People: BGF; Whitecroft Lighting; WeDo; Outside of Ordinary; Arbuthnot Latham; Kings Chambers

Elle Swire

BGF has strengthened its North West team with the appointment of Elle Swire as Investor.

Elle will be based at BGF’s Manchester office and will be responsible for supporting the team’s North West investments by executing transactions, building strong relationships with local businesses and supporting portfolio companies on their growth journeys.

Elle joins BGF, one of the largest and most experienced investors in the UK and Ireland, from EY, where she worked as a manager in the M&A team for nearly four years, advising on a wide range of transactions within the regional mid-market space. She has experience across a diverse range of sectors, with a particular focus on business services. Prior to EY, Elle trained as a Chartered Accountant in Deloitte’s audit practice.

Barry Jackson, Head of BGF in the North, said: “Elle is an excellent addition to our team, bringing valuable sector and market experience to our regional proposition.

“Our investor team plays a vital role in identifying exciting and entrepreneurial businesses, ripe for growth, and Elle will play an important part in supporting forward-thinking companies that are eager to scale up with the support of an experienced growth capital investor.”

2024 deals led by the North West team include the £5 million investment in Elite Dynamics – a leading provider of software solutions to the holiday park and marina industry;  a £5.6 million investment in kids and family market intelligence specialists, The Insights Family; the recent multi-million pound investment in Eleven Sports Media – a high-growth sports marketing business and a global leader in community-driven partnerships across the highest level of professional sports; and the successful exit of Manchester-based digital cinema software solutions and service provider, Unique X.

Elle commented: “I’m really looking forward to working alongside such a rich pool of entrepreneurs and founders in the region, building meaningful relationships with management teams to help them fulfil their growth ambitions.

“BGF’s unique investment model, its ability to invest throughout the economic cycle, while continuing to form long-term partnerships with exciting and dynamic companies, was a huge draw for me. I feel strongly aligned with BGF’s purpose and I’m excited about helping to contribute to the success of the region’s growth economy.”


Amanda Rushby

Commercial lighting manufacturer Whitecroft Lighting has appointed Amanda Rushby as its first Head of Strategic Partnering.

A new role within the Ashton-under-Lyne based business, she will draw on her 12 years of lighting and construction experience to develop strategic partnerships across the UK.

Strategic partnerships allow for a deepening level of understanding and collaboration between Whitecroft and its partners, including key areas such as whole-life carbon targets, waste reduction, circularity, safety, and supply chain welfare.

Amanda said, “Since joining the business in June 2023, I have been deeply impressed by Whitecroft Lighting’s environmental, social and governance (ESG) strategies, with our net-zero ambitions set by science-based targets.

“Our commitment to reducing carbon at every stage of lighting and promoting other aspects of social value has certainly resonated positively with our strategic partners, further aligning our values and reducing our impact on the planet.”

Phill Lever, National Sales Director said: “I’m certain this new role will play to her strengths, because, in a just short time, Amanda has driven all our strategic accounts forward without exception.”


James Broadhead, left, and Mark Lindsay

James Broadhead, a former chief executive of a division of Close Brothers has been appointed as the new chairman of ambitious WeDo Business Services.

He spent more than 20 years at Close Brothers Motor Finance. He joined in 2000 as operations director and later spent nearly 14 years as CEO of its UK and Ireland business.

Before joining Close Brothers, he worked at Abbey National in a number of roles,

including heading its debt recovery business.

He succeeds Hugh Fell as non-executive chairman of the WeDo group. Hugh stepped down after nearly four years in the role.

Mark Lindsay, chief executive of the WeDo group, said: “The board extends its sincere thanks to Hugh for his support of the business over the years and we all wish him well for the future.

“James joins us at an exciting and pivotal time. He has a wealth of experience of leading senior management teams in the lending sector and understands the markets in which we are active and looking to grow, such as asset finance.

“He has operated in regulated environments and has managed stakeholder expectations from shareholders and investor boards alike. His knowledge, experience and skillset will be invaluable to WeDo as we develop the business.

“We have new investors on board, and are shaping our strategy and structure to drive the growth opportunities we have identified, while at the same time ensuring our processes and rigour remain robust.

“James is an excellent fit for WeDo and he is already adding value to the board structure, board reporting packs and development of the team. He will continue to add a new level of professionalism, which he has been used to working at group level in his previous roles.

“Above all, he is excited by our vision and culture, and understands our desire to drive strong sustainable growth.”

