People: Business Partnership; Definition Group; Fishtank

National business broker, Business Partnership, has boosted its operation in the North of England with the appointment of a new regional partner for West Yorkshire.

Leeds-based Philip Drazen brings more than 35 years’ experience in advising companies on their route to exit to his new role.

He will be assisted by business partners Nigel and Tom Jones, who have worked in the refrigeration and air conditioning industry for over three decades and have considerable knowledge of owning, selling and buying businesses.

A former managing partner of a regional law firm, Drazen is a well-known figure in West Yorkshire and boasts a vast network of connections through his Business Exposure Groups and Entrepreneurs Club ventures.

He said: “I’ve sold businesses for the last 22 years but have never done it with the support, infrastructure and database that Business Partnership provide as one of the largest independent companies in the sector.”

Drazen, who will be using his skills to focus on SME business-to-business sales, including traditional and tech companies, said the pandemic has resulted in business owners falling into one of two camps.

“Many people have been re-energised as they have seen competitors disappear and are now planning to grow by acquiring businesses,” he said.

“However, there are a significant percentage who have re-evaluated their priorities and are now keen to sell.

“Both present myself and Business Partnership with lots of opportunities to guide them through a difficult and emotional process.”

:::

Definition Group has appointed Heather Baker as its new group chief executive.

Baker founded and was chief executive of TopLine Comms and TopLine Film, which were acquired by the group in 2021.

Definition Group’s revenue is now over £10m with a team of nearly 100 across its three locations: Leeds, London and Manchester.

Nigel Howes, group chairman, said: “Definition Group has grown substantially in the past two years. This means the size and shape of the business has changed a good deal in a short space of time.

“It also means we face new challenges and opportunities and that the organisation needs to adapt accordingly, allowing us to be even better and even more successful in all that we do.

“I look forward to working with Heather on the next phase of our growth.”

Baker added: “While most businesses lay out ambitious growth plans, very few deliver on them as quickly and effectively as Definition Group has.

“The organisation has grown, changed and developed significantly and it’s been a privilege to have been a part of the Group over the last 12 months.

“I look forward to working with our six brands and our growing team to continue building this impressive business.”

:::

Mirfield-based digital marketing specialist, Fishtank Agency, has welcomed Matt Devall to its team.

He takes on the role of senior accounts manager.

Having started his career in London, Devall spent nine years working within agencies such as Iris Worldwide and Brandfuel, whose client list included global giants Zurich Insurance, Coca-Cola and Google.

He later moved back to Manchester to work at BJL for three years on accounts such as Subaru, Rustlers and Crown Paints.

After this, he joined McCann Manchester for a further three years, where he worked alongside a team of 250 employees to support Aldi supermarkets across the UK and Ireland exclusively.

Devall’s daily responsibilities will include leading the strategic agency’s account management team while working across various clients, including Berry Global, Seal for Life, JMG Insurance and Britvic.

He will also be responsible for the management of new business pipeline, developing in-depth proposals for prospective new clients and working to enhance the agency’s reputation locally and nationally.

He said: “I was keen to find a role within a local agency with an exciting client list, great culture and an innovative approach to the industry. I’ve certainly found that at Fishtank.

“I’m keen to develop what Fishtank Agency has to offer, with my experience in agencies and big brands, and ensure we keep a diverse stream of work coming in.

“I also want to use my industry knowledge to guide and develop the rest of the team to make the most of their unique skills and support Damien in maximising what we can do as an agency.”

Managing director, Damien Fisher, said: “Following our significant growth over the last three years, an opportunity for a senior account manager role presented itself to us.

“We needed an individual with vast experience in the digital marketing industry and someone who could share their expertise to educate our evolving team.

“When Matt applied for the position, it was clear to me he had a breadth of knowledge and experience that would ultimately deliver the promise made by Fishtank Agency to our clients. His attention to detail and diligence throughout the recruitment process made it a no-brainer of a hire.”

:::

Leeds-based Morrish Solicitors says associate clinical negligence solicitor, Oonagh McCurry, is now a member of the Law Society Clinical Negligence Panel.

The panel is a recognised quality standard for practitioners representing claimants in clinical negligence matters.

It consists of the country’s leading solicitors supporting victims of clinical negligence, handling some of the most demanding and high value cases.

To be selected for the panel solicitors have to go through a rigorous assessments process analysing the cases they have handled.

McCurry said: “I am delighted to have been accepted onto the Law Society Clinical Negligence Panel.

“It will provide clients, who are victims of clinical negligence, with the assurance that they are working with a legal representative who specialises in this area of law.

“Also, this appointment enables us as a firm to continue to provide Legal Aid Funding to clients on certain types of clinical negligence cases.”

Only firms with representatives on the Law Society Clinical Negligence Panel can obtain a Legal Aid Agency Clinical Negligence Franchise. Morrish Solicitors’ partner and head of clinical negligence, Anna Sari was admitted onto the panel in 2020.

The firm’s managing partner, David Sorensen, said: “Congratulations to Oonagh on her appointment on the Law Society Clinical Negligence Panel.

“This is recognition of her hard work and dedication to supporting victims of clinical negligence. Oonagh’s appointment is beneficial to both the firm and our clients as our clinical negligence department continues to grow.”

Definition