Movers & Shakers: Suffolk Life MD Will Self becomes executive director at Curtis Banks

Will Self of Suffolk Life.

Will Self of Suffolk Life. - Credit: Archant

Self-invested personal pensions (SIPP) provider Curtis Banks has appointed William Self, 34, as executive director to its main board.

Will is chief executive of Ipswich-based Suffolk Life, acquired by Curtis Banks in May of this year.

He joined Suffolk Life, then a subsidiary of Legal & General plc, in 2003 spending time in different departments, including corporate development where he was instrumental in launching several propositions with multi-national insurers.

He completed his MBA at Cranfield University in 2010, and was made a Director of Suffolk Life in the same year, initially as operations director and subsequently as product and operations director in 2012.

He became managing director in 2013 and during 2015 was additionally appointed chief operating officer of Cofunds Limited, a sister company at Legal & General plc. He led the strategic review during 2015 which resulted in the sale of Suffolk Life to Curtis Banks in January 2016.

Curtis Banks chairman Chris Banks said: “We are very pleased to welcome Will to the board of Curtis Banks. He is an expert in the SIPP industry and has an outstanding knowledge of the operations of Suffolk Life. My co-directors and I look forward to working with him in the continuing growth and development of the Curtis Banks Group.”

::Ufford Park has taken on David Lilley as its restaurant and bar manager with responsibility for the management and development of the Woodbridge hotel’s restaurant and central bar experiences.

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David joins from Best Western Claydon Country House where he was food and beverage manager and brings 12 years of hospitality experience. He has worked in a number of different roles including kitchen porter, waiter, restaurant supervisor, duty manager and food and beverage manager.

He has an NVQ Level 2 in food and beverage service and has spent more than eight years in service at an AA Rosette

Restaurant in Suffolk.

General manager Nick Holdsworth said: “David is a great addition to our team. With his fresh approach, we’re confident that we can enhance what is already a strong reputation in high quality food and especially customer service.”

David said it was “a great opportunity” for him to do what he did best on a much larger scale.

“I’m looking forward to working with the Ufford Park team to ensure that the restaurant goes from strength to


::Two trainee solicitors at Essex law firm Birkett Long have moved up the ranks to become fully qualified solicitors.

Caroline Woodham and Ella Johnson, both 27, have completed a two-year training contract with the firm and are now looking forward to further building their careers and case load.

Caroline, who grew up in Essex and studied law at Cardiff University, joins the wills, trusts and probate team at Birkett Long’s Chelmsford office.

She said: “I really enjoy the intellectual challenges that my role offers and am looking forward to assisting clients in managing their affairs and planning for the future.

“Birkett Long offers high quality training which meant that I could become involved in all aspects of the firm and work directly with experienced lawyers and clients from the outset. I now look forward to progressing my career here.”

Ella, originally from Rayleigh, studied law at the University of Essex and now joins the divorce and family team at Birkett Long’s Colchester office.

“Working in family law, no day is ever the same and I feel I get to make a difference to people’s lives,” she said.

“I always wanted to work at a regional solicitors and Birkett Long is one of the largest in Essex. There is a strong emphasis on working hard but also having a good work life balance, which is important to me.”

She added: “Everyone here is so friendly, from secretaries to partners – everyone wants to help each other where they can, which is a great atmosphere to work in.”

::Ipswich-based law firm Ashtons has announced that associate Matthew Downing has moved from the firm’s Norwich office, where he has been working for the previous three years, to head up its corporate and commercial team in Cambridge.

He has extensive experience advising clients on buying and selling businesses, in particular owner managed and family businesses. Matthew also advises on shareholder and investor arrangements and leads Ashtons’ regional sector group which focuses on providing services to start-ups and high growth businesses and entrepreneurs. In addition to these areas, Matthew also has experience in advising on commercial contract arrangements, corporate insolvency and lending arrangements.

Working alongside him will be Paul Mitchell who will qualify in to the team as a solicitor in September following the successful completion of a two year training contract with the firm where he has spent the last six months in the Corporate and Commercial team.

The team also has the benefit of a number of paralegals and and support staff, as well as a team of experienced Corporate and Commercial partners and solicitors across the region.

“Ashtons has origins in Cambridge going back to 1919 and has built up an excellent reputation in the market place acting for numerous established businesses,” said Matthew.

“The firm is going through a period of significant growth and expansion at the moment and I am really relishing being part of these exciting times for the team here in Cambridge.”

Chief executive Edward O’Rourke said: We are really pleased that Matthew will be taking on this role and he comes highly regarded from our Norwich office.”

::Audit, tax and consulting firm RSM has expanded its team in Bury St Edmunds with the appointment of five new school leaver and graduate trainees.

Josh Goodall and Rebecca Langley join the firm’s audit team, Hannah Lambert and Jenna Ashdown will work in the accounting and financial reporting practice, while Marion Denby becomes a member of the personal tax team.

The Bury St Edmunds appointments are part of a record intake of 350 trainees across RSM’s UK office network, expanding the firm’s total headcount by around 10%. The high level of new recruits reflects a significant uplift in activity and a determination to continue to offer clients the best possible service.

The new recruits will start their RSM careers on an intensive training course and will also begin studying towards their professional ACA, AAT, ATT, ICAS, ACCA, CIA or CTA qualifications.

Stephen Duffety, office managing partner at Bury St Edmunds, said: “It’s fantastic that we’ve been able to take on so many new starters in Bury St Edmunds, which reflects the recent growth in our business. We are committed to attracting, developing and retaining talent across all areas of our business and we will be supporting each of our new trainees to develop their careers within the firm. I am sure they will all make a significant contribution to further strengthening our service offering to clients right across East Anglia.”

::David Heller and Christopher Harvey of Ellisons have now completed their training contracts and have been offered permanent positions as qualified solicitors with the firm.

David Heller will join the corporate and commercial team, while Christopher Harvey joins commercial property. Both will be kept on at the Colchester head office.

David completed his law degree at the University of East Anglia and his LPC at BPP Law School in London. He joined Ellisons as a paralegal in December 2013 before being offered a training contract, which commenced in September 2014.

After a period of commercial banking in the City, Christopher decided to pursue a career in law. He completed his law degree at the University of Essex and his LPC at Anglia Ruskin, before joining Ellisons as a paralegal in November 2013. Christopher also began his training contract in September 2014.