Movers & Shakers: Steve Wright joins property team at Colchester-based Stanfords

Steve Wright has joined the property team at Colchester-based chartered surveyors, auctioneers and estate agents Stanfords, which has recently expanded its office.

Steve has more than 31 years’ experience in the property industry in Colchester, recently working at Fenn Wright where he managed its residential lettings business in the High Street.

Steve has always provided a high level of customer care which will blend in well with the anticipated services required at Stanfords, the firm said.

“Dealing directly with the client is paramount and providing a really personal service is vital to the delivery of a professional and successful business relationship,” said Steve.

Senior partner Graham Ellis said he was delighted to welcome Steve to the team, particularly following the recent substantial expansion of the business announced at the beginning of October 2016.

Steve’s attitude to business followed very much the company’s principles, he said. Working with Matt Mason, who has established a successful residential department would help the firm to continue to provide that high level of service in the future, he added.

Along with the general agency work, Steve will also deal with promotional work for Stanfords and is looking forward to expanding the existing business.

Cambridge & Counties Bank has a new chairman. Simon Moore has been on the bank’s board as a non-executive director since its launch in 2012 and becomes its second chairman, succeeding Paul ffolkes Davis.

Simon is on the management board of the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) where he is the director responsible for London and the South. His 20 years of banking experience includes time at Chase Manhattan, Barclays and Lloyds.

Simon said: “To be asked to take over as chairman is a huge honour and a privilege. Paul has been visionary; without him the bank would not have come into existence. He set the tone and continues to be a tremendous challenger and supporter.

“Paul is a gifted chair who will be a hard act to follow and we are delighted he remains on the board as a non-executive director and vice chairman.

“What attracted me to Cambridge & Counties Bank in 2012 was that it was a very commercial, professional organisation which was rooted in a customer service culture.

“The approach of hiring very experienced colleagues focused on delivering great customer service seemed to me to be something lost from the banking industry. Getting it right for the customer, first time and quickly, is important to Cambridge & Counties.

“We were 12 people at the start and are now approaching 120 yet, crucially, the culture has been preserved. We’ve grown the deposits, grown the loan book and we continue to aim for steady growth whilst maintaining our focus on the customer, on our staff and a positive relationship with the regulator.”

Mike Kirsopp, chief executive officer, said: “Simon is an excellent choice as chairman who will continue Paul’s defining leadership which has been instrumental in the launch and successful first years of Cambridge & Counties.”

Since 2012 the Bank, headquartered in Leicester, has passed several milestones, becoming profitable after 13 months, passing £600m in deposits and a loan book exceeding £500 million.

Simon said: “British business need a really strong, productive and supportive banking sector and the country needs a strong business sector. Cambridge & Counties is, in its small but growing way, part of the answer.

“The executive team has evolved significantly since launch. People arrived, some have risen up through the ranks and joined a board that is incredibly strong, mature and where there is robust challenge and remarkably constructive conversation. It’s absolutely the best boardroom I have worked in.”

Simon is also a governor at the University of the West of England. He is also the non-executive chairman of Pennant plc and was formerly a non-executive board member of the Government Office of the South West.

De Sangosse, a European firm specialising in molluscicides, micro-nutrients and spray enhancers based near Newmarket, has appointed Jon Williams as technical manager.

Jon will take up the role in the New Year when he will work alongside the technical director before succeeding to the role permanently at the end of 2018.

As technical manager, he will be central to supporting new product registration through the design and commissioning of field and laboratory trials required by the UK and EU regulators. He will also be a first point of contact for UK customers needing product advice and technical support.

He joins De Sangosse from Greenvale AP where he has served as import technical manager with responsibility for ensuring the company’s network of overseas growers supplied product to the expected quality and volume in accordance with relevant customer specifications. Before joining Greenvale AP, Jon held a series of technical positions with Syngenta and its predecessor companies.

De Sangosse managing director David Cameron welcomed Jon’s appointment.

“Jon brings valuable technical expertise and experience to De Sangosse and will be an asset to the company and our customers,” he said.

