People on the Move: 13 key North East appointments and promotions

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Accountancy practice MHA Tait Walker has appointed Mike Williams as corporate finance manager at its Teesside office.

Mr Williams has eight years of corporate finance experience, mostly gained within the North East, and he recently spent two years working in Bermuda.

His role focusses on multimillion-pound deals in Teesside, working alongside the corporate finance team headed up by partner Steve Plaskitt and associate partner Lee Humble.

Read more: Scott Bros creates new jobs

He said: “What attracted me to MHA Tait Walker is that the firm is growing rapidly in all its services areas and already has an unrivalled presence within corporate finance. The reputation the firm has built is reflected in its client’s success and the growth of the team. I want to be a key driver of our future growth within Corporate Finance.”

The durhamlane team: L-R – Richard Lane, co-founder, Katy Sayburn, CEO, Lee Durham, co-founder, (Image: durhamlane/Crest Photography)

Sales consultancy durhamlane has appointed Katy Sayburn as its new chief executive office amid a strategy to see the firm double in size over the next three years.

The Wallsend firm, which has clients including Sage, Deloitte, PwC and Sodexo, has announced that co-founders Lee Durham and Richard Lane will move to new roles to develop key arms of the business.

Mr Durham moves to chief growth officer and Mr Lane steps away from his CEO role to become chief commercial officer, allowing them more time to focus on continued business growth.

Ms Sayburn said: “What attracted me to durhamlane was its focus on people. Lee and Richard’s commitment to their team is shown in everything from the reputation of its graduate training programme to its home-grown senior management team. They have all been with the business a long time and show such enthusiasm and continued commitment and that adds so much to this already exciting role.”

A raft of new starters for Swinburne Maddison (Image: Swinburne Maddison/The Bigger Picture Agency Ltd)

Durham law firm Swinburne Maddison LLP has expanded with seven new recruits in the last two months.

Elly Swinburne, a recently qualified solicitor, joins from a Newcastle law firm to work in the commercial property team, together with Liam Musgrave who joins as a paralegal.

In an internal appointment, Ashley Patterson, formerly a PA in the corporate and commercial team, has been appointed a trainee solicitor, while Beth Langley joins the same team as secretary.

Grace Ridsdale and Rachael Metcalfe have both been appointed as secretaries within the property team while the administrative department has created two new positions, welcoming Shubana Ali as an administrative assistant and Matt Dobson as an ICT Analyst.

Jason Knights and Neil Johnson at Finchale Group (Image: Finchale Group)

A Durham based charity has recruited key new people into top managerial roles.

Finchale Group provides life changing support, training opportunities and routes to employment. The charity, which started life in 1943 as a rehabilitation and resettlement centre for disabled wartime servicemen, continues to help ex-military personnel and veterans but has expanded and diversified to deliver high-quality employability and vocational training programmes for learners of all ages.

Neil Johnson takes the reins as interim CEO with a track record in people services sectors such as employability, educational skills and adult social care. He has previously held senior roles within these sectors including Ingeus UK, Coquet Trust and the Shaw Trust.

The new chair is Jason Knights, managing director of Blue Kangaroo Design, a Gateshead based design agency that works specifically with entertainment character licensing and toy industry clients.

The Executive Compass team of Christian Rowe, Will Richie- Moulin, Stephen Kennett, Daniel McGrath, and Evelyn Okukusie (Image: Executive Compass)

A bid writing specialist who started out as a trainee at Executive Compass five years ago has been appointed as managing director of the firm.

Christian Rowe, who spent two decades in the recruitment business before joining Executive Compass as a trainee bid writer, has also bought into the business, as a significant shareholder.

Now based in the company’s Hoults Yard offices in Newcastle, Mr Rowe oversees the preparation of bids and selection questionnaires for its clients which range from owner-managed SME businesses to multi-national companies.

He said: “I’ve taken over at a time when we are helping a lot of our clients succeed in their tender processing. We have an annual turnover of £1.4m and plan to double this within five years.”

Gentoo Group, has appointed James Mullenger as its new IT & transformation director. (Image: Gentoo Group)

Sunderland-based housing association Gentoo Group has appointed James Mullenger as its new IT and transformation director.

Mr Mullenger will reporting into the group’s executive director for corporate services, Louise Bassett, and lead the Transformation & Technology department, while also joining the group’s senior leadership team.

He joins Gentoo from Capita Consulting, where he was an associate partner and head of solutions and has more than 22 years’ experience working in regulated industries including Central Government, Local Government, MOD, health, banking and utilities.

He said: “I’m delighted to have been appointed to this role. I’m passionate about leading innovative digital change with a user centred approach which can transform the way Gentoo delivers services to tenants and I look forward to bringing these practices to the group.”

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Coreena FordChronicle and Journal business writer