The WeDo group has its headquarters in Greater Manchester and additional offices nationwide. It provides invoice and trade finance, asset finance, loans and start-up funding, as well as accountancy, HR, back-office and IT services.


Luke Douglas

Specialist creative agency Outside of Ordinary has welcomed Luke Douglas to the business, in the role of Senior Creative and Art Director.

He brings over 14 years’ creative and outdoor expertise to the team, from early in house roles with Decathlon and British Cycling, to cycle touring across continents, a strong folio of print and digital projects, and more recently exploring brand activation and experience marketing, his background fits a busy and growing agency well.

He co-founded Outdoor Provisions, an exciting energy food brand known for its community, collaborations and immersion into outdoor culture. His time spent developing the Second City Divide bikepacking route led to it being taken on by Rapha, becoming the now well-established Pennine Rally. He is also behind the more recent Peak Divide, a social and supported trail run which sees participants traverse 76km across the UK’s first national park over the course of two days.

He will work alongside Outside of Ordinary Creative Director, Ian Hogg, to build authentic active and outdoor brands that connect better to people and planet.  

Ian Hogg said: “We’re delighted to bring together two amazing brands and communities with a joint love for the outdoors. 

“Luke’s a hugely talented creative and art director.  He brings with him not only an undeniably authentic understanding of outdoor life and culture, but invaluable hands-on experience gained from building Outdoor Provisions and Peak Divide.  Having previously worked with us on projects for Adidas Terrex, TOG24, Ronhill, Alpkit, and Mountain Equipment it’s great he’s now joining us on a permanent basis.”

Douglas added: “Having collaborated with Outside of Ordinary many times before, I’m proud to join the team.  I’m excited to enhance the agency’s creative output and outdoor culture credentials across the existing client portfolio, as well as bring new brands and ideas into the mix.”

Founded by Ian Hogg and Chris Conlan, Outside of Ordinary builds authentic active and outdoor brands that connect better to people and planet.  Clients include Mountain Equipment, Adidas Terrex, Tog24, Ronhill, and the British Mountaineering Council.


Miles Kean

Arbuthnot Latham has appointed Miles Kean as a Director of Private Banking. He will support individuals across a range of sectors offering the high-touch, relationship-based banking that Arbuthnot Latham is known for.

He has more than 34 years’ experience within the industry specialising within the UK entrepreneur market across a broad range of sectors, with a particular focus on property.

Miles Kean joins Arbuthnot Latham from Coutts & Co where he was an Executive Director, Private Banker within the London entrepreneurs client group. He worked at the bank for 23 years, helping drive a very successful growth period, and was a key member of the Entrepreneurs Senior Management Team in London.

Helen Keen, Head of UK Private Banking, said: “We are excited to welcome Miles, the newest addition to our team. With his proven track record of empowering entrepreneurs and a deep understanding of their unique financial needs, he brings invaluable expertise to our team.

“This strategic hire underscores our commitment to providing unparalleled service and tailored solutions to our clients as we support them on their journey.”

Miles Kean, Director of Private Banking, said: “I am looking forward to joining Arbuthnot Latham and am grateful for the opportunity at this very exciting stage of their growth and innovation journey. Working alongside some inspirational colleagues, I am eager to use my expertise to deliver an exceptional service to our clients.

“Arbuthnot’s relationship-focused approach to banking aligns with my own values, and I look forward to building those relationships and contributing to the team.”


Lois Norris, Kings Chambers

Lois Norris has joined regional barristers Kings Chambers.

Called to the bar in 2017, Lois specialises in Serious Injury – including Personal Injury and Clinical Negligence – as well as acting at Inquests.

Highly experienced in matters involving brain and spinal injuries, Lois is regularly instructed in amputation cases, and has expertise with both motor vehicle deaths and deaths caused by the state of the highway.

Her work also includes assisting junior practitioners in drafting schedules in catastrophic injury cases through ‘Schedule School’ – a free resource which Lois founded.

Prior to the call, Lois was the legal assistant to Kings Chambers personal injury silk, Gerard McDermott KC.

Director of Clerking at Kings Chambers, Steve Loxton, said: “All at Kings Chambers offer a very warm welcome to Lois. Clearly, Lois has established herself as a prominent junior within the serious injury field and we are all delighted to see Lois join the team at Kings.”

Ranked as one of the country’s leading sets of civil barristers, Kings Chambers operates out of Chambers in Manchester, Birmingham, and Leeds. The set comprises more than 120 barristers including 24 King’s Counsel.


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