Mel Bulmer, Shulmans.
Nick Hill

This week’s Yorkshire appointments

Corporate law firm Shulmans has made a key new appointment that reflects the firm’s continued drive for growth and peerless levels of service.

Mel Bulmer is a qualified solicitor and joins the firm as Head of Operational Excellence, a new role for the firm. Mel trained at Hammonds and qualified into corporate pensions work, spending some time at Pinsents before joining Walker Morris in 1996, becoming an Associate only three years later.

Mel will now work closely with the shulmans’ partners and lawyers to understand how the firm operates, in order to then drive through improvements in areas such as document production, workflows and other essential processes, all underpinned with the aim of increasing efficiency and ultimately client satisfaction.

Tim Halstead, Shulmans’ managing partner, said: “Mel is a specialist in knowledge management and professional support, and her appointment reflects our determination to provide an excellent service to our clients and our drive for continuous improvement. She is a dedicated resource to help us achieve that aim.

“Having recently broken through the £10m turnover barrier, our aim is not to rest on our laurels but to build on this achievement, ensuring we provide a consistently excellent service to our clients. We are confident that, by creating this new role, and recruiting such an experienced operator in Mel, we will succeed even further.”

Mel added: “Whilst lawyers should, and mostly do, focus on providing consistent and outstanding client service, they are often hampered by inefficient processes. My role at Shulmans is to improve those processes so that our lawyers can focus on providing the best legal advice to their clients.”

Mark Powell, Britcon

The Wakefield office of building, civil engineering and structural steelwork contractor Britcon has appointed Mark Powell as Contracts Director for the UK business.

A fellow of the Chartered Institute of Building (CIOB), Powell brings more than 18 years industry experience following senior roles with businesses including Morgan Sindall and Wates Construction.

At Britcon he heads up operational activity on all projects, providing the critical link between the estimating and delivery teams. His expertise expands many sectors including education and healthcare where he has managed major projects.

Paul Clarkson, managing director at Britcon, said: “We are delighted to welcome Mark on board at a key time for strategic planning and significant growth. His wide market knowledge and detailed intellect for delivery will most certainly enhance our customer care policy and inspire the team that he leads.”

Britcon has offices in Scunthorpe and Wakefield and directly employs 80 people on its project sites across the UK. Earlier this year Britcon announced that it had significantly increased business turnover by 17% to £31.5m for 2014 and anticipates a similar performance during 2015.

In the last twelve months Britcon has secured other sizeable contracts across education, commercial, transport, infrastructure and mining sectors. It recently completed the new 5.5 million state of the art toll collection system on the Humber Bridge and also a £5m, highly complex project to provide major infrastructure to serve Glensanda Quarry.

Mark Overfield, Grant Thornton

Grant Thornton has boosted its Yorkshire audit team with the appointment of Mark Overfield as partner, based at the firm’s Leeds office.

Mark joined Grant Thornton as director in early 2014 and has led the provision of audit and related services to a wide range of businesses across the region during his 18 year career.

With a particular focus on the manufacturing, consumer business and waste sectors, his wider experience includes reporting accountant and diligence roles as well as the provision of accounting and other technical advice to both UK and overseas businesses.

Andy Wood, practice leader for Grant Thornton in Leeds, said: “This is great news both for the Yorkshire assurance team and for our clients. We were excited when Mark joined us 15 months ago and since then he has done a terrific job, using his expertise to build relationships with dynamic businesses in the region and further developing our team here.

“This is a richly deserved promotion and another example of our commitment to bringing the brightest talent into the firm and enabling our people to grow with us.”

Mark added: “I am really looking forward to continuing to build on the success of the Yorkshire audit practice in establishing ourselves as the leading adviser to fast-growing, mid tier businesses throughout the region.”

David Smith, EY

EY has appointed Director David Smith to lead its Government and Public Sector (GPS) Financial Accounting Advisory Services (FAAS) practice in the UK.

David, who will be based in the firm’s Leeds and Newcastle offices, will lead an EY team advising on financial management issues affecting local and central government, health, housing, education and transport.

With 18 years’ experience providing accounting advice in the UK and international public sector, David’s areas of specialism include financial and management reporting, government accounting, treasury management, finance training and financial performance efficiency.

David joins EY from PWC, where he headed the national Government and Public Sector Finance and Accounting Services practice.

