People: Co-op Group; Vita Group; KPMG; Rivington Accounts; Agent Academy; Eventus Recruitment Group

Rachel Izzard

The Co-op has appointed Rachel Izzard as chief financial officer and a member of the Co-op Group board.

Having held a number of senior leadership and CFO positions, including IFA Cargo, Aer Lingus, and most recently CFO at Manchester-based retailer N Brown, Rachel will take up the position, from current Interim CFO Mike Hazell, when his term ends in June.

Shirine Khoury-Haq, Co-op Group CEO said: “We’re delighted that Rachel is joining us at such an exciting time for our Co-op. We are all looking forward to welcoming her in June and her wealth of experience will enable us to continue to deliver our vision as a commercially successful co-operative.

“We’re grateful to Mike for the significant contribution he has made in strengthening the underlying financial position of our Co-op during his time here.

“He leaves with our very best wishes for the future and he will be greatly missed by his friends and colleagues at Co-op.”


Urban regeneration specialist, Vita Group, has bolstered its senior leadership team at an important time of continued growth and investment, with a significant internal promotion following 12-years of dedicated service to the business.

Ioannis Verdelis has been promoted to chief investment officer and will lead the platform’s investments, partnerships, joint ventures and divestments, as well as building and strengthening the group’s relationships with partners and lead transactions to help accelerate growth.

Ioannis Verdelis

Verdelis has been a crucial part of the team having joined the business as a data analyst and working his way up through the business, most recently holding the position of managing director of international developments. In his previous role, Verdelis had a pivotal role to play establishing Vita Group’s first international operation including its Barcelona office and the first two Vita Student residences in Spain which are both now completed.

Chief executive, Mark Stott, said: “Ioannis has extensive sector knowledge and experience, having recently played a pivotal role, leading our international developments with the launch of our two Barcelona developments and Spanish office. Ioannis’s new role will see him take on more responsibility as we look to expand our relationships with capital partners, grow our development pipeline, and maximise value within the business.”

Ioannis Verdelis said: “This is an exciting new chapter as we scale the business in new territories and with fantastic brands across the living sectors. I look forward to growing relationships with trusted capital partners to help us accelerate this growth.”


Professional services firm KPMG UK has bolstered its team in Manchester, with the promotions of 14 colleagues to director.

Michael Douek and Louisa Shaw have been appointed as directors within KPMG’s audit practice, while Imran Khan, Andrew Leighton, Mark Tomlin, Adam Caldwell and Janet Baker have become directors in the firm’s consulting practice.

Elsewhere, Amanda Ruddiman, Patrick Simpson, Nicky Leonard and Tom Hodder have been appointed directors within deal advisory, while Charlotte Brown, Jenny Coyle and John Rippon have been appointed directors in the firm’s tax and KPMG law practice.

Reinforcing the significant investment KPMG is making in the area, the firm recently revealed a £5.5m investment in its flagship Manchester office at One St Peter’s Square to build Ignition North – a new 25,000 sq ft collaborative hub supporting innovation and digital transformation. It’s also redesigning its wider office space under the project.

Warren Middleton

Warren Middleton, senior office partner for KPMG UK in Manchester, said: “These well-deserved promotions come at an exciting time for KPMG in Manchester.

“We’re investing in our people and our places so we can provide the best possible services to our clients in the region, and that work will continue through 2023 and beyond.

“That includes the development of Ignition North. It’s all part of our work across the business community to deliver the support firms need to successfully navigate the challenges and opportunities ahead.”

The appointments announcement is part of a raft of 35 promotions across KPMG’s network of offices in the North of England, including in Newcastle, Leeds and Liverpool. It also follows the firm announcing five new partners at its Manchester base at the end of last year.


Rivington Accounts in Adlington has appointed a new member to its accountancy team with the introduction of Amie Mollard earlier this year.

Amie is one of the firm’s now three-female strong accountancy team responsible for supporting clients with their annual accounts and tax returns, along with colleagues Katie Brooks and Angela McDonald.

Amie Mollard

Currently studying towards her ACCA qualification, Amie who is from Standish, has gained her skills and experience working her way up from accounts assistant with a local wholesale business to accountant and aims to become Chartered within the next two years.

She joins Rivington Accounts at an exciting time. The accountancy firm which opened in June 2008 has achieved year on year growth and owner Martin Horton has further ambitions for the business to become employee-owned over the next two years.

Amie said: “I am really looking forward to pursuing my career here at Rivington Accounts and helping my clients. The team have been really welcoming and are also helping me on my mission to prove that accountants are not boring.”


Agent Academy has appointed’s former people operations lead, Yasmin Lord-Pottinger, as its head of Agent Academy.

She will replace Zoe Wallace, who has transitioned into the role of partnerships director for both Agent Academy and its sister enterprise, Agent.

Agent Academy, with locations in Manchester and Liverpool, has been working tirelessly since 2014 to elevate the skills of the next generation of digital, creative, and tech professionals, preparing them for employment in emerging careers.

Agent Academy founder, Paul Corcoran, said: “We are thrilled to welcome Yasmin to our team as she brings a wealth of talent and expertise in leadership and people management.

Yasmin Lord-Pottinger

“With Yasmin’s impressive knowledge and experience, we are confident that we can continue to fulfil our mission of supporting a diverse range of talent and pioneering the industry. Her expertise will help ensure that the next generation of professionals have the necessary skills, connections, and experience to launch successful careers with top employers.”

Yasmin’s background includes more than eight years of experience in HR, where she has honed her skills in working with high growth tech start-ups to develop innovative people functions and teams.

Lord-Pottinger, who will be based in Agent Academy’s Manchester office on Oxford Road, said: “I am thrilled to be joining Agent Academy’s leadership team, to help drive their ambitious goals of discovering untapped talent and revolutionising learning experiences.

“In my role as head of Agent Academy, my primary focus will be to establish it as a leading destination for the next generation of talent. I will be working closely with our partners to help them overcome internal challenges in recruiting and supporting emerging talent.”


The Eventus Recruitment Group have expanded its legal division and launched a new training programme to encourage talented professionals to take up a career with them in recruitment. It has welcomed Simon Scott and Elle Clarke to its expanding team.

Simon Scott has joined the fully remote team as a senior recruitment consultant with more than 10 years of recruitment experience. The most recent eight of which have been within the legal market.

Elle Clarke has joined the Wilmslow office as a recruitment consultant, working alongside finance recruitment specialists Jo Hood and Shelley Gilchrist. Elle will be focusing on the legal market within Cheshire, Staffordshire and North Wales.

Simon Scott and Elle Clarke

While new to recruitment, Elle has worked in the Wilmslow area for the past three years for a highly regarded estate agency and has long wanted to make the move into recruitment. She joins the brand new extensive training programme, which has been developed utilising the directors’ many years of recruitment experience in partnership with a business adviser.

Managing director, Siobhan Courtney, said: “Simon joins us with a wealth of experience and we are delighted that he chose Eventus Recruitment Group for the next stage in his career. We are incredibly excited to see what the future holds for him, and as mentioned we are just so pleased that the future will be with us.

“Elle has joined us on our new training scheme and she is the perfect person for this due to her previous sales experience and her super enthusiasm and integrity. Having had a large insight into law in her previous role she is best placed to join the legal team based out of our Cheshire office. A huge warm welcome to both Simon and Elle.”

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