People: Factory International; Riqueza Business Solutions; BFS; Davis Blank Furniss; Uni of Salford Business School

Jane Hector-Jones

Former Channel 4 executive, Jane Hector-Jones, has been appointed as head of brand partnerships and sponsorship for Factory International as the landmark cultural venue prepares to open its doors in June 2023.

Jane will spearhead Factory International’s brand partnerships and commercial events strategy, as well as develop new innovative models in IP, broadcast, digital and content led partnerships.

Jane’s decade-long career at Channel 4 spans leading the first partnership and content team for Channel 4 Nations and Region and delivering award-winning sponsorship campaigns with major brands including Aldi and Hillary’s. Now, Jane’s remit is to drive meaningful partnerships and sponsorships and purpose-led campaigns with brands that share Factory International’s passion for diversity, sustainability, community, and the future of the arts.

Operated by the team behind Manchester International Festival (MIF), Factory International will be a global destination for arts, music and culture, commissioning and present a year-round programme of ground-breaking, and interdisciplinary work by leading artists. Its development is being led by Manchester City Council, with backing from HM Government and Arts Council England.

Attracting up to 850,000 visitors annually, Factory International will add £1.1bn to the economy over a decade and create 1,500 direct and indirect jobs. Its pioneering programme of skills, training and engagement will benefit local people and the next generation of creative talent from across the city, while its Factory Academy apprenticeship and trainee schemes are already under way during the construction phase. Located in the new St John’s neighbourhood next to the River Irwell, Factory International will be at the heart of a burgeoning city centre hub for culture, creativity, and digital innovation.

Jane Hector-Jones said: “It’s a real honour to be joining the team at Factory International and play a part in the cultural landscape of our city, on a local and global scale. We’re looking to collaborate with brands that want to enact tangible positive change and make a real difference socially and environmentally – and combine that with supporting world-class arts, music, and culture.

“I truly believe that thoughtful brand partnerships and sponsorships have capacity to change the world around us and that is exactly what we will be doing at Factory International.

Randel Bryan, executive director and deputy CEO at Factory International, said: “As we near the opening of Factory International this summer it’s brilliant to welcome Jane, who is aligned in our approach to creating authentic partnerships. Jane brings with her a wealth of experience in hugely impactful campaigns and relationships with world-leading brands.

“This is a strategic appointment that will drive further meaningful, creative and content-led partnerships that represent the very best of what Factory International has to offer.”


Warrington-based Riqueza Business Solutions has appointed Tom Ryan as managing director to support its continued growth. Mr Ryan has been with the business funding brokerage since 2020 and has been promoted from director.

The firm facilitated £32m of loans and funding solutions into businesses and their owners in 2022, its sixth year of business.

Tom Ryan

The company employs eight staff from Grade A offices in The Base on Dallam Lane and will recruit at least two more this year as part of the firm’s ‘ease of business’ strategy, which focuses on the requirements of business owners, funding partners and introducers.

Founders Carl Oates and Neil Rustage said: “Tom has been with us for more than two years, although he’s been operating within the funding and asset-based lending sector for over 10 years.

“His experience, passion and trustworthiness made the decision for us to appoint him MD very easy. We are very proud of him and look forward to the continued growth and evolution of Riqueza Business Solutions under his stewardship.”

Riqueza Business Solutions is part of the Riqueza Group. The company provides invoice finance, stock finance and business loans to the SME sector, drawing on a panel of 30 high net worth individuals to guarantee a robust and continuously refreshed funding stream.


Independent invoice finance provider, Bibby Financial Services (BFS), has appointed Martin King as head of corporate sales, strategy and partnerships as it continues to grow its support for SMEs and advisors throughout the UK.

With more than 12 years’ experience in providing asset-based lending and cashflow solutions, Martin joins BFS, part of the Liverpool-based Bibby Line Group, from BOOST&Co, where he developed growth and venture debt funding for SMEs. Prior to this, he held senior ABL roles with Lloyds Bank and NatWest Group.

Stephen Hand, UK head of sales for Bibby Financial Services, said: “BFS is in growth mode and with more than £1bn of funding capacity, we have an incredible opportunity to support SMEs and the intermediary community in 2023 and beyond. Attracting someone of Martin’s calibre is testament to our new sales strategy and ambition.”

Martin King

BFS’s corporate team is responsible for structuring ABL and cashflow facilities for businesses seeking £1m to £10m of funding. Working with corporate finance advisors, debt advisors, private equity, brokers, accountants and insolvency practitioners, the team supports a range of requirements including working capital and cashflow funding for growth and expansion, mergers and acquisitions, MBIs, MBOs, refinancing and restructuring.

