People: AON; REPIC; Avison Young; Ardent; Sambro International; K3 Capital Group; QUEST; Brabners; Forbes Dawson

Jane Kielty

Aon, the global professional services firm, has announced Jane Kielty as UK chief executive officer, subject to regulatory approval, based in its Manchester office.

Jane will be part of the EMEA Leadership Team and report to Julie Page, CEO of EMEA.

Jane, from Manchester, joined Aon in 2005 and became the UK firm’s chief commercial officer (CCO) in 2021, progressing to be head of Commercial Risk UK in 2022.

In these positions, Jane has played a pivotal part in ensuring Aon can consistently offer best-in-class service to clients and the market. She has also served as deputy chair of the British Insurance Brokers’ Association (BIBA) and chair of the Insurance Broking Standards Committee since last year, where she has represented Aon and its clients’ interests on many key matters.

Julie Page said: “Jane’s track record of strong leadership over many years at Aon, makes her ideally positioned to lead the UK as we go further, faster on accelerating our Aon United strategy. We are in a great place to further unlock the collective potential of our capabilities to create value for our clients and I have no doubt that in this role, Jane will help our UK business continue to thrive.”


Louise Grantham

Bury-based REPIC, the Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) producer compliance scheme, has announced that, after nearly two decades of service, Louise Grantham has decided to leave her position as REPIC’s Chief Executive.

Louise, who became CEO in 2020, will formally leave her position on 31st March 2024, and will be replaced by director Graeme Milne.

She said: “It has been an honour and privilege to work with the fantastic REPIC team and our producer members in establishing this great organisation and to be a part of a sector that is making a real difference.”

Graeme Milne

REPIC Chairman, Abs Bokhari, said: “Personally and on behalf of the board of REPIC, I would like to extend our gratitude to Louise for her exceptional leadership, vision, and unwavering commitment to the success of REPIC over the last 19 years. She has played a crucial role in fostering growth, driving innovation, and championing excellence.

“As we bid farewell to Louise, I would like to extend my welcome to Graeme Milne as the incoming Chief Executive. Graeme has been an integral part of the REPIC team, serving on the REPIC board as the Strategic Business Development Director for nearly four years. With over 21 years in the waste management sector, his extensive experience, deep understanding of the WEEE industry, and proven track record of driving results makes him the ideal leader to steer REPIC on its next phase, building on Louise’s legacy.”

Graeme Milne said: “I am honoured and excited to step into this new role. Louise has been an incredible mentor, and I am fortunate to lead a hugely talented and committed team that will continue to help realise our goal to lead and shape producer responsibility.”


Stephen Cowperthwaite

Avison Young has announced the promotion of 10 team members across its Liverpool and Manchester offices, as the commercial real estate firm continues to build and invest in a team of senior leaders to support continued growth within the North West region.

In Manchester’s Building and Project Consultancy division, Paige Lambert and Hannah Cross have been promoted to Director roles, while Ramone Johnston has been promoted to Associate Director. Ed Blight also steps up to Associate Director within the Place team.

Demetri Papaioannou and Toby Bolton, who work within Manchester’s Rating and Technology team, have also been promoted to Associate Directors, alongside Ian Blackburn and Simon Gresty from the Support division.

In Liverpool, Jack Nield has been promoted to Director within the Professional Advisory division, while Remi Smith has been promoted to Associate Director in the Transactions team.

The news comes as Avison Young promotes 59 of its team members across the UK to Associate Director and Director levels, in recognition of their outstanding contributions and dedication to the growth of the firm and the delivery of its strategic objectives.

The new promotions span the firm’s offices in Birmingham, Brighton, Bristol, Edinburgh, Dublin, Glasgow, Leeds, Liverpool, London, Manchester, and Newcastle, and encompass eight key business groups, including Building and Project Consultancy, Client Solutions, Place, and Professional Advisory.

Stephen Cowperthwaite, Principal and Managing Director, Regions and Liverpool at Avison Young UK said: “The promotions exemplify strong business cases, client focus, operational excellence, and a steadfast commitment to our culture.

