People: DSW; Northwest Veterinary Specialists; LDC; N Brown; Clearwater International; UHY Hacker Young; Bentley

Ros Jones

Dow Schofield Watts’s transaction services team in the North West has promoted Ros Jones to partner.

It is the third promotion for the financial due diligence specialist, who joined the firm in 2015 as a manager and has risen through the ranks.

Ros specialises in advising on bolt-on acquisitions and has particular experience in the telecoms and legal sectors. She also takes a lead role delivering due diligence for two of the firm’s listed corporate clients, NWF, and Assura.

In her new role as partner, Ros will be working alongside the two existing partners, Ed Brentnall and Catriona Lang, as they continue to grow the business.

Ed Brentnall said: “Cat and I are delighted to announce this well deserved promotion. Ros has become an integral part of our team and a trusted due diligence advisor to some of our key clients.

“The quality of our service has always been our differentiator, and the example Ros sets to the rest of the team ensures this will continue to be the case.

“Ros’s promotion is a great example of the DSW model – attracting talented and ambitious individuals, helping them build their experience and progress their career.”


North West veterinary hospital, Linnaeus-owned Northwest Veterinary Specialists (NWVS), in Sutton Weaver, has appointed Michelle du Toit as its new neurology intern.

Michelle, who qualified in veterinary medicine at University College Dublin, is particularly looking forward to assisting the specialists and diplomates with their patient and client care.

Michelle du Toit

She has always had a strong interest in neurology, which started at college and was strengthened further while working in general practice in Ireland.

Michelle, who aims herself to have a neurology residency and be a diplomate, said: “I love building relationships with clients and looking after their animals. I also thoroughly enjoy working with, and learning from, specialists who are leaders in their field.”

Clinical director, Prue Neath, said: “We’re delighted to welcome Michelle to NWVS. She has a real passion for neurology and will be a great addition to the team.

“She also joins us at a very exciting time as we have just completed a major £300,000 expansion. The hospital has tripled the size of its waiting rooms and nearly doubled the number of consultation rooms to seven, including one cat-only consult room and a cat-only waiting area.”


The North West team of LDC, the private equity firm for mid-sized businesses, has promoted Grant Goodwin and Jacob Leone to investment directors following their significant contribution to the business including supporting transactions with a combined investment total of more than £200m.

Jacob Leone

Grant Goodwin joined LDC’s Manchester-based team as an investment manager in 2020 and has since played a key role in a number of standout investments. These include the firm’s partnerships with Cheshire-based mobile medical unit and vehicle provider EMS Group Solutions, education technology specialist Avantis, Rochdale-based technology-driven security company WCCTV, Warrington-based preventative healthcare specialist PAM, and human capital management (HCM) solutions provider Talos360, which is also based in Warrington.

Jacob Leone joined the team as an investment manager in 2019, and has been involved in many of LDC’s most significant tech investments, including the firm’s partnerships with Manchester-based digital transformation business CTI Group, games developer Marmalade, Cheshire-based manufacturer Rhino Products and Alderley Edge-based software company IEG4.

Most recently, Jacob led LDC’s investment in Merseyside-based Horsefly, an artificial intelligence-based talent analytics platform, and is now helping the management team to continue to grow the business organically, both in the UK and internationally.

From a portfolio perspective, Jacob and Grant have completed a number of buy and build transactions, and between them currently serve on the boards of six portfolio companies. With more than 15 years’ combined experience in corporate finance and private equity, Jacob and Grant will continue to help LDC deliver on its commitment to invest in 100 medium-sized businesses nationally over the next five years.

Grant Goodwin

During the last 12 months, LDC’s North West team has completed five transactions with a combined enterprise value of more than £100m.

Dale Alderson, partner and head of LDC in the North West, said: “Grant and Jacob are both highly respected members of the corporate finance community here in the North West, and they have a wealth of experience having built relationships with advisers in the region over many years.

“They will continue to play a pivotal role in helping us to increase our investment and strengthen the support we provide to management teams across the region. I’d like to congratulate them both on their new roles.”

Alongside transaction activity, LDC’s team in Manchester continues to support charitable causes within the local community. This includes the team’s support of local charity Wood Street Mission, a partnership that has seen the team donate children’s books, clothing and other essential items to support children and families living on low incomes across Manchester and Salford.

The promotions take effect from April 1.



Home shopping giant N Brown has appointed experienced retailer Meg Lustman as an Independent non-executive director as the business undergoes an internal transformation project and stalking by Mike Ashley’s Frasers Group. The former chief executive of Hobbs has over 35 years of retail experience and will also replace Gill Barr as chair of the remuneration committee.

