strong specialist sector for the firm, with the team supporting clients on the delivery of more than 3,500 new homes with a total deal value topping £100m.

On the back of its considerable growth, the 21/22 financial year also saw several new hires, including partner David Frankland and senior associates, Will Garnett and Khilen Mehta. Several further appointments will be announced in the coming weeks and the firm continues to recruit at all levels.

Majid Mahmood

Majid joined JMW as partner in December 2015, following roles with Persimmon and several law firms. He benefits from specialist expertise in a number of areas, including landlord and tenant, commercial and residential development and the acquisition and disposal of commercial real estate.

He acts for a diverse range of clients, including banks, building societies and specialist lenders, registered providers, developers and wholesalers, notably LWC Drinks which recently achieved a turnover of £500m.

Partner Thomas Pearson said: “We have had a record financial year in real estate commercial, continuing to support long standing clients across the UK, while welcoming a host of exciting new ones. We anticipate an equally busy period ahead, so it’s fantastic to have Majid as joint head of department as we focus on providing clients with the very best advice, expertise and support.“

Majid said: “I joined JMW seven years ago, during which time the real estate commercial team has continued to go from strength to strength – it is now one of the UK’s largest specialist real estate teams and I look forward to working alongside Thomas and the other partners to secure its continued growth.”


Blackburn and Bury-based PM+M, the chartered accountancy, business advisory and financial planning group, has made 10 promotions across its audit, financial planning, payroll and accounting and advisory teams.

In the accounting and advisory team, Sarah Farragher has been promoted to manager, Lisa Colbert to assistant manager and Bethan Greenbank to senior adviser.

From left, top row: Josh Tuplin, Sharon Trebilcock, Anya Fallon, Sarah Farragher, Bethan Greenbank, and Alex Heath. Bottom row: Lisa Colbert, Evie Halliwell, Samantha Whittle, Claire Yates.

In the financial planning team, Samantha Whittle has been promoted to manager, and in payroll, Claire Yates has become a senior adviser, while in the audit team Josh Tuplin, Evie Halliwell and Alex Heath have all been named senior advisers.

The final promotions are Sharon Trebilcock, who has been promoted to money laundering reporting officer, and Anya Fallon, who is now a senior adviser in the cloud accounting team.

Managing partner, Jane Parry, said: “Making such a big raft of promotions is fantastic as each and every one is so well deserved. PM+M is committed to nurturing talent and rewarding success so myself and the other partners are delighted to recognise and celebrate these achievements.”


Carbon and energy consultancy, Envantage, has welcomed five new members of staff to its experienced team following a period of sustained growth.

Jakob Kupferberg, who joins the team as a carbon and energy consultant, is the latest in a string of new hires. He follows the appointments of fellow carbon and energy consultants Mateusz Kania, Katie Brockwell and Jonathan Hunter, along with data analyst, Cameron Spencer.

The business is set for further expansion, with plans to grow the team in response to the increasing need for its specialist expertise in driving low carbon behaviours and tackling rising energy costs across all sectors.

Jakob Kupferberg

Based in Didsbury, Manchester, the company, which has been trading since 2004, is headed up by co-directors Colin Hindmarsh and Philip Alletson and can support companies with all areas of business energy.

Colin Hindmarsh said: “Right now, businesses face the twin challenges of rising energy prices and the need to make progress towards net zero targets. It’s a complex area and that’s why we are investing in growing our highly skilled team.”

Philip Alletson said: “We are proud to have the skill set to support businesses in meeting ambitious environmental targets in a commercially focussed way.

“Over the past 12 months we’ve invested heavily in demonstrating how our team of experienced and qualified consultants can support businesses on their low carbon journey.”


Paragon Bank has strengthened its SME Lending team with the appointment of Kyle Johnson as business development executive.

Kyle will be responsible for managing the Northern region, including the North Wales, Cheshire and Manchester area, and will report into Ashley Butterfield, regional director of commercial finance.

His role will be focused on broadening Paragon SME Lending’s customer base across the region, as well as managing existing relationships.

Kyle Johnson

Prior to joining Paragon, Kyle spent two-and-a-half years at Anglo Scottish Asset Finance, where he had roles as a vendor manager and a business development manager. This position equipped Kyle with a comprehensive understanding of building relationships across the industry, as well as an understanding of the Northern region.

His appointment bolsters Paragon’s offering in the Northern region and he will work with regional sales managers Joe Blanthorn and Richard Cooper.

Kyle said: “I am really excited to have joined Paragon. I’m looking forward to meeting more of the people here and getting stuck in with my new role. I feel I’ve come on board during a great time for the company and I know I will be able to continue to develop myself here.”

Ashley Butterfield, said: “It’s great to be adding emerging talent to the Northern region and really excited to welcome Kyle on board. Kyle will be responsible for growing Paragon’s direct presence within the Manchester, Cheshire and North Wales area. It’s an exciting time to be joining Paragon with the growing success of the deal flow portal which enhances our customers’ experience.”


North West property expert Landwood Group is looking to develop its project and building consultancy service, after appointing Steven McKay to lead the team.

Steven has joined the Manchester-based group to focus on increasing the workload and client base of this important service line, as well as to support the existing long term clients at the highest level.

A Chartered Surveyor since 2014, with more than 20 years of experience in the industry, Steven has extensive knowledge in contract administration and project management, specialising in dilapidation repairs, maintenance work and post feasibility building works.

He has joined Landwood Group from AA Projects in Leeds where he predominantly focused on project-led management and contract administration work for the likes of academy trusts and public works. He has also held previous roles at Naismiths and Cushman & Wakefield.

Steven McKay

Steven said: “I have already thoroughly enjoyed my first few weeks within the Landwood business. I will be supporting the recovery and valuation and the commercial asset management teams, as well as working on repositions, facility mergers, dilapidations and pre-acquisition surveys – but really, I will be across a whole range of offerings and roles within the group.”

Steven is also currently working on onboarding a graduate into the team to grow the project and building consultancy team further.

As part of this senior hire, Steven will also be supporting director of commercial asset management, Anna Main, on her side of the business.

Anna said: “We are really excited to see how Steven grows the project and building consultancy team.

“He has an impressive track record of delivering a range of diverse and complex building projects within challenging environments, so we know he is going to be a real asset to the company.”