Martin King said: “With our strong family heritage, financing legacy stretching back more than four decades, and a reputation for supporting businesses through the economic cycle, BFS is well placed to help SMEs overcome challenges and take advantage of opportunities today.”

BFS is the UK’s largest independent invoice finance provider and supports nearly 8,500 SME clients globally through its invoice finance and asset finance solutions. In addition, its product range includes foreign exchange, export and trade finance, as well as specialist finance for the construction sector.


Davis Blank Furniss, the Manchester and Glossop-based law firm, has announced that Richard Hamilton, head of the property team, is the firm’s new managing partner. He takes over from Kate Oldfield who had been in the post for 15 years.

Kate will be taking up the role of senior partner and will be working alongside Richard on a number of leadership duties including business development, client liaison and marketing. She will also remain head of the personal injury and clinical negligence department.

Richard and Kate, along with their fellow equity partners, Andrew Ryan and Sonio Singh, have been preparing for the transition over the past few months. In his new position Richard will focus on the firm’s day-to-day operations, driving its strategic growth, and continuing to develop its people and working practices.

Richard joined the firm as a trainee in 2001, he qualified into the property department in 2003, became a salaried partner in 2008 and then an equity partner in 2010.
His key areas of expertise include all aspects of commercial and residential property, from commercial property sales and purchases (offices, warehouses, retail, and licenced premises), to all aspects of commercial leases, lender security work, as well as Option Agreements, SIPP and SASS transfers and nationwide sales, purchases, and the re-mortgages of residential properties.

From left: Sonio Singh, Andrew Ryan, Kate Oldfield, Debra Kelly, Richard Hamilton

Kate Oldfield said: “After 15 years as managing partner I felt now was the right time to pass the baton on. Richard is an exceptional lawyer and has natural leadership qualities so I know he will do a fantastic job.

“He joined Davis Blank Furniss as a trainee and his career journey is testament to the fact that we are committed to developing talent from within. I’m looking forward to supporting him as we enter our next phase of growth.”

Davis Blank Furniss has also announced that Martyn Gee, the longstanding head of its Glossop office, will be retiring at the end of March. Martyn joined the firm in 1979 and over the past 44 years has become one of the High Peak’s most renowned businesspeople. Debra Kelly, who is a partner in the private client team, will be leading the Glossop office from April. She joined the firm in January 2022.

Richard said: “Kate has done an amazing job steering the firm through the economic crisis in 2008 and then COVID. Her professionalism and vision have laid the foundations for a strong future, and I am now focused on driving that forward over the coming years.

He added: “I’d also like to thank Martyn for his dedication and service. He has been the face of Davis Blank Furniss in Glossop for over 40 years so I, along with everyone at the firm, wish him a very happy retirement. Moving forward, we are delighted that Debra is picking up the baton and I’m confident that she will lead the Glossop team to even greater successes.”


University of Salford Business School has appointed Jeanette Gamble, managing director in Morgan Stanley’s enterprise technology and services organisation and head of data and analytics infrastructure technology and web services, as its first Honorary International Industry Fellow, bridging the gap between industry and academia to enhance the student experience.

A Salford Business School alumni, Jeanette studied BSc Business Information Technology and graduated in 2000, before joining Morgan Stanley’s analyst programme 23 years ago as a graduate trainee.

Jeanette has held positions of increasing responsibility across the firm’s technology and finance organisations. Her roles have spanned enterprise computing, application development, quality assurance and production management, finance, and enterprise crisis management. In 2006, Jeanette was promoted to vice president, executive director in 2010 and most recently, managing director in 2020. She is currently based in New York City.

Jeanette Gamble

As an Industry Fellow, Jeanette will support students’ employability as they prepare to progress into the world of work. She will provide career and CV coaching, and educate students on what a career in the corporate world could look like. Students will also benefit from mock interviews to assist them in articulating their strengths, skills and experiences effectively to hiring managers.

Jeanette said: “I came from a very small town in Northern Ireland and am a big believer that you can be anything you want to be, even if it’s something you can’t necessarily see in the current marketplace. I’m incredibly proud of everything I’ve achieved and for years now have been supporting kids to progress on the path to where they want to be.

“My time at Salford is filled with great memories and I’m incredibly excited to be given the opportunity to return to help support students to not only determine the career path they’d like to take, but help coach them to get there.”

Prof Janice Allan, Dean of Salford Business School, said: “To have Jeanette join us as our first Honorary International Industry Fellow is a huge honour, especially as she embodies our key values of curiosity and resilience as well as the entrepreneurial mindset we try to encourage within the school. Her journey from the University of Salford to MD at Morgan Stanley is an inspirational story for our students, showing them what they, too, can achieve. I have no doubt that our students will gain so much from her generous offer of support.”

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