People: Altius Group; TiE Global; trainingEXP; Four Recruitment; Mills & Reeve; Brabners

Jan Fiorini

Preston-based business brokers, Altius Group, has appointed Jan Fiorini as HR business partner, heading up the firm’s human resources function.

Fiorini will be working across the group’s brands, including Redwoods Dowling Kerr (RDK), Kings Corporate and Bruce & Co.

With the group set to double in size by 2025, Fiorini joins Altius at a pivotal time for the business. In her role she will focus on developing a HR strategy to support future growth, alongside providing operational support on policies and procedures as well as learning and development programmes.

Fiorini brings more than 17 years’ experience in HR including 14 years as a crew performance manager for Emirates. Since leaving Emirates, she has gained a track record as a human resource specialist with several businesses, including the NHS and GE.

Alongside Fiorini, Altius has also strengthened its sales teams by adding two new sales negotiators and a corporate sales executive. Peter Taberner and Edwin Theron will be working for the RDK Healthcare and Kings Corporate teams, respectively. Anthony Davies joins the company as a corporate sales executive.

Fiorini will be working closely with Kevin Allcock, COO at Altius, as well as CEO, Paul Miller, and director of sales and marketing, Andrew K Steen.

Fiorini said: “It has been an absolute pleasure commencing my new role with Altius. I’m looking forward to using my experience to support the management team and help drive the business forward through its greatest asset – its people.”

Kevin Allcock said: “Jan is an exceptional addition to our business. Her experience and expertise in HR and learning and development career pathways will play a vital role for the group as we streamline our processes and look to strengthen our teams and their skills across the business to support the next stage of our growth plan.”


Raam Shankar

Equitus World founder Raam Shankar has been appointed to TiE Global’s chapter development committee.

During the two-year appointment Shankar will help the committee to improve and develop current chapters while working to create new chapters around the world.

Shankar, the current TiE UK North President, said: “It’s a prestigious role and an honour to be part of a team whose sole focus will centre on strengthening one of the world’s largest entrepreneur networks.”

Shankar, who is also co-chair of TiE Global’s sustainability and impact special interest group (SIG), added: “We will be working to increase the influence certain chapters around the world can have on domestic entrepreneurship and their innovation ecosystems. We will also be looking to establish new chapters in places where we’ve not had a chapter before.”

TiE Global is a non-profit venture devoted to the entrepreneurial life cycle in all industries and was founded in 1992 in Silicon Valley by a group of entrepreneurs, corporate executives, and senior professionals with roots in the Indus region.

It boasts chapters in numerous cities and regions across the world and has been fostering entrepreneurship for more than 30 years.

Shankar is the founder and CEO of Equitus World, which has bases in Manchester, London and Bangalore.

Murali Bukkapatnam, chair of TiE Global’s chapter development committee, said: “Raam is a great addition to our team which plays a critical role in expanding’s reach by improving the rankings of our existing chapters and identifying new opportunities to open new ones. Raam’s experience and expertise will certainly help us to advance TiE global’s mission.”


Adam Steed delivering training

A new venture focusing on passive fire protection and health and safety training in the property and construction sector has been launched in the North West with virtual reality at its heart, in what is thought to be the first of its kind in the UK.

Jason McKnight and Joseph Dillon have set up trainingEXP as a sister company to their construction and project management business RECOM Solutions, which is based in Salford Quays. The duo have invested a six-figure sum in the venture and have recruited experienced fire protection professional Adam Steed to head its team of trainers.

Adam has joined trainingEXP from Warringtonfire, a testing, inspection and certification company. He was an inspector of fire protection systems registered under Warringtonfire’s Fire Certification Scheme (FIRAS).

The new venture is providing in-depth passive fire protection training aimed at the residential, health and social care, commercial, leisure, education, heritage and industrial sectors as well as fire and rescue services, professionals such as architects, tradespeople and operatives.

VR training that replicates live environments to raise awareness of common fire protection hazards in buildings is a key feature of the courses.

