People on the move: 31 top North West appointments you may have missed


With Covid lockdowns easing and business confidence recovering, firms from across the North West have wasted no time recently in making a host of key hires.

Businesses in sectors from legal to property to marketing have begun the new financial year by announcing appointments to boost their growth.

Here are 31 from across Liverpool, Manchester and further afield that you may have missed.

Deborah Roxburgh

Live-in care provider Promedica has announced the appointment of Deborah Roxburgh as the new business development manager to drive growth in the UK market.

Ms Roxburgh will head up business development in Southport and the surrounding areas, ensuring older and vulnerable people can easily access high quality care solutions in their own homes.

She will be responsible for promoting the concept of live-in care in communities and identifying opportunities for local partnerships.

She said she recognises very well the desire for people to remain in their own homes when they need support, adding: “Working in the care sector is extremely rewarding, especially when you can bring happiness and relief to families by ensuring their loved ones are safe and well looked after. Sadly, too often, I see older and vulnerable people leaving their homes to stay in residential care facilities when they would prefer to be in their own home, for the simple reason that they or their families are unaware of alternative care options.

“Live-in care is a fantastic concept, and I’m looking forward to bringing Promedica24’s services to Southport, networking in the community, and raising awareness of live-in care as a viable and affordable alternative to residential care.”

James Stephenson

North West law firm Napthens has welcomed senior associate solicitor James Stephenson to its Liverpool office, as part of its commercial litigation team.

Having qualified in 2010, Mr Stephenson brings more than ten years’ experience in handling high value and complex litigation to the firm, having dealt with proceedings in all courts.

He has been recognised in the prestigious Legal 500 and has previously been recognised as a ‘Rising Star’ for both commercial litigation and debt recovery and listed as a next generation lawyer.

He said: “Napthens is a leading name in the North West legal sector and has truly established itself as a key player in Liverpool over the past few years. There’s a real ambition within the team to make a mark not just in the North West, but across the UK, so I’m excited to play a part in that over the coming years. The firm has a reputation for building strong, lasting relationships with its clients through quality service and that provides a solid foundation for the future.”

Danielle Blaylock

North West law firm Jackson Lees has announced the appointment of a new civil litigation solicitor to specialise in contentious probate issues.

Danielle Blaylock has joined the firm to build a team that will act for clients who are challenging or disputing wills.

With more than 13 years’ legal experience, Ms Blaylock has spent her career focusing on civil litigation, having initially started her journey in personal injury.

Now, she will help to bridge the gap between the civil litigation and wills, trusts and probate departments at Jackson Lees.

Ms Blaylock, who is based at the company’s Liverpool office in Walker House, said: “I’ll be building a team of experts to support me in helping clients challenge wills for the best outcomes for all parties, working closely with the Wills department.”


Richard Grocott, Andy Delaney & Jessica Lowe of AspinallVerdi

Property regeneration consultants AspinallVerdi have made two new appointments following growth in client numbers and a strengthening pipeline of post-pandemic work.

Founded in 2009 by chairman Atam Verdi and managing director Ben Aspinall, the independent provider of property regeneration consultancy to clients in the public and private sectors takes its workforce to 23 following the appointments at its headquarters in Leeds and regional offices in Liverpool and London.

Joining the Liverpool office are Richard Grocott and Jessica Lowe.

Mr Grocott spent four years in the Westminster office of Fylde MP Mark Menzies including working on the MP’s support for a successful bid by Fylde Council for Kirkham to secure almost £6.3m from the Government’s Future High Streets Fund and was also involved in the long-running issue of fracking near Poulton-le-Fylde.

Ms Lowe graduated from LJMU with a degree in business management and is also completing her MSc in real estate at the university.

Andy Delaney, director of the Liverpool office, said: “I’m delighted that Richard and Jess have joined the Liverpool office and I look forward to seeing them develop their careers in real estate.

“The political angle is a very important part of regeneration and planning, so Richard’s political experience is a really interesting addition to the company’s collective skill set. Jess has hit the ground running and will be a great addition to the team.”

Mat Deering

Picture by Jon Super for MC2 Picture shows Tosca Debt Capital, Mancheter, Thursday April 15, 2021. (Photo/Jon Super)

Manchester-based independent debt fund Tosca Debt Capital (TDC) has appointed Mat Deering as a partner to further develop and grow its investment portfolio.

He will be working alongside founding partners Gary Davison and Richard Williams to strengthen the firm’s presence in the market and unlock growth for UK SMEs and lower mid-market corporates.

Mr Deering said: “I am genuinely excited at the opportunity to join such a dynamic and unique business as TDC and support its continued expansion and development. TDC has significant funds available to deploy across regional businesses and as the economy recovers from the impact of COVID, I believe there will be many opportunities to support strong management teams.”