“Regional investment is part of Avison Young UK’s wider growth strategy, and these promotions will continue our goal of delivering real benefit to our towns and cities.”


Sharon Daly

Ardent, the Warrington-based surveying, communications and consents management practice, has appointed Sharon Daly as a non-executive director to help drive the next wave of growth.

Sharon is the chief operating officer of Steer, a global consultancy that combines commercial, economic, technical and planning expertise to support clients across the world.

She has worked with Ardent on a range of projects over the past 20 years, most recently on the Bank Station capacity upgrade for Transport for London.
As non-executive director, Sharon brings operational experience and expertise, including deep knowledge of equality, diversity and inclusion and environmental, social and corporate governance to the board.

Chief executive, Richard Caten, said: “We have made no secret that we are very ambitious when it comes to growth and that has seen us make a series of appointments and promotions over the past 18 months. Bringing in Sharon Daly as non-executive director is a big part of that.”

Sharon said: “I am really pleased to join the Ardent team as a non-executive director. I’ve seen Ardent grow and prosper over many years and I know that they provide great advice and support to their clients. I am looking forward to playing a small part in the next stage of their journey.”


Michiel Das

Bury-based toys firm, Sambro International, has appointed Michiel Das as European Managing Director as the global toy supplier looks to drive forward pan-European growth in 2024.

With more than 20 years of Commercial and Sales experience in the toy and licensing sector, Michiel joins Sambro’s Amsterdam-based team this month on a permanent basis after undertaking the role on an interim basis since November last year. As Managing Director, Michiel will assume the role of leading the organisation’s European sales operation to growth and success.

Michiel said: “This is a fascinating time to be joining Sambro as Managing Director of its European operations, as not only has the business experienced one of its most successful years to date, it is also set to embark on a significant year and we start 2024 from a strong base with key retail relationships firmly in place. I look forward to meeting our customers at Nuremberg and the opportunity to launch our AW24 ranges.

“In the short term, my immediate plans are to further strengthen our sales presence across Europe with further key recruitments and to start to work more strategically with our key customers. Sambro’s strength has always been its ability to respond quickly to customer demands – I want to ensure that we capitalise on this and bring added value to these relationships.”

Michiel’s appointment follows a series of significant internal promotions and new hires at Sambro in the final quarter of 2023, including Steve Townsley as interim Chief Financial Officer, who has been appointed for an initial six-month period, bringing with him an abundance of experience working within private equity backed businesses.

CEO, Paul Blackaby, said: “Welcoming Michiel to our Dutch office as European Managing Director is a key hire for us as we look to drive forward growth and build upon our presence across our key European markets. In his interim role, Michiel has already impressed with his knowledge of the sector, and we are confident that he will be a driving force in the growth of our European operation, helping pushing the team to new heights.”


Lynsey Gregory

Bolton-based professional services group, K3 Capital Group (K3) has appointed financial services litigation and regulatory expert, Lynsey Gregory as General Counsel.

Lynsey will join the K3 leadership team, with a group-wide remit to provide legal leadership and advice to K3 and its subsidiaries across the globe with a particular focus on the Quantuma group of companies.

Lynsey brings more than 20 years of experience in both private practice and in-house legal roles in the UK and the Middle East with a focus on litigation, regulatory, conduct and compliance matters. She joins K3 from HSBC Bank Middle East Ltd following a decade-long tenure as the Regional Head of Litigation and Regulatory Enforcement for the Middle East, North Africa and Turkey region.

K3 Capital Group Executive Chairman, John Rigby, said: “I am pleased to welcome Lynsey to the leadership team at K3. The role of General Counsel within K3 is far reaching and Lynsey will utilise the breadth and depth of her extensive legal experience as K3 continues its rapid international expansion.

“Following our acquisition by an affiliate of Sun European Partners, LLP we continue at pace to execute our aggressive growth strategy – I am looking forward to the support and direction Lynsey will provide K3 in its acquisition strategy and strategic objectives.”