Jason McKnight said: “We have developed innovative and bespoke software which is unlike anything else available in the UK and Europe. It works in a similar way to the hazard perception section of the driving theory test. By replicating live environments, such as hospitals, users can take virtual walks around buildings to carry out passive fire surveys and identify fire protection hazards in an immersive way. Unlike other available software, this is entirely interactive and our delegates can interact with the simulations we have created.”

Adam said: “It’s an exciting opportunity to head trainingEXP. Our mission is to help companies and organisations better understand their obligations and provide industry professionals with specialist knowledge that will improve fire safety.”


Craig Stevenson

Four Recruitment, a Bolton-based recruitment consultancy with a central Manchester office, has appointed Craig Stevenson as its chief revenue officer.

With an impressive background in various sales roles and more than a decade of experience in leadership positions, Craig joins following his successful tenure at global organisations including Worldpay and Yell.

Claire Sofield, owner and managing director of Four Recruitment, welcomed Craig, saying: “His wealth of experience and track record in sales leadership make him the perfect fit for our ambitious growth plans. As well as Craig’s proven track record, it was his people-first character that really shone through, which both our team and clients will benefit from.”


Jennifer Lewis

National law firm Mills & Reeve has promoted Jennifer Lewis to partner in its Manchester office.

Jennifer has been with the firm for 20 years. She joined George Davis as a trainee in 2003 and moved to Mills & Reeve as part of the 2013 merger of the two firms in Manchester. Jennifer is a part of the real estate team, specialising in education and healthcare and in particular working in primary care and with universities. Her extensive clients include University of Salford, Rowlands Pharmacy, University of Liverpool, Borough Care, Malling Health, and numerous GP practices.

In the Legal 500 (2022) Jennifer was praised highly for her ‘understanding of the market’ and ‘robust advice’.

Mike Edge, head of the real estate team in Manchester, said: “Jennifer put forward a powerful case to join the partnership having built a strong client base and reputation in her field of expertise. The team now has six partners and 17 fee earners advising on some of Manchester’s most high profile projects, and Jennifer will play a major role in our further development.”


From left: Luke Taylor, Daniel Hoyhurst, Nik White, Michael Winder, Ruth Hargreaves

Independent law firm Brabners has promoted four colleagues across its corporate, real estate and commercial practices to its growing partnership.

Ruth Hargreaves, Daniel Hayhurst, Luke Taylor and Michael Winder have all been promoted to join the B Corp certified firm’s now 85-strong partnership.

Ruth Hargreaves and Daniel Hayhurst are both leading figures in Brabners’ corporate practice, which was ranked by Experian as the region’s second most active group of dealmakers during 2022.

Ruth has 15 years’ experience of corporate law at the firm, while holding senior positions within Brabners’ sport and tech sector teams. Daniel becomes partner after 10 years with Brabners, where he has helped develop the business’s support for private equity and venture capital transactions.

In the real estate team, one of the largest in the North of England, Luke Taylor is promoted to partner. Having joined the firm as a trainee, he brings 12 years’ experience in development and investment work, while overseeing real estate support for Brabners’ healthcare team.

Michael Winder’s promotion to partner within the commercial & IP practice comes after 11 years with the firm where he specialises in supporting the public procurement law needs of clients across Brabners’ sector teams.

The four partner appointments form part of the latest round of promotions across the purpose-led firm, which saw 35 promotions among the lawyers and fee earning teams.

Nik White, managing partner at Brabners, said: “It’s important that we invest in talent at all levels as we build on recent successes and continue to focus on delivering purpose-led growth across the business.

“These promotions are further evidence of the clear development pathways we’ve developed within the firm, providing talented lawyers with the support and opportunities to progress their careers. Ruth, Daniel, Luke and Michael have each played a major role in the growth and success we’ve achieved in their respective practice areas, helping us to sustain the excellent counsel that our clients expect. They reflect the strong calibre of talent we continue to attract and retain as a recognised Best Place to Work.”

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