KOMI Group

Sian Broderick of KOMI

Manchester headquartered social media marketing firm KOMI is continuing to grow after appointing three new members of staff to its media and social teams.

Their arrivals follow the news a few months ago that its turnover hit £1m for the first time and that it aims to double that figure in 2021.

Sian Broderick joins as KOMI Media’s new head of editorial. She will run and oversee all aspects of the KOMI’s editorial output, joining KOMI from Global in London where she was a senior social editor running Capital FM’s social media channels.

Emily Brewster has joined as KOMI’s new social media presenter and voiceover artist, having previously worked as a PR consultant for technology brands and as a broadcast journalist for Global.

James Wiles joins as the firm’s new original producer. He started his career at Jungle Creations before moving to Electric House as a video producer for both branded and original content.

Andrew Trotman – managing director of KOMI group – said: “2021 is set to be a big year for the group so we are delighted to be bringing in these three talented creatives. Each bring fantastic experience that I know will add value to the business and our clients as we continue to drive forward and grow.”

Steven Keyes

Gifting and rewards company Appreciate Group has underlined its commitment to digital growth by appointing highly experienced insight professional, Steven Keyes, as its new head of insights.

Previously known as Park Group, the firm will benefit from his more than decade experience of providing strategic data and customer insights analysis to blue-chip firms such as The Co-op and Iceland Foods.

This latest appointment is part of the group’s “ambitious plans to lead the market” in digital gifting and rewards solutions.

Mr Keyes said: “I’m excited to be helping Appreciate Group progress leading edge data and insights to shape and evolve solutions that help bring joy to its customers.

“The company recognises the opportunity to use insights to inform its digital approach and solutions, in line with the changing needs of its customers.”

Jess Shepherd


Greater Manchester peer learning organisation Yipiyap has appointed Jess Shepherd to the role of company operations manager, six years after she joined the company as a peer tutor herself.

In her new role, which starts this summer, Ms Shepherd will be overseeing and supporting the team of four regional directors as they provide peer tutors to schools and colleges all over the UK, while seeking to expand the business into new areas and build its franchise offering.

She said: “I first joined Yipiyap after completing my A-Levels at Loreto Grammar School and when the opportunity came up to join the company straight afterwards, I jumped at the chance.

“I have loved helping to recruit and train other peer tutors and see them help more young people achieve their potential: so many of our tutors change their plans and end up working in some sort of educational role, as it’s so satisfying. Those that don’t still go on to further education or employment with an amazing new set of skills, thanks to the experience.”

Mal Drury-Rose

Mal Drury-Rose has been appointed as assistant director for rail for the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority.

Mr Drury-Rose brings with him over 30 years of leadership and knowledge of the rail industry gained during his time with the Welsh Government, Transport for Wales and rail operators.

With responsibility for the strategic leadership of the delivery of the organisation’s 30-year Long Term Rail Strategy, he will help drive key rail projects such as the new stations planned at Headbolt Lane, Baltic Triangle, upgrades at Lea Green Station plus the development of the business case for Liverpool Central.

He said: “I’m a firm believer in collaboration and engagement and this role gives me an opportunity to use my extensive rail and transport experience to work with colleagues, partners and stakeholders to help deliver the ambitious rail and transport plans the Combined Authority has in place.

“By investing wisely in the transport network, we can continue to play a pivotal role in supporting the economic growth and social connectivity of the Liverpool City Region, especially as we recover from the Covid-19 pandemic.

“Attention will remain focussed on ensuring that the customer is at the heart of those plans, making it easier for more people to use the network while providing the very best services that local people rightly deserve”.

Lauren Wilden

Manchester digital PR agency JBH has appointed Lauren Wilden as digital PR manager.

Ms Wilden joins from PR agency 10 Yetis where she spent nearly eight years, most recently as head of PR.

She said: “I feel extremely lucky and so excited to be joining the JBH family.

“After meeting with the founders and senior members of the team, I knew almost immediately that the agency would be the perfect fit for me in developing my skills and knowledge of the digital PR and SEO industries. Just a few days into my role and I already feel completely welcomed and supported by the entire agency – which is no mean feat whilst we’re all still working from home.”

Andrew Hall

Lookers plc has appointed Andrew Hall to the newly created role of group business development director.

The motor retail and aftersales service groups said the new role would further drive its growth strategy with a particular focus on electric vehicles and the company’s wider sustainability credentials.

Mr Hall said: “Having gone from starting my career in a Lookers showroom to becoming a Franchise Director, I am very proud to be given the opportunity to take up this newly created role in what will be a defining period of change and innovation for our company and the wider industry.”

