The judging panel:

Jonathan Boyers, Partner, Corporate Finance, KPMG

Judging: Accountant of the Year & Lawyer of the Year categories

Jonathan joined KPMG in 1988. He transferred into Corporate Finance shortly after qualifying as an ACA in 1991. Since then he has advised a variety of clients including both private and public companies in particular in respect of company disposals, acquisitions and private equity work.

Jonathan worked in the firms London office managing one of the Mergers and Acquisitions teams for two years until he returned to Manchester in 2001.

Jonathan now heads the Corporate Finance team in the North of England. He also sits on KPMG's UK Corprate Finance Executive Board. In addition to his M&A and Private Equity work, he is also a Partner in the firms National Share Valuation team.

Jonathan was awarded the North West Insider Magazine Deal Maker of the year award for 2009.Jonathan was awarded the EN Magazine Corporate Financier of the Year award 2011 and the EN Magazine Dealmaker of the Year award 2011.

Jonathan was awarded the Institute of Chartered Accountants of England and Wales Corporate Finance Faculty's Corporate Financier of the Year Award for 2011.

Simon Brownbill, Partner & Director of Practice Development, HURST Accountants

Judging: Business Development Professional & Entrepreneur of the Year categories

 Simon is Partner & Director of Practice Development at HURST Accountants. Simon also acts as a marketing and consultant to several leading local businesses as well as PrimeGlobal, the world’s third largest accountancy association.  An accomplished marketer and business developer, Simon has spent most of his career in Manchester working in the telecoms, legal, and accountancy sectors. He regularly speaks on best practice sales and marketing and is a frequent contributor to the local business press.


Helen Clayton, Director in Entrepreneurial Business at Deloitte

Judging: Business Development Professional & Entrepreneur of the Year categories

Helen ClaytonHelen has been working with and advising entrepreneurial businesses in the North West for almost 20 years. Passionate for her clients’ success stories, Helen leads a team of 30 individuals, all focused on advising such clients across a wide range of industries. From audit and tax compliance through to restructuring, refinancing, taxation, pension planning, succession planning and due diligence, Helen’s team works very closely with colleagues across Deloitte to being the appropriate solutions to their clients at a relevant time. 

Helen also works with a significant number of large regional law firms across the North, leading the statutory and regulatory compliance services to those firms whilst also delivering projects around gross margin improvement, streamlining internal financial reporting processes, financial due diligence, regulatory due diligence and reviews of associated internal controls.

Until recently, Helen was also the CFO for Deloitte’s own North West audit practice.

Steve Connor, Co-founder and CEO, Creative Concern

Judging: Manchester Champion category

Steve is co-founder and CEO of Creative Concern. He specialises in ethical and sustainability issues, integrated campaigns, city strategies, brand development and creating strange installations out of trees, lights and beautiful type. Particular areas of expertise include climate change, place making, transport, food issues and the natural environment.

He is the Chair of Manchester's Climate Change Steering Group and helped edit the city's climate change action plan: A Certain Future. He is a trustee of the Community Forests Trust, former Chair of the Northwest Forestry Forum and on the advisory board of Salford University’s centre for Sustainable Urban and Regional Futures. He was formerly Communications Director at Sustainability Northwest and Head of Campaigns at the Vegetarian Society of the UK.

Melissa Davis, Talent Consultant, Wickland Westcott

Judging: Talent and Recruitment Professional & Mentor of the Year categories

Melissa is a Talent Consultant specialising in Executive Assessment and Leadership Development. She manages assignments involving the design and delivery of bespoke assessment and development processes. She brings a particular expertise in the assessment of senior leaders and has worked with businesses such as E.on, Severn Trent, The Co-operative Group, Grant Thornton and Nestle, helping them to understand the talent that exists within their business.

Heading up the Leadership Development Practice at Wickland Westcott, Melissa is deeply motivated to support organisations to be the best that they can be. She has experience in sectors including financial services, utilities, legal, technology, education, nuclear and the public and not-for-profit sectors.

Melissa has a degree in Psychology, a Masters degree in Occupational Psychology, and holds Level A and B certificates in personality testing. She is a Chartered Occupational Psychologist, an Associate Fellow of the British Psychological Society and a registered Practitioner Psychologist with the Health Professions Council.

Fran Eccles-Bech, Board of Trustees at Breakthrough Breast Cancer North West & Salford Six Degrees Social Enterprise

Executive Director, Manchester Law Society

Judging: Accountant of the Year & Lawyer of the Year categories

Fran Eccles Bech

I have been at Manchester Law Society for 25 years this year (yes I obviously was a child prodigy!!). 

