People: Xenia Estates; Dow Schofield Watts; Informed Solutions; Banc; Cassidy + Ashton; Livv Housing Group

Michelle Cliffe

Specialist property management firm, Xenia Estates, has made several new hires and promotions to bolster its senior team.

The Manchester-based company has appointed Michelle Cliffe as Head of Estates, with overall operational responsibility for a nationwide portfolio ranging from residential, mixed-use and specialist student accommodation.

Michelle brings more than 20 years of experience in property management having previously held senior positions at Regenda Group, Residential Management Group Limited and HLM Property Management. Most recently, she was the Head of Residential Block Management at Berkeley Shaw in Liverpool.

Benedict Lane has been promoted to Head of Compliance and risk. The Compliance team is embarking on a procurement exercise across all key areas to ensure that fully accredited and competent contractors are onboarded to provide value-for-money, high quality safety assessments for all buildings that Xenia manages.

Furthermore, to support company growth, sector positioning, and new business, Jennifer Brown has been promoted to Head of Sales and Marketing, overseeing all internal and external communications activity for the firm.

Michelle Cliffe said: “Our aim is to build on our company profile in the markets and industries where we provide an exemplary property management service. The goal this year and beyond is to enhance our national residential portfolio and increase our client base exponentially.”

Benedict Lane said: “Our strategic investment in a dedicated, in-house compliance function reflects the need to be on the front foot more than ever before when it comes to ensuring the safety of our buildings – and the people who occupy them.”

This stage of hires is the first recruitment drive of Xenia Estates since Nicola Murray and Gemma Latham were appointed as directors in 2023.


Jack Keoghan

Dow Schofield Watts (DSW) has expanded its North West corporate finance team with the appointment of Jack Keoghan. He joins from Deloitte in Liverpool where he has spent the past six years in its Audit team with his last role as a Manager working across the retail, finance and hospitality sectors.

Jack joins Daresbury-based DSW as a Corporate Finance Executive. An ACA qualified accountant, he has a BA (Hons) in modern foreign languages and speaks Spanish and Portuguese.

Jack said: “I’ve been keen to pursue my career working more with domestic and international clients to facilitate their growth and exit strategies rather than a retrospective working relationship, which tends to be the case in audit. I really enjoy listening to business owners’ stories, understanding their plans and future strategies and I hope to be able utilise my language skills in my new role.”

Callum Sellar, Director with DSW Corporate Finance, said: “Jack has a proven track record of establishing solid working relationships and I’m sure he’ll enjoy the dynamic of corporate finance. He joins the team as we continue to expand our Pandea Global network to help bring more potential buyers and opportunities to UK clients.”


Brian McIntyre

Manchester-based Informed Solutions has appointed digital technology specialist Brian McIntyre as Transformation Director.

This senior addition follows significant growth over the past three years and the expansion of its UK operations with the purchase of Bank House in Altrincham, which will see more than 50 new hires in the next 12 months.

Bringing a wealth of experience in both public and private sector settings, Brian’s previous roles have included Chief Digital and Technology Officer at Homes England, and Chief Technologist at the Ministry of Defence, while with management consultant Atkins.

Brian said: “I’m energised by the commitment to develop digital and data solutions that help make the world a smarter, safer, greener, and healthier place. I look forward to supporting the business in the next stage of its growth and continuing to harness my passion for creating solutions that have better outcomes for users, reducing barriers for people in accessing the services they need and want.”

Informed UK CEO, Seth Finegan, said: “We’re thrilled to welcome Brian to Informed. Adding his calibre to our leadership team signals our ambition to support the growth and development of our people and the sustainable scaling our business both domestically and internationally.”


David Gascoyne

Banc, the Manchester-based digital marketing agency, has appointed a new Sales & Marketing Director, David Gascoyne.

David’s appointment is the latest in a string of hires, as the agency continues to optimise its personnel and offering, following the business-wide rebrand last year.

With 22 years of industry experience, David brings with him a wealth of proficiency and savvy to the business. He has worked for an exhaustive range of enterprise-level brands across luxury fashion, retail, sports, health and personal care, property finance, and recruitment across just about every digital marketing discipline there is.

Banc’s Managing Director, Martin Cozens, welcomed David, saying: “Reporting to the board, he’ll be responsible for increasing the brand awareness of Banc and introducing us to more new business opportunities. We’re working towards ambitious targets for 2024, and we’re confident David will play a role in doubling our turnover from last year.”


Alistair Baines and Ikraam Ibrahim

North West architectural, planning and building surveying practice, Cassidy + Ashton has appointed qualified architectural technologist Ikraam Ibrahim to join its Preston team.

Ikraam qualified in 2019, gaining a first from UCLan University after studying part-time while working in the industry. Since graduating, he has held several architectural positions across the North West, developing his technical skills in a range of areas.

CEO, Alistair Baines, said: “2024 is certainly already proving to be another growth year for Cassidy + Ashton. Ikraam is a valuable addition to the Preston team, and his hire is the start of a recruitment drive to support the increasing amount of architectural consultancy work and projects where we have been appointed as the design lead.”

Ikraam said: “I come from a family of builders, my father was a builder, and I have always had an interest in building design.

“As a designer, I think it’s important to work on projects and see them come to fruition in and around the area you live. The fact that the practice does so much work in Lancashire and the wider area was a key driver in for me. I must pass at least three or four prominent buildings designed by Cassidy + Ashton every day.”


Joe Nash and Rhea Veidman

Knowsley-based housing association, Livv Housing Group, has welcomed two new graduate trainees to the business.

The Livv Graduate Programme, in collaboration with The GEM Programme, is a two-year initiative designed to provide talented graduates with the platform to explore their potential.

Rhea Veidman, 22, from Huyton, joins Livv as a graduate in Real Estate from Liverpool John Moores University. Meanwhile Joe Nash, also 22, from Kirkby, is a graduate in Business Management and Marketing from Edge Hill University.

Rhea and Joe will follow a tailored programme to develop their skills, knowledge and experience in social housing. In their first year, they will spend six months each with Livv’s Customer Insight and Development teams, before choosing their preferred area to specialise in for their second year.

Alongside this, both Rhea and Joe will work towards their Chartered Institute of Housing Level 4 qualification.

Rhea said: “With my background in Real Estate, I’ve always had an interest in property. While social housing is a completely new area for me, I was drawn to the sector because there are so many different aspects to it. The development side of this role naturally appealed, but I also liked the idea of supporting and engaging with customers.”

Joe said: “After I left university, I knew that I wanted to work for a business where what I did would matter and be meaningful. Whether it’s helping customers find solutions to their issues, or developing new houses to give people their dream home, Livv makes a real difference to real people.”

The Livv Graduate Programme is now in its second year. Rhea and Joe follow in the footsteps of Tom Howden who joined Livv in 2023 as its first graduate trainee. Tom is now in the final year of his programme, where he’s focusing on environmental sustainability.

Sharon Marsh, Executive Director of Customer Insight at Livv Housing Group, said: “We’re excited to welcome Rhea and Joe to the team as our latest graduate trainees. Through mentoring, training and giving them real-world experiences, we’ll provide them with the tools and support that they need as they navigate the early part of their careers.”

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