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DIGIT Movers and Shakers | May 2021 Edition

Ross Kelly

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Movers and Shakers
In the May edition of DIGIT’s Movers and Shakers column, we explore the latest recruitment news from across Scotland’s digital technology sector.

Recruitment

IGS

Edinburgh-headquartered agritech business Intelligent Growth Solutions (IGS) has welcomed Sarah Willis into the role of Chief Financial Officer.

The vertical farming company says that Willis’ appointment reflects the “need for substantial transactional and commercial financial experience” to support a new “global growth strategy” in the market.

Commenting on her new position, Willis said: “The opportunity to be part of a business like IGS is really exciting. The combination of the talented team, the incredibly innovative technology and the prodigious industry growth were compelling for me.

“I am delighted that I can be part of this ambitious team to help support a positive evolution in food production for the future.”

Willis joins IGS from Spirit Energy, where, as Head of Finance Operations, she was responsible for the financial integrity of the company which generated over £1bn of revenues.

In her new role, she will be responsible for the company’s financial management, HR, admin support and new office development, working closely with IGS CEO David Farquhar and the board.

Farquhar commented: “Sarah is a hugely welcome addition to the leadership team at IGS, as we seek to further diversify and expand the talent across our organisation.

“She joins our business at a crucial and pivotal point in our evolution, bringing us a fresh perspective from the energy industry particularly, whilst expanding her own capabilities and leadership skills in her first CFO role.”


Swipii

Cashback app Swipii added to its leadership team in May as the Glasgow firm looks to quadruple its business network in 2021.

Richard McCandless, formerly of ResDiary, joined the team as Commercial Director, bringing with him a wealth of experience after scaling SaaS restaurant booking platform ResDiary worldwide.

In his new role as commercial director, McCandless will catalyse growth and sales across Swipii, leading the Scottish startup’s commercial efforts and establishing key partnerships.

This latest addition to the team follows recent funding success for Swipii, which in April successfully raised more than £900,000 in a crowdfunding campaign.

Louis Schena, Swipii co-founder and CEO, said: “The team at Swipii is delighted to have had such a positive response from the crowd and oversubscribed so early on.

“Our mission to better connect consumers and local businesses together is inherently social and community based, the crowd will play a vital role in our growth this year and beyond.

“It’s full-throttle ahead for Swipii this year, we have big plans, and with Richard joining us, these just got accelerated.”

Paul Munn, partner at Par Equity, commented: “We’ve worked with the team for over two years now, followed up and led this round of funding.

“The product offering they’ve developed is best in class and they’ve taken advantage of the shut markets to extend their runway, double down on the technology and have made some impressive hires to an already all-star team.”


Tricapital

Scottish angel investment syndicate, Tricapital, announced a number of changes to its board and leadership team last month as the firm enters its next phase of growth.

The Scottish Enterprise-accredited angel syndicate, an early stage investor in a series of startup success stories including Aurum Biosciences, Aveni, Findra, Gas Sensing Solutions, Ten Bio and ZoneFox, appointed Moray Martin as Chief Executive.

Martin, who previously served as development director at the firm, will lead the roll-out of its new strategic plan and business model alongside Operations Manager, Carolyn Murray.

Jamie Andrew, who has led Tricapital for over four years as executive chair, will stand down from the role at the end of June to become Honorary President. Andrew will continue to support the syndicate in an ambassadorial role, however.

Meanwhile, Douglas Needham, currently serving as vice-chair, will become non-executive chair from 1st July while Kathy Kinder has joined the board as a director.

Commenting on the changes, Martin said: “Tricapital has evolved to become a significant player on the Scottish angel investor scene.

“I am excited to be leading the next phase of growth for the syndicate, supported by our active and growing cohort of members, in an environment and ecosystem which continues to present significant value-driven opportunities.

“The firm has a strong track record around delivery of support, loyalty, and service to our portfolio companies. We have a rich heritage and brand which provides me and the rest of the new leadership team with a fantastic foundation to begin the next chapter in our story.”

Douglas Needham added: “I would like to thank and pay tribute to Jamie on the occasion of his retiral.

“He is a founding member of Tricapital and has achieved a great deal during his time on the Board, and then as Chair. We look forward to his continuing contribution as honorary president.”


4ICG Group

Scottish-headquartered digital specialists, 4ICG Group, have appointed a new European operations director to lead the firm’s growth on the continent.

Lydia McKinnon has joined to lead the expansion of 4ICG’s team in Malaga as well as the establishment of its new office in Tenerife, which was announced by the company in March.

The expansion will see 200 jobs created in Malaga, as well as the 150 roles previously announced at its Santa Cruz base in Tenerife.

McKinnon joins 4ICG with a wealth of experience in senior operations roles at HP and Kura. In her new role, she will be based in Malaga initially and will spend time in each location as operations dictate.