My responsibilities at Manchester Law Society include providing an extensive range of services for members and non members, management of the financial business, to investigate and create marketing opportunities, to support the Officers, Council and Committees, to act as a focal point for the Society and to manage and oversee staff, strategy and operations.

My hobbies are my lovely Spanish husband, Peter, my hormonal, adolescent 16 year old son, Jack (aka Kevin), going to our caravan, my charity work for Breakthrough Breast Cancer North West and Salford Six Degrees Social Enterprise, walking the dogs (Beth the cocker spaniel and Daisy the westie), gardening but only in the summer, shopping (NOT window), cooking for friends, reading when I get a minute, riding my motorbike which I only learned to do last year and very sadly, reality tv shows

Charles Glaskie, Partner, Gateley

Judging: Banker of the Year & Corporate Financier of the Year categories

Charles Glaskie

Charles leads the corporate team at Gateley in Manchester and specialises in mergers and acquisitions in both the private and public company arenas and has over 15 years' experience in a full range of corporate finance work. He has a master’s degree in law (from the College of William & Mary, Virginia, USA) and has been awarded the Corporate Finance Qualification by the Institute of Chartered Accountants. Charles is rated as one of the leading corporate finance lawyers within the North West, winning plaudits for being both “knowledgeable and commercial”.

Charles has acted on the £150 million disposal of Eveden Group to Wacoal Holdings; acted for ITIS Holdings Plc on its £37 million takeover by Inrix Inc.; acted for Gazprom on its acquisitions of TruRead and Cyclo Systems and acted on various transactions for Betfred, Peninsula Business Services and Cordant Group Plc.

Charles enjoys most sports, particularly football, golf, cricket, cycling and, occasionally, triathlons  

Tim Grogan, Future pro.manchester Chair & Director, Deloitte North West Audit Advisory Practice

Judging: Accountant of the Year, Lawyer of the YearManchester Champion & Chairman's Rising Star categories

Tim Grogan

Tim has over 11 years’ experience across a variety of sectors and organisations, with his focus in recent years being on large, complex plc businesses.

Tim’s experience includes audits and interim reviews for complex private and listed groups in addition to providing a range of transaction and advisory services to his clients which include reporting accountant work on IPO’s, equity raisings, acquisitions and disposals.

Tim has been a member of the future pro.manchester committee since 2010 and is now the future pro.manchester Chairman having been voted into position in 2013.  

Michael Hartig, Head of Barclays Corporate, North West and North Wales

Judging: Banker of the Year & Corporate Financier of the Year categories

Michael Hartig

Based at 3 Hardman Street, Spinningfields, Michael leads a team of Relationship Directors and support staff to serve the needs of businesses with a turnover of £5m and above, helping them to realise their growth potential and maximise market opportunities. Michael moved to the North West in early 2009 and prior to this he led the Corporate team in the North East and has 20 years of experience in banking, corporate relationship management and leadership roles and holds a degree in Management and Engineering as well as an MBA.  Throughout his career with Barclays, Michael has worked closely with major PLCs, multinationals and SME businesses and has developed strong industry specialism. In the past he has sat on the national strategy boards for both the Manufacturing and Retail industries.  Currently, he is a member of the North West CBI Regional Council and plays an active part in the professional community.  He is married with two children.  Contact Michael on 07775 550281 or email [email protected]

Steve Hayes-Allen, Regional Head - Northern UK, BNY Mellon

Judging: Banker of the Year & Corporate Financier of the Year categories

Steve Hayes Allen

Steve joined BNY Mellon’s operation in Manchester, one of the Company’s Global Delivery Centres, in September 2011 as the Manchester Site Executive and Regional Head – Northern UK.

Steve is the senior management representative for Manchester, responsible for supporting the continued development of the Global Delivery Centre with over 1,100 staff. Steve chairs the Manchester Executive and Operating Committees and is responsible for developing and executing Manchester’s local strategy.

In addition to this, Steve chairs a committee that represents our locations in the North of England – Leeds, Liverpool and Manchester. The committee ensures a link between the northern UK region and EMEA, as well as a consistent approach and sharing of best practice in relation to employee engagement, business partner support, business continuity, crisis management planning, CSR and external affairs. Steve represents the region on a number of EMEA and Global committees including the EMEA Operating Committee.