“Having worked with customers and brands right across the UK for many years, I intend to use my passion and track record for creating an excellent customer experience to ensure they maximise the opportunities that the sustainability and electric vehicle revolution will bring. Whilst the future is electric, our continued growth and success will be because we ensure the needs of our customers are at its heart.”

Ian Chatburn

Build-to-rent developer Placefirst has appointed Ian Chatburn as customer experience director to support its expansion aims by developing its resident services offering and marketing strategy.

The Manchester-based developer said Mr Chatburn will further enhance, lead and develop the customer service offering, “taking it to the next level”.

Mr Chatburn has over 15 years’ experience in the property sector, having joined from Ocasa Homes where he was operations director.

He said: “I’m thrilled to be joining Placefirst at such an exciting time for the business. I’m looking forward to working with such a great team to really develop and enhance our resident services with improved technology, processes and community engagement.”

Vic Brodrick

Bulk liquid storage specialist UM Terminals has appointed an experienced commercial director.

Vic Brodrick takes up his new role at the Liverpool firm on May 1 having previously worked as a consultant with responsibility for sales strategy.

Mr Brodrick has an “extensive background” working in senior roles in the oil, aviation and shipping and logistics sectors including spells with Essar Oil, Peel Ports and Peel Airports.

He said: “I am delighted to be joining UM Terminals as Commercial Director. The business is at an exciting stage with an ambitious strategic growth plan. I have also been hugely impressed by the culture, customer-centric approach and can-do attitude of the company since I first joined as a consultant in November 2019.”

Martin Tugwell

A new leader has been appointed for the body tasked with improving transport systems across the North.

Transport for the North (TfN) has appointed Martin Tugwell as its new chief executive, following an announcement that current leader Barry White is stepping down next month.

Mr Tugwell is currently programme director at England’s Economic Heartland, which has won significant transport funding for the area around Oxford and Cambridge. He is also the current president of the Chartered Institution of Highways and Transportation.

Paul Johnson

Paul Johnson from Exchange Chambers in Manchester has been reappointed to Sport Resolutions’ panel of arbitrators and mediators for a further three years.

Sport Resolutions is an independent, not-for-profit, dispute resolution service for sport based in the United Kingdom.

Its panel of arbitrators and mediators includes many of the top legal, financial, medical, safeguarding and sport administrator professionals working in sport.

Praetura Ventures

Colin Greene has joined Praetura Ventures alongside Dominic McGregor, Catherine Barber-Brown and Mark Slade
Colin Greene has joined Praetura Ventures alongside Dominic McGregor, Catherine Barber-Brown and Mark Slade

A Manchester-based venture capital investor has hired four industry heavyweights including a former Apple executive and co-founder of Social Chain.

Praetura Ventures has appointed Colin Greene, Dominic McGregor, Catherine Barber-Brown and Mark Slade as operational partners, a new role that will see the firm bring “significant intellect, energy and commercial experience on board” to support the founders and entrepreneurs it backs.

Portfolio managing director Andy Sumner said: “When I joined the firm just over 12 months ago I was challenged to make sure our portfolio received more than just the capital we invest.

“Having spoken to the founders we back, we know it’s the constructive challenge, support and advice our team brings to the table that they truly value – so it was vital we increase our bandwidth to support an ever-increasing portfolio.

Paul Spencer

North West accountancy and business advisory firm MHA Moore and Smalley has promoted Paul Spencer to the role of partner.

Mr Spencer, who joined the firm in September 2010 after graduating from Lancaster University, was previously corporate services director, a role he had held since April 2019.

A specialist in International Financial Reporting Standards and head of the firm’s pension scheme audit team, he manages a diverse portfolio of clients across the retail and manufacturing sectors as well as advising several international groups.

He said: “I am very proud to work for a firm that is committed to developing its people. MHA Moore and Smalley has an excellent training programme and has invested heavily in this in recent years.

“I’m now looking forward to helping the next generation of talented young people reach their potential at MHA Moore and Smalley. I’m also looking forward to working with our colleagues domestically and internationally via MHA and Baker Tilly International.”

Pete Hayes

Regeneration specialist Vistry Partnerships has appointed Pete Hayes as its new land and partnerships director for the North West region.

The firm said the appointment shows its ambition to identify additional development opportunities across the North West.

It said Mr Hayes brings with him a “wealth of experience” having worked in the industry for more than 19 years. He joins from ENGIE, where he was head of land and partnerships for the North West, and he has previously held roles at Countryside and P&L Construction.