“His experience in new product development and, more recently, in liaising with multiple retailers and the Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA) will be invaluable to us as we seek to introduce more innovative solutions to the market.”

Jon studied at Reading University where he gained a BSc (Hons) in Soil Science and at Harper Adams where he received a post-graduate diploma in crop protection.

Solicitor Andrew Wood has been sworn in by Dutch Ambassador to the UK Simon Smits as the new Honorary Consul for the Kingdom of the Netherlands for Norwich, with responsibility for the counties of Essex, Suffolk, Norfolk and Cambridgeshire.

Andrew is a consultant solicitor at East Anglian law firm Birketts’ Norwich office. He is head of the Anglo-Dutch desk, specialising in Anglo-Dutch legal work, and has been recognised by Legal 500 and Chambers Global as a leading lawyer in the region for his Anglo-Dutch specialism. He acts for a range of businesses locally and nationally, in particular Dutch-owned companies operating in the UK.

After reading English history at the University of East Anglia, he specialised in 17th century history and developed an active interest in Anglo-Dutch history. He is a regular visitor to the Netherlands, speaking regularly at events about Anglo-Dutch business and legal matters. In addition to being a member of the Commercial Anglo-Netherlands Society, the Anglo-Netherlands Society and the Institute of Directors, and is also a director of the Netherlands British Chamber of Commerce.

Andrew said: “I am absolutely delighted to take on the role of Honorary Consul and I look forward to representing the Netherlands in Norwich, which has much shared history with the Low Countries. This is the pinnacle of many years working to develop strong links between the UK and the Netherlands.”

Andrew succeeds Robin Baker, the Netherlands’ Honorary Consul in Harwich, with responsibility for Essex, Suffolk, Norfolk and Cambridgeshire, who retired in May after 15 years’ service.

Solicitor Melanie Francis has joined Essex law firm Birkett Long’s residential arm.

Melanie, who changed careers from banking to law, qualifying as a solicitor this year, has joined the firm’s Colchester office.

She decided 10 years ago that banking was not for her and began a three-year law degree at Anglia Ruskin University while reducing her working hours to part-time to help fund it.

After graduating, she spent a further year working full time. She returned to the lecture room on a part-time basis to study for her Legal Practice Course and after a couple of years she became a paralegal.

That eventually led to a training contract and now she is part of the residential real estate team at Birkett Long.

“It is incredibly rewarding once you have exchanged on a property for a client. Moving house is one of the most stressful things a person can do in life,” she said.

She advised others considering a change of careers to “do it”.

“Follow your dreams and your heart – you are never too old to make a change and start a new career,” she said.

National property consultancy Carter Jonas has appointed Glen Richardson to lead a new team based in Cambridge as an associate partner. His new role is aimed at strengthening the firm’s specialist masterplanning and urban design practice throughout the Eastern regions, supported by the national team led by Conor Moloney.

He will work with the private and public sector with particular emphasis on housing developments and supporting local authorities. He will also be closely involved with some of the team’s existing strategic projects, such as regeneration strategies for Great Yarmouth and Sudbury, and housing schemes in Soham and at the Suffolk police headquarters site in Martlesham Heath.

He joins from Cambridge City Council where he spent over 12 years as urban design and conservation manager. He was responsible for design strategies for key sites, and heritage conservation, whilst also acting as the lead design negotiator for large-scale masterplan proposals.

Head of planning Colin Brown said: “Glen brings over 25 years’ experience in urban design and masterplanning and his unparalleled knowledge of Cambridge and the wider Eastern region make him the perfect addition to the team and help us build on existing public and private sector clients. His experience of working within the council will also provide invaluable insight into the requirements for successful planning projects.

“Having worked with Glen on numerous projects over the years, we are confident that he will be an asset to Carter Jonas in his new role and continue to play a pivotal role in shaping the future of Cambridge and the surrounding region.”

Glen said: “It is a great opportunity to join such a progressive firm with talented professionals, whom I am lucky enough to already have built strong working relationships with.”

Glen is originally from Canada and has a degree in urban geography from McGill University, Montreal, and an MSc in urban design from Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh. In his spare time, he is a part-time musician and has been a DJ on public radio.