Steve has over 18 years of financial services industry experience, including over 12 years with BNY Mellon. He is an investment professional with considerable strategic and people management experience gained from investment management, trading and asset servicing.

Steve has a Bachelor of Science degree in Economics and is a member of the Chartered Financial Analysts Institute (CFAI) and an Associate of the Society of Investment Professionals (ASIP).

He lives in the north of England with his wife and son.

Mark Hovell, Partner, Mills & Reeve

Judging: Accountant of the Year & Lawyer of the Year categories

Mark HovellManchester lawyer Mark Hovell heads up the local office of national law firm Mills & Reeve. Awarded the title Partner of the Year at the 2013 Manchester Legal Awards, Mark knows what it takes to be a stand out lawyer in this city. Having qualified as a solicitor with George Davies Solicitors in 1993, Mark moved up the ranks to managing partner. After six successful years at the helm he oversaw the firms recent merger with Mills & Reeve. A sports lawyer by trade, Mark is also a qualified insolvency practitioner and sits as an arbitrator for the Court of Arbitration for Sport in Switzerland.


Michael Howard, Managing Director and Owner, Urban Bubble

Judging: Property Professional & Digital, Media or Creative Professional categories

Michael Howard

Michael Howard, Managing Director and Owner of urbanbubble, Multi Award Winning Residential Managing Agent based in the heart of the Northern Quarter, managing some of Manchester’s best know apartment schemes. Founded in 2008, the business really got going in June 2009 and in that time urbanbubble have grown from scratch, a residential property management service that was awarded the best in the industry in 2012. urbanbubble employ 30 full time staff growing to over 40 by the end of 2013,  with a portfolio of 3500 homes across 65 schemes which will grow to 5000 homes across 80 schemes by the end of 2013.

 Sam Jones, Founder, Tunafish Media

Judging: Business Development Professional & Entrepreneur of the Year categories

A former Salford University graduate, Sam won a place on the prestigious 'Manchester Masters' graduate retention scheme after finishing University. He launched video production agency Tunafish Media in 2011 tih partners Richard Brooks and James McDonald and their clients include Nissan, eON Reality, Manchester Science Parks and Pretty Green.
In February 2013, he was named 'Business Development Professional of the Year' at the Made in Manchester awards and was also chosen as one of Insider Magazines 'Rising Stars of Business'. He is currently shortlisted for 'Business Development Achievement of the Year' and The Manchester Young Talent Awards, where Tunafish are also nominated for 'Team of the Year.'

He is also an ambassador for Forever Manchester.

Adam Jupp, Head of Business, MEN Media

Judging: Property Professional & Digital, Media or Creative Professional categories

Adam Jupp

Adam joined MEN Media in November 2010 after nearly six years at ncjmedia, in the north east, where he held a number of senior positions including Investigations Reporter and Chief Reporter for the Chronicle and its sister title, the Journal. He won a series of awards, including the Press Gazette Young Reporter of the Year, North East Journalist of the Year, Investigations Reporter of the Year  and the Katie Adie Prize for Initiative in Journalism. Adam also spearheaded much of the business coverage, ranging from the new ventures of ex-Newcastle United chairman Freddy Shepherd, to the state of the club’s finances under new owner Mike Ashley, as well as covering major firms like Gregg’s, Northern Rock, Northumbrian Water and Eaga. He also ran a series of campaigns, including urging the government to scrap Air Passenger Duty, which is identified as damaging to regional airports and businesses. This is an issue he has picked up at the MEN.

In April 2011, Adam was appointed Head of Business, a role that covers coordinating MEN Media’s business coverage in the MEN, Greater Manchester Business Week and online. He was named last year's North West Business Journalist of the Year.

Al Makin, CEO & Co-Founder, theEword

Judging: Property Professional & Digital, Media or Creative Professional categories

Al Mackin

Al Mackin is CEO of search marketing agency theEword, a thirty strong Manchester based agency that services clients such as Ralli, Roberts Jackson, Betfred, Bruntwood and Renault. His business turns over £2.5m per annum, and over the last three years has taken on and trained six north west young apprentices, and four graduates. He was the winner of the Made in Manchester Digital, Media or Creative Professional of the Year in 2013.

Al is also founder of Formisimo, an advanced web-form analytics tool, as well as  being an ambassador for Forever Manchester and co-chair of the Creative Pro.Manchester committee. He is also a support of the charity CALM.

