People: Co-operative Bank; Beever and Struthers; BGF; Harrison Drury; TP Matrix; Harold Sharp

The Co-operative Bank has appointed Gary Delooze as chief information officer (CIO).

Expected to join the bank during April 2023, subject to regulatory approval, Gary who is currently Nationwide’s CIO, brings extensive experience as a financial services technology leader in both consulting and senior management roles, supporting strategy through to execution.

“He has developed expertise in a wide range of technologies through hands-on delivery of transformational IT strategies and operating models, enterprise architectures, technology roadmaps and change portfolios.

Prior to his six years at Nationwide, Gary also held senior roles at both Ernst & Young and PricewaterhouseCoopers, as well as leading key IT architecture delivery at Lloyds/HBOS and Barclays Bank earlier in his career.

Gary said: “I am really excited to be joining The Co-operative Bank at this time and becoming part of the incredible team that has undertaken a remarkable turnaround in recent years. As a market leader in ethical banking and sustainability, The Co-operative Bank is already showing that it is focused on the topics which continue to be important to its customers, and I believe there is a really bright future ahead, something I’m looking forward to being part of as the bank embarks on its pivotal next phase.”

Nick Slape CEO of the Manchester-based bank, said: “We are looking forward to welcoming Gary into the bank and believe he is a great fit for not only the values and ethics at the heart of our business, but also to take on the role of chief information officer. This is a critical focus area for our business as we move forward with our aims to evolve our IT infrastructure to better facilitate our growth plans.

“Gary will join our established executive team who I’m excited to lead as we continue with our strategy and ambitious plans for the future of our bank.”

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Accountants and business advisors Beever and Struthers has strengthened its specialist team dedicated to providing services to owner-managed businesses with the appointment of Helen Binns as partner.

Helen brings more than 20 years of experience managing a diverse portfolio of owner-managed businesses and small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).

She provides tailored and expert advice on all aspects of accountancy, tax and advisory to businesses in sectors including professional services, manufacturing and retail, charities and not-for-profit organisations.

Helen is also a trustee at Pendleside Hospice in Burnley, Lancashire, a registered charity where she sits on the finance committee.

Helen Binns

Joining the expanding firm from Azets, Helen will operate between the Beever and Struthers’ offices at One Express, Ancoats, Manchester and The Beehive, Shadsworth Business Park, Blackburn, Lancashire.

Helen said: “I’m joining the well respected team at Beever and Struthers at an exciting time of expansion. The firm has a strong reputation for high level client service and investment in its people and I’m delighted to be able to play a part in their future growth.

“My experience in advising SMEs, owner-managed businesses and the charitable sector will support our clients for the future, and I look forward to working with our varied client base throughout Greater Manchester and Lancashire.”

Maria Hallows, executive partner at Beever and Struthers, said: “Helen is an invaluable addition to our ever-growing team, enhancing our delivery of a joined up approach to meet the business, personal and family requirements of owner-managed businesses.

“Her experience in the charitable sector will help our clients to achieve compliance with the complexities of financial reporting, increasingly challenging regulatory duties and good governance for trustees.”

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Capital investor BGF has strengthened its position in the regional markets with the senior appointment of Jill Williams.

Jill joins BGF’s portfolio team from Mercia Asset Management, where she was deputy fund principal, private equity funds and head of ESG. She brings more than 15 years’ experience in private equity investment to the team, having previously worked at RJD Partners in London, starting her career at PwC in corporate finance.

In her previous roles, Jill has focused on the UK’s mid and lower-mid markets, working across the UK’s regions as well as a diverse range of sectors, including professional and financial services, logistics, manufacturing, digital, education and training, leisure and travel, and healthcare.

With experience as both a deal leader and portfolio company board member, she has a deep understanding of the growth investment lifecycle, from origination, execution, portfolio management and realisation, as well as the implementation of strategy into practice.

Jill Williams

At BGF, Jill will work closely with entrepreneurs and business owners across the North West and Midlands as part of the portfolio team, managing portfolio company investments, delivering and maximising value creation as a board member, and preparing portfolio companies for long term growth.

Ben Barker, head of portfolio,welcomed Jill to the team, saying: “Her experience in private equity investment, combined with her broad sector and strategic insight, means she is perfectly positioned to support BGF-backed businesses, as they look to grow in 2023 and beyond. The knowledge and value she will add to boards will be hugely important in helping North West and Midlands-based businesses realise their ambitions.”

