Movers & Shakers: James Allen appointed CBI assistant regional director for the East of England

The new CBI assistant regional director for the East of England, James Allen.

The new CBI assistant regional director for the East of England, James Allen. - Credit: Archant

The CBI has appointed James Allen as its new assistant regional director in the East of England.

The CBI has appointed James Allen as its new assistant regional director in the East of England.

James joins the East of England office having worked as a senior policy adviser in the CBI’s Brussels office, promoting the interests of British business in the Single Market, for the past five years.

In his new role, James will be supporting companies in the East of England, working alongside CBI Director Richard Tunnicliffe to represent the region’s business leaders on key policy and regulatory issues.

James said he was “delighted” to be appointed.


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“The area has a rich diversity of firms. I am looking forward to working with Richard Tunnicliffe and the CBI East of England team to create the right environment for them to thrive in, focusing on regional priorities such as growth, housing, skills and transport, and to make sure that our strong business voice is heard, both regionally and nationally,.” he said.

CBI East of England director Richard Tunnicliffe, said: “I’m excited to have James alongside me in this role. Having grown up in the Region, he is well placed to represent the region’s business interests. His experience in Brussels working on EU and Single Market issues will be particularly valuable to members in the East of England in the months and years to come.”

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James is moving back to the region where he grew up with his family in North Norfolk. He went to Wisbech Grammar School in Cambridgeshire and studied Politics at Loughborough University. He now lives in Bury St Edmunds with his wife and is a keen Ipswich Town fan.

::East Anglian chartered accountancy firm Larking Gowen has expanded its corporate finance team with the appointment of Kate Baines.

Kate was previously based in Ipswich with another team of corporate finance advisers, and prior to that had spent more than eight years as a senior broker at a national agency as head of healthcare, specialising in the sale of small and medium-sized enterprises involved in healthcare, property management and commercial cleaning.

Corporate finance partner James Lay said: “Kate brings a different and varied skill set as a specialist negotiator and project manager. This complements an already strong and growing team, enabling us to expand our service offering across the region.”

Kate’s primary focus will be helping clients buy and sell private businesses, based from Larking Gowen’s Ipswich office.

::Strategic marketing agency Ware Anthony Rust has hired former Red Consultancy director Kate Matthews to head up its PR operations. Kate’s career includes over 15 years’ experience in both top 10 London agency and start-up environments.

She spent the last three years setting up Thirteen Communications, winning major clients including PRS for Music and The Silvertown Partnership. Prior to that, she was associate director at the Red Consultancy, where she spent over nine years creating and leading major campaigns for brands including Adobe, Department for Education, Microsoft, Flybe, learndirect and ebookers.

Her appointment at coincides with a major brand re-launch for the Cambridge-based agency as it refines its offer to target the ‘countryfile consumer’, in response to its research that shows a growing number of people want to ‘reconnect with the countryside’.

The agency acts as a strategic communications and creative partner to brands including the British Equestrian Federation, New Holland tractors, InSinkerator, Bacs Direct Debit and Corkers Crisps.

Kate said: “I’m thrilled to be joining Ware Anthony Rust at such an exciting stage in the company’s evolution. The frantic pace and digitisation of our daily lives is leading many of us to look for something more from our favourite brands. Ware Anthony Rust’s expert understanding of the so-called ‘countryfile consumer’, based on many years working closely with rural communities, gives them an edge to the London agencies in helping big brands tap into this trend.”

Strategy director Shelby Haslam said: “We are delighted to have Kate on board at such an exciting time for the agency. The addition of an experienced and skilled PR practitioner supports our goal of providing our clients with the very best expertise, combined with our unique insight into modern consumer behaviour. Kate joins a team energised by how our experience within the rural, food, leisure and agricultural sectors is gaining in relevance, given society’s drive to re-establish a link to the land.”

::Broadland Housing Association, a not-for-profit charity based in Norfolk and North Suffolk, has welcomed Julian Foster as its new executive finance director.

Julian has been involved in funding housing growth in the Eastern Region over many years, having previously worked in finance director roles with Cross Keys Homes, Swan Housing and Anglia Housing Group. He has vast experience in treasury and finance management as well as managing innovation in ICT and market rented housing. Julian has a solid track record of building and leading effective finance teams.

He was a member of the NHF Financial Policy Advisory Group from 2010-2015 alongside several of the finance directors of the largest and most creative housing associations in the sector.

Julian brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to Broadland Housing Group. He said of his appointment: “Broadland has a history of providing excellent housing across a number of different tenures and I am really looking forward to helping the Group on the next stage of their journey and meeting the challenges currently faced by the sector as a whole.”

Michael Newey, Group Chief Executive of the Broadland Housing Group (BHG), said: “We are pleased to welcome Julian to Broadland Housing Group. Julian has a great passion for social housing, he brings a wealth of knowledge with him to the organisation and we look forward to working with him over the coming years.”

::Terry Rich, who lives in Suffolk, has been appointed group board chair of Avenues Group – a group of non-profit organisations that supports people in community-based settings across the UK who have complex needs arising from learning disabilities, autism, acquired brain injury or dementia, including challenging behaviour.

He will be responsible for the overall strategic direction of the group, based in Sidcup in Kent, each subsidiary of which is a registered charity and company limited by guarantee.

Terry has unrivalled experience for the position having spent a long and successful career in the health and social care sector of local government, providing leadership and change management.

Through his own consultancy which he set up four years ago, Terry has brought experience, expertise, innovation and drive to lift standards and introduce much-needed integration across health and social care boundaries. This includes current work as a consultant contributor to leadership development programmes for the NHS Leadership Academy.

Prior to this, his leadership as a director in three authorities over 12 years transformed social care services from failing to high performing status – an achievement of which he is justly proud. Social housing has also been an important part of Terry’s work and this is reflected in his deep interest in social issues from a young age when he gained his masters degree with a dissertation entitled ‘Rebuilding the Slums’.

He was chair of London’s Association of Directors for Social Services in 2011 and, beyond UK’s shores, is Secretary of an international non-governmental organisation responsible for developing health and health education facilities in a rural part of Bangladesh.

“We are delighted to have Terry at our helm,” said group chief executive officer Steve James. “His expertise will bring new impetus and wise counsel to the organisation as we deliver our new strategic plan to concentrate on complexity – supporting people with the greatest need. We look forward to the additional strength he will bring.”

Terry said he was “proud” to be serving on the board.

“It is going to be a challenge with its 1400 employees helping over 600 people across different parts of the country, but it is one that I relish and one that I intend to see succeed,” he said.

::Linnea Griffiths has been promoted to executive secretary at Essex law firm Birkett Long.

Linnea, who has combined family life with 13 years of full-time employment for the firm, was nominated by a colleague for the promotion after working in a number of teams such as commercial property, dispute resolution, admin and family teams over the years.

“I have been lucky to work for a variety of teams, each of which has been interesting, so I’ve gained much knowledge and experience,” she said.

Linnea is currently working in the dispute resolution team.

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