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DIGIT Movers and Shakers Column: August 2020

Ross Kelly

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August

The August edition of DIGIT’s Movers and Shakers column features appointments at Topolytics, SBRC, Pulsant and Intelligent Growth Solutions.

Recruitment

Scottish Business Resilience Centre

August 2020 saw the Scottish Business Resilience Centre (SBRC) reveal Promilla Caughey as Membership Manager as the Centre ramps up its activities to support businesses post-Covid.

Caughey joins SBRC from Glasgow West End, where she worked as the Covid-19 Community Coordinator. Prior to her time at Glasgow West End, Caughey worked as Strategic Policy Adviser at First Minister’s Policy and Delivery Unit, Scottish Government.

In her new role, Caughey will be responsible for managing SBRC’s membership area and ensuring its offerings are relevant to businesses requiring help during and post-pandemic.

She will also work to grow SBRC’s membership base, in part through developing reciprocal memberships with community organisations such as Glasgow Chamber to ensure it reaches all areas of Scotland.

Commenting on the appointment, Caughey said: “The SBRC is a fantastic resource for Scottish organisations working hard to stay afloat in these uncertain times. From webinars to training and expert advice, it is important businesses know what help is available to them.

“I’m excited for the opportunity to raise awareness of SBRC’s expertise and support throughout Scotland and help our country on its path to improve its economy.”

Jude McCorry, SBRC CEO added: “As Scotland emerges from the Covid-19 lockdown, it’s vital the business community comes together to ensure we can all succeed. To support this, we are heavily focusing our efforts on offering webinars and one-to-one mentoring to businesses that need guidance that relate to the specific challenges of operating during an economic downturn.

“Promilla’s experience developing partnerships and supporting economic development will have a tangible effect on our operations, ensuring we can give Scottish organisations exactly what they need in the current climate.”


Quorum Cyber

Edinburgh-based security firm Quorum Cyber has appointed Graham Moorhouse as Finance Director and welcomed him to its new board of directors.

Moorhouse joins amid an exciting period for Quorum Cyber as it continues its accelerated growth strategy. The cybersecurity firm recently secured £2.7 million in funding, led by Maven Capital Partners.

He brings many years of financial leadership experience that Quorum Cyber said will enable it to achieve sustainable growth as part of its wider international strategy.

Moorhouse , a CIMA qualified accountant, specialises in delivering rapid change, maintaining budget spend and income streams and implementing continuous improvement.

Additionally, he has a proven track record in overhauling financial controls, supporting commercial activity and streamlining organisations and system implementation.

Commenting on the position, Moorhouse said: “Quorum Cyber is an efficient and professional organisation with a wide service offering to match client requirements and delivers excellent customer service.  It is an exciting time for the business and the wider cyber security market, and I’m delighted to be a part of this journey.”

With over 20 years’ experience in financial control and leadership across several sectors ranging from food & lighting manufacturing, aviation, rail, hotels & most recently tech solutions to the hospitality industry, Graham is well placed to help Quorum Cyber deliver its objectives.

Federico Charosky, Quorum’s Managing Director, said: “We are incredibly excited to be adding Graham to the team. His knowledge and expertise will be pivotal as we continue on our journey, enabling us to make well informed decisions as we accelerate our growth, both domestic and internationally.”


Converged Communications Solutions

Aberdeen-headquartered IT company Converged Communication Solutions has appointed a leading cybercrime and cybersecurity expert with Police Scotland as its new chief security officer.

Robbie Ross has joined the IT firm to support the delivery of its cybersecurity service and provide leadership on the subject, which is a major concern to businesses and organisations.

He succeeds Gerry Grant in the role, who recently joined a Tayside-based public sector organisation.

Ross’ move to Converged comes after over 20 years working in the police force, most recently as part of Police Scotland’s cybercrime prevention unit as a cybercrime safety prevention and resilience liaison officer.  The post saw him working with institutions, industries and public sector organisations to deliver cybercrime security information that would positively influence individual and business behaviour to improve resilience in tackling the threat of cybercrime.

In his new role at Converged, Ross will work alongside the firm’s cyber security team, bringing a unique grasp of the subject from his time with Police Scotland.

Commenting on the appointment, he said: “Converged has established itself as a leading provider of cyber security services to businesses in Aberdeenshire, Moray and the Highlands and it is exciting to be joining the team.  Cyber security is a hugely important issue.

“Its prominence has been heightened in recent months with the increase in home working and online shopping and will remain a significant business issue going forward.”

Ross added: “Everyone has a part to play in cyber security as it is not just the responsibility of an IT department.  It is important that organisations and their staff understand this, and everyone recognises how they can help to protect an organisation and themselves from a cyber attack.”