Lydia said: “This is a really exciting opportunity to work with a fast paced, progressive and ambitious Scottish business as they build their presence in Europe.

“The Malaga office has been a great success so far for 4ICG but will benefit from additional leadership on the ground as we target new business and add to the existing team.

“The chance to help establish the Tenerife office will also be really enjoyable in the months ahead and I’m looking forward to using my experience to help the company flourish in these locations.”

Lorraine Gray, Director at 4ICG Group, said: “Lydia’s experience, knowledge and enthusiasm made her the outstanding candidate for this role. Our Malaga operation has been hugely successful since launching April 2019.

“Growing that team from 70 to 270 FTE will mean a busy 12 months of expansion but with Lydia joining our senior leadership team, we are confident our growth can be expedited in this territory and across Europe.”


Recommended


Edge Testing

Edge Testing, part of Eurofins Digital Testing, appointed Ian Bryson as Digital Test Hub Manager to spearhead growth plans for Digital Test Hubs across the UK.

Bryson commands a wealth of experience in blue-chip project consultancy and team management expertise, having previously worked at Glasgow City Council, Education Scotland and Sky TV in South Lanarkshire.

In the new role, Bryson will be based at the company’s headquarters in Belshill, near Glasgow.

However, this position will also see him working alongside Head of Technical Services, Neil Cameron, to drive and oversee service expansion across Eurofins Digital Testing’s regional technology centres in Bellshill, Birmingham and Manchester.

He will also work closely with testing teams in Bangalore, India, for larger projects.

Neil Cameron, Head of Technical Services at Eurofins Digital Testing, said: “We are expanding our offering to meet the increasing and changing demands from clients.

“Ian’s appointment will see him focus teams efforts on giving clients the peace of mind, and time to concentrate on other parts of their businesses, leaving testing to us.”

To bolster the company’s service delivery, Edge Testing said Bryson will focus on offering higher value services and a greater return on investment for clients across the country.

Commenting on his appointment, he said: “I’ve known about Eurofins Digital Testing since it was founded and have been attracted to it as a potential employer thanks to its family culture combined with a progressive, flat management structure.

“My new position will enable me to help boost the regional technology centres testing services offerings with a blend of services specifically designed for customers, but I also look forward to promoting the offshore benefits that the regional technology centres provide, from a UK-base.”


Cumulus Oncology

Cumulus Oncology, Europe’s first oncology drug discovery accelerator, has appointed Clare Doris as chief operating officer to support the company’s growth plans.

The University of Edinburgh neuroscience graduate, who also trained at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, is a life sciences entrepreneur with a track record in building and managing companies in the sector.

Following positions in global clinical research organisations Aptuit and Quintiles, Doris joined University of Edinburgh spin-out Aquila BioMedical as COO in 2011, where she led the company from its startup phase through to acquisition by Concept Life Sciences (CLS) in 2017.

She was then instrumental in the company integration and broader CLS Biology services strategy in her vice-president role.

Clare Wareing, CEO and co-founder of Cumulus Oncology, commented: “In her role at Aquila, Clare was instrumental in transforming the company from a startup to a successful specialist service provider, while leading collaborations supporting value creation and fundraising efforts for a range of biotech companies.

“This kind of experience is a great fit for where we are at on the Cumulus journey, with our own plans to scale the business over the next few years.”

Commenting on her appointment, Doris added: “Cumulus is one of the most exciting companies in the sector. The fresh approach taken by Cumulus as it creates biotech companies around novel oncology assets builds value for all stakeholders and accelerates new therapies for patients.

“Clare has built a world-class team, and as the company continues to scale, I look forward to using my industry, management and experience of building new companies to support the company through its next phase of growth.”


Forensic Analytics

Last month saw Forensic Analytics name former BT Enterprise CEO Gerry McQuade as its new non-executive chairman.

The appointment of McQuade, originally from Glasgow, represents a huge coup for the Hertfordshire-based company, which last month was awarded a Queen’s Awards for Enterprise for its software solutions.

McQuade boasts more than 30 years’ experience in both consumer and B2B technology businesses, including executive board positions with international companies including BT, EE, Orange and Virgin.

Most recently, McQuade spent over 12 years at EE and then BT, initially joining as the CEO of Wholesale and Ventures before leading the integration of that unit with Business and Public Sector to form the combined Enterprise business in 2018.

Commenting on his appointment, McQuade said: “I am delighted to be joining Forensic Analytics in what is a very exciting time in their history.

“I was immediately attracted to the company as it is a client-focused business with an exceptional relationship with its customers and solutions that are unique, but which also delivers meaningful and purposeful outcomes.”

Forensic Analytics Chief Executive, Steve Rick, added: “It is a great privilege to have someone of Gerry’s considerable business ability and acumen taking up the position of Non-Executive Chairman at Forensic Analytics.

“His appointment represents a huge statement of intent by the company.”


