People: Dains Accountants; Velo Student Living; Minster Micro Computers

John Coates

Dains Accountants proudly welcomes John Coates to its Birmingham office leadership team. Coates steps into a pivotal role, bringing a wealth of experience from his previous seven-year tenure at a Big Six firm, where he specialised in audit services. His expertise and insights are set to augment the firm’s auditing capabilities and client services.

Coates has led audit engagements for a diverse range of privately owned and private-equity-backed local and international businesses. His expertise also extends to transaction services and valuations.

Throughout his 26-year career, Coates has cultivated significant experience across various sectors, including automotive and aerospace manufacturing, retail, and healthcare. His focus also extends beyond the confines of the boardroom, as he actively engages with local communities. He has worked with a local college, contributing to the development of employment skills among learners, and has advised a Birmingham-based social enterprise.

“I am absolutely delighted to be joining the Audit team at Dains,” said Coates.

“My roles will involve leading audit engagements that go beyond the traditional scope, I will provide clients with valuable insights and advice to help them achieve their overarching goals. I am committed to delivering not just robust audits, but also ensure that my clients receive relevant insights and recommendations that help them achieve their overall goals and objectives. A large part of my role will also be to drive further growth of our audit portfolio across our chosen markets, providing our talented team with even more opportunities for technical and professional Development.”

As well as his professional services career, Coates has previously held a pivotal role as the Head of Financial Reporting at Jaguar Land Rover.

Richard McNeilly, CEO of Dains Accountants expressed the importance of Coates’ appointment: “We are thrilled to welcome John Coates to the team as Audit Partner. John’s extensive experience and strategic insights make him an invaluable addition to our team. His commitment to excellence and client-centric approach perfectly aligns with our values, reinforcing our dedication to providing top-tier financial services. With John’s complementary skills, we anticipate further growth and success in our audit practice”.


Pedro Barros

Nationwide student accommodation provider, Velo Student Living, has welcomed Pedro Barros as the company’s new Asset Manager.

Pedro arrives at the West Midlands-based provider with over 20 years of experience across the commercial and residential sectors. His work has included driving acquisitions, asset management, managing portfolios and advising development projects with a total asset value exceeding £1bn.
Career achievements for the new hire range from managing the pre-build phase of a major £500m hotel development project to supporting internationally with the land acquisition of affordable housing projects totalling 12,000 homes.

Barros will help identify and deliver on student accommodation opportunities in Velo Student Living’s target high-growth areas, which include Birmingham, Manchester, Liverpool, Leeds, and Leicester, building on the £1.2bn worth of student accommodation already handled by the business.

Bilal Ahmed, Chairman at Velo Student Living, said: “We’re delighted to welcome Pedro to Velo Student Living. He is a highly experienced professional who brings extensive experience in the development and investment sectors to the business.

“This is an exciting period for us as we look to build on our progress as the UK’s premier student accommodation provider, identifying the right opportunities in the right places to deliver exciting projects for the future.”

Pedro Barros, new Asset Manager at Velo Student Living, said: “I’m proud to be joining Velo Student Living and support the business’ next stage of growth.

“The demand for student accommodation across the UK is ever-growing as our educational pillars grow in strength. I am looking forward to working alongside our team of highly experienced professionals to help deliver quality projects that achieve this need.”


Katrina Sneyd, Susan Marlow, Catherine Clayton and Asantewah Ofori. Back (l-r) Samuel Agbeja and Sukhi Singh

A Midlands IT firm has expanded its team as it continues to grow and attract new clients.

Respected software provider Minster Micro Computers has made five new appointments across a variety of technical, infrastructure and administration specialisms following a period of growth which has seen the Kidderminster firm winning clients and focusing on new markets and products.

The Kidderminster company has welcomed developer Samuel Agbeja within its Applications and ERP Team, whilst it has also boosted its Infrastructure and Cyber Security department with the appointment of expert Sukhi Singh.

Meanwhile, experienced business analyst Asantewah Ofori also joins the firm to lead a project alongside Birmingham City University and the national innovation agency, Innovate UK.

The IT specialist has also added to its busy finance and administration team with Catherine Clayton joining as a workflow administrator and Katrina Sneyd appointed as a contracts administrator.

Susan Marlow, managing director of Minster Micro said: “We are seeing a phenomenal period of growth which has seen us taking on more projects, new clients and expanding our work with existing customers.

“This means that we can’t stand still and must bring in more experts on the internal and client-facing side. These five appointments are very much part of that and add to the strength and depth we already have in various technical and administrative departments. The feedback from clients has already been excellent which underlines just how important a milestone it is for us.

“To be adding more jobs helps underpin the local economy and brings more skills to the area. It’s a win-win situation not just for us, but for the region too.”

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