People: MHA Moore and Smalley; New Care; Detectronic; Plau Bar & Bistro; Access to Finance; R3

Andrew Feeke and Michelle Mullany

MHA Moore and Smalley has added to its corporate finance team with the appointment of experienced dealmaking professional Michelle Mullany.

Michelle joins the firm’s Manchester-based corporate finance team in the position of deal originator having spent 20 years in business development roles with EY.

She will work with the team to identify and build relationships with entrepreneurs, owner-managed and family-owned businesses who need support with projects including raising finance, acquisitions and business sales.

MHA Moore and Smalley’s corporate finance team has grown significantly since the firm opened its Manchester office in 2019 and Michelle’s appointment takes the team to 12 members across the North West.

Andrew Feeke, partner and head of corporate finance at MHA Moore and Smalley, said: “Michelle is incredibly well connected in the corporate finance community and has spent years providing invaluable support to businesses and entrepreneurs.”

Michelle said: “I love working with entrepreneurs, supporting them on their growth journey and helping them to achieve positive outcomes. MHA Moore and Smalley is a firm that offers a personal touch to support business owners and I’m excited to be a part of that.”

In addition to her corporate finance role, Michelle is also on the advisory board of the Lowry Theatre, the board of Reform Radio CIC, the Pro Manchester Pro Women’s Committee and is an enterprise advisor for Wellington High School, Timperley.


New Care has appointed Helen Hartley to manage its Bramhall Manor Care Centre.

In her new role as registered manager, local lady Helen takes responsibility for the smooth day-to-day running of the highly rated care home on Hardy Drive, close to Bramhall village centre.

Helen Hartley

Working with her team of 80 nurses and care professionals, she will ensure high quality personalised care is provided for all residents, ensuring their individual needs and priorities are met and that they enjoy a wonderful quality of life and a varied programme of daily wellbeing activities.

Helen holds a First Class Honours degree in Adult Nursing. She has worked in healthcare since 2010, first as a care support worker for Salford Royal Evening District Nurses and then as a community nurse within the Urgent Response Team progressing to a high level (Band 6).

She said: “I was attracted to New Care as the company has the same values and care ethos as myself.”

Commissioning director, Dawn Collett, said: “Helen has already made such a difference and I am confident that she will continue to excel in her new role.”


Matthew Holloway has joined wastewater monitoring specialists, Detectronic, as head of finance, bringing 15 years of senior financial leadership experience to the company.

With an extensive background working in financial roles for both private equity and privately-owned businesses across the North West, Matt will be focusing on supporting and developing the exponential growth that Colne-based Detectronic has delivered over the last two years.

Matthew Holloway

He said: “I’m excited to join Detectonic and work with the various teams. I’ve worked with several companies that have gone through rapid progression and it’s always been a challenging but exciting experience.

“It’s my job to help the senior management team make the most of this growth by ensuring we have all the necessary processes and controls in place to facilitate further expansion and sales.”

Managing director, Neil Butler, said: “His extensive financial and strategic experience will be highly complementary to our current executive capabilities. I look forward to working with him and celebrating further successes in the coming months.”


Preston’s Plau Bar & Bistro has unveiled a new head chef to lead the eatery into the future under its new management team, as well as introducing a new menu.

Jake White

Jake White, originally from Blackburn, said: “We are buying the best produce we can get, locally-sourced, really simple but delicious cooking with amazing ingredients. We’re trying to keep it as affordable as possible but still have nice touches. There’s a lot of care and attention going into it. This isn’t pretentious, the idea is we have this brilliant neighbourhood restaurant for the people of Preston.”

Jake left school early to work at Penwortham Golf Club before working full time at Bistrot Vérité in Southport. At 16, he moved to London to work with Tom Aikens before moving to Marcus at the Berkeley, working his way up from apprentice to head chef.

He would open the Pentonbridge Inn in Cumbria. He also spent time as a private chef, travelling in India and, during the pandemic, making fresh pasta in a food truck in Dorset.


Lancashire County Council’s Access to Finance service has strengthened its team of advisers with the appointment of two experienced leaders from the corporate banking and accountancy world.

Access to Finance Lancashire is a fully funded service backed by Lancashire County Council which helps businesses in Lancashire find and secure the finance they need.

Iain Duncan joins after spending more than 35 years in a variety of roles at HSBC, most recently as deputy head of corporate banking for Greater Manchester and Lancashire. He has also run his own business consultancy providing strategic advice and guidance to North West based businesses.

Nick Pickles has joined the service from TaxAssist Accountants based in Chorley, where he led the franchise for nine years, overseeing nine consecutive years of profitable growth. Before this, he was a board member at a multinational franchising business and has also led a fast growing SME business.

Both will join the organisation as Access to Finance specialists, meaning Access to Finance Lancashire now has a team of five finance experts advising Lancashire companies.

Iain Duncan and Nick Pickles

Mark Gibbons, senior Access to Finance specialist, said: “Iain and Nick have decades of experience in the local finance market across a variety of roles and have built strong long term relationships with lenders, founders and business professionals. Their appointment will strengthen the team to five – all former bank managers or business finance experts – available and ready to support Lancashire businesses.”

Iain Duncan said: “The world of banking and finance is changing, and the support provided to business founders and managers is increasingly being done remotely or online. Access to Finance gives Lancashire businesses access to an expert who will meet them, understand their challenges, and help them to find and secure the finance they need.”

Nicholas Pickles said: “There are huge amounts of new businesses being created across Lancashire and many of these need external finance to realise their potential. The finance landscape is complicated, and I am ready to support these businesses using my experience of business growth and finance.”


The North West branch of R3, the UK’s insolvency and restructuring trade body, has two new faces leading the region.

Fran Henshaw has been appointed as the new regional chair while Mark Davies is the new vice-chair.

Fran, a qualified insolvency practitioner, is director and head of corporate recovery and insolvency at Chartered Accountants and business advisors Beever and Struthers in Manchester. She takes over the role of chair from Allan Cadman, an insolvency practitioner with the Xeinadin Group, who has completed his three-year term in office.

Mark Davies, an insolvency solicitor, is a partner and head of restructuring and insolvency at Chester-based Aaron & Partners. Both have more than 30 years’ experience helping companies and individuals with debt problems and also advising creditors pursuing outstanding debts.

Fran Henshaw and Mark Davies

Their appointment comes as business insolvencies in England and Wales have reached a 13-year high and Creditors’ Voluntary Liquidations (CVLs) – a type of insolvency procedure where directors close their company voluntarily – are at the highest level since records began more than 60 years ago.

Fran Henshaw said: “Insolvency professionals play a key role in rescuing struggling businesses, saving jobs and helping individuals with debt problems. Our work is even more important in these challenging times when, having made it through the pandemic, businesses now face rising costs and the prospect of recession.”

Mark Davies said: “It is vital that businesses and individuals with cash flow or debt problems don’t bury their head in the sand. One of the trends we are seeing at present is a big rise in winding up petitions as creditors adopt a more aggressive stance in terms of recovery of their debt.”