People: James Cropper; Cowgills; Partners in Change; Together; GHP Legal; Studio LWD; University of Salford

Steve Adams, James Cropper

Paper manufacturer James Cropper has announced a new chief executive following the resignation of Phil Wild.

Steve Adams, who is an executive director of the company and managing director of the James Cropper Paper Division, has been named as the new CEO.

He joined the listed company in 2017 and has a strong commercial background with leadership experience previously gained at 3M in the UK and Europe covering display, traffic and vehicle safety, telecommunications, electronics and energy markets.

Mark Cropper, Chair, paid tribute to the contribution which Phil Wild has made to the business over the past 10 years.

He said: “Under Phil’s leadership, the foundations and prospects of the Group have been transformed. He has overseen step changes in TFP including the acquisition leading to TFP Hydrogen, the creation of Colourform, and the renewal of many of our functions.

“He has also successfully navigated us through Covid and other challenges and leaves a legacy – not least the team he built around him including Steve – that will be felt for many years to come.”

Commenting on his appointment, Steve Adams said: “Building on the strong foundations set in place by Phil Wild, I am excited at the prospect of capitalising on the unique and significant capabilities of our people and know-how to become a truly global market leader in our core technology areas.

“Our Purpose and Values will continue to sit at the heart of everything we do as we position ourselves more prominently and meaningfully in front of our customers.”



From left: Jacob Maitland, Daisy Wright, Sorina Gheorghita, Andrew Nelson

Cowgills has announced a number of new appointments as part of the continued development of its rapidly growing deal advisory team.

Sorina Gheorghita joins the transaction services team as an associate director from PwC where she spent six years in its deals insights and analytics team.

Sorina brings a wealth of experience in helping clients use data analytics to prepare a business for sale and providing focused buy-side diligence on the key drivers of a target’s performance.

Andrew Nelson, Cowgills partner and head of transaction services, said: “It is incredibly exciting to have Sorina join us at Cowgills as she brings skills not often seen outside of the Big 4 accountancy firms. Her experience in data analytics, and the insight that gives us, brings both breadth and depth to our service offering and enables us to continue to maximise value for all of our clients.

“Sorina’s appointment demonstrates how Cowgills can provide the full range of deal advisory services including high quality due diligence and sell side assistance at a level which is usually only seen in the Big 4, and we now have one of the largest deal advisory teams in the North.”

He added: “This area of the market is highly active, and we are acting on both the buy and sell side for many private equity and corporate clients with a strong pipeline of work through the summer and into the autumn, so Sorina joins us at a very busy and exciting time for the business.”

Sorina said: “I am excited to have recently joined the talented team at Cowgills and I’m looking forward to sharing my knowledge and experience to help strengthen our offering to clients. Leveraging data and analytics will provide tangible benefits to clients who may be looking to provide increased insight into the value drivers of their business or seeking to understand and reduce risk.”

Sorina’s appointment follows the recruitment of Jacob Maitland as assistant manager and Daisy Wright as executive, who also joined Cowgills from Big 4 firms.

Together with transaction services the deal advisory team includes lead advisory, debt advisory, post deal services and business funding and the team has led on some of the region’s most notable recent deals, advising Handl on the acquisition of IPRS Group as well as LDC’s investment into Marmalade Game Studio and eBay’s recent acquisition of Known Origin.


Manchester-based business change and transformation consulting firm, Partners in Change, has welcomed Craig Gilham, who joins as delivery director for digital services.

Craig will start work on August 15, and will lead, further develop, and expand PiC’s digital capabilities, helping its clients design, plan and deliver the adoption of digital technology to deliver profitable and sustainable change.

Craig Gilham

Craig has spent his working life in change consulting and programme management, delivering large scale transformations for top tier financial services, utilities and media organisations.

He has built an enviable reputation as a trusted advisor to C-suite stakeholders on the subject of digital transformation.

He said: “I’m passionate about helping organisations deliver transformational change, helping them achieve new levels of customer experience, employee experience and efficiency. PiC have an excellent reputation and their positive, collaborative and flexible approach is the perfect springboard for successful change.”

PiC founding partner, David Chatham, said: “We’re excited to welcome Craig to PiC. Many of our day to day conversations with clients revolve around digital technology and Craig brings a strong track record of successful digital transformation for some of the UK’s most recognised brands. Craig’s appointment marks another great uplift in our capabilities in the digital space.”


Cheadle-based specialist lender, Together, has announced the new appointment of Nick Parker as head of clubs and networks.

Nick will be responsible for the strategic development of the channel, focusing on Together’s strong relationships with its networks and clubs, and building a first class, service led proposition centred around them. His remit will also include designing and delivering the growth strategy for key stakeholders across both personal and commercial finance.

