People: EY; Richborough; Hotel Indigo Coventry

Martina Neary

Martina Neary has been appointed as the UK insurance leader at EY, where she will lead general insurance, life and pensions, and speciality insurance as part of the UK financial services leadership team.

Neary, based in Solihull, will also retain her position as the financial services Midlands leader for all sectors and service lines, continuing to focus on her client portfolio.

Having joined EY in 2016 as a partner in the CFO advisory business, she assumed the role of EY’s UK financial services Midlands leader in 2020 and became the UK life and pensions insurance Leader in 2021. Before EY, she spent fifteen years at KPMG.

Neary succeeds Rodney Bonnard as the UK insurance leader. Bonnard, who led the UK insurance business since 2015, remains an integral part of EY’s UK financial services leadership team, continuing in his role as UK financial services markets leader.

Anna Anthony, UK financial services managing partner at EY, said: “I am delighted to see Martina take on the role of UK Insurance Leader. Her progression into this role reflects the instrumental contribution she has made to EY’s UK Life and Pensions business, and valued leadership of the UK Financial Services business in the Midlands. Just as it did under Rodney’s leadership, I know EY’s insurance practice will continue to play a pivotal role in shaping the future of the sector and delivering excellence for our clients.”

Neary said: “The insurance sector is at a pivotal moment. Firms are facing several economic headwinds including sustained cost and inflationary pressures, increased competition for customer assets, and at the same time, are embracing a growing appetite – again driven by customers – for digital transformation across the industry. While it’s a challenging time, it’s one filled with opportunity, and I’m thrilled to be leading this team as it continues to support our clients.”


Richborough, a land promotion company, has announced the appointment of Karuna Bhatia as people HR business partner.

In her new role, Bhatia will oversee recruitment, development, and employee relations.

Emma Fardell and Karuna Bhatia

She brings her previous experience as the human resources manager at Woodspeen Training and has held similar roles at The Better Health Generation and Hyatt Regency Birmingham.

Emma Fardell, chief finance and operations officer at Richborough, said: “Richborough is enjoying an exciting period of growth, of which our people are at the very centre. Karuna supports the individual development of our staff members while growing the team to support the needs of our clients.  She brings a professional approach, and we are delighted to
have her on the team.”

Bhatia said: “The changes at Richborough have provided me with the perfect opportunity to support the business and its journey. I’ve enjoyed my time here so far. The team is welcoming and open, it does feel like a family.”


Mark Lee, Michael Lyons and Marek Jani

Hotel Indigo Coventry has named Michael Lyons as its new general manager in anticipation of its upcoming opening early next year.

Lyons, an experienced operations director with 36 years in the industry, brings a wealth of knowledge from his roles at award-winning hotels, including director of operations for Kew Green Hotels and Director of Europe Hotel Operations, UK & Ireland for IHG.

Mark Lee joins as food and beverage manager, bringing expertise from Lovely Pubs and the NEC Groups, while Marek Jani takes on the role of head chef for Cogs Restaurant & Bar, with experience across branded hotels and boutique establishments.

Lyons said, “It is extremely exciting to be a part of Hotel Indigo Coventry and to work for such a fantastic brand. I want to make Hotel Indigo Coventry the best place to stay, drink, eat and relax in this amazing, vibrant city. I am looking forward to introducing such an interesting hotel to the industry and opening our doors to showcase all that we have achieved”.

Carl Davies-Phillips, operations director at Castlebridge Hospitality said: “We’re delighted to appoint Michael as our new General Manager at Hotel Indigo Coventry as well as the appointments of Mark and Merek. All three bring with them a wealth of experience and expertise in the hospitality industry, and I know will be a fantastic asset to the team.”


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