Neil Christie, Managing Director of Converged, said: “Attracting Robbie to this role after over two decades in the police force is testament to the reputation that Converged has established.  Robbie has a vast knowledge of cybercrime and cyber security, and an in-depth understanding of its impact on the nation.

“This means that our clients will receive a distinctive insight into the importance of having robust cyber defences.  I cannot think of a better equipped person to front the next phase of our cyber journey as we continue our mission to protect our clients’ digital way of life.”


Topolytics

Edinburgh-based waste analytics startup Topolytics has strengthened its senior management team with the appointment of Jane Stewart as non-executive director.

A qualified chartered accountant, Stewart has spent decades in the fields of investment, corporate finance, venture capital and private equity across Europe having worked for Baird Capital, SDF and EY.

Most recently, Stewart was strategy director and formerly chief financial officer at William Tracey Group, a leading waste recycling and resource management company. It was here she played an instrumental part of the leadership team which scaled the business rapidly through organic growth, acquisitions and alliances prior to a successful private equity sale in 2017 .

Stewart also serves as Chair of Zero Waste Scotland’s Circular Economy Investment Fund.

Commenting on her appointment, Stewart said: “Having worked with Topolytics over the past two years in an advisory board capacity, I am delighted to formally come on board as a non-executive director at such an exciting stage in Topolytics growth. Currently over 70% of waste resource globally ends up in landfill or leaks into the environment.

“Through aggregating and analysing waste data at scale our technology creates greater visibility of the waste system and resources generating insights which enable organisations to unlock the value in the material and improve the outcomes for waste resources.”

Stewart added: “My key role will be to guide the firm on strategy, funding and international expansion.  The Topolytics platform is truly global and we are currently seeing huge potential in Asia and the Americas.”

Last year, Topolytics was awarded a contract from DEFRA (Department for Environment Food & Rural Affairs) to work with the Ordnance Survey to create a system to monitor and track all of the UK’s waste; this involves tracking more than 20 million movements of waste from their sources through to final processing or disposal.

The firm has also been recognised by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation as a global circular economy innovator, by Cleantech Group as one of the leading ‘smart waste’ companies and was recently a semi-finalist in the Plastic Data Challenge which sought to advance plastic waste management and the circular economy in South and Southeast Asia.

Dr Michael Groves, CEO at Topolytics commented: “Jane is an invaluable member of our senior management team.

“Not only is she highly skilled in finance and corporate strategy but she has an intimate knowledge of the waste and recycling sector through her work with the William Tracey Group and Zero Waste Scotland.”


Pulsant

Pulsant, a leading UK provider of regional data centre and cloud infrastructure services, has announced two new senior appointments.

Rob Spamer has joined Pulsant as Director of Data Centres and Demyon Wright has been appointed Head of Service Management.

As Director of Data Centres, Spamer will be responsible for the management and leadership of Pulsant’s network of regional data centres, including driving best practice and standardisation and enhancing the company’s environmental strategy.

With almost 20 years of experience in the data centre industry, Spamer joined Pulsant from Equinix, where he held the position of Operations Manager. Prior to his time at Equinix, he worked as Data Centre Operations Manager London for Telecity Group UK.

Spamer joined Pulsant at the end of 2019 in the role of Interim Director of Data Centres and has now assumed the role on a permanent basis.

As Head of Service Management, Wright is tasked with strengthening service management across Pulsant’s customer base. With over 15 years of experience in leading service management teams, Wright will be responsible for ensuring customer satisfaction and that Pulsant provides the optimum levels of capability, capacity and best practice to customers.

The appointments are the latest in a flurry of new hires for Pulsant. The firm recently hired Stephen Ball as Chief Sales Officer (CSO) and Simon Michie as Chief Technology Officer (CTO) as part of its wider growth strategy.

Commenting on the announcement, Pulsant CEO Rob Coupland said: “I’m pleased to welcome both Rob and Demyon to Pulsant. Both have a great track record and will play a pivotal role in continuing to drive improvements in our infrastructure and customer services.

“Rob has already had a huge impact as Interim Director of Data Centres and Demyon brings a wealth of experience that will have an enduring positive impact on our customer relationships.”


Intelligent Growth Solutions

Edinburgh-based agritech business, Intelligent Growth Solutions (IGS), has welcomed Kathleen Honeyman to its management team as Global Projects Director.

Honeyman’s appointment marks a significant step change in the company’s development as it moves to deliver vertical farms to customers around the world.

