People on the move: The South West appointments you should know about

Companies in the South West are continuing to hire and promote staff as business confidence gradually returns across the region.

Sectors including banking, accountancy, property and finance have all made appointments in the last few weeks.

Here, BusinessLive takes a look at some of the people moving up in their professions.

Optimum Finance

Vicky Williams has joined Optimum Finance as CFO
Vicky Williams has joined Optimum Finance as CFO

Optimum Finance has appointed Vicky Williams as new chief financial officer, tipping the balance to a women majority senior leadership team.

Following the appointment of chief technology officer Gordon McIntosh in March this year, the new member of management fills the final slot in the senior leadership team, with women holding a 60{56ef4555b1160ba09e855af6afd9aff20ca1ee0c32187e33609ae0a92f439672} majority.

Ms Williams comes to Optimum Finance from the role of group finance controller for Newport-based Propel Finance. She has more than 17 years of experience in senior finance positions with a focus on supporting high-growth organisations.

She said: “I’m incredibly excited to be joining the team at Optimum. I have been impressed by the drive and ambitions of the business, the people and the commitment from the shareholders.”

South West Business Council

Justin Olosunde has joined the South West Business Council board
Justin Olosunde has joined the South West Business Council board

The South West Business Council (SWBC) has appointed Jabo Butera, Justin Olosunde and Martin Williams to its board.

Mr Butera is the co-founder and managing director of Diversity Business Incubator, a community interest company that provides business support for people from black, Asian or other minority ethnic groups living in the South West.

Mr Olosunde has an extensive background of education and curriculum development in science, construction, technology and engineering in further education colleges within the region.

He also joined the University of Exeter as impact and partnership development manager for the Cornwall Floating Offshore Wind Accelerator Project.

Meanwhile, Mr Williams currently works for Rittal as chief financial officer, UK and Ireland. He also sits on the governing council for the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales, following his presidency of the organisation’s South West division.

The new board members will be joining the next SWBC conference on June 11. The event, being held virtually, will focus on the topic: What do our future leaders want from the G7?.

Vistry Partnerships

The West division of regeneration business Vistry Partnerships has completed a board restructure and is now targeting ambitious growth across the region, with plans to increase its turnover to £100m a year.

Kevin Trow has recently been appointed as operations director, joining a board led by Marc Thompson, Ronny Popat, development director; Georgina Lillington, commercial director; and Richard Yates, head of finance.

Mr Trow has more than 40 years of housebuilding and construction experience, with much of that focused on the delivery of affordable housing, open-market homes and multi-occupancy developments.

He will be tasked with ensuring a number of Vistry Partnerships’ latest developments get underway this year, while also overseeing the team’s technical quality and health and safety standards.

The Partnerships West team is currently bringing forward a range of major new developments in Bristol, including Blackberry Hill in Fishponds with Bristol City Council and Romney House in Lockleaze with Goram Homes, as well as new developments in South Gloucestershire and Somerset.


Nick Fairham takes over as chief executive at BDP
Nick Fairham takes over as chief executive at BDP

Bristol-based Nick Fairham has been appointed as chief executive of global architecture and engineering design practice BDP.

Mr Fairham, who joined BDP in 2006, is currently responsible for leading the Bristol, Cardiff and Middle East and North Africa studios and has led design teams on major commissions in the UK and internationally. He will take up the reins of his new position on July 1.

He has more than 25 years of experience, particularly in the field of healthcare design, focusing mainly on large scale acute hospitals.

Projects include leading the team for the Grange University Hospital, near Newport; working on the award-winning Southmead Hospital, in Bristol; and Musgrove Park Hospital, in Taunton. His team recently delivered the Nightingale facilities in Cardiff and Bristol.

Current chief executive John McManus, who has been in the post since January 2014, made the decision to step down in preparation for retirement later this year.


Senior surveyor Andrew Seale, who leads Barnsdales in Cirencester, with Louise Ballinger
Senior surveyor Andrew Seale, who leads Barnsdales in Cirencester, with Louise Ballinger

Property management company Barnsdales has appointed Louise Ballinger as its new residential block manager for the South of England.

Based at the company’s office in Cirencester, Ms Ballinger will be expanding the residential property management services provided by Barnsdales in Cirencester, the South East and the South West.

After eight years in residential property management, Ms Ballinger joins Barnsdales from one of the UK’s largest residential property management firms. Now working with a smaller portfolio of clients, she aims to deliver first class service to owners and residents.

She said: “The Barnsdales Cirencester team is much smaller than the teams I’ve been a part of previously, and that means we can give that much more personalised and dedicated service which really makes the difference.

“Barnsdales in Cirencester is a really exciting, growing team and I’ll be adding my skill set to their expertise in surveying and commercial property.”


