People: Mercia Technologies; Godwin Developments; Birmingham City Council

Bill Yost, Mercia Technologies

Investment group Mercia Technologies has appointed materials specialist Bill Yost as investment manager.

Yost was head of the Technology Innovation Management team at PA Consulting and will join Mercia’s electronics, materials, manufacturing and engineering investment team at its Henley-in-Arden headquarters.

Dr Mark Volanthen, who leads that team, said: “His blend of technical knowledge and commercial expertise is ideally suited to assess new technologies, identify high growth businesses and work with them to help them scale and grow.”

Yost has more than 20 years’ experience of leading successful early stage technology businesses and consulting to a wide range of technology companies.

He added: “Having founded and led start-ups myself, I have lived many of the challenges faced by early stage businesses and hope to draw on this experience to identify and support the next generation of materials and hardware companies.”



Michael Brough, Godwin Developments

Godwin Developments and its fund raising and investment arm, Godwin Capital, have made two key appointments as the group accelerates its expansion plans for 2019.

Michael Brough has joined Godwin Developments as a member of the property board. He has worked for the Government’s Valuation Office, DTZ and GVA Grimley for ten years as partner in charge of residential and mixed use development until his appointment at King Sturge as partner for the Central region. He was latterly responsible for residential development in both Jones Lang LaSalle’s Birmingham and Nottingham offices.

Patrick Tidnam has been appointed commercial director at Godwin Capital. He brings to the role nine years working as an investment consultant providing capital funding solutions for high growth companies.

Richard Johnston, group chief operating officer, said: “Both Michael and Patrick have impressive pedigrees and are well known in property development and capital finance circles.

“They will play key roles in driving Godwin’s continuing growth in 2019.”



Tim O’Neill


The deputy chief executive at Rutland County Council Dr Tim O’Neill is to join Birmingham City Council as director for education and skills.

He will join in the new year, when he will take over from the current acting director, Anne Ainsworth. O’Neill will also be the statutory director of children’s services at the council.

Dawn Baxendale, chief executive of Birmingham City Council, said: “This is a challenging time for the city council as we continue to drive through changes and improvements to services, and I look forward to working with him. I am grateful to Anne Ainsworth for her hard work and dedication while filling the acting role.”

O’Neill has worked in local government across the East Midlands since 2001.

He said: “There are some big challenges ahead and I’m confident that by working closely with our key partners such as schools and health, and by listening to our amazing children and young people we can achieve the council’s vision for Birmingham.”