Continulus

Online video-learning platform, Continulus, has hired Scott McIntosh as CFO and Mark Mace as Software Architect.

Scott McIntosh is an experienced finance director with 20 years’ experience across the private equity sector.

He joins Continulus from Scottish Enterprise where he was responsible for managing a portfolio of equity investments in high growth Scottish companies, investing alongside business angel syndicates, venture capitalists and other early-stage investors.

A chartered accountant and a member of the Chartered Institute of Bankers in Scotland, he has served also as finance director of Kilmarnock-based charity “Partners for Inclusion”, an organisation with over 300 staff and annual revenues of £8m.

Mark Mace, an experienced Software Engineer, with 24 years’ experience in developing a diverse range of software across multiple sectors, has worked for such organisations as Keyfuels, Capgemini, Bet365, DeMontfort Fine Art, the NEC Group and Next Retail.

He joins Continulus from Biomedical Data Solutions where, most recently, he was working on the development of software that interfaces with medical screening, imaging and testing devices for the worldwide healthcare industry.

Dr Eoghan Colghan, Founder and CEO of Continulus, said: “Together, Scott and Mark bring years of high-grade hands-on experience to our business which is instrumental as we continue delivering on our online platform the world leading courses, conferences and tutorials to healthcare professionals throughout the world.”


Commsworld

Former Royal Bank of Scotland senior executive John White joined the Commsworld board as a non-executive director in May.

A globally recognised figure in banking and technology, White previously worked at computer giant IBM before spending six years with National Australia Bank.

He joined RBS in October 1999 as a key member of the bank’s team planning for the transformational acquisition of NatWest. It was there he led the successful technology integration of NatWest and Ulster Bank Groups with the RBS Group.

White went on to become Director of Group Technology at RBS, where he was involved in activities spanning the US, Europe and China.

Commenting on his appointment, White said: “I am delighted to have joined Commsworld’s Board. I have watched the company with great interest during the Covid-19 pandemic as it has led from the front to meet the growing demands from business and the public sector for good connectivity and a resilient IT system.

“I stand ready to help Commsworld grow across the UK, and particularly south of the border. The potential is there for the company to increase its reach and market share.”

Commsworld Chairman John Trower added: “I not only speak for myself, but for the whole Board, in saying that we are extremely happy to have a businessperson of the calibre of John White joining the company.

“His record and experience speaks for itself and we look forward with relish to gaining fresh insight into how we can continue to grow the company into a force to be reckoned with in the technology industry in the UK.”


Awards & Relocations

AutoRek

AutoRek, a software provider to global financial services firms, has been shortlisted for the ‘Best CASS Solution’ and ‘Best Wealth Management Solution’ categories at the Systems in the City Financial Technology Awards 2021.

AutoRek won the award for Best CASS solution at last year’s ceremony, the first time it was held virtually in its 18-year history.

Lyn Canavan, Head of Marketing at AutoRek, commented: “We are delighted to be recognised again as a provider of the ‘Best CASS Solution’, and also in the ‘Best Wealth Management Solution’ category by the Systems in the City Financial Technology Awards judging panel – this is testimony to the team’s continued hard work in consistently striving to offer superior solutions.”

Organised by Goodacre, a specialist business and technology consultancy, the awards are an endorsement for suppliers of services and systems to the regulated financial services sector.

Based on an independent and factual annual accreditation process, the selection process is overseen by three independent judges.

The Awards provide an important point of reference for user firms assessing the suitability of their operational infrastructure.


Razor Digital Media

Digital marketing firm Razor Digital Media has announced a move to a new office space in the wake of six-figure growth over the past year.

Led by managing directors Ian MacIntosh and Melissa Forrest, Razor Digital Media has moved to office premises at Citibase Aberdeen, located on Queen’s Road.

The fully-serviced business centre provides a platform to support their continued growth and development plans for 2022.

Commenting on the office move, Ian said: “Having the flexibility to work from home during the Covid-19 outbreak has attributed to the continued success of the business. However, it has been important to plan our return to office working, whenever restrictions allow this to resume.

“Citibase Aberdeen provides a high-quality office suite that will play a vital role in helping us achieve our growth objectives, which include delivering tailored solutions to maximise the benefits for our growing client base.”

The company now offers a full suite of marketing solutions, including digital marketing and PR, to complement their already established website design services, which were launched in 2019.

Razor Digital Media has secured several new contracts in the past few months throughout Scotland, as well as international clients in the UAE and Thailand, across multiple industry sectors including oil and gas, recruitment, retail, and tourism.

Beth Kemp at Citibase commented: “Here at Citibase, we have a real mix of business types and Razor Digital Media and their team will be a great addition. We look forward to working with them.”

Razor Digital Media’s services are designed to secure their clients more business, new business and repeat business with core solutions that cover all aspects of digital marketing.

Ross Kelly

Staff Writer

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