Technical fabric manufacturer, Nonwovenn, has appointed Mark Kirkup as operations director.

Mr Kirkup, who has more than 30 years of experience, will play a leading role in supporting the company’s future growth strategy.

He joins Nonwovenn from STADA group, a private equity-backed business, where he served as vice president of UK operations from May 2019. Before that, he spent five years as general manager of UK operations at global healthcare company Fresenius Kabi.

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He has been appointed to drive the future growth of the business from an operations perspective as Nonwovenn looks to invest further in new machinery and new processes, with an aim to double its growth over the next three years.

He said: “I am delighted to be joining Nonwovenn at this exciting time, to build upon what has been an organically successful business.

“I’m looking forward to developing and delivering an operations function capable of supporting the company’s exciting growth strategy and seeing our plans come to fruition over the months and years ahead.”


Hamish McFadyen consulting partner within Deloitte Digital
Hamish McFadyen consulting partner within Deloitte Digital

Deloitte South West has announced a new partner and seven directors for 2021.

Bristol-based Hamish McFadyen has been promoted to consulting partner within Deloitte Digital. He leads some of the firm’s largest retail digital transformation engagements as well as leading several of its strategic digital technology alliances.

Mr McFadyen, from Exeter, joined the firm five years ago from Clarks where he was global vice-president of digital IT.

Seven staff were also promoted to director in the South West. The appointments are: Natalie Wells, Oliver Seal, Jane Darlington, Eddie Bell, Bash Noor, Philippa Hutton and Radhika Mahajan.

Martyn Gregory, practice senior partner for Deloitte South West, said: “The past year has been challenging for everyone and as a business it has been crucial that we have retained both talent and skills within our region to ensure continuity for both clients and our teams.

“Investing in our people is critical and we are thrilled for Hamish and all of our directors on their promotions.”

Lloyds Bank

L-R: Alison Whistance, David Beaumont, Rob Henderson, Anthony Reed and Carmen Peacock of Lloyds Bank Commercial Banking
L-R: Alison Whistance, David Beaumont, Rob Henderson, Anthony Reed and Carmen Peacock of Lloyds Bank Commercial Banking

Lloyds Bank South West has made three senior appointments to its commercial banking team.

Alison Whistance has been appointed director of regional business development for the South West. She has more than 15 years’ experience and has previously held senior roles at NatWest and alternative lender ThinCats.

She will be focused on growing the bank’s support for firms with revenue between £10m and £100m

Rob Henderson has joined as a relationship director in Bristol. After spending 15 years with HSBC, he will be supporting Lloyd’s portfolio of mid-corporate customers as they look to achieve their growth ambitions and navigate through the recovery.

Meanwhile, Carmen Peacock has been promoted to co-head of the bank’s corporate and institutional coverage division, which supports businesses with revenues of £100m and above.

David Beaumont, regional director for the South West at Lloyds Bank Commercial Banking, said: “The new appointments bring an additional senior resource and experience to our South West team, at a time when the region’s businesses need practical support as they look to overcome the challenges of the pandemic and accelerate their recovery plans.”


Sarah Williams of Wainhomes
Sarah Williams of Wainhomes

Independent housebuilder Wainhomes has appointed Sarah Williams as sales director.

She will build the sales team as the number of live sites increases from six to eight this summer, with more in the pipeline.

Ms Williams spent eight years with Linden Homes as regional sales manager and most recently worked for a regional developer before joining Wainhomes.

Wainhomes Severn Valley currently has developments at Dursley and South Cerney, in Gloucestershire; Chippenham, Swindon and Wootton Bassett, in Wiltshire; and two developments close to Bristol.

Sarah said: “It has been a real pleasure visiting all the developments and discovering that all the house types and layouts are very appealing.

“We have new developments about to launch at Harry Stoke just outside Bristol and Twigworth in Gloucestershire in the next couple of months plus some really exciting land in great locations that is coming through.

“It is this supply pipeline and the opportunity for me to play a part in helping shape the new developments that was a key part of my reasons to join Wainhomes.”

Tewkesbury Park

Andrew Nightingale is the new hotel manager of Tewkesbury Park
Andrew Nightingale is the new hotel manager of Tewkesbury Park

Andrew Nightingale will be taking up the newly created role of hotel manager at Tewkesbury Park in Gloucestershire.

Mr Nightingale has worked at hotels across the UK, including the Shire Hotels group; Fawsley Hall Hotel & Spa in Daventry, Northamptonshire as house manager; and The Old Swan & Minster Mill in Witney, Oxfordshire.

In 2016, he moved to rural Leicestershire and Kilworth House Hotel & Theatre as operations manager. Eighteen months later the draw of a promotion and his first general management position led him to Hampshire and The Montagu Arms in Beaulieu.