Lynsey Murning-Gregory said: “The multi-jurisdictional, cross-industry reach of the role plays to my skill set and it will be a privilege to be part of the leadership team delivering the organisation’s vision.”


James Bullock

Electrical contractor and facilities management provider QUEST (Quality Electrical Supplies and Technology) has appointed an in-house health and safety lead to ensure customers receive a bespoke and responsive service.

In what is thought to be a unique offering in the industry, Burnley-based QUEST has recruited James Bullock to the role of health and safety manager.

With a background in health and safety in previous roles, James has experience of managing compliant, safety-conscious working environments and implementing thorough policies which strictly adhere to regulations.

This appointment gives QUEST customers the unique benefit of having safety inspections carried out by a trusted, in-house expert for every step of the installation process and beyond. The move is part of QUEST’s commitment to providing a quality service for every part of the customer journey.

Andrew Wood, QUEST’s managing director, said: “We are sure that our customers will see a benefit almost immediately.

“Health and safety is at the forefront of everything we do at QUEST and James will be able to give our customers the reassurance that every stage of their relationship with us will be handled with professionalism and care.”

James Bullock said: “Health and safety is a challenge that I am passionate about. I enjoy knowing that we will be able to keep people safe and offer customers a quicker and more efficient service.”


Dan Walker, left, and Nik White

Independent North West law firm Brabners has further strengthened its employment, pensions & immigration practice with the appointment of partner Dan Walker.

Dan, having previously been a partner at Knights and head of the employment team at MLP Law in Altrincham, brings more than 15 years’ experience supporting employer clients across a variety of sectors, including retail, hospitality, healthcare and pharma.

He joins Brabners’ employment, pensions & immigration practice, which is a Tier 1 Legal 500 ranked department that works with household names across the private sector – with the team’s biggest 20 clients boasting a combined turnover of £15bn and more than 45,000 employees. The team has a strong reputation for representing clients dealing with complex, high value employment related projects and disputes.

At Brabners, he will support and complement the firm’s full service offering across its four offices in Manchester, Liverpool, Leeds and Lancashire, as it continues to act for clients with regional, national and international presence.

Nik White, managing partner at Brabners, said: “The past few years have been challenging for employers as they look to deliver growth in a wage and cost inflationary environment and a demanding labour market. As businesses adapt and strategically review their models, we’re seeing greater demand for the high level expertise.

“With that in mind, 2024 is set to be a vital year for our clients, and we’re looking forward to Dan making a positive impact.”

Dan Walker said: “Having been part of the legal sector in the North West for almost two decades, I’ve seen the evolution of Brabners into a high performing purpose led firm. The employment team’s ‘tier one’ status made it a huge draw, and I’m looking forward to my clients being able to benefit from the depth of expertise across the team.”


Brona MacDougall and Andrew Marr

Manchester-based specialist tax consultancy, Forbes Dawson, has expanded into Scotland following the appointment of a new tax director.

Brona MacDougall, who has worked in tax for 15 years, will head up the firm’s Scotland operations from Lismore in the Scottish Highlands.

An author of Bloomsbury tax guide Inheritance Tax in Scotland, the self-confessed ‘tax geek’ will provide expert support in inheritance tax planning, trust and estate advisory, and international mobility, alongside bespoke personal and corporate tax planning.

Brona said she was excited about her new role with the firm, which launched in 2012: “I love a new challenge and Forbes Dawson’s reputation as a leading private client tax specialist with its technical expertise and enthusiasm for knowledge-sharing perfectly suits my desire to provide innovative solutions to complex tax issues,” she said.

Joint managing partner, Andrew Marr, said Brona’s diverse career journey provides a mix of drive, empathy and forging successful working relationships with her clients and contacts: “As a firm, we advise business owners and their families across the whole of the UK and internationally,” he said.

“Not only will Brona’s unique background and extensive tax experience help us to manage the growing demand for our advisory services, but her expertise in Scottish taxes and complex estate matters will strengthen our offering throughout the UK.

“The appointment supports the company’s ambitious growth plans, opening the opportunity to extend its presence north of the border through the additional support to Scottish clients Brona can offer.”