Scotland’s leading company creation programme for staff, students and recent graduates announced a major appointment in December, with Dr Claudia Cavalluzzo coming on board as the organisation’s new Director.
Cavalluzzo, a former Saltire fellow with a PhD in Organic Chemistry from the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, joined Converge Challenge as Deputy Director in October 2017.
During her career, she has worked with a biotech spin-out from the University of Edinburgh and, more recently, was the Head of Saltire Fellowship within Entrepreneurial Scotland.
Sandy Finlayson, Chairman of Converge Challenge and co-founder of MBM Commercial, said Cavalluzzo is the “perfect candidate” to guide the organisation through its latest stage of development.
“Claudia emerged from an exceptionally strong field of candidates,” he said. “She demonstrated to the interview panel that her dynamism, vision and creative energy were fully aligned with how we saw the next phase of Converge Challenge rolling out.
“We need a leader who can work across every level of academia and brings a fresh perspective to harnessing our corporate engagement strategy which is crucially important to our growth.”
In her new role, Cavalluzzo will help spearhead the continued development of Converge’s University engagement strategy while working to strengthen partnerships with a number of organisations within Scotland’s entrepreneurial eco-system.
Speaking on her appointment, Cavalluzzo commented: “It is an absolute honour to be appointed Director at Converge Challenge and I look forward to building on our many achievements and working with our partners to take the programme to the next level.”
Royal London Group
Kevin Parry announced he would step down from his role as non-executive director at Standard Life Aberdeen (SLA) following his appointment as the new chairman at Royal London Group.
Royal London is the UK’s largest mutual life insurance, pensions and investment company, with more than £118 billion of funds under management.
Although Parry was highlighted as a front-runner to replace Sir Gerry Grimstone as chairman at SLA, former HSBC chairman, Douglas Flint, was given the role in October.
Parry officially joined Royal London on the 1st of January. He will replace Rupert Pennant-Rea, who has served as chairman of the board for more than five years.
Commenting on the move, Grimstone said: “On behalf of the board, I would like to thank Kevin for his service to Standard Life Aberdeen. Kevin played a very important part in the transformation of our company and I wish him every success for the future.”
Parry’s appointment marked a significant month for Royal London Group, with Chief Executive Phil Loney announcing he would step down after seven years at the firm.
Royal Bank of Scotland announced Katie Murray as its new executive director and chief financial officer (CFO) in December.
Having joined as director of finance in November 2015, Murray was appointed deputy CFO last year and served as the bank’s interim CFO following Ewen Stevenson’s exit in September 2018.
Murray said: “I am delighted to take up this role and look forward to working with my colleagues on the board, the executive committee and across RBS.”
The appointment marks a significant milestone for RBS, which is the UK’s first major bank to have women in its top two executive positions. Murray’s counterpart, Alison Rose, serves as chief executive of RBS’s corporate, commercial and private banking business.
Commenting on the appointment, RBS chairman Howard Davies said: “I am pleased to welcome Katie to the RBS board following a successful period as interim CFO.
“Katie brings nearly 30 years of finance and accounting experience in capital management, investor relations and financial planning to the role. She has already contributed significantly to RBS over the last three years as the bank has resolved its last major legacy issues, returned to profit and restarted paying dividends”
BT Group has appointed Jane Wood to lead its company policy and public affairs team in the UK devolved nations, English regions and Ireland.
Wood will also lead public-facing functions in Scotland, the Group announced, and will sit on the BT Scotland board.
This appointment follows the retirement of Brendan Dick, who served in the same role for a number of years. Dick is now the chairman of the Openreach board in Scotland.
In her new role, Wood will lead BT Group’s relationships with public bodies and politicians, while also taking the lead on policy making for the group in the UK devolved nations, English regions and Ireland.
Wood commands extensive experience in areas of public affairs, SME engagement, change management across a host of sectors and also managing Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) programmes.
She previously served as head of corporate affairs at Wallgreen Boots Alliance and has worked as a ministerial advisor on town centre regeneration, welfare reform and child poverty.
Commenting on the appointment, Wood said: “It’s exciting to be joining BT at a time when digital society and innovation is at the core of everything we do, whether that be business, our public services or at home. BT is a vital part of every community across the UK, not just in providing services but also as a major employer and digital skills ambassador.”
Fibre 1, a Moray-based digital telecoms firm, announced it will move to the Enterprise Park Forres and Scotland House in London in December.
This move will enable Fibre 1 to expand its UK-based business network, the firm said, and will help meet the growing demand for faster broadband products and services.
Fibre 1 currently operates its own fibre network, delivering high-speed broadband and wireless ethernet services. Fibre and VOIP projects have already been delivered across the length of the UK, from London to Stornoway in the Western Isles.
Managing Director Stewart MacDonald said the company’s London expansion marks a “positive” move, which will help to “further develop our plans” in the years ahead.
While the company looks further afield, he added, Fibre 1 still takes “great pride” in its Moray roots.
2018 saw the company make a number of key appointments to its team, as well as the company securing significant contracts in the offshore sector.
MacDonald commented: “As part of our strategic growth plans the decision to move into the excellent facilities at Horizon Scotland in Forres was an important one.
“As a business and innovation centre, Horizon Scotland provides a great environment for technology companies.”
MacDonald added: “Also, due to a growing UK channel partner base, Fibre 1 has taken space at the prestigious Scotland House in London. This will allow more partners to engage with, and access, great pricing with excellent customer service.”
Highlands and Islands Enterprise is working alongside the company to help achieve its ambitious growth strategy.
HIE’s Scott McKnockiter said the organisation is “delighted to see Fibre 1 growing its operations from Moray”.
Johnston Carmichael has strengthened its central belt leadership team with two director promotions.
Hamilton joined Johnston Carmichael as a senior audit manager in May 2018, following eight and a half years at EY, and is based at the firm’s Glasgow office.
Holloway joined the firm as a senior manager in June 2017. Throughout his career, Holloway has worked with a host of businesses, ranging from start-ups to privately-owned companies.
He has doubled the size of his specialist taxes team, which now encompasses three of the firm’s largest office; located in Aberdeen, Edinburgh and Glasgow.
Chief Executive Sandy Manson commented: “At a time when the accountancy profession is being transformed by technology and our clients are being challenged more than ever as they take steps to grow their businesses, talented people remain our greatest asset and resource.
“We see our role as being trusted advisers who can help our clients take advantage of opportunities and successfully meet challenges as they arise.”
Manson added: “Andrew and James have each shown outstanding ability, dedication and drive in the way that they support both heir clients and colleagues, and thoroughly deserve their new roles as directors”