During his time there he delivered the hotel to four red star status with the AA, and was named General Manager of The Year 2019 by Boutique Hotelier.

Mr Nightingale joins Tewkesbury Park from the boutique Grosvenor Hotel Stockbridge, where he has been navigating the hotel through the last few months of lock-down, as well as overseeing an upgrade to the historical property.

Bristol Memorial Woodlands

Steve Begbie-Dilks at Memorial Woodlands
Steve Begbie-Dilks at Memorial Woodlands

The South West funeral venue has appointed Steve Begbie-Dilks as a new funeral director.

Mr Begbie-Dilks, 58, has 12 years’ experience in the funeral industry having spent the majority of his career in newspaper print production working for the Bristol Evening Post and Daily Mail.

Since joining another local funeral firm in 2009, he has turned his hand to everything from working in the mortuary to driving hearses.

His new role at Bristol Memorial Woodlands in Alveston will see him supporting families and making sure the funerals run smoothly.

He said: “It’s an honour to support and comfort families during such a sad and difficult time in their lives. Helping people remember and pay tribute to their loved ones is so important and we try to make the process as easy and pleasant as it can possibly be.”

Mr Begbie-Dilks joins existing Memorial Woodlands funeral director Scott Walker.

Smith & Williamson

Andrew Manning has been appointed as a partner at Smith & Williamson
Andrew Manning has been appointed as a partner at Smith & Williamson

The financial and professional services firm has appointed Andrew Manning as a partner in Bristol to lead its new risk advisory business.

Mr Manning has more than 20 years of professional services experience leading on risk assurance and controls transformation, and has worked across a range of clients and sectors.

He will be based in Smith & Williamson’s Bristol office and advise clients across the country.

Mr Manning initially worked at Deloitte, where he advised across sectors within its audit advisory and assurance practice, and then spent three years with Crowe, building a risk assurance practice.

Later he moved back to the South West to lead RSM’s risk assurance practice in the South West and Wales.

He said: “I am hugely excited to be joining Smith & Williamson. I believe the firm to be both radical and ambitious in the insight and value it seeks to deliver to its clients by an experienced team.”

Lysander Law

Claire Evans and Ben Murley have joined Lysander Law
Claire Evans and Ben Murley have joined Lysander Law

The Bristol-based legal practice has expanded its medical negligence department with the appointment of two new solicitors.

Claire Evans and Ben Murley have both joined the division, which is headed up by Lucy Sherry.

Ms Evans has 20 years’ experience as a qualified nurse and midwife, as well as 20 years’ post-qualification experience as a medical negligence solicitor. She specialises in high-value birth injury claims, surgical injury and, more recently, dental claims.

Mr Murley is a newly qualified solicitor and joins with a recent degree in Law from the University of Chester. He has four years’ experience, having trained working for both sides of medical negligence claims.

The department will guide potential Claimants though their legal rights and claim options and pursue legal action as smoothly and sensitively as possible.

Rhiannon Cambrook-Woods, managing director of Lysander Law, said: “It is unusual and greatly beneficial to a medical negligence solicitors’ firm to be able to boast that not only have all of their solicitors experience of acting in all types of medical and dental negligence claims, but that the whole team have represented both sides.”


Blackfinch has appointed James Ramsey as a director
Blackfinch has appointed James Ramsey as a director

Investment specialist Blackfinch has boosted its strategic partnerships team with the appointment of James Ramsay as director of strategic partnerships and the city.

He has more than 12 years’ experience in the tax-efficient market space, and was most recently managing Kuber, the tax-efficient investment platform where he oversaw the implementation of the new adviser support initiatives.

The role also saw him enhance the reporting, monitoring, due diligence processes and investment committee, as well as working with national networks and adviser support providers.

Before Kuber he set up Tax Efficient Procurement Services, which was the first third-party reporting company to focus on the traditionally opaque tax-efficient space – working with private banks and national networks.

He also has experience as a financial planner at Coutts and then at Strabens Hall, a growing financial advisory business that specialised in complex cases and private clients.

Alder King

John Shakespear has joined Alder King
John Shakespear has joined Alder King

Property consultancy Alder King has made another strategic appointment in its planning team. John Shakespear has joined the practice as a senior planner from Tetra Tech Planning in Bristol.

Mr Shakespear has broad private and public sector experience in the retail, commercial and advertising sectors. He has secured planning consents for a leading national supermarket chain and contributed to numerous retail, leisure and town centre study reports for multiple local authorities across the UK.

Partner Sarah Hawkins, who recently joined Alder King as head of its planning team, said: “We’re delighted to welcome John to the Alder King team.

“He is a high calibre planning professional with valuable experience and expertise who will be a great asset and help us service a growing volume of instructions across the UK.”