People: Savills; Momentum Group; Avison Young; Influential; Kennedys; Bridging Finance Solutions

Maxi Glas

International real estate advisor Savills has expanded its property management division, appointing Maxi Glas as head of service partner relationships, to help manage its clients and service partner relationships across the UK.

Based in the firm’s Manchester office, Maxi will be working within Savills on vision, strategy and policy objectives with the property management, helping to lead Savills service partner relationships, developing strategic objectives and bringing teams together within its supply chains.

Maxi has more than 17 years’ experience in finance and the supply chain working for Vodafone, GSK, Lloyds Bank. At Vodafone, Maxi was a founding member of the Vodafone Procurement Company, based in Luxembourg.

Maxi Glas said: “I am passionate about what I do to deliver sustainable business results, financial and non-financial value. I look forward to working within Savills to further strengthen its service partnerships.”

Katrina Mackay, UK board director for Savills Property Management, said: “Recognising how important our relationships with our service partners are to delivering exceptional standards and ensuring ours and our clients’ values and principles transfer through the supply chain, we are on a journey of transformation.
“ESG matters, with a specific focus on social mobility and service partner performance are critical and the best way we can change in the industry is by working closely with all stakeholders, Maxi’s appointment ensures that we keep moving forward with our ambitions.”


Liverpool property company, The Momentum Group, has appointed Philip Conway as associate director to its construction division.

Philip is the company’s lead for major build projects with a particular emphasis on clients’ Mechanical & Electrical requirements.

A fully qualified electrician holding SMSTS certificates, Philip was previously the M&E construction manager for giant French industrial contractor, CNIM at The Parc Adfer Energy from Waste facility in North Wales as well as at the Kemsley Generation Station in Kent.

Phil Conway

Prior to that, Philip worked offshore for Petrofac and Worley as an electrical supervisor maintaining 12 gas rigs in Morecambe Bay.

Chris Bliss, co-founder and director of The Momentum Group, said: “Phil brings substantial mechanical and electrical, project management and build experience to the team. He is very well known in electrical contracting and in the offshore industry and boasts a proven ability in bringing the right people together to complete challenging and complicated projects.

“We are delighted to welcome him to our growing build team where his hands-on approach and vast and varied knowledge will help us grow the team, our reputation and the pipeline of work.”

Philip said: “The Momentum Group is an impressive set of companies each with great ambition and with collaboration at their heart. The experienced design and construction team already delivers a high quality and cost effective service and I’m delighted to be joining at a time of great growth for Momentum.”


Avison Young has made a number of senior promotions at director and associate director level within its Manchester office.

Dan Brown and Rhian Smith from the planning team have now moved into director roles, while building surveyor Tom Williams has also been promoted to director level.

Quantity surveyor Paige Lambert has been promoted to associate director, as have real estate management specialists Charles Watson and Joe Gartside from the business rates team.

Rhian Smith

These promotions come during an exciting time for Avison Young in Manchester as it moves into its new office in central Manchester. As the only newly built Grade-A office building in the central business district, 11 York Street has recently been named the best workspace outside of central London.

With wellbeing, sustainability and collaboration at the core of the new office’s design rational, Avison Young said it is showcasing its commitment to both its people and the city region.

Chris Cheap, Avison Young’s managing director in Manchester, said: “We have a fantastic team in Manchester across all of the sectors we operate in and we have a commitment to investing in our people so they can fulfil their ambitions and constantly develop their skills to enhance our offer. The move to 11 York Street is an important part of this investment.”


Eighteen months on from Influential Agency Group’s acquisition of creative agency Young Bright and Grey (YBG), the business has unveiled a new unified brand and an expanded team.

The combined agency will now be known simply as Influential and operate from offices in Manchester and Liverpool. YBG was acquired by Influential in late 2021, following a long term relationship collaborating on a range of client projects. Its founders, former Cube3 duo Viv Griffiths and James Summerscales, joined Influential’s board alongside Sara Wilde-McKeown (MD), Chris Hulme (head of PR) and Karen Swan (head of marketing insight).

The agency has also bolstered its creative, digital and PR teams with five new hires. Tom Needham has joined Influential as digital director and will lead the agency’s work across paid search, paid social and programmatic display. Formerly an account director at Running Total, he previously worked with Influential’s Summerscales and Griffiths at Cube3.

