People: Anwyl Homes; Forbes; Urban Chain; Saturn; Optimum Finance; Somo

Anwyl Homes ; Pictured (centre) Phil Dolan who has been promoted to Chief Operating Officer with Mat Anwyl and Lucy Wasdell.

Anwyl Homes has promoted Phil Dolan to the new role of chief operating officer to support its growth plans.

Phil, who was most recently managing director of the company’s Cheshire and North Wales region, has worked in the housebuilding industry for 27 years.

He said: “I’m really excited about the new role and relishing the challenges it brings. We have always had the ambition of building 1,000 homes a year and after the challenges of the Covid pandemic and the impact of the 2022 ‘mini-budget’ on the economy and interest rates, all of which slowed the sector’s growth, we’re seeing signs of recovery in the housing market and greater certainty. There’s a general expectation that there will be a cut in interest rates soon and a possible change in government at the general election, which could put more emphasis on housing.

“We look forward to the industry getting back on track and growing the business.”

Phil’s worked in the housebuilding industry from the age of 18, initially in a sales role before moving into land at 21 and starting to climb the career ladder. 

His previous employers include Persimmon Homes, the PJ Livesey Group, Barratt Homes Manchester and Gladman Developments.

He joined Anwyl Land as managing director in 2016 and in 2018 was promoted to managing director of the Cheshire and North Wales region of the Anwyl Homes business, based in Ewloe, Flintshire.

Phil Dolan (centre) has been promoted to chief operating officer at Anwyl Homes with housing managing director Mathew Anwyl (left) and financial director Lucy Wasdell (right).


Alastair Gillespie

One of the UK’s most experienced abuse lawyers, Alastair Gillespie, has joined the Insurance team at Forbes Solicitors.

He has 30 years’ experience covering complex liability cases, often involving high profile and extremely sensitive claims of abuse and neglect and has advised a range of organisations from point of notification up to the Supreme Court, including major insurers, local authorities, education providers, sporting organisations and charities, as well as fast-growing SMEs and blue-chip companies.

In his role as a partner, Alastair will support the growth of Forbes’ private sector insurance work. He comments: “I was attracted by the well-regarded reputation of the team in which I will be working. I was also very impressed by what I had heard about the firm’s incredibly positive culture and down-to-earth people. For some time, I have wanted to contribute to a law firm in ways that engage my interests, skills and experience. My new role at Forbes provides the ideal opportunity for me to make a positive difference, externally and internally, to the growth of the firm.”




Charlie Parry

UrbanChain has appointed Charlie Parry as Chief Development Officer with a strong background in tech and renewable energy. 

He will be responsible for securing capital and structured finance for the Manchester Science Park-based company to enable the UK’s leading provider of peer-to-peer energy exchange services to scale at the appropriate pace. 

Backed by leading European investment group Eurazeo, which has €33.5bn in diversified assets under management, Charlie’s appointment at UrbanChain comes after three critical engagements in 2024.

UrbanChain Chairman Somayeh Taheri said: “As we transition into a high growth business phase UrbanChain is fostering a culture of understanding the journeys of our customers, refining our product offerings and further solidifying business operations. We will also have more technical, commercial and experienced talent onboarding across 2024 to ensure UrbanChain develops for the benefit of all its stakeholders.”


Ailson Botelho – Saturn

Digital signage consultancy, Saturn Visual Solutions has appointed project manager, Ailson Botelho – the fifth new hire for the company in recent months.

Ailson’s appointment will support Saturn as the business continues to pursue growth – further expanding its client base, which already includes high profile brands such as Seiko, Cupra, Mars and ODEON.

Previously employed at Ideagen, where he coordinated multi-disciplinary project teams to deliver software projects, Ailson has a wealth of project management knowledge. In his new role at Saturn, he will help to ensure client projects are delivered to the high standard the company is recognised for.

Manchester-based Saturn is experiencing a surge in demand for its digital signage expertise, which includes design, build, content and support services, as more sectors seek to integrate digital media displays into their customer experience curation and placemaking projects.

In addition to Ailson’s appointment, the company has made a series of recent hires across motion graphics, technical support, installation and finance/commercial.

Paul Murphy, operations director for Saturn, said, “2024 continues to be an exciting year for us. We are focused on growing the business, being responsive to the market and offering the very best digital signage consultancy to customers. Ailson’s appointment sees us adding more specialist talent to our team and we know he will help Saturn to thrive.”


Jessica Okonoboh

Invoice Finance specialist, Optimum Finance, has appointed Jessica Okonoboh as its latest Relationship Manager (RM).

She joins the team with prior experience in Invoice Finance and the wider financial services sector, holding particular skills in client services, credit management and business development.

Ant Persse, CEO of Optimum, says Jessica’s appointment enables Optimum to place priority on nurturing and developing relationships with businesses in need of support: “Optimum exists to support our amazing clients.  It is therefore pivotal that our clients get the best from the facilities we offer them.  Jessica’s appointment will ensure that our clients get the support they require from the very start of their journey with us.”   


Daniella Edwards-Davies (L) and Fran Calow (R)

Manchester’s Somo expands sales team with the appointment of two new Relationship Executives

Manchester’s property lending platform, Somo, has appointed Daniella Edwards-Davies and Fran Calow as Relationship Executives to support its growing sales team.

Fran previously worked in a sales role with audio production company PHMG and brings the ability to sell a niche product to senior people. Meanwhile, with a background in construction, Daniella has a passion for property engineering and a mind for numbers.

Both are passionate about championing women in finance – a natural fit for Somo, which offers unlimited growth and rewards for talented individuals.

Sales Director Jade Keval says: “Fran and Daniella have taken to their new roles like ducks to water. They are both natural saleswomen, confident with people, eager to learn and full of curiosity which keeps us on our toes!

“Somo has a great history of nurturing young talent and I envisage both Fran and Daniella developing strong broker relationships while thriving in our culture.”

Commenting on her new role, Fran says: “I was once told to get anywhere in life you needed to start in sales. Having watched the senior sales team at Somo I know I’m in good hands. They have been hugely supportive and the on-the-job training has taught me so much already. I’m really inspired to see how fast others have progressed within the business already.”

Commenting on her appointment, Daniella says: “I’m really enjoying my new role at Somo. The business has a great company culture. There’s real camaraderie within the team, it’s a fun environment and they really look after you. I’ve never had workplace meditation before!” 

Somo provides short-term bridging loans over predominantly residential property in the UK. It is a second-generation family of lenders that over the last ten years has lent over £313 million across more than 1500 loans, giving investors a cumulative £27.4m interest to date. The firm is proud of its record of zero capital losses, meaning all investors have received 100 per cent of their capital investment. In 2023 the firm experienced 12% growth.


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