Chris Underhill, Force24.
Jane Imrie

This week's Yorkshire appointments

Chris Underhill, Force24

Marketing automation platform Force24 has appointed Chris Underhill as its chair.

The appointment forms part of a strategic plan to grow the business following a £4.8m investment backed by private equity firm YFM Equity Partners (YFM) in November 2020.

Chris brings a range of experience to the role, having worked in the digital marketing sector for over 20 years.

Chris founded international marketing automation software company smartFOCUS, growing it organically and via acquisitions in the UK, the US and Europe before its sale to a US venture capital firm. Chris is an experienced SaaS B2B investor, chairman and non-executive director, who works with investment groups, ambitious founders and leadership teams to grow companies in the martech, adtech, social and AI space.

Mike Clarke, investment partner at YFM and board member of Force24, commented: “The company has already established itself as a leader in marketing automation in the UK.

“Having been on the same growth journey with his own category leading marketing automation business, Chris has the skillset and experience needed to support the next stage in Force24’s development.”

Chris added: “I’m excited to be joining the Force24 business and help to accelerate its growth. Adam Oldfield and the team at Force24 have built a great product and compelling offer. Its unique functionality, service and price combination, that focuses deeply on customer success, really differentiates it in the market.

“Investing in Force24 was a very easy decision, given huge potential in the B2B space. Force24 provides real value to small and medium sized businesses which have sometimes been overlooked by marketing automation platforms.”

Kate Fisher, Leeds Building Society

Leeds Building Society has appointed Kate Fisher as head of learning and development.

Kate takes up the position after more than 20 years’ experience in human resources, talent and training operations roles.

Kate most recently held the role of senior director of talent and capability at Asda, having previously worked at WM Morrisons, Aviva, Goldman Sachs International and KPMG.

In her new role, Kate will be responsible for enabling learning and growth opportunities across the society.

Commenting on her appointment, Kate said: “I’m really excited to be joining the team at Leeds Building Society.

“The business has shown strong growth in recent years and has a consistent track record of investment in people, which is a critical component for building the Society’s future business capability.

“There is a really diverse array of professional skills within the society and I look forward to engaging with colleagues across the business and maximising opportunities for our workforce to fulfill their potential.”

Becky Hewitt, director of people at Leeds Building Society, added: “Investing in colleagues is fundamental to our business operations, whether it be supporting new starters, or providing existing colleagues with opportunities to explore additional career goals and develop new skills.

“We’re really excited Kate has joined us. She has an impressive track record across the financial and commercial sectors, and will bring some invaluable insights on how we can really get the best out of our talent pool. We wish her a very warm welcome to Leeds Building Society.”

Carolyn Byrne, Keebles LLP

Law firm Keebles LLP has appointed Carolyn Byrne as senior associate on its private client team.

Carolyn joins the firm with over 30 years’ experience as a tax and trusts advisor. She will work with Keebles’ private client team, managing the administration of clients’ trust files and giving tax advice to assist the firm’s solicitors in dealing with their clients’ queries.

As well as dealing with tax compliance, Carolyn will provide tax advice for the firm’s clients. This will involve personal taxation, trust taxation, capital gains tax, inheritance tax, business tax issues and HM Revenue & Customs’ tax Enquiries.

Carolyn commented: “I’m delighted to join Keebles as it’s a really personable firm with a great employee culture. The company also has an established portfolio of clients and a team which is used to receiving guidance on taxation matters, so I think it will be a great fit for me.

“Michele [Wightman, partner and head of the private client team] is a great team leader. She has been so supportive and has allowed me to make the role my own which makes things so much easier.”

Michele Wightman, partner and head of the private client team at Keebles, added: “I am thrilled that Carolyn has joined us. She has vast experience within her field, and it is going to be great for our solicitors to be able to call on her advice as we look to expand our private client trust offering.

“Joining a new firm remotely isn’t always easy but Carolyn has settled into the role well and I have no doubt she will be a huge asset for Keebles going forward.”

Gaby Kirwin, Jack Norman and Alfie Johnston, Fantastic Media

Integrated marketing agency Fantastic Media has announced the appointment of three new staff members.

Gaby Kirwin has joined as marketing account executive, Jack Norman comes onboard as digital marketing manager and Alfie Johnston has been appointed as creative designer.