The agency has bolstered its creative team with the appointment of seasoned motion designer Aleks Andonov and creative account manager Conor Elliott. Aleks previously worked for food start-up Lo-Dough where his responsibilities included brand and identity, and design for web, social and product packaging. Conor joins from Europe’s largest dental care provider mydentist, where he worked across consumer-focused social media and communications campaigns.

From left: Karen Swan, James Summerscales, Sara Wilde-McKeown, Chris Hulme, Viv Griffiths

Influential’s PR team has welcomed senior account executive Farhana Khan who joins following roles at Tate Liverpool and The Co-op. She will work across the agency’s consumer campaigns which include retained relationships with Camelot, operators of The National Lottery, and Merlin Entertainments. The expanded team also includes account executive Lewis Hinds, who was previously at High-Rise Communications.

The new hires follow the earlier appointment of Kelly Cunningham as head of content from THG Ingenuity where she led and launched Homebase’s content strategy, including its first ecommerce Black Friday sale in 2021. At influential she is building an integrated content team to support the agency’s brand and creative work.

Sara Wilde-McKeown said: “Our decision to bring YBG and Influential together as one brand is testament to how strongly the teams have melded over the last year, both culturally and in our approach to successful client campaigns. It feels only right that this is reflected in one unified brand. We’re thrilled to be starting 2023 by adding fantastic new talent to the agency under a bold new look and feel.”

Viv Griffiths, creative director at Influential, said: “Merging two established brands can be a complicated affair, but this wasn’t the case with us. Both the Influential and YBG brands had a passion for true integrated thinking but came from different ends of the street, with Influential known for its clarity of strategic thinking and YBG for its maverick approach. Our rebrand was about understanding how we kept what was truly valuable as the brands aligned.”

Influential employs 30 people across service lines in PR, stakeholder communications, insight and brand. Its clients include Mayfield Manchester, NOMA, Grant Thornton, Flawless AI and Radisson RED.


Global law firm Kennedys has appointed a leading motor insurance specialist to spearhead its non-injury services in the UK.

John Gibson joins from Keoghs where he spent more than a decade, first as partner and then as motor services director for the past seven years. His role involved advising a portfolio of top insurers and overseeing tens of thousands of claims.

As a legal director heading up Kennedys’ motor non-injury offering, he joins one of the largest motor liability teams with more than 120 specialist lawyers across the country. John, who worked in Bolton for Keoghs, will be based in Kennedys’ Manchester office where he will also be able to share his expertise with the firm’s fraud team there.

From left: Ian Davies, John Gibson, Claire Mulligan

Ian Davies, head of motor at Kennedys, said: “John is a well known and respected name in the industry, both among colleagues and clients, and we are delighted he has joined us. His expertise and proven track record for delivering new and innovative solutions is a perfect fit for our team and the services we offer.”

Claire Mulligan, head of the firm’s national liability defence group, said: “Appointing someone of John’s calibre is a real endorsement of our commitment to the motor market.”

John said: “I’ve followed Kennedys’ innovative service offering with great interest. I am looking forward to joining this dynamic team.”

John’s appointment is the latest in a string of high profile hires for the firm, including Sally Hancock, a regulatory partner in the Manchester office, who moved to Kennedys earlier this year after more than 20 years at BLM, now part of Clyde & Co.


The growth and expansion of Wallasey-based Bridging Finance Solutions continues with the national specialist lending firm this week announcing three new key appointments.

Debbie Range, Adam Bluma and Andy Greenhalgh, join the growing business development team as managers, each with a national remit.

Adam brings a decade’s worth of experience in banking, having worked with NatWest in personal and private banking, as well as business and commercial. Following this, a term spent at Assetz Capital saw him work with bridging finance, commercial mortgages and development finance.

From left: Adam Bluma, Debbie Range, Andy Greenhalgh

Andy joins the team with more than eight years spent at a large national brokerage, formerly as business development team leader. CeMAP and CeRER qualified, Andy brings a strong brokerage background to his new role with excellent contacts and relationships throughout the sector.

Debbie has worked in financial services for more than 25 years, predominantly in BDM roles for high street lenders as well as time spent in a mortgage broker role. CeMap qualified, Debbie comes to BFS from a bridging finance specialist, bringing direct experience in short term lending.

Steve Barber, BFS managing director, said: “Making these three new appointments will add real weight to the team. What we have is three highly experienced and knowledgeable individuals whose backgrounds are completely varied, meaning that they will bring very different strengths and attributes to the business.”

Click here to sign up to receive our new South West business news...