People: Cleveland Scott; KQ Liverpool; C&C Insurance Brokers; GHC Capital Markets; Plug Me In; Fletchers

Lauren Roberts

Warrington-based corporate finance boutique, Cleveland Scott, has appointed Lauren Roberts as Corporate Finance Director.

Lauren joins the team following two record years for the business and will help service a strong pipeline of future deals. She brings a wealth of experience and expertise in mid-market transactions to the Cleveland Scott team.

Over the past decade Lauren has completed a variety of transactions including UK and international trade sales and private equity-backed and debt-funded management buy-outs. Lauren will play a pivotal role in further enhancing the firm’s capabilities in serving clients in the region’s leading owner-managed businesses.

Tim Scott, co-founder and Managing Director, said: “Having previously worked with Lauren at Hurst we know that her extensive experience, skillset and personality aligns perfectly with our strategic objectives of providing exceptional advisory services to our clients. We believe that Lauren’s expertise will further strengthen our position as a trusted advisor in the North West corporate finance landscape and we are all excited to join forces with her again.”

Prior to joining Cleveland Scott, Lauren successfully executed numerous mid-market M&A transactions, demonstrating her ability to navigate complex deal structures and deliver value to clients. She said: “I am thrilled to be joining Cleveland Scott and to have the opportunity to work with such a talented team of professionals.”


Emily Robson

Policy and Research Manager, Emily Robson, has been appointed as Assistant Chief Executive of Knowledge Quarter Liverpool (KQ Liverpool).

Emily, who has spent the past four years supporting the strategic development and delivery of inclusive innovation programmes within the innovation district, will be working alongside Colin Sinclair, who is the Chief Executive of both KQ Liverpool and Sciontec Developments Limited.

Wirral-born, Emily graduated from the University of Liverpool in 2020 with a 1st Class Degree in History and English Language before joining KQ Liverpool as a Graduate Policy Assistant.

She said: “The strength of the knowledge economy in Liverpool and the potential that it has to positively impact people’s lives is something I am incredibly passionate about.”

Colin Sinclair said: “As we look to accelerate the work we already do around inclusive growth, business support and skills, we needed someone with laser-like focus to maintain momentum and push forward to deliver our objectives.

“With the recent announcement of the £1.26m of Liverpool City Region Life Sciences Investment Zone funding being injected into our education, skills and outreach programmes, it is the perfect time for Emily to take the next exciting step in her career.”


Paul Fielding

Growth and expansion continue apace at C&C Insurance Brokers, as Paul Fielding joins to head up the Sports Division at the Cheshire-based independent.

Paul takes up the newly created role of Sports Division Director and follows hot on the heels of Jack Sands’ appointment in February, to work with C&C’s increasing roster of professional sports clients. The pair have previously worked together at Lift Insurance, the firm set up by Paul in 2012, specialising in high net worth household, motor, property, jewellery, and career-ending injury insurance for both sports professionals and high net worth non-sports individuals.

Malcolm Cooke, MD of C&C Insurance Brokers, said: “We’re thrilled that Paul is joining us to head up this exciting new division. Everything about his approach and reputation reflects the ethos we hold in high regard here. Peace of mind must be absolute for our clients, and this understanding is woven into Paul’s DNA.”

Paul said: “Joining C&C is a fantastic opportunity for both of us to build on what I’ve already achieved within this sector. Our plans are ambitious and we’re motivated to make a difference for our clients.”


Neil Blankstone

Neil Blankstone, former boss of failed Liverpool broker, Blankstone Sington, has joined Leicester-based GHC Capital Markes as Head of Trading, with plans to expand its Investment Management, Stockbroking and Wealth Management services into Liverpool and across the North West.

In February this year Blankstone Sington was declared ‘failed’ by the FSCS (Financial Services Compensation Scheme).

The company, which was renowned for brokering the sale of shares in Everton FC, entered special administration on October 16, last year, following a Court Order under the Investment Bank Special Administration Regulations 2011. The firm said its collapse was sparked by the “loss of several experienced staff who cannot easily be replaced”.