Gaby joins Fantastic from a client-side role within events management. She had previously worked at Bewonder and GIG Retail, with clients such as ASDA and Victoria Gate Casino.

Gaby commented: “Fantastic has a reputation as an exciting and results driven agency and one I really wanted to be a part of. It was essential that my next role allowed me to play a key role in the success achieved for clients and to broaden my skills across digital marketing.”

Jack has a paid social and digital marketing background, also working client-side at The Skills Network, a training provider in the education sector.

Jack commented: “My role at Fantastic will be to drive forward our paid media and digital offering to both B2B and B2C clients using channels such as Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram and Google Ads.

“I’m really pleased to have joined the team here at Fantastic Media. I feel, despite the current climate it’s an exciting time and I’m looking forward to the opportunity to work alongside a team of experts that are built on driving results and constant improvement.”

Alfie holds a master’s degree in branded experience from Northumbria University. After graduating, he spent time working overseas before joining Banana Kick, where he was involved in a range of brand activations.

Commenting on the appointments, MD Andrew Hobson said: “The agency has remained stable in the current climate, something we are proud of and grateful for. The team have worked exceptionally hard, adapting well to remote working, and continuing to give our clients a best-in-class service.

“With many of our clients experiencing record results online, I’m delighted to announce a further step change in our digital marketing capabilities.

“A new generation of young talent bolsters our offering with exceptional skills, experience and energy…they will have a fantastic career with our agency.”

Kimberley Earl, Multitask Personnel

Recruitment consultancy Multitask Personnel has appointed Kimberley Earl as recruitment consultant.

Kimberley, who has been with the business since 2019 has moved over from a resourcing position into a role within the firm’s technical sector.

Overseeing all aspects of blue collar recruitment across building trades and M&E, Kimberley will be using her experience to add further depth to the Technical team.

Kimberley commented: “I’m delighted to join the Technical division at Multitask Personnel, working alongside the existing team to provide the extra support that is needed as the demand for technical expertise in many sectors continues to grow.

“Having started my career at Multitask supporting the technical desk in 2019, I do have previous experience of working in this division.

“Combining this knowledge with the great experience I’ve gained supporting the professional team over the past year will enable me to hit the ground running with my new role, but also provide a different outlook on best practice and the most appropriate recruitment methods for our clients. I’m really looking forward to getting started.”

Michelle Laing, operations support manager at Multitask Personne, added: “With demand increasing for technical staff throughout the UK, it was necessary for us to create a new role in our technical division to ensure that not only can we meet this demand, but we are also future proofing the business by focusing our efforts on areas where our clients need us the most.

“Our technical recruiters specialise in placing candidates into contract and permanent roles UK wide across both M&E and Building Trades, so we need to ensure we have the resources and expertise to place our quality candidates quickly, efficiently, and most importantly, ensuring they are the right fit for their employers.

Will Scales, LDC

Private equity investor LDC has appointed Will Scales as investment director.

As Investment Director, Will is responsible for identifying potential investment opportunities, leading transactions and supporting the management teams of LDC’s portfolio businesses as they pursue their growth ambitions.

Will joins the private equity firm with more than a decade of experience of working in corporate finance. Prior to LDC, he spent eight years at global investment bank Rothschild & Co, as a member of its corporate finance team.

Prior to this, Will worked in EY’s financial due diligence team for five years, qualifying as a chartered accountant.

Commenting on Will’s appointment, Dan Smith, head of LDC in Yorkshire, said: “We are very pleased to welcome Will to the team. He brings fresh experience and will be a valuable addition to LDC and the management teams we support.

“Will’s enthusiasm and expertise will support us in ensuring a sizable chunk of our nationwide commitment to invest £1.2bn over the next three years will be used to support mid-market businesses across Yorkshire .”

Will added: “LDC fully deserves its reputation as the leading mid-market private equity firm across Yorkshire.

“I am delighted to be joining the team to continue to build on its success and, being a proud Yorkshireman, am looking forward to helping the local management team grow their businesses across my home region and beyond.”

Looking to promote your product/service to SME businesses in your region? Find out how Bdaily can help →

Enjoy the read? Get Bdaily delivered.

Sign up to receive our popular Yorkshire & The Humber morning email for free.

* Occasional offers & updates from selected Bdaily partners

Our Partners

Top Ten Most Read