This week’s North East appointments

This week’s round up of North East appointments includes Haystack, RG Corporate Finance and George F. White. Read on to find out more.

Ben Legg, Haystack

Haystack, the Newcastle based tech recruitment platform, has appointed the former COO of Google Europe as non-executive director.

Ben Legg’s appointment follows the company’s recent success in raising £500k from the North East Venture Fund (NEVF), supported by the European Regional Development Fund and managed by Mercia. Ben, who was introduced to the business by Mercia, has over 30 years’ experience in senior business and leadership roles.

As a former Captain in the Royal Engineers, Ben helped to relieve the Siege of Sarajevo. He went on to become a strategy consultant with McKinsey and held senior roles with Coca Cola in Greece, Poland and India before joining Google where he “wrote the blueprint” for its monetisation approach.

Ben commented: “The world of work is changing fast and tech recruiting is broken. Haystack has an exciting vision, a great team and promising momentum to address this massive opportunity. I look forward to helping them reinvent the industry.”

Ian Wilson, fund principal at Mercia, added: “Haystack aims to revolutionise technology recruitment. With Ben’s track record in reinventing traditional business models, he is ideally placed to join its board.

“His appointment shows the wider package of support that Mercia can offer - we not only provide the funding but also help them build their board and put the right structures in place to help them scale and grow.”

Connor McBride, RG Corporate Finance

RG Corporate Finance (RGCF) has announced the promotion of Connor McBride to corporate finance senior manager. Connor, a graduate of Northumbria University where he gained a BA (Hons) degree in Business Management, joined RGCF in 2019 as a corporate finance manager.

Before joining RGCF, he qualified as a chartered accountant with global advisory firm PwC. During his time there, he worked with a lot of SMEs providing outsourced finance services and strategic advice. This experience sparked an interest in working alongside owner-managers to help them realise their goals and ambitions for their businesses.

Carl Swansbury, partner and head of corporate finance at RGCF (pictured left), commented: “Connor’s promotion is well-deserved and recognises his achievements and progression since he joined the firm three years ago.

Connor (pictured right) added: “Everyone at RGCF has been hugely supportive in helping me to develop my career, following three years of advising on a portfolio of complex and varied M&A transactions.

“I’m proud to be part of a dynamic, fast-paced CF business, which has an excellent reputation in the North East and further afield and is now one of the most active M&A advisory firms in the region.”

William Marshall, George F. White

Property specialist George F. White has welcomed William Marshall into the team as its first sustainability consultant. The appointment comes at a key time in response to the changing needs of businesses, as the demand for renewable energy solutions is more prevalent than ever in the race towards net zero.

In this new role, William will support businesses to achieve this – in turn improving their sustainability credentials and identifying renewable energy solutions, helping them to save energy, money and lessen their environmental impact.

He will work with businesses on three key areas: recommendations for on-site renewable energy generation including solar, wind, battery, or heat pumps, planning and consultancy for solar and wind farms (supporting landowners with new revenue streams) and improving sustainability efforts (developing businesses’ sustainability strategies).

William has worked in property for 30 years across most areas of the sector, both in the UK and America. Commenting on his appointment, he said: “My role is to help businesses understand how sustainability and renewable energy will benefit them and why it is right for them, then make effective solutions a reality.

“The expectation for all businesses to improve their sustainability efforts can feel daunting, and the current energy crisis has fast-tracked the need for a lot of businesses to consider switching to renewable energy generation sooner than anyone could have anticipated.

“This is why we have launched this new service to provide bespoke solutions to businesses that will have real impact. This is a service that will grow rapidly in line with the current climate and I’m excited to be leading the change.”


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