Operations director
Joe Leiserach, the new operations director at Advanced.
Rebecca Wayman

This week's North East appointments

Joe Leiserach, Advanced

Global fire systems firm Advanced has appointed Joe Leiserach to the role of operations director to support the business following a period of significant growth.

Employing around 200 staff, Advanced designs, manufactures and supplies fire alarm control panels to over 80 countries across the globe from its Newcastle headquarters.

In his new role, Joe will work alongside the senior leadership team at Advanced to deliver on the business’ objectives, uniting teams across the production line, engineering, planning and facilities, enabling improvements to quality, productivity and efficiency.

Joe joins the North East-based manufacturer from Soil Machine Dynamics Ltd where he was responsible for the management and delivery of bespoke engineering projects.

He said: “On a personal level joining Advanced at this exciting time for the organisation is a real privilege.

“With the support and expertise of the 90 strong, highly skilled team in Operations, our priority will be to maintain and enhance the control processes; delivering performance and quality of our life safety products.

“We’re tremendously fortunate to now have a state of the art manufacturing facility from where we conduct our business operations and it’s really important that this investment is utilised effectively to achieve the best possible quality and productivity.”

MHA Tait Walker

Accountancy practice MHA Tait Walker has welcomed eight new recruits to its 165-strong team as it sets sights on further growth in the region.

Following a recent rebrand which has seen the firm adopt MHA into its title, MHA Tait Walker continues to focus on growth in the region.

Recently, the firm celebrated the win of Durham Tees Valley Airport as a client, a project which will see the team work on compliance for the airport.

Amongst the new additions to the team are Hydeam Sulton who will take on the role of Senior VAT and indirect taxes manager and Oliver Williams who joins as corporate finance executive.

Hydeam added: “It’s fantastic to have joined the MHA Tait Walker team following what has already been a successful year for the firm.

“With the uncertainty of Brexit still looming, more businesses are seeking advice on VAT and indirect tax when we leave Europe and I’m looking forward to working with MHA Tait Walker clients to ensure they are well prepared.”

Alexander Franklin, Hedley Planning Services

Planning specialist Hedley Planning Services has appointed Alexander Franklin as a planner in its Hexham office.

The move will see him helping the senior team in preparing planning applications and supporting planning statements for residential and commercial clients across the region.

A student member of the RTPI studying for a Masters in urban planning at Newcastle University, Alexander brings experience of working on instructions, assisting in preparing detailed supporting statements and submissions of all documents for the application.

New work and clients are driving growth for Hedley Planning Services, with the firm currently employing six planning experts plus support staff.

Managing director Sean Hedley said: “The placement will expose Alexander to professional practice and new schools of thought.

“The more young professionals like him do this, the more they strengthen their ability to develop and grow as successful and influential planners.”

Alison Hodgson and Jessica Colling, Close Thornton Solicitors and Estate Agents

Close Thornton Solicitors and Estate Agents has appointed two new team members, one in each division of the business.   Alison Hodgson, from Newton Aycliffe, has recently joined the Estate Agents with 18 years experience in the industry in County Durham, Darlington and the surrounding areas.

Alison has had significant impact within Close Thornton’s Estate Agency, tying up a number of sales and forming relationships with vendors and clients.

Alison said: “I’m am proud and excited to have joined the Close Thornton team. I pride myself on offering an outstanding and caring service, always with a smile!”

Joining the other side of the Close Thornton business is Jessica Colling, as a conveyancing legal secretary. Originally from Skipton, where Jessica worked at a firm of solicitors, she also has experience as a fee earner and office manager for a chartered surveyor.

She added: “My last job involved so much travel which meant I wasn’t spending as much time with my children as I would like.

“I am thrilled to have this new role at Close Thornton. It’s a fantastic company to work for and means I’ll get the work/life balance right.”

Sean McNicholas, Metnor Construction Ltd

Metnor Construction Ltd has announced three senior appointments.

Sean McNicholas is now head of operations, Matthew Thomas is design manager and Ken Fiksen is mechanical and electrical building services manager.

Sean joins after 11 years with Wilmott Dixon where he was operations manager and Matthew steps up from design coordinator, having joined Metnor Construction four years ago. Both Ken and Matthew also sit on the senior management team.

Metnor Construction Ltd is one of four divisions within the Metnor Group. In 2018, it was listed in the Ward Hadaway Fastest 50 Growing Companies in the North of England. 2019 has seen further growth, with turnover for the year expected to exceed £80m.

Sean said: “I have worked in the construction industry for 22 years and have a wealth of experience under my belt, particularly in the leisure sector. I was ready for a fresh challenge and have known Chris Cant, Metnor Group CEO, personally for many years.

“I have great admiration for what he has achieved, in particular, the focus placed on culture and values - with people being at the heart of it. I felt the time was right to join Metnor Construction and I saw an opportunity to make an impact.”

Nick Cook, PwC

PwC Newcastle has appointed Nick Cook as partner.

Nick Cook will be based in the North East and has been with PwC for 19 years. He provides audit and assurance services to a portfolio of clients including private businesses, private equity backed companies and listed companies.

Nick has broad experience, having spent three years on secondment to Australia and six months on secondment in industry. He also has significant transaction experience including working on acquisitions and listings.

Jonathan Greenaway, PwC’s Newcastle office senior partner, added: “I’m delighted to welcome Nick to the team here in Newcastle. Nick brings with him a wide range of expertise to the practice spanning a number of different sectors.

“Responding to the diverse needs of our clients is vital and Nick’s appointment reflects the importance we place on delivering the best service possible to our clients across the region.”

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