Movers & Shakers

Movers & Shakers

A summary of some of April's appointments, hires and promotions from across England, Scotland and Wales. 


Click for Scotland,  Wales,  the Midlands,  Yorkshire,  North East,  North West, or London & The South.

London & the South

Wright to replace Cheshire as Dong UK chief

Matthew Wright is set to replace DONG Energy’s UK country chairman Brent Cheshire as managing director when he retires in June following 13 years with the company.

Cheshire was DONG Energy’s first UK employee in 2004 and under his leadership, the business has expanded rapidly with over 850 people now working in the UK.

DONG Energy has invested around £6bn in the UK during Brent Cheshire’s tenure and is now the UK market leader in offshore wind.

Wright, who comes from a position as CEO of Southern Water, has been appointed to succeed Brent Cheshire and will become the new managing director of DONG Energy UK effective of 1 June. Wright brings 20 years of experience from the energy business.

Cheshire said: “It’s been a great honour and privilege to lead DONG Energy’s UK business for 13 amazing years. Having started up the UK operation back in 2004, I’ve seen incredible growth and change, and I’m immensely proud of where the business is standing today.

“My career started in oil and gas, so to end up retiring from the UK’s leading offshore wind business has been quite a transformation for me personally. DONG Energy has invested billions into the UK already, and the business is in great shape to continue leading the energy transformation for many years to come.

“I wish everyone at DONG Energy the very best for what I’m sure will be a hugely exciting future ahead.”

 “This is an exciting time for our UK operation with four new offshore wind farms under construction and our first-ever REnescience bioenergy plant set to open later this year as well. I’m delighted that Matthew Wright will be joining us to continue building on this success.”

Santander risk chief to join MarketInvoice

MarketInvoice, the world’s largest peer-to-peer online invoice finance marketplace, has today announced the appointment of Shaun Alexander as head of risk.

Shaun is a highly regarded senior management level professional with over 30 years’ experience in retail and corporate banking, namely at Barclays and Santander, where he led teams focussing on asset-based lending and business finance.

He began his career at Barclays in 1984 where, over a 22-year tenure, he worked across various credit risk roles responsible for the development and implementation of lending strategy and policy for corporate and SME portfolios ranging £2.5bn to £90bn. He was promoted to head of credit for SMEs in 2004 before moving to Oliver Wyman in 2007.

As head of credit there, he set up the credit underwriting function for a new business venture with Deutsche Bank lending to UK SME businesses. In 2008, Shaun joined Banco Santander becoming the head of risk for asset-based lending to manage credit risk across the invoice finance and asset finance product range.

He said: “For too long, as I have witnessed first-hand, the status quo in risk management has gone unchallenged. Much more can be done with the available technology to drive and enhance the quality and speed of risk decisions for UK businesses.

“MarketInvoice is not only challenging but driving the change in fintech to deliver a best-in-class risk function in business finance. I will look to adopt the latest technology in evolving our risk models and credit management to achieve MarketInvoice’s ambitions.”

Future Cities Catapult appoints Yates as chief executive

Future Cities Catapult has announced that Nicola Yates OBE has been appointed as chief executive officer, taking up position on 22 May.

As a leading thinker and practitioner on public service delivery, Nicola has been at the forefront of urban regeneration for the past 10 years, holding CEO positions at Bristol City Council, Hull City Council and North Shropshire District Council.

Amongst multiple successes in delivering local economic prosperity, she helped established the internationally recognised ‘Bristol is Open’ initiative in 2014, working with Nokia, NEC, and Interdigital Ltd.

During Nicola’s time at Bristol City Council, the European Commission awarded the city ‘European Green Capital 2015’, firmly positioning Bristol amongst the ranks of previous winners that includes Stockholm, Hamburg and Copenhagen. Other achievements under Nicola’s tenure include the UK City Index naming Bristol as the leading Smart City outside of London, and the city being declared the ‘Best Place to Live’ in England in 2016 by the Sunday Times.

Yates said: “I’m thrilled to be taking up the position of Chief Executive at Future Cities Catapult. It’s a massive opportunity to drive forward the UK’s Advanced Urban Services sector to make infrastructure smarter and improve how cities function.

“I look forward to working with the brilliant entrepreneurial team here to break new ground in our mission to advance urban innovation, to grow UK companies, and ultimately, to make cities better.”

