Chloe Shakesby

This week's London appointments

Talal Malghani, ThinCats

Alternative finance provider ThinCats has announced the hire of Talal Malghani for the role of director of corporate development.

Talal joins from the NatWest Markets FIG Advisory Team, where he spent three years covering the UK and European Specialist Lending Sector.

The role will involve ensuring stable and diverse funding sources including public market securitisation, forward flows, and private financing for existing as well as new potential products.

Talal commented: “ThinCats has a distinct proposition in the UK mid-sized SME sector that is enabled by an unbeatable combination of market leading analytics, strong origination and robust underwriting capabilities demonstrable by an excellent track record.

“Such capabilities supplemented by a particularly impressive management team positions ThinCats well for a significant growth trajectory.”

Ravi Anand, managing director of ThinCats, said: “Following our recent announcement of the investment from Wafra Capital Partners which will enable us to lend a further £2bn, we are keen to keep up the momentum and continue to drive forward in the provision of funding to mid-sized businesses across the UK.

“Talal’s appointment will be key in supporting this effort.”

Marlon Richardson, KPMG UK

KPMG UK has announced that it has Marlon Richardson appointed a new partner to its energy practice.

Marlon Richardson joins from EY, where he served as a partner in the firm’s oil and gas practice for seven years, including as its oil and gas advisory sector leader since 2018.

At KPMG he will be part of the Energy and Natural Resources Leadership Team and will work to drive growth across the firm’s oil and gas portfolio.

Marlon said: “KPMG has consistently proven itself to be a global market leader in serving energy clients.

“In a year when energy transition has truly come to the fore, and with minds focused on the UK hosting COP26 in November, there has never been a better time to be providing the support and advice to businesses looking to evolve their models to capitalise on new opportunities.

“We will continue to use KPMG’s reach to help global operators invest in the UK, building a cleaner and more efficient oil and gas sector, which will be crucial to meeting Britain’s ambitious net-zero targets.”

Simon Virley, vice chair and head of energy and natural resources at KPMG UK, added: “Marlon’s oil and gas experience will further strengthen our rapidly-growing energy team.

“Many of our oil and gas clients are transforming their business models in light of the energy transition and Marlon will play a key role in helping clients make that shift.”

Sophie Segal, GS1 UK

Sophie Segal has been appointed as the new head of SME at data standards organisation GS1 UK.

In the role, Sophie will ensure that the proposition GS1 UK offers its SME members is something they truly value, providing support and advice at every stage as their business develops.

As former head of loyalty at Avis Budget Group, Sophie was in charge of driving retention strategies across all customer touch points. She has since supported founders and scale-ups when developing their customer engagement, as well as helping them rethink their business models for the good of tomorrow.

In addition, Sophie acts as a trainer and advisor at Enterprise Nation and co-chairs the Circular Economy Club in Reading.

Sophie said: “Small and medium sized businesses have always represented a huge proportion of GS1 UK’s membership, and with the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic and our departure from the EU still being navigated, I recognise the many challenges SMEs are facing.

“Now more than ever they need greater support. While sources of support in the form of advice and funding are out there, it is of little help if SMEs are not aware of it and GS1 UK can help them utilise this landscape to succeed. We have seen many businesses start up during the pandemic and we want to be there for them, supporting their transition to more resilient and sustainable business models.

Although the past 12 months have been tough for many, there are also a lot of positive opportunities for SMEs in the current climate.

“With my background in helping small businesses start and grow their business as well as my focus in sustainability, I cannot wait to help advise these companies in this area, unlocking new value for the segment and bringing their individual stories to life through this lens.”

Sarah Atkins, CMO and membership director of GS1 UK, said: “We are delighted to have Sophie on board, strengthening our expertise when it comes to supporting these members.

“Sophie’s extensive commercial background and knowledge in sustainability, traceability and the circular economy makes her an ideal choice for the role.

“Through championing these qualities, we hope to create transformative industry change for the better, bolstering the proposition of our SMEs and ultimately ensuring that consumers are informed and protected at the other end of the supply chain.

“We look forward to seeing how GS1 UK’s SME offering will continue to go from strength to strength under her stewardship.”

Chris Jansen, Kantar

Data insights and consulting company Kantar has announced the appointment of Chris Jansen as group chief executive officer.

Chris joins Kantar with more than 20 years of leadership experience in the services sector; from brand building to service delivery transformation, alongside a background in classic FMCG marketing, and an established track record of managing private equity-owned businesses.

He is currently the CEO of Cognita and previousy led the Automobile Association (AA) to a stock market flotation in 2014. Chris also held leadership roles, and board positions at both British Gas and British Airways, having started his early career at Procter & Gamble.

Adam Crozier, chairman of Kantar, commented. “Chris’ track record of building great companies, as well as his entrepreneurial and competitive spirit, further strengthens the leadership team we have been building over the past 18 months.

“Chris is a highly people-centric leader who understands the importance a strong culture plays in delivering outstanding results.

“As we continue on our transformation journey at Kantar, and build on our recent business momentum, Chris’ leadership will be instrumental in fulfilling the ambition that we have for Kantar.”

Chris commented: “Kantar is rightly regarded as a world leader in data and insights led consultancy and has an outstanding reputation with its clients.

“This is a result of having outstanding people, and I am really looking forward to working very closely with the Kantar team.

“We have an exciting future ahead, as we continue to embrace advanced analytics and the latest technology in order to better serve our clients.”

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