David Smith said: “It’s a great time to join EY’s FAAS team and I look forward to working closely with colleagues in Yorkshire, the North East and right across the UK to further grow our practice by supporting public sector organisations, which are facing fresh challenges as austerity continues.

“With reduced funding, these organisations are finding alternative ways to deliver services. We have an opportunity to help them to account for these new service delivery models, helping to ensure they are viable and can be delivered on budget.”

Suzanne Robinson, partner at EY and head of FAAS in Yorkshire and the North East, commented: “By investing in our people, business and brand, we’re targeting new opportunities in FAAS right across the North following recent client wins in a number of sectors.

“David’s experience advising UK and overseas public sector organisations, his ability to build strong client relationships and his proven leadership skills will be vital in broadening our service offering, and supporting our expansion ambitions in the North and across the UK.”

Piers Brown and Marcus Child, 24 Seven Communications Ltd

Telecommunications network operator 24 Seven Communications Ltd, has made two appointments to its burgeoning team on the back of the success and publicity generated around its national roaming SIM service, Jump.

Piers Brown joins as Business Development Manager and will be responsible for generating and building relationships with business customers across the UK. He joins with a strong background in mobile communications, having previously been employed by Vodafone in a strategic relationship management role.

Marcus Child joins the business as a support engineer, growing the technology team to ensure the systems and processes all line up for 24 Seven’s growing customer base. He joins with extensive customer service experience, further bolstering 24 Seven’s reputation for providing the best customer care.

Marshall Frieze, director of new business sales, said: “We knew when the government started talking about national roaming last year that our Jump SIM could be huge. We’ve already seen high demand from sectors, which deem mobile reception ‘coverage critical’ and as such, we’re putting in place the right team to support significant demand. In the first few months after launch, we’ve seen demand from across a wide array of sectors, from automotive and engineering to healthcare. Anybody who needs to stay connected more of the time will benefit from a Jump SIM.”

David Samuel, managing director, added: “We’re delighted to be growing our team at 24 Seven. Marcus and Piers are joining during an extremely exciting time for the business, and realistically – this could be the start of something massive for the company. I can envisage many more new appointments in the coming months and years, as Jump takes off and our business reaps the benefits.”

James Laidler, CBRE

The Leeds office of CBRE has appointed James Laidler as Healthcare Valuer within its Specialist Markets team as part of the firm’s drive to expand its regional Healthcare offering.

James joins from Brunel Spire LLP (part of the Careline Lifestyles Care Home Group) with previous experience working for Christie + Co, Taylors Business Surveyors & Valuers and most recently JLL.

In his role as Associate Director, James will be responsible for developing the corporate healthcare valuation business.

Recent research undertaken by CBRE indicates that 2014 was a year of significant transactions in the Healthcare sector with some 15 WholeCo sales in the year and a variety of buyers including US REITs, private equity funds and trade buyers.

Those buyers are said to remain eager to purchase more assets and this will benefit medium and smaller care home operators within the region. Groups such as Prime Life, Elder Homes Group, LNT Group and Hadrian Healthcare are looking to expand their property portfolios through organic growth and M&A throughout Yorkshire and the North East.

Andrew Watt, senior director of Specialist Markets at CBRE Leeds, said: “Overall, the prognosis for elderly care is improving, offering small and regional operators the opportunity to expand or capitalise on inward investment in the market. This can only be positive for owners and operators in Yorkshire and the North East, and the elderly. We are pleased to be strengthening the Healthcare team with James’ new appointment as we grow our presence within this sector.”

James added: “I am delighted to be joining CBRE during an exciting period of expansion within the Healthcare sector and I look forward to working as part of the national team.”

Dan Tupling, Magna

Magna has appointed a new marketing manager as part of its corporate team to lead on commercial development and new partnerships.

Dan Tupling, who ran his own events company before moving to Magna, said: “I’m delighted to be joining Magna, and it’s a really exciting time to be coming on board.

“There is a lot of untapped potential on the commercial front and we are hoping to develop new partnerships which benefit the organisation.”

Magna, which is based in the former giant Templeborough steelworks, close to junction 34 of the M1, has conference facilities which can accommodate from five up to 5,000 people.

Dan, will also be developing seasonal events at Magna, to rival its famous Christmas parties.

As well as being a corporate venue, Magna is an award-winning visitor attraction, with more than 100 hands-on exhibits designed to explore the four elements of air, water, earth and fire. It also hosts regular school trips.

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