Appointments: Specialist People Services; Nova; Fox Agency

PRIVATE equity-backed recruitment group Specialist People Services (SPS) has hired an M&A director as it targets new acquisition opportunities.

The Bradford-based business, which is backed by LDC, has appointed Neil McManus from Victoria Plum, the TPG Capital backed online bathroom retailer.
Mr McManus has ten years’ experience in corporate finance, including seven years at KPMG and, prior to that, at Barclays Capital.

His role at SPS will see him work with chief executive Chris Chidley as the group seeks to identify and acquire complementary businesses in niche recruitment and business support services both in the UK and overseas.

Mr Chidley said: “Thanks to our financial strength, along with the continued backing of LDC and our lenders, we are well-placed to make further strategic acquisitions as and when we identify them.

“With his experience of leading acquisitions, from origination to completion and integration, as both an adviser and in industry, Neil is the perfect person to work with me as we seek to acquire businesses which will add value to the SPS group.”

Mr McManus joins SPS’s senior management team alongside Paul McNulty, who was appointed group finance director last month.

In the year to the end of March 2015, SPS recorded group turnover of £116.5m, up 32% year-on-year.


LEEDS-based contracting specialist Nova Contracting has appointed Bridget Dickinson as financial xontroller as it continues to expand to meet client demand.

Ms Dickinson brings almost 20 years’ experience in audit, financial strategy, planning and team management to Nova Contracting, where she will be responsible for overseeing the accounts department.

Working with national engineering companies and major international importers, she has extensive experience in the engineering, manufacturing and retail sector.
Ms Dickinson said: “Nova has built a very strong reputation in the contracting sector, so I’m delighted to be joining the team to oversee the company’s financial planning and continued growth.”

With an annual turnover of almost £65m, Nova Contracting said it is recording more than 50% increases in registrations year on year.


A TRIO of recruits have been welcomed on board at Fox Agency.

Helen Southern, Ashlee Drake and Georgia Lambert have all joined to help the agency handle  new contracts and increased projects from current clients.

Ms Southern joins as account manager while Georgia Lambert has experience with agencies D.S Emotion and London’s M&C Saatchi PR.

Ms Drake joins from Twist Recruitment and also has experience with tourism body Welcome to Yorkshire.

Nelson McConnell, director at Leeds-based Fox Agency, said: “It’s a buoyant time at Fox, with new client account wins and a 100% increase in turnover year on year, so it’s a perfect time to bolster our client management team with three strategic appointments. All three account handlers are already experienced with great B2B marketing skills, so our current and new clients will certainly be well served.”