Nick joins Together after three years at Aldermore as head of intermediary distribution. With nearly 30 years’ experience with organisations such as Lloyds Banking Group, Barclays and Mortgages PLC, he has expert knowledge of the role of advisors and the markets they operate in, a keen understanding of sales processes, and existing relationships with many clubs and networks.

Nick Parker

Together, which has a loan book of more than £4.8bn, provides finance for a wide range of customers from large businesses to individual investors and SMEs, seeking to raise capital or acquire property or land.

Pete Ball, CEO of personal finance at Together, said: “Our clubs and networks are a crucial part of Together, and the relationships we have built and continue to nurture with them are of paramount importance to us.

“Nick brings extensive experience in a variety of roles across the industry which will be a great asset. He will help us meet our ambitious growth aspirations by supporting our clubs and networks with the fast and flexible finance services we are known for, tailored to their needs.”

Nick Parker said: “From the first moment I spoke to Together’s leadership team, their passion for the business and for building a leading club and network proposition was clear. Together has an exceptional range of products and solutions to support lending backed by experienced and flexible underwriting.”

He added: “I’m excited to be part of the next chapter in Together’s journey and look forward to engaging with our club and network partners in the coming months as we start this journey together.”

Nick will be replacing Phil Quinn, who has been working as head of national accounts for the past two years.

Marc Goldberg, CEO of commercial finance, said: “We would like to thank Phil for the incredible work he has done here at Together. In his time here, he has done an excellent job keeping Together connected to our club and network partners, and we wish him all the best for the future.”


A civil litigation solicitor whose client list includes both FTSE100 and high net worth individuals, has joined one of the region’s largest independent law firms.

GHP Legal, ranked as one of the top 500 law firms in England and Wales, has appointed Sarah Talbot as a senior solicitor at its Wrexham head office. Sarah joins the firm from DWF in Liverpool where she was an associate solicitor.

Sarah Talbot

Raised in Flintshire, where she still lives today, Sarah has assisted businesses and consumers in a wide range of pre-action and litigated matters since qualifying as a solicitor in 2013.

Sarah said: “GHP Legal is well known for its specialist team of experienced litigation lawyers, who enable the firm to represent clients at county court, tribunal and arbitration. This was one of the things that attracted me to join them.

“I have represented clients in a broad spectrum of claims, from general breach of contract, defective products and services and building disputes, to property mis-selling, debt claims and professional negligence, so my background fits perfectly with GHP Legal case history.”

Partner and head of litigation, Robert Williams, said: “Sarah has clearly demonstrated a pragmatic approach in past disputes she has handled, and this is key to successfully resolving disputes that often have complex implications. We are all looking forward to working with Sarah.”


Branding and design agency Studio LWD has appointed Claire Broadley as a graphic designer.

Originally from Spain and now based in Manchester, Claire joins the Poulton-le-Fylde agency founded in 2012 by creative director Laura Weldon, bringing the multi-service brand-building agency’s team to 11.

Claire Broadley

With experience working with some of the world’s most iconic brands, including Virgin, Nike, Tesco, Aldi and the British Council, Studio LWD specialises in full service branding solutions for tech and pharma businesses and SMEs in a wide variety of sectors.

Claire said: “This is a really exciting time to be joining Studio LWD and it’s great to be part of a growing team. With a passion for the power of brands to transform businesses, Studio LWD is a creative branding consultancy that creates engaging work, grounded in solid strategy.”

Laura Weldon said: “We’re a creative agency and branding consultancy that strongly believes that to deliver the best work, you need the best people to work with you.

“For each project, we provide a dedicated team of skilled professionals made up of consultants, designers, copywriters, strategists and creatives that really understand your industry and needs. They bring expert insights and fresh creativity to the table, every time and so we’re really pleased to welcome Claire onto our team.”


The University of Salford has announced Prof William Swan as its director of sustainability.

Prof William Swan

The role is a new position that will be focused on leading crucial activity for the future of the university as it deepens its commitment to addressing issues of environmental sustainability and achieving net zero carbon by 2038.

Prof Swan said: “As a university we have been engaging across the key sustainability issues, demonstrated by the excellent work from the sustainability team.

“We have aspirations to better link and promote all our activity as an institution to demonstrate that the University of Salford has sustainability at its heart, engaging and working with colleagues, students and external partners to deliver meaningful change.”

Will Swan has been at the university for more than 25 years and is currently the director of energy house laboratories, a world leading research facility that develops and tests new net zero technologies for the built environment sector. He will continue as strategic lead for energy house laboratories.