Jill said: “BGF has created a real point of difference in the market with an unwavering drive to back ambitious entrepreneurs and business owners across a range of sectors and regions, with a patient and long term approach.

“In the current climate, there is a real opportunity to create value in portfolio businesses, and I’m looking forward to building relationships with management teams to support them on their growth journey.”

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North West law firm, Harrison Drury, has appointed experienced commercial property solicitor Rhian Sale.

Rhian joins the firm as associate solicitor and will deal with all aspects of commercial property transactions, acting for a wide range of clients including companies, investors, developers and financial institutions.

As part of the firm’s growth strategy, Rhian will also support the firm’s corporate team providing advice and support on the acquisition and sale of commercial properties, preparing commercial leases and contracts, as well as advising on lending and re-financing.

Rhian is re-joining Harrison Drury after short spell with a law firm in Manchester. Primarily based at the firm’s Preston office, she will play a vital role in supporting clients across the Preston and Lytham offices.

Simon England and Rhian Sale

Simon England, partner and head of Harrison Drury’s commercial property team, said: “Rhian is not only a highly experienced property solicitor, she’s someone who builds excellent rapport with clients and colleagues because of her commitment and the quality of the advice she provides.

“We’re delighted that she has chosen to return to Harrison Drury so quickly and will again be an asset to our clients and professional contacts as part of our busy commercial property team.”

Rhian said: “It’s great to be back and reconnect with my colleagues and clients. It is an exciting period of growth for the firm with the opening of our Lytham office and I am proud to once again be part of the team and working closely with our clients.”

Rhian originally joined the firm in 2013 and has been qualified for more than six years, having completed her law degree and postgraduate diploma in legal practice at the University of Central Lancashire.

She has spent her professional career in the North West and has extensive working knowledge of the commercial property sector across the region.

Her return brings Harrison Drury’s commercial property team to 42 working across its six offices.

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Sales specialist Michelle Greenan has returned to TP Matrix to support the Oldham-based business’s growth plans.

Michelle joins the 30-strong rail sector electronics company in a new role of business development manager. She previously served as sales and marketing manager from 2016 to 2019.

TP Matrix recorded a turnover of £2.2m during a successful 2022 and has a healthy pipeline, having already secured large contracts to overhaul and upgrade electronics modules on London Underground trains.

Michelle Greenan

It is also helping clients to manage obsolescence issues by repairing electronic units such as train door controls that are no longer supported by their manufacturers.

Managing director, Liam McDonnell, said: “Michelle will not only help to secure new business but also assist in managing the increasing volume of enquiries and in providing an even better service for our existing customers.

“Our desire for further growth is being driven by our acquisition by Amcomri Group in 2021. Amcomri specialises in developing engineering companies like ours and appointing a BDM is the next step in establishing a solid platform for expansion. Having worked with us previously, Michelle understands the industry we support, our capabilities and strengths and what our customers require. She is a great addition to the team and has already hit the ground running.”

Michelle said: “There have been a few changes since I was last here, including the acquisition by Amcomri Group, and it’s fantastic to see the company going from strength to strength.”

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Sale-based accounting firm Harold Sharp, part of the Top 19 ETL Global networ has promoted Charlotte Hinchcliffe to director.

Charlotte began her career with Harold Sharp as a graduate trainee in 2005, progressing to manager and then to partner in 2017. Charlotte’s appointment is in recognition of her professional expertise and providing excellent client care across all business sectors.

Charlotte Hinchliffe

She works exclusively with owner-managed businesses and said: “When I started as a trainee 17 years ago I never imagined ultimately becoming a director and shareholder. So much has changed in the industry since I started out, including the advent of cloud-based technology which continues to be at the heart of our business strategy.

“As a director I’m excited to continue shaping our offering, to clients and staff alike, and look forward to working alongside Heather, Andrew, Chris and Richard to deliver our ambitious growth plans.”

Managing director, Heather Cunningham, said: “We have strong family values at the core of the business and are committed to nurturing our talent for the long term. Charlotte is ambitious, dedicated and a team player – she’s a great example of our pledge to promote exceptional home-grown talent.”

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