In February special administrators, Andrew Poxon, Alex Cadwallader and Hilary Pascoe of Leonard Curtis, said they had secured all Blankstone Sington clients’ assets and safeguarded the company’s systems. Clients were assured that their assets were safe.

With headquarters in Leicester, GHC Capital Markets has expanded in recent years, through both organic growth and strategic partnerships with other professional adviser firms.

With a strong financial services sector dating back nearly 200 hundred years, GHC Capital Markets said it believes Liverpool can provide the talent pool and client base to support the next chapter of growth and development.

Paul Harris, Chairman of GHC Capital Markets, said: “Neil brings decades of experience in investment management and a thorough understanding of the region’s financial sector, business community and people. We have wanted to break into the Liverpool market for some time, recognising the rich pool of talent available in the city to help us deliver for our clients. This appointment will support our continued growth into both new geographic areas and new products and services.”

Neil Blankstone said: “GHC Capital Markets’ stockbroking and investment management services offer Institutional Excellence and quality but available for Retail Investors as well. Paul’s desire to deliver an outstanding customer experience is infectious and it’s great to be working with the team to continue this journey of growth and success.”


Kim Ratcliffe

Plug Me In, part of Manchester-based Calisen, has appointed King Ratcliffe as Managing Director, effective from June 3, 2024.

Plug Me In is an installer of smart energy infrastructure. Established as an electric vehicle (EV) charge point installer, the business has since advanced into heat pump technology, offering a range of clean energy solutions for homes and businesses.

Having held positions at Vodafone, TalkTalk, and British Gas, Kim brings a track record of transformative leadership and expansion. At Hive, she led Global Customer Operations, overseeing its growth across Europe and into the US. During her tenure as Chief Operating Officer at Water Plus and later HomeServe, Kim led transformation programmes which revolutionised its business operations in the UK and North America.

CEO, Sean Latus, said: “Plug Me In’s success story has never been just about numbers – it’s about pioneering innovative solutions that drive us towards our vision of a smarter, more sustainable future for all. With her incredible track record of innovation and expansion, Kim is the obvious choice for the Managing Director position. We’re lucky to have her, and I have no doubt that her transformative leadership will be intrinsic in Plug Me In’s future success.”

Kim Ratcliffe said: “Plug Me In already has an impressive reputation and record of significant growth. Operating in such an essential sector and with such monumental potential, I’m excited to be part of its journey. The work it does to make clean energy more accessible and available at scale is essential, both for this generation and for the generations to come.”


Mary Lomas

Highly experienced catastrophic and serious injury solicitor, Mary Lomas, who specialises in motorcycle accidents, has joined North West law firm Fletchers’ 20-strong two wheel team in its Serious Injury practice.

Mary, who has more than 20 years’ experience, joins from Thorneycroft Solicitors, where she previously held the position of Associate Director and represented clients on a wide range of cases relating to severe orthopaedic injuries, brain injuries, PTSD, chronic pain, fatality cases, as well as clinical negligence cases.

She is a keen supporter of several motorcycle safety organisations and individuals including The British Motorcycle Federation, Upright, DocBikes, Team Thorneycroft56, BelleVue Colts and Christian Iddon.

As part of the move, Fletchers has taken over Thorneycroft’s motorbike practice and sponsorship partnerships.

Mary said: “I’m excited to be working alongside an already excellent and highly regarded team in the two-wheel division.

“Thorneycroft has been my home for many years. However, my priority is to ensure that our hard work of recent years would be maintained in a ‘new home’ and I am delighted to have found this at Fletchers.”

Caroline Morris, Director of Serious Injury, said: “We’re thrilled to have appointed Mary at a time of continued growth for our two-wheel team, and we’re confident that her knowledge and experience in this area will prove invaluable for this area of practice.

“This is a great opportunity for us to extend our presence in the bike market, and I’m especially pleased that Mary has chosen to join our team, where she will help us build our ties and commitment to helping people within the motorbike community.”

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