People: Fractory; BCLP; KBS; iiCON; New Directions; Shield Safety

Fractory, the manufacturing technology company, launched in Estonia but now headquartered in Manchester, has appointed a Chief Operating Officer, Lone Jensen. 

Lone, who is Danish, is a computer engineer and spent six years with Startup Wise Guys, the European B2B early-stage investor, as its Managing Director and then Chief Operating Officer. She will work mostly from Manchester but will regularly be in Estonia and Finland.

She said: “Fractory is processing ever larger orders and is seeing bigger organisations coming to rely on its service, so the company structure must be diligently arranged to manage current demand as well as ongoing growth. Certain things need to be in place in a mature company and Fractory is maturing fast following recent investment and the strategic partnership that comes from it.”

Earlier this year Fractory secured £4.2m in an investment round led by a new Finnish VC fund, Kvanted, whose focus is on industrial tech companies.


Taslima Salam

Law firm Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner (BCLP) has made Taslima Salam Office Managing Partner for Manchester.

Taslima joined BCLP a year ago, arriving as the first BCLP Real Estate Finance partner in the UK outside of London. Today, she leads the Real Estate Finance regional team with lawyers,  professionals, and resources from the firm’s Manchester and Southampton offices. She has extensive experience advising corporate borrowers, developers, house builders, clearing banks, debt funds, and government institutions on all aspects of real estate finance including acquisition, investment, development and structured finance.

BCLP’s Manchester office is now home to three real estate sector partners, following the arrival of Kristina Middleton and Jessica Parry, who both joined the firm’s Manchester office in May.

“It’s been exciting to be part of the growth story for BCLP in Manchester, and I look forward to continuing our momentum and our commitment to best serve our clients and community here,” said Taslima.


Dave Gardner

Dave Gardner has been promoted to the role of Managing Director of KBS Corporate Finance.

He joined parent group K3 Capital seven years ago upon its flotation having worked alongside the Group for several years previously and was a founding member of the KBS Corporate Finance team.

In October 2023, Dave advised on the transaction which brought sizeable private equity investment from Freshstream into Project Better Energy, a Burton-upon-Trent based solar and renewable energy service provider.

“K3 has been on an incredibly successful journey over the last few years, transforming itself from a M&A focus into a comprehensive professional services adviser covering multiple disciplines,” he said.


Professor Stephen Gordon

The Infection Innovation Consortium: iiCON has welcomed Professor Stephen Gordon as Director of Experimental Medicine. This senior role will bring together global partners and help shape the consortium’s long-term infection R&D strategy.

A global respiratory specialist, he brings many years of senior experience in Clinical and Experimental Medicine to the role.  He led the prestigious and impactful Respiratory Group within Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine (LSTM) for ten years, before taking up a seven-year tenure as Director of the Malawi-Liverpool-Wellcome (MLW) Trust Clinical Research Programme, a partnership between the Kamuzu University of Health Sciences, the University of Liverpool and the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine, with funding from the Wellcome Trust.

Professor Janet Hemingway, iiCON’s founding director, said: “Stephen will play a key role within iiCON as we continue to grow and look to super-charge our translational activity – creating a super cluster for infection R&D within the North West and strengthening capability both regionally and within our global network.”


Paul Sheron

Social care provider New Directions has appointed its first Head of Learning and Development. to train its 350 staff. Before joining Crosby-based New Directions Paul Sheron worked for a training provider. 

He said New Directions’ commitment to becoming a truly employee-led learning organisation provided a rewarding challenge.  

“One of my main principles is to put learning at the heart of everything New Directions does. In such a critical sector as adult social care continuous learning and development is vital, not only to provide a safe and fulfilling service to the people we support but also to make sure our staff are empowered and informed to be the best they can be.  

“The company has a strong values-based culture, and our vision is to develop a collaborative learning culture as a core part of these values.”


Neil Fox

Shield Safety, a provider of professional services and software solutions across food safety, health and safety and fire safety, has made five senior appointments.

Neil Fox takes on the position of Fire Risk Assessor (FRA), with extensive experience in assessing and mitigating fire hazards for improved safety and compliance; Will Dolby joins as Head of Marketing;  Jamie Jordan has been appointed as Lead Software Engineer and will enhance Shield Safety’s software capabilities, including its RiskProof app; Aisling Kemp joins Shield Safety as Sales Manager with a background in selling software-based solutions B2B and working with global teams in fast-growing PE-backed companies; completing the new line-up is Sara Angulo Saez, who has been welcomed as a Graduate Auditor, armed with a BSc in Food Science and Technology, as well as an MSc in Environmental Health.


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