Meg Lustman

Chairman Ron McMillan welcomed her to the board and noted her “wealth of product experience” while Steve Johnson, chief executive said: “We are in the midst of our transformation plan at N Brown, and having led the transformation and growth of some of the UK high street’s best known brands, Meg’s experience will strengthen the board.”


Global corporate finance firm Clearwater International has appointed Ed Gale to partner within the booming TMT team, as their success and pipeline continues to grow.

Despite tougher economic conditions, the TMT sector has continued to thrive, reporting high business valuations and significant interest from investors looking for growth opportunities. This appointment further strengthens the firm’s specialism within the tech space, as over the last 12 months, the international TMT team has completed a total of 31 deals, across its 17 global offices, with a combined value of €1.7bn.

Based in the North West, Ed joined Clearwater as a director 12 months ago, having moved from EY where he was also a director, in both the UK and Singapore. He is also an accomplished deal leader with 13 years’ experience in the tech space, in both buy-side and sell-side transactions, including many cross-border and private equity deals.

Ed Gale

During his time in the business, Ed has worked closely with a variety of corporate and private equity clients, with a recent transaction highlight being the sale of Littlefish from LDC to Bowmark Capital.

He joins the existing senior leadership team including partner and head of TMT, Wes Fell-Smith, and managing partner, Phil Burns, to support the sector’s overall capabilities including digital transformation, IT services, cyber, software, and media.

Ed will continue his role as a non-executive director at Big Life Group, a social enterprise focused on changing the lives of people through a multi-faceted approach.

Mark Taylor, UK CEO, Clearwater International, said: “Developing and retaining talent is essential for our business. Ed joined our team 12 months ago and has since demonstrated both quality and diligence in his work. The progress being made by the TMT team is terrific and Ed has already proven to be a key individual within Clearwater.”

Ed Gale said: “I’m thrilled to be joining the Clearwater International partnership, which also marks the end of my first year at the firm. It’s been an incredibly busy 12 months since I started, but I’ve enjoyed every minute of it, working with some fantastic businesses. There’s a strong pipeline ahead for the team which will no doubt secure more great results for our clients. I’m looking forward to embracing my position as partner and continuing my role in the growth of our business.”


Accountants UHY Hacker Young Manchester has promoted David Kendrick to chief executive, as from April 1, 2023.

He takes up the role after being an integral part of the leadership team for more than nine years, reflecting on his exceptional leadership skills and dedication to the firm’s growth and success.

David Kendrick

As CEO, David will lead a team of more than 140 colleagues, along with a strong leadership team comprising chief financial officer, Paul Daly, chief operations officer, Stephen Grayson and 11 fellow partners. His main focus will be to lead the strategic direction of the firm, overseeing its growth and development across all service lines as the business enters its seconnd year of a five year plan to double its size.

He takes over from Mark Robertson, managing partner, who has retired from the role after almost 17 years of service.

David said: “Having seen the business more than double in size over the past few years, we enter a new exciting era with a five-year plan to double in size again. Having finished year one of the plan 25% ahead, we are in a fantastic position to make this happen.”

Mark Robertson said: “I’m extremely grateful for the support of the partners and staff at UHY, it has been an honour and privilege to work with such a talented and dedicated team. I’d like to thank all our clients for their unwavering loyalty and encouragement over the last 17 years. Having worked with Dave for many years, I’ve no doubt UHY will continue to flourish and I wish him every success as CEO.”


Crewe-based Bentley Motors is putting diversity and inclusion strategy at the core of the business with a new and expanded team with a direct reporting line into the CEO.

Moving from the sole responsibility of human resources, D&I will sit within the cross-functional communications department, falling under the joint leadership of Adrian Hallmark, chairman and CEO, and Dr Karen Lange, board member for human resources.

As part of the restructure, Wayne Bruce becomes chief communications and D&I officer, adding Bentley’s D&I strategy to his area of responsibility. Bruce will report to both Adrian Hallmark and Karen Lange.

Anne Hoerner, head of D&I, moves from the human resources department, to work with Wayne Bruce within the communications team, helping to implement and embed the D&I strategy across the organisation. Stefanie Lackner, head of sustainability communications, continues to lead D&I communications inside, and outside of the business and becomes the third member of the D&I team.

Adrian Hallmark said: “We know that diversity drives success and by bringing a greater range of experience, creativity as well as inclusion, allows co-operation to play in business strategy, innovation and decision making. We firmly believe that it is a fundamental part of the business and, therefore, should be a core function that touches every single area of the organisation.

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