The new role will see Honeyman take overall leadership of the successful delivery of each IGS-built vertical farm worldwide, engaging closely with our deployment and supply chain partners. Kathleen will build an international team of project managers to ensure the resource and skills within IGS to deliver extremely precise systems to a very high-quality threshold.

She joins IGS from Edinburgh Airport where she was Senior Project Manager, taking overall responsibility for the end-to-end management of all IT projects including a variety of strategic operational, financial and compliance-specific assignments. Prior to that she held project management roles at Royal Bank of Scotland and Scottish Water.

Speaking on her decision to join IGS, Kathleen commented: “The chance to be part of this exciting sector, in a company as innovative and forward thinking as IGS, is an opportunity that I am delighted to accept.

“The team is ambitious and excited about its future ambitions, not just in the deployment of our solutions, but also the wider impact of supporting globally sustainable food supply chains. My role will be heavily focused on meeting those ambitions – something I am really proud to be able to support.”

IGS CEO, David Farquhar, added: “Kathleen is a strategic hire for IGS and we’re delighted to have her join the team. We are currently facing what is simultaneously the most exciting and challenging phase of IGS’ history to date: rolling out our vertical farms to customers across the globe.

“Having a person of Kathleen’s calibre and experience to help drive our deployments forward, utilising globally recognised best practice, will provide confidence to our customers in committing to buying IGS farms. In turn, this will help support the supplier commitments to their off-takers.

“As an organisation, we’ve always prided ourselves on going above and beyond, continuously innovating and never resting on our laurels, and we want our customers to know that the same applies to the way in which we deliver farms in the field. Kathleen is ideally qualified to help us continue to deliver outstanding service on a global scale.”


Candidate ID

Glasgow-based recruitment technology startup, Candidate ID, has appointed Mike Hughes as Chief Technology Officer.

Hughes is an experienced technology sector leader, having previously served as CTO and Chief Executive Officer at Graham Technology, which grew from a bedroom in Glasgow’s Southside to £25m turnover, employing 400 people and exit to Sword Group in 2008.

Following his time at Graham Technology, Hughes went on to become Chief Operating Officer at Sword managing a team of 600 internationally, responsible for £100m turnover.

Most recently, he spent nearly two years as General Manager at Leidos’ global airports division.

Commenting on his appointment, Hughes said: “I’m very excited to be joining Candidate ID. I was immediately impressed not only by the team, their vision but also the quality and depth of the solution they have already built. The future for the business is extremely positive and I can’t wait to get started.”

In the last 18 months the business has raised £1.6m of VC investment, which has enabled considerable growth in market traction. The firm’s engagement technology connects with companies’ core HR systems and is credited with improving recruitment teams’ productivity.

Candidate ID customers include several FTSE 100 and Fortune 500 companies including BUPA, IQVIA, Nielsen, Specsavers and Thermo Fisher Scientific.

Adam Gordon, co-founder and CEO of Candidate ID, added: “I’m really delighted to welcome Mike to Candidate.ID. Mike’s not only bringing 30+ years’ tech leadership but he learns new languages and codes every day and is enthusiastic about developing product.

“His experience as a co-founder, business leader and CTO in companies which have achieved successes of the level we are aiming for will help us considerably as we scale.”


SIS Ventures

Responsible finance provider, Social Investment Scotland (SIS), has appointed three senior non-executive Directors in support of its new ten-year strategy to build an impact economy.

SIS said the appointments of Claire Treacy, Sheila Fazal, and Collette Norval, will help support the delivery of a new 10-year strategy for SIS.

The strategy, Building an Impact Economy 2030 will set out a roadmap for providing social entrepreneurs with the investment and support needed to create greater, more sustainable impact.

In their new roles, Treacy will chair the Risk Committee while Fazal will Chair the Audit Committee.

The trio of appointments will join an eight-strong board led by Ken Barclay, whose tenure as Chair began last year. The organisation added that, in line with its diversity and inclusion objectives, female board representation now stands at above 50%.

Since SIS was established in 2001, it has invested nearly £80 million in over 400 impactful businesses and supported over 5,000 social entrepreneurs.

Commenting on the new appointments Ken Barclay, Chairman, SIS said: “Claire, Sheila and Collette bring with them invaluable qualities, experience and expertise in the fields of risk, finance and social enterprise to the Board of SIS.

“We know that diversity in the boardroom leads to better business outcomes and I am sure that our new Board members will make a significant contribution to the pursuit of our long term vision to create an impact economy.​”

Barclay added: “With the publication of our new 10 year strategy and in the midst of an ongoing pandemic, I’m excited by the challenge of what we as a Board can do to support the SIS Executive in playing an important role as Scotland looks to rebuild its economy.”

Ross Kelly

Staff Writer

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