Vistry Partnerships’ divisional managing director for central and north, James Warrington, said: “The North West continues to play a central role in supporting our growth strategies and Pete’s appointment reflects our commitment to continue identifying available land which can boost the construction of homes across the region with the pace and urgency we need to deliver our Project 6000 aspirations.”

Scott Graham

Facilities management specialists Commercial Maintenance Services UK Ltd (CMS) has appointed Scott Graham to lead its new North West engineering hub.

As technical manager, he will organise the eight-strong team of engineers and ensuring all regulatory and legislative requirements are met in the delivery of its business-critical services.

The role was created as part of a reorganisation of CMS’ engineering teams to enable it to deliver a more focused and responsive approach to its clients in the North West, which includes Four Seasons Health Care and Travelodge.

He said: “It’s an exciting time to be joining CMS and this role presents a fresh challenge and an opportunity to further develop my career.

“I’m confident that my organisational skills will make the new North West hub a real success and drive CMS’ growth in the region.”

Jon Holt

KPMG UK has elected a former Manchester office senior partner as its new chief executive.

Jon Holt secured “overwhelming support” in the partners vote and will start in role immediately and serve until the end of September 2025.

Mr Holt was the Manchester office’s senior partner from 2013 to 2017 and first joined the firm in 1994.

Since then he has led several of KPMG’s largest business units and most recently held the role of head of audit overseeing 7,000 people.

Prior to this, he headed up the firm’s financial services practice.

Mr Holt said: “I’m very grateful for the support of the partnership and excited about the future for our firm.

“We are made up of over 16,000 people doing great work for our clients and in the communities where we live and work.”

Chris Capes

UK regeneration business Peel L&P has appointed Chris Capes as director of development for its Liverpool Waters project. He will take up his position in June.

Mr Capes has over 20 years’ experience working in regeneration and property development within local government, including periods with Cheshire West and Chester Councils. He is currently development team leader at Liverpool City Council, where he has worked since October 2019.

He said: “I’m thrilled to be joining Peel L&P at such an exciting time and looking forward to working with the Liverpool Waters team to build on the excellent progress made in recent years.

“The regeneration of the city’s waterfront, in line with the incredible vision for the Liverpool Waters site, is vitally important for the whole region and I look forward to driving its progress.”


Katie Eborall and Andy Garner of Grayling
Katie Eborall and Andy Garner of Grayling

Grayling has appointed Katie Eborall as head of north to bring together an integrated public relations, public affairs and creative offer.

Previously head of Grayling’s Leeds office, she will now develop the agency’s offer across the Leeds and Manchester offices, which includes a new creative hub and specialist reputation management team.

As part of these plans, Andy Garner has also joined the team in Manchester to drive Grayling’s first dedicated IGNITE hub, Grayling’s central global strategic and creative team, outside of London.

As creative director, he will work closely with Katie to develop the agency’s northern offer after a decade spent within the Engine group, most recently at MHP and Mischief.

Managing director Jonathan Curtis said: “Our northern offer continues to deliver strong growth and attract the best talent in the industry. Katie’s proven track record in Leeds and her embedded knowledge of the north makes her a formidable force.

“We’ve invested heavily and consistently in ensuring we put brilliant strategic and creative thinking at the heart of everything we do, and Andy’s appointment will ensure we can continue to do that as our client base grows, globally and locally – one of the many reasons we were named as one of PR Week’s ones to watch this year.”

Jamie Reed

Jamie Reed, RPG Chartered Financial Planners
Jamie Reed, RPG Chartered Financial Planners

Former professional footballer Jamie Reed is kicking off the next stage of his business career with RPG Chartered Financial Planners.

Mr Reed, whose professional football credentials include Wrexham, Chester, York City, Cambridge Utd and South Melbourne in Australia, has now signed up as a financial planner with the firm.

He said: “I am very happy to have joined the team at RPG Chartered Financial Planners. From my first meeting with the directors, I realised that we have a similar approach towards building a relationship and trust with clients.

“The most important thing for me is to be able to help and guide my clients through the many ups and downs that most of us will experience.”

Mr Reed will split his time between the RPG Group’s offices in Manchester and St Asaph, Denbighshire.

Steve Clarke

Leeds and Manchester-based Castlehouse Construction has strengthened its team with the appointment of a new quantity surveyor.

Steve Clarke joins the growing firm which now has more than 30 employees.

Mr Clarke joins the company from Cardinal Project Management and prior to that he was with ISG Construction where he held QS roles.

He will be responsible for subcontractor and labour-only employee management as well as project procurement and cost control.

He said: “I am excited to be joining Castlehouse, one of the region’s fastest growing construction companies. I look forward to working on a wide range of projects across the North of England.”

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