People on the move: BrightHR; Exchange Chambers; Begbies Traynor; Resin Surfaces; Ludlow Wealth Management; Pozzoni Academy

MANCHESTER-based HR software company BrightHR has appointed its first chief technology officer.

Alastair Brown will join as a board director as part of the firm’s plans for continued rapid expansion through the UK and internationally.

Brown, who joins from where he has held the position of director of delivery since 2014. It is a key role which will see Alastair taking a board level position to help drive forward growth plans, placing development at the very heart of every decision.

Since launching its new HR service in November 2015, BrightHR has already established itself as a fast-growing, entrepreneurial firm, employing more than 90 people at its city centre headquarters.

Led by chief executive Paul Tooth, and chief marketing officer Paul Harris, both former leaders of global accountancy software business Sage, BrightHR has attracted major talent from leading organisations from across the North West.

Tooth said: “Alastair joins the business at a very exciting time. Our product has launched to market with great success and our brand is fast gaining recognition as a major player in the HR software arena.
“With Alastair’s expertise, we feel more ambitious than ever about our expansion and development plans over the next year and beyond. We are delighted to have him join the team.

Brown said: “It’s very exciting to be coming on board as the expansion plans gather momentum. This is a key moment in the development of the business and I’m looking forward to the product offering growing greatly in scale and scope to meet and exceed the requirements of BrightHR’s customers.”


WILL Waldron QC from Exchange Chambers has been appointed joint-vice chair of the new Inns of Court College of Advocacy run by the Council of the Inns of Court (COIC).
The College of Advocacy replaces the long-established Advocacy Training Council as the leading organisation for in the development of education and training for the Bar and the wider profession.

COIC director James Wakefield said: “We are delighted to appoint Will to this new, national role.
“As an experienced advocacy trainer, he is ideally placed to work with the Circuits in developing education and training for the Bar and the wider profession.”
Will Waldron QC, who been an advocacy trainer for 20 years, said: “With the additional staffing and resources now provided by the Inns of Court, the College of Advocacy has the opportunity to make an even greater contribution to the continuing professional development of members of the Bar.


DEAN Watson has been appointed as partner in charge of the Preston office of the independent business recovery and insolvency practitioner Begbies Traynor.

Watson, a qualified accountant and licensed insolvency practitioner with over 25 years’ experience of advising businesses, joined Begbies Traynor in the North West in 1999.

In his new role he will oversee the 25-strong team, who have been based at the firm’s Preston city centre offices in Chapel Street for more than 23 years.

“I’m really pleased to be taking on the role of leading the long established Preston office,” he said. “It’s a dynamic team that’s going from strength to strength and offering the full range of Begbies Traynor’s services across a really wide and diverse geographic area.
“We work with businesses across every sector and in a variety of situations, sometimes growing and sometimes facing challenges, and we have a very broad range of expertise to call upon within our teams here in Preston, across the region and nationally.”

North West-based Begbies Traynor, which its head office in Manchester, is listed on AIM and offers corporate recovery and restructuring services, as well as corporate finance, forensic accounting and investigations services from its 37 UK offices.

The firm’s Preston office provides services for clients across the whole of Lancashire as well as throughout Cumbria to Barrow in the West and Carlisle in the North.


STOCKPORT-based Resin Surfaces Ltd has handed the top UK sales job in the firm to a consistently high performing business development manager.

Dale Banton, who has been with the specialist manufacturers of resin floor and wall finishes for three years, has taken over as National Sales Manager and will report to Jeremy Waterhouse, sales director.

He will be responsible for a team of business development managers covering England, Scotland and Wales.

Banton made his name at the firm managing new business development opportunities with customers, architects and facilities management companies.
He was also active in maintaining relationships with customers in a key account development and project management role. He forged effective links with regional and national flooring contractors and was involved in showcasing customer work to promote the RSL brand.

He also consistently delivered against sales targets and has now been rewarded.
Waterhouse said: “Dale has shown great commitment in the last three years and nurtured and developed key relationships which have undoubtedly contributed to exceptionally strong growth for the firm as a whole.

“The new national position is recognition of that fact and our belief that he can now push on to achieve a great deal more at a UK level.”

Banton said: “I have really enjoyed the last three years here and am delighted to now have the chance to move the national sales strategy forward in 2016 and beyond.

“RSL is a well-run independent manufacturing firm with over 30 years’ experience in its marketplace, and is still breaking new ground in product development and innovation. It’s great to a part of that and now being able to contribute at a more senior level.”

London-born to Jamaican parents Banton was a professional footballer for 16 years before moving into sales where he has forged a 20-year career. When not working he retains his interest in sport.
“My motto is work hard, play hard,” he said.


NORTH West-based Ludlow Wealth Management has hired financial services expert Stephen Fox as its 21st consultant.
Fox will help the wealth management group achieve its aim of reaching £1bn of client assets under advice within five years. It currently has more than £700m under management.
He will be based at Ludlow’s Preston office, helping clients in the region to achieve financial peace of mind.  
Fox joins the group following a successful career with Raymond James in his role as wealth manager and financial planner.
Sid Ludlow, chief executive, said: “Stephen’s depth of investment knowledge and client experience makes him a real asset to our group. His appointment will help us to meet growing demand as we continue to develop and expand alongside helping our clients to live their lives.”
Fox added: “I’m joining Ludlow at an exciting time but what particularly attracted me to the role is the company’s excellent reputation and its firm commitment to service and satisfaction, putting the client at the centre of everything it does.”


THREE students from Pozzoni Architecture’s Academy in Manchester are celebrating after passing their RIBA Part III examinations and becoming fully qualified architects.

Rachel Slater and Scott Bearman both joined Pozzoni to commence their Part II training and Ciara Walsh has been at the practice for seven years after taking part in a week’s work experience during her second year of university. All three will now continue with the practice as full time project architects.

Established over a decade ago, the Pozzoni Academy has enrolled many students at various points in their architectural training and has engaged with people through various mentoring and tutoring programmes.

The Academy also seeks to support school and college students by offering short term work experience placements throughout the year.


PRESTON-based training specialist Jigsaw Training is practising what it preaches with the appointment of business administration apprentice Megan Pollington.

Pollington will be responsible for a range of duties, including data entry, dealing with enquiries and administration support, while working towards a valuable business qualification. Megan Pollington

Prior to joining the training provider, she completed a hairdressing apprenticeship at Runshaw College before securing a role as a stylist, but began to develop an interest in office administration.

Without the relevant qualifications or experience to pursue a new career path, Pollington applied for the apprenticeship vacancy, which will result in her achieving an advanced apprenticeship framework in business administration.

She said: “While working as a hairdresser, I found my interest growing towards the administration side of the business rather than the creative side, which is what I’d trained in.

“The best thing about doing an apprenticeship is that you get paid to learn, while developing useful skills to help further your career. Once I’ve completed my apprenticeship, I hope to secure a full time administration role.”

Nicola Parkinson, development director at Jigsaw Training, said: “We often remind employers of the many benefits of hiring an apprentice, so by taking Megan on we are practising what we preach.

“Apprentices can help employers to bridge the skills gap, become more efficient and develop a well-rounded workforce. It’s also a perfect opportunity to access fresh talent and grow your business.”

Jigsaw Training is a total training solutions company providing the complete package from training needs analysis through to the design, administration, delivery, management and evaluation of all programmes.