Movers and Shakers - December 6

n NIDERA UK, which supplies grains, oilseeds and pulses, has appointed Simon Wallace to the newly-created role of commercial director.

Based at Nidera UK’s head office at Ipswich, Simon will help the company to consolidate the rapid growth which it has achieved during the last few years and set it on a path to achieve even more in the future.

As commercial director, Simon is responsible for all trading activities, the supply of farm inputs and an expanding haulage fleet, together with the Ipswich Grain Terminal, a facility it owns at the Port of Ipswich which handles the import/export of cereals, pulses, oilseeds, malt and animal feed ingredients.

Simon, who is 44, has enjoyed a close association with the farming sector throughout his life, his father having worked for a major livestock feed manufacturer. He fostered his early interest in the industry and helped him to find work during the school holidays on farms close to the family home at Long Melford.

Simon said: “Our ambition is to be the best in the business and we have highly-experienced teams in place to take care of day-to-day operations. My role will be to help facilitate future development by working with the management team to establish the company’s strategy, direction and targets. This will include developing even better relationships with farmers and customers as well as raising Nidera’s profile.”

n GRANT Thornton has strengthened its East of England corporate finance team with a senior promotion and the appointment of a new director.

Darren Bear has been promoted to partner, specialising in advising shareholders, corporate and management teams on buying and selling businesses, refinancing and exit strategies. Darren will head the corporate finance team based at Cambridge, working across the East of England.

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Before joining Grant Thornton in 2005, Darren spent four years with Ernst & Young in both Cambridge and London before moving to Aviva to work in mergers and acquisitions. He has significant expertise across many sectors with deal sizes ranging from �2million to �150m.

Darren said: “Despite fears to the contrary, there is still a lot of activity in the current market and deals are getting done. Many large corporates with cash and international businesses are starting to show an appetite for transactions. There is also private equity money available and a variety of refinancing opportunities out there. It’s just a question of being prepared and knowing how to access it.

“Our aim going forward is to expand Grant Thornton’s corporate finance presence across the region and help more businesses make the most of the knowledge and expertise we provide as a national and international firm, from a local perspective.”

Grant Thornton has also appointed Steve White as a director within the East of England corporate finance team.

Steve, who has more than 15 years’ M&A and private equity experience, joins the firm from Deloitte where he headed their East of England corporate finance operation.

Previous to this, Steve worked for two years as finance director for an entrepreneurial firm in London, gaining significant industry experience.

Steve said: “I am delighted to be joining Grant Thornton which has an enviable reputation for its corporate finance work. I hope the experience I bring to the firm, particularly having worked in industry, will benefit clients, especially when advising entrepreneurial businesses.”

n PKF accountants and business advisers is expanding in East Anglia with the appointment of 11 new staff across the region.

Louise Goff joins the firm as assistant manager in the general practice department. The other 10 recruits are trainees, seven of whom are based in Ipswich with two based in Great Yarmouth and one in Norwich. They are Charlotte Aguilar-Millan, Dan Boyle, Paul Strudwick, Lucy Burton, Alex Slinn, Matthew Weller, Monica Goncalves, Sam Grimmer, Tom Greenhill and Alex Harrington.

The trainees will work across all departments at PKF, gaining broad experience of financial disciplines, before deciding on a specialism after qualifying in the future.

Graham Randall, partner in charge of the Ipswich office, said: “This is an exciting time for PKF as we continue to grow the business.

“Louise Goff is joining a thriving group that supports businesses under the audit threshold, while the rest of the new recruits are graduates working towards their Chartered Accountancy exams and post-A Level students studying for their Association of Accounting Technicians (AAT) exams.”

n Kerseys Solicitors has recruited two new solicitors, Iain Thom and Janet Raeburn.

Ian has 20 years’ experience in commercial law and has until recently been London-based.He has worked both in legal practices and the in-house legal teams of a national retailer and a construction company.

Janet is a newly qualified solicitor who has joined from a firm in Eastbourne and she has been brought in to further strengthen Kerseys’ well-established matrimonial team.

In addition to the new rec ruits, Elaine Webb, who has been with Kerseys for just over four years as a family lawyer specialising in child care work, has recently been made a partner in recognition of her commitment and success in this area of work.