Future Cities Catapult is a global centre of excellence on urban innovation. It convenes businesses, universities and city leaders to develop new products and services to tackle the rapid speed of urbanisation, reducing innovation risk and unlocking business and export opportunities.

Peter Madden OBE, the current CEO will support Nicola in the transition and will then remain with the organisation for a further 12 months in a part-time ambassadorial role, to provide continuity and help complete ongoing initiatives.

John Ludlow named as next Airmic CEO

Airmic has announced the appointment of John Ludlow as chief executive of the association, to be effective from 13 June. He has over 15 years' experience in senior risk management positions and has been a director of Airmic since 2012, including a year as senior deputy chair.

Ludlow said he was "delighted" to be offered the opportunity to build upon Airmic's success: "Airmic plays a vital and hugely influential leadership role in the risk management profession and wider insurance market and it will be an absolute honour to represent and serve its members in what are both challenging and exciting times.

"As the business world continues to evolve, so must risk and insurance management and I'm looking forward to working with Airmic's board and secretariat to champion the risk management profession with business leaders, while working with the insurance market to find new solutions for tomorrow's challenges, and helping members develop the strategic and soft skills that will maximise their influence."

Noble Foods appoints new group HR director

Noble Foods Group, the UK’s leading supplier of eggs, has announced the appointment of Louisa Hogarty as group HR director. With more than 10 years’ in various senior HR positions, Hogarty has extensive experience in leading teams that deliver strategic and effective change projects.

In her new role, Hogarty will oversee group-wide HR strategy for Noble Foods Group; which includes well-known brands such as the happy egg co, Big & Fresh and Gü Puds.

Hogarty previously held the position of HR director at Noble-owned Gü Puds, before leaving to join G4S Secure Solutions in 2014. Hogarty has also held senior HR positions at Rail Gourmet, SSP limited and Wyevale Garden Centres.

Dale Burnett, CEO of Noble Foods said: “We’re delighted to welcome back Louisa to the Noble family. As we enter a period of sustained growth, Louisa will give us the infrastructure and vision to continue the long Noble tradition of putting people first.”

Hogarty added: “Noble Foods is a fascinating and varied business that has some extremely exciting plans on the horizon – not to mention some of the UK’s most-loved brands. It’s the perfect time for me to re-join the company as it gears up for long-term growth.”


Raft of senior appointments at PKF Francis Clark

A host of senior appointments has been announced as chartered accountants and business advisers PKF Francis Clark boosts its team.

The investment in new roles comes as the firm – with annual revenue of £38m, a team of more than 600 people and 60 partners across eight offices in the South and South West – sees continued growth in key areas.

The latest appointments, taking effect as of 1 April, includes new partners and directors with the firm’s ongoing growth showing no signs of abating.

Two new partners are mergers and acquisitions (M&A) taxation expert Holly Bedford and business recovery and insolvency specialist Lucinda Coleman.

Tax specialist Holly, previously with Arthur Andersen in Reading and Chicago and also EY in London and Edinburgh, joined PKF Francis Clark to help lead a tax team in the Plymouth office and further bolster the firm’s M&A tax offering.

Licensed insolvency practitioner Lucinda, who joined the firm’s Exeter office as a graduate trainee in 2003 and is an authority on Company Voluntary Arrangements (CVAs), has been promoted to partner within the business recovery team.

Newly promoted to director are: Liam Dushynsky (VAT, Exeter); Adam Kefford (corporate tax, Exeter); Katie Skea (corporate services, Plymouth); Jemima Fox (private client tax, Plymouth); Ian Pring (business tax, Plymouth); Chris Watts (tax investigations, Torquay), Justin Gliddon (business services, Plymouth), Peter Nyland (financial planning, Poole) and Frances Kingsnorth (corporate and business services, Salisbury).

New director appointments include Julian Cramp (director of marketing), James Barrett (business services, Plymouth), Paul Stout (corporate finance, Poole), Lisa MacPherson (head of tax technical, Poole), Martin Brown (rewards tax, Taunton), Chris Harrison (corporate tax, Poole) and Daniel Sladen (corporate and business tax, Truro).


bmi regional names Martin Whittaker as new COO

Martin Whittaker has joined bmi regional as the airliners new COO from Babcock International Mission Critical Services, where he was a board level executive.

