Zack King and Sam Rowe, firstlight
Chloe Shakesby

This week's London appointments

Zack King and Sam Rowe, firstlight

Firstlight has bolstered its corporate offering with the appointment of Zack King as associate director and the promotion of Sam Rowe to director.

Zack joins with a decade’s communications experience, re-entering the London market after two and a half years as managing director at Grayling Kenya.

During his time in Africa, he developed communications strategies and campaigns for a number of blue-chip clients, including Barclays Bank and Huawei. He also helped develop the firm’s digital offering for its client base.

Zack commented: “I am delighted to be joining the firstlight team and am looking forward to working with our clients to help them to make a difference in their many diverse and creative fields.”

Zack brings with him a strong background in crisis, issues and change management, having helped guide a number of high-profile businesses through challenging periods.

Since joining the firstlight team four years ago, Sam Rowe has been pivotal in growing the agency’s client base and its content capabilities.

Sam said: “The talent of the firstlight team, our roster of fantastic clients and the integrity of the agency and its leaders all make me proud to be a part of this business.

“We have exciting and ambitious plans for the future and I can’t wait to play a part in leading the agency into the next stage of its journey.”

Paul Davies, firstlight’s founder and managing director, added: “We are really pleased to be welcoming Zack to the firstlight family.

“We believe his fresh perspective will be invaluable for our clients.

“I’m thrilled also to announce Sam’s promotion. She has been instrumental as we’ve grown the business over the last four years.”

Justin de Ferry, mthree

Tech talent specialist, mthree, has appointed Justin de Ferry as head of client services, to cover its global operations.

Justin has more than 20 years experience in recruitment and executive search, working in both London and New York during his career, where he founded and established Boundary Talent International, before joining mthree.

Justin will manage teams across a number of mthree’s sites, including the UK, United States of America and Asia.

He will be responsible for the account development of the firm’s existing accounts, and manage senior stakeholder relationships, as well as overseeing teams across three sites.

Justin said: “I’m pleased to join mthree – it is an exciting new challenge and next step in my career.

“I’m looking forward to building on the previous successes of the brand, globally, and promoting mthree, and its service of junior and emerging talent, to an international audience of clients.

“Creating a solid and consistent approach across all mthree’s sites will help the business reach the next stage of its growth journey.”

Alex Headley, founder and CEO of mthree, added: “Justin is a fantastic addition to the team and will help the business create a joined-up approach to the work it does across its UK, American and Asia arms.

“His experience in international financial services will be invaluable to the role as we continue to provide top-tier emerging talent to the world’s best blue-chip companies.

“Justin shares our strategic vision of creating career opportunities for talented and motivated people in the world’s leading institutions.”

Paul Whitaker, IGF

Independent Growth Finance (IGF), an independent commercial finance provider, has appointed Paul Whitaker as chief risk and operating officer.

Paul joins IGF after two and a half years at Barclays bank, where he held the position of head of business transformation and delivery.

Paul has 30 years’ experience working in operations and business transformation roles in the financial services sector, including 19 years at GE Capital, before joining Barclays in 2017.

His expertise includes change and risk management, shared services, outsourcing, operational excellence, regulatory compliance and organisational optimisation.

Paul commented: “As an organisation which supports small and medium businesses by helping them to leverage the value of their assets, IGF is providing a vital lifeline to many companies right now.

“I am excited to join John and the IGF team to continue to support as many clients as possible, helping businesses to survive and hopefully thrive, through this crisis and beyond.”

John Onslow, CEO of IGF, added: “Paul brings significant experience of helping big businesses within the financial services sector to perform more efficiently and to optimise operations to ensure success.

“With our whole industry going through the biggest transformation seen in a number of years, Paul’s change and risk-management expertise will be vital.”

Edwin Moses, Labgenius

LabGenius has announced that it has appointed Dr Edwin Moses as chairman of its board of directors.

Edwin Moses was CEO of Ablynx for more than 12 years and built it from a small R&D-focused organisation into a 500-person commercial-ready business.

Edwin has more than 25 years of board level experience, both as CEO and chairman, at more than 10 European life science companies.

He commented: “I am delighted to have been appointed chairman of LabGenius.

“The company has made great progress, and this next stage of growth is a very exciting time to be joining the team.

“I look forward to collaborating with the board and LabGenius’ founder and CEO Dr James Field, who has built this company from the ground up and has an inspiring vision for its future.

“LabGenius has developed a state-of-the-art technology platform that combines machine learning, robotic automation and synthetic biology.

“With this capability, the company has an opportunity to dramatically accelerate the discovery and optimisation of protein therapeutics.

“LabGenius has the potential to develop its own drug discovery programmes as well as to work closely with pharma and biotech companies to make a very positive impact on their R&D activities and productivity.”

Dr James Field, CEO and founder of LabGenius, added: “To have a chairman of Edwin Moses’ calibre and reputation is a huge win for LabGenius.

“Edwin’s operational and leadership experience is second to none and he is the right person to take the company to the next level.

“We have been growing our team steadily and having Edwin join our board as chairman will have a tremendous impact on the company’s future growth and success.”

Julian Cox, BLM

Insurance risk and commercial law firm BLM bolsters its commercial advisory offering with the appointment of partner, Julian Cox as head of employment law in London.

Julian has held senior roles both in-house for FTSE-100 organisations as well as spending the last 15 years in City of London-based private practice.

Julian joins BLM as a partner from commercial law firm, iLaw, where he was head of practice for employment law.

Siri Siriwardene, head of commercial advisory and private wealth at BLM, commented: “Julian’s appointment signals another significant step for BLM.

“He brings considerable experience in advising insurers and other large organisations including investment banks, retailers and those involved in major national infrastructure projects.

“Considering the challenges organisations currently face due to COVID-19, Julian’s arrival is very timely for our clients, as his extensive experience reaches beyond employment law encompassing tier 1 and tier 2 immigration advice and pensions law.

“I am delighted to have someone of his calibre on board - he will be a major asset to both the BLM team and our clients both now and in and in the future.”

Julian added: “It is a privilege to join BLM as a partner and be in a position to help shape the firm’s employment capabilities to meet the complex needs of BLM’s clients at this critical time.

“I will be focused on helping our clients adapt and respond to the global pandemic and its aftermath while simultaneously readying themselves for the UK’s impending EU departure and the commercial opportunities that will follow.

“I look forward to augmenting BLM’s team of lawyers who bring the best of operational and commercial legal knowledge into play.”

Kelly Barnes and Simon Hiscox, Laka

Laka, the community-driven insurance technology company for cyclists, has announced a number of appointments to its leadership team.

Kelly Barnes is joining Laka as VP for Marketing, and currently sits on the board of directors at British Surfing, the UK’s official sporting body.

She has over 11 years’ experience in sports marketing, and was previously head of marketing at Yellow Jersey, a specialist insurer for cyclists.

Simon Hiscox joins as Laka’s growth director, and will be responsible for driving Laka’s customer-growth across Europe.

Simon previously held the same position at Seedrs, the crowdfunding platform, and was also head of marketing at direct-to-consumer brand PactCoffee.

Tobias Taupitz, Laka’s CEO and co-founder, commented: “2020 has become a hugely exciting year for Laka.

“We successfully secured equity funding, former Zurich CEO Amanda Blanc joined our board in January, and the growth of our community has been strong - we’ve been blown away by the loyalty and support of our community in this difficult time of COVID-19.

“Kelly and Simon’s expertise will help launch Laka in Europe this year, extend our product range and allow more cyclists to enjoy fair, transparent, and community-driven insurance products.”

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