n SAFFRON Building Society, the largest building society serving the East of England, has appointed Peter Izard as head of mortgages to help develop its mortgage offering.

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Peter will be responsible for mortgage delivery across both the intermediary and branch channels for the society, which is based at Saffron Walden. He has over 20 years’ experience in the intermediary mortgage market and brings a detailed and extensive understanding of the distribution landscape. Previous experience includes start up bank Portillion, GMAC-RFC, Intelligent Finance and Halifax where he managed close relationships with intermediaries. Peter will work closely alongside Michelle Milne who is responsible for advised and specialist support in the intermediary and direct mortgage markets.

Steve Reid, general manager sales and distribution, said: “I am pleased we have secured the services of such an experienced, high-profile and respected individual in the mortgage market.

“The society recognises the importance of the intermediary market and is developing an interesting new approach to the sector. Peter will bring much experience to our developing mortgage strategy.”

Peter said: “When I met with the Saffron team I was extremely impressed with its vision. New products and flexible underwriting coupled with realistic criteria and willingness to listen to brokers and clients ensures Saffron offers a much needed and sought after service to its members.

“The current prevailing market conditions provide an ideal environment for the smaller regional building societies to thrive and provide a real alternative to borrowers excluded by the majority of lenders.”

n CLACTON-based care company Primary Care triumphed at the Great East of England Care Awards 2012. After being shortlisted for awards three years in a row, and being finalists in three categories this year, Primary Care trainer, Mandy Graham, picked up the Care Trainer Award 2012.

The regional awards, which receive support from across the social care sector, including the Department of Health, recognise and pay tribute to the efforts and dedication of all those who work to ensure people are able to live independent lives in their own home.

“Mandy demonstrates commitment to her role and excellent understanding of what is required. She clearly understands the needs of individuals and is innovative and creative in ways of accessing funding and delivering training,” judges said.

Natalie Emmerson, co-founder and director of Primary Care, said: “Being recognised by your industry is always a reason to celebrate but we’re so proud of Mandy. Training is such a vital part of care and we place a lot of emphasis on keeping all our staff, not just new recruits, fully up to date on best practice in our industry.”

Mandy received her award at the awards ceremony held at the Imperial War Museum, Duxford from TV presenter Penny Smith and Bill Stangoe from Simply Together Ltd.

n EAST of England law firm Birketts LLP is pleased to announce that Helen Bolton has joined the firm as a partner within the firm’s projects team based in Cambridge.

Helen joins the firm from Mills & Reeve and her appointment means that the headcount in the Cambridge office has grown by a third over the last year, almost exclusively through the recruitment of further lawyers. This includes the high profile arrival of corporate and litigation partners James Allen, Quentin Golder and Laurence Weeks from Taylor Vinters.

Helen is a structured finance specialist in the complex projects sector and her work includes helping clients such as funders, private sector parties and public sector entities to bring their projects to a close. Helen advises on senior and subordinated debt, intercreditor and security issues in relation to various sectors, such as student accommodation PPPs, health, care homes and blue light PFIs.

On her appointment, Helen said: “Joining Birketts offers a unique opportunity to expand my current practice. With considerable strength, plus some excellent clients, the firm has a great opportunity to develop a first-class reputation for project finance work. I identify strongly with the firm’s single team ethos and am looking forward to being part of a highly motivated and ambitious firm.”

Birketts’ chief executive officer, Alistair Lang, said: “Helen’s is the fourth significant hire in Cambridge in the last six months and I am delighted to welcome her into the team. Her arrival is an important strategic appointment and demonstrates our continued commitment to growing our projects practice. She is a talented lawyer with first class credentials in managing complex PPP and PFI projects.

“Her public and private sector expertise will be an invaluable resource for our wide-ranging clients and follows the recent news that Birketts has been confirmed as one of East Anglia’s leading law firms, in the Legal 500 [UK 2012] rankings where no fewer than 30 of the firm’s services have this year been given rankings across Birketts’ four offices.”

n COLCHESTER and Clacton law firm Thompson Smith & Puxon (TS&P) has welcomed solicitor Janette Wand to its wills and probate team.

Janette, who qualified in April 2007, recently moved to Ipswich and advises clients about their wills, probates, Powers of Attorney (LPAs & the registration of EPAs), the drafting and administration of estates, tax matters, charity administration and Court of Protection applications including deputyships.

She is a member of Solicitors for the Elderly (SFE), an independent national organisation of lawyers who provide specialist legal advice for older and vulnerable people, their families and carers, and she is a qualified member of the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners (STEP). STEP is the leading worldwide professional body for practitioners in the fields of trusts, estates and related issues. STEP members help families to plan for their long term financial future, providing expert advice on how to comply with the often complex law and tax rules surrounding trusts, estates and inheritance.

Janette said: “I am delighted to be joining such a forward-thinking and dynamic firm. TS&P has a strong reputation for offering effective advice and always puts the needs of its client first. I hope to play an important role in enhancing the already strong reputation of the team. In my spare time I enjoy listening to live music and exploring the Suffolk and Essex countryside, particularly if this is followed by a visit to a country pub.”

Lisa Harper, head of the wills and probate team, said: “Janette’s appointment will further strengthen the highly-qualified and talented private client team which we have here at TS&P and we wish her every happiness in her new role with us.”

n Suffolk-based civil and structural engineering firm JMS Consulting Engineers has recently taken on four new recruits fresh out of school and university, to learn the trade at its Woodbridge headquarters.

The new recruits include two recent graduates, Mark Rust and Zahid Patel. After a couple of months’ training in Woodbridge, they will be based in the London office. Johnny Mountford is spending a placement year with JMS before completing his degree at Nottingham Trent and Mark Fleming, is taking a gap year to gain work experience with the engineering firm before studying civil engineering at Nottingham University.

Daniel Staines, managing director of JMS Consulting Engineers, said; “We know how hard it is for young people to find jobs at the moment. No one will give you a job without experience and you can’t get experience without a job. The calibre of the young people who have recently joined our team is exceptional and we’re keen to show them the ropes and get their training under way.”

n Ashton KCJ is delighted to announce that three newly qualified solicitors have joined its commercial teams. Alice Eldridge, Scott Hilton and Adam Murphy all trained with the firm.

Alice has joined the dispute resolution team at its Guildhall Street office in Bury St Edmunds, Scott has joined the commercial property team and Adam has joined the company commercial team. Adam and Scott will both be based at our Kempson Way office in Bury. Alice, Scott and Adam join newly qualified solicitor, Sophie Bales who was appointed to the medical injury team earlier this year.

Chief executive Simon Smith said: “We are delighted to announce these appointments, which will see an influx of home grown talent to our commercial teams. I would like to wish Alice, Scott and Adam all the best in their future careers at Ashton KCJ.”

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