With over 35 years’ experience in the aviation industry, Martin has held leadership roles in the Airline, Aircraft Leasing and Airborne Critical Services sectors.

Whittaker said: “bmi regional is recognised as one of Europe’s leading regional airlines, providing important air links for both business and leisure travellers.

“I’m delighted to be joining the business during such an exciting period of growth, and look forward to working with the team to drive bmi regional and its network forward.”

Mark Garratt named new Harvey Nash group finance director

Harvey Nash Group, the technology recruitment and offshore services provider, has appointed Mark Garratt as its new group finance director.

Mark will join the board as an executive director on 3 April and is expected to assume the role of group finance director on 27 April 2017 upon the announcement of the company's final results for the year ended 31 January 2017.

Garratt has extensive experience as a finance director in the staffing and recruitment sector. Most recently, he was global chief financial officer of Ingeus Group, a human services outsourcer to governments in 12 countries.

Earlier in his career, Mark was chief financial officer of Cordant Group plc, a provider of recruitment and technical services, and group finance director of Reed Health Group plc, an international recruitment business in the health and care sectors. Mark has also served as group finance director of the private equity backed National Fostering Agency.

Albert Ellis, the company's chief executive, said: "This is an important period in the group’s development as we focus ever more intensely on driving profitable growth.

"I look forward to working with Mark as part of the leadership team to build on our track record of building market leading businesses and delivering strong shareholder returns."

OakNorth appoints Cristina Alba Ochoa as new CFO

OakNorth has appointed Cristina Alba Ochoa as its new chief financial officer and a member of its board. Cristina replaces Nick Price who had been interim CFO since June last year.

At GE Capital International, Cristina - who has over 20 years’ experience in senior management - led a team of experienced senior finance managers and analysts who facilitated the management of over US$100Bn worth of sales across multiple jurisdictions.

She also oversaw the creation of GE Capital’s Centre of Excellence dedicated to cost analysis and forecasting, leading to a cost base reduction of US$2bn over three years. The strong governance framework she incorporated enabled transactions to be completed at speed whilst still ensuring security - much like the debt finance transactions between OakNorth and its borrowers. 

Alba will be responsible for developing and maintaining a robust control environment across the bank’s Finance and Treasury functions, as well as leading the day-to-day financial controllership, tax compliance, Treasury, and financial planning activities. She will also lead OakNorth’s annual and multi-year budget and financial reporting process, including providing support to Rishi Khosla, the co-founder and CEO, in driving cost control and overall adherence to financial plan.

She said: “I’m very excited to be joining OakNorth – the bank has already proven its proposition in the UK market and established itself as a credible contender to the larger high-street banks. It has built its own IP around origination and credit and created an efficient business model which enabled it to break even in just 11 months. I look forward to joining the team and helping to lead the bank in its ongoing success.”

SCH appoints new deputy operations director

Southampton Cargo Handling (SCH) has strengthened its operations management in the Port of Southampton with the addition of Paul Prince to its team.

Prince will become deputy operations director after joining from Associated British Ports (ABP) where he was latterly stevedoring manager in Southampton.

He joins SCH as the company continues to build its portfolio of ro-ro and cruise clients in the port, having handled a record volume of ro-ro units last year. SCH is already on course to handle another record volume in 2017 after a busy start in the first quarter.

Prince started his career with former Southampton stevedores Berkeley Handling, combining his early operations career with spells in the company’s accounts function. When Berkeley was sold to ABP subsidiary Amports in 2000, he continued his career in port operations, spending 16 years focused primarily on managing the handling of both short-sea and deep-sea ro-ro cargoes.

He said: “This is a great time to join SCH with the company on an upward curve. Things are getting busier and there’s the potential to win more business, both in ro-ro and cruise, using the combination of our core workforce and agency labour.”


Mott MacDonald appoints Andy Preece as sports business director

Mott MacDonald has appointed Andy Preece as a director in its sports business. He will be responsible for growing the consultancy’s sports advisory business globally in areas such as planning for venues and major sporting events.

James Middling, Mott MacDonald’s global head of sport and events, said: “We are delighted to welcome Andy to our sport and events team. He brings a wealth of experience across the sports sector, while his specialist skills in sports economics will be a great fit into our revenue based design service, helping clubs and venue owners to be more successful.”