People: Custerian; UHY Hacker Young; Lowry Legal; Broadway Insurance Brokers; Plus Dane Housing; Falconer Chester Hall

Katie Connor

Growing business transformation specialist Custerian has added Katie Connor to its ranks.

The move to the Daresbury-based business sees Connor reunited with her former boss at online retailer AO, Jennifer Hollowood-Smith.

Custerian was founded by Nicola Collister and Simon Norie in 2013 and has worked with a number of blue chip clients including SCS, SGN, PureGym, Mobysoft and ASK4.

Connor spent 10 years at AO, rising to the role of lead product manager during its high growth years, before moving to Cloud Commerce Group. Collister, who has worked at a number of 100 FTSE listed companies including Very and Yodel, said: “We’re always looking for exceptional talent and Katie is definitely that. Given what we do, success is all about getting the right talent on the team. Katie shares our passion for delivering exceptional results in exceptional times.”

Katie Connor said: “I’m the sort of person who loves to face into problems and opportunities and feel challenged. When Jen told me what Custerian were doing I knew I wanted to be a part of it.”

Custerian employ 11 staff and is supported by a network of associates.


Nick Donohue

The Manchester office of national accountancy group, UHY Hacker Young, has appointed Nick Donohue as tax partner, contributing to its growth throughout 2023.

Nick, a Chartered Member of the Institute of Taxation, boasts a wealth of experience with more than 25 years as a tax adviser. Throughout his career, he has worked across all areas of tax with a particular interest in company share schemes, group re-organisations and research and development claims.

Prior to joining UHY, Nick spent his career working for regional firms advising over numerous sectors where he was focused on providing both businesses and individuals with commercial and practical advice to help them achieve their own current and long-term goals.

He said: “UHY Hacker Young is a firm I have admired for a number of years and I am delighted to join the practice as tax partner. The firm has a well-earned reputation for both providing exceptional client service and for being a great place to work.”

David Kendrick, CEO of UHY Hacker Young Manchester, said: “Nick brings a huge wealth of tax knowledge and experience to benefit our clients. As we enter year two of our five-year growth plan, bolstering the team alongside maintaining a keen focus on internal development, is allowing our firm to sustain continuous growth and support for our existing client base.”


Lesley Smythe

Specialist high net worth divorce law firm, Lowry Legal, has appointed matrimonial solicitor Lesley Smythe – an expert family lawyer with 25 years’ experience across the full range of divorce law – a partner.

Lesley’s addition to the firm’s senior team is the latest step in its ambitious expansion plans as it looks to grow its breadth of expertise across complex family law issues.

Lesley arrives at Lowry with decades of experience, having previously headed up the family and matrimonial department at top firm DTM Legal, and before that working at both DWF and Stowe Family Law, honing her specialisms in disentangling complicated financial assets following relationship breakdowns and assisting clients in the negotiation and drafting of pre- and post-nuptial agreements.

Managing partner, Katie McCann, said: “We are so pleased to be welcoming Lesley to the team. Her join marks an exciting period for us as we continue to build on our remarkable successes of the last year. Lesley is a natural fit for Lowry Legal – she combines shrewd legal judgement with a devotion to exceptional client care.”

Lesley said: “I am delighted to be joining the team at Lowry Legal, who have swiftly managed to establish themselves as a highly regarded firm in the HNW family law market.”


Gary Ward, left, and Daniel Lloyd-John

Broadway Insurance Brokers has appointed Gary Ward as its new director of operations, internal audit, risk and compliance.

He joins the firm just months after it outlined that the value of assets for which it arranges cover had doubled to more than £2bn in the space of less than 12 months.

Chief executive, Daniel Lloyd-John, said that the recruitment would send a “strong, clear signal” to clients and industry peers alike about Broadway’s intentions: “Gary’s arrival is something of a coup for us, given his vast experience and his standing within the profession.

“The fact that he is already so well known to our existing staff will certainly help with his integration. More than that, however, he underlines the emphasis which we established when we launched three years ago, not only about providing a different, innovative service to high net worth clients but also adhering to the most rigorous processes in order to do things right on their behalf.”

Mr Ward joins Broadway after a four-year spell as compliance officer with IC Insurance Brokers in Bolton – the latest senior role in an insurance career spanning 40 years. He is also currently deputy chairman of the Manchester Committee of the British Insurance Brokers’ Association (BIBA).


Suzanne Horrill, Earl Jenkins and David Parr

Plus Dane Housing has announced the appointment of three new board members.

Former Halton Borough Council chief executive, David Parr, community activist Earl Jenkins, and chartered accountant Suzanne Horrill, will be joining the Merseyside and Cheshire-based housing association.

The appointments follow the introduction of a new governance structure within Plus Dane earlier in the year, which created three new committees – Purpose, Foresight, and Audit and Assurance – to look more in-depth at specific aspects of the organisation’s functions. These replaced four existing committees.

Board chair, Sir Peter Fahy, said: “While these new board members share our social purpose, they bring with them a wealth of different experience and will provide a fresh perspective to our decision making.”


New promotions

Liverpool-based architects, Falconer Chester Hall, has made nine promotions as the firm continues to strengthen its team following a number of new instructions.

The 80-strong practice, which has offices in Liverpool, Manchester, and London, was recently appointed by Packaged Living to design a residential apartment scheme on Old Hall Street, Liverpool, which is currently under public consultation. Work for client, The Other House, continues on its innovative residents’ club in Covent Garden and the practice has just completed the latest addition to the luxury Liverpool hotel market, Municipal Buildings, M Gallery hotel.

The promotions are at the Liverpool and Manchester studios: Jack Farrell and Jonathan Kinnear – promoted from senior architect to associate; Emily Hickey, Ryan Jones, Tom Gregory and Andrew Anderson-Jones – promoted from architect to senior architect; Sam Tinsley – promoted from technician to senior technician; and Marta Parkinson and Rasheed Ennin – promoted from part II architectural assistant to senior designer.

Director, Quentin Keohane, said: “Promoting from within gives us immense satisfaction, we are really pleased to be able to offer the senior promotions to recognise the talent we have in our team.

“We set high standards for promotion and are committed to nurturing and developing our employees. The dedication and hard work of those being promoted this year has significantly contributed to the strengthening of our business as we continue to evolve and grow. We are also really proud of receiving consistent, positive feedback from our clients about our talented and committed staff.”