Simon McCrum, Managing Partner, Darbys Solicitors LLP

Judging: Business Development Professional & Entrepreneur of the Year categories

A Commercial Litigation solicitor by training, Simon moved away from client-facing legal work whilst at Pannone LLP in Manchester.  As  a non-fee-earning partner and then Equity Partner there, he was Head of Commercial Litigation for a period and at times was also the Head of Construction and Head of Crime/Fraud too. He worked with other teams to help their business. He was Marketing Partner, Head of Business Development, and part of the Management Team. While he was at Pannone he launched the national Connect2Law referral and support network for law firms in the North West and then packaged this so it could be franchised in other regions around the country. In late 2007 he joined Darbys, a Top 200 law firm in Oxford, as Equity Partner and as managing Partner. A reconstruction of the firm was required so the last 5 years has seen fevered activity during still difficult times, but the firm has long since turned the corner and 2012 is seeing some 30% year-on-year growth in turnover. Since joining Darbys, Simon designed and launched the PURPLE LEGAL brand which now has 17,000 households involved, and this year saw the acquisition by Darbys of Legal Assistance Direct – a high-quality legal helpline and call centre operation which is a legal resource for some 5 million people.

Paul McGlone, Future pro-manchester Vice Chair & Business Development Director for and on behalf of turner parkinson LLP

Judging: Manchester Champion & Chairman's Rising Star category

Paul McGlone

Having graduated and completed post graduate studies at MMU, Paul has worked within the professional services sector throughout his entire career. He is Turner Parkinson’s Business Development Director having joined in 2013. 

His responsibility is to deliver all business development and marketing activities for the firm, focusing on lead generation opportunities and delivering value to the business.

Paul has been a member of the future pro.manchester committee since 2010 and is now the Vice Chair, having been voted into position in 2013.


Daniel Mesrie, Director, MDM Resourcing

Judging: Talent and Recruitment Professional & Mentor of the Year categories

Daniel is a co-founder and Director of MDM Resourcing, a Manchester based business delivering financial recruitment services to North West accountancy firms and “dynamic middle market” businesses.   Founded in 1999 and now in its 15th year, Daniel has been instrumental in developing MDM Resourcing into one of the North West’s leading independent Financial Recruitment companies with a reputation for delivering unrivalled service levels and objective, frank, well informed and relevant advice. 

Daniel graduated in Management Sciences with first class honours from Hull University in 1990, before joining Trade Indemnity plc in London where he became a new business underwriter.  In 1993, he joined the family textile business as Sales & Marketing Director.

Lucy Perkins, Chief Executive & Co-Founder, LDA

Judging: Property Professional & Digital, Media or Creative Professional categories

 Lucy is Chief Executive and Co-Founder of LDA, with business partners David and Andrew Eccles. Based at The Landing in the heart of MediaCity, LDA work with some amazing brands across strategy, content, creative, tech, marketing and communications.

 Whilst LDA have a portfolio of clients across the UK and US, they play a key role in developing brands within Manchester, working and partnering with leading organisations across the Northwest such as Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce, Business Growth Hub, pro·manchester, Economic Solutions, Manchester United, Nike and MBNA.  As part of their strategy to grow talent in the Northwest, LDA are currently undergoing a recruitment drive to bring fresh young talent into the agency across all aspects of their business.

Simon Swan, Co-founder, Hiring-Hub

Judging: Talent and Recruitment Professional & Mentor of the Year categories

Simon is co-founder of Hiring-Hub.com, the multiple award-winning, Manchester-based tech company whose free, Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) online model is turning the UK’s £25 billion recruitment industry on its head. Simon launched Hiring-Hub.com in 2011 with his business partner, Sara Jones. It boasts clients like Morrisons PLC, Amec, Capita Symonds, Iceland Foods and Mars Group, in addition to thousands of specialist SMEs, and has been recognised by Prime Minister David Cameron as one of the UK’s most entrepreneurial and innovative new businesses.


Martin Tighe, Deputy Head of Corporate Banking, North West, HSBC

Judging: Banker of the Year & Corporate Financier of the Year categories

Martin Tighe

Martin is the Deputy Head of Corporate Banking for HSBC in the North West region, located in its Corporate Banking Centre at Spinningfields in Manchester, where the manages a portfolio of large, corporate relationships with turnover ranging from USD 50 million to in excess of USD 3 billion.  Martin has been with HSBC for 29 years and has extensive experience in corporate banking, having worked in London, Yorkshire and the North West.  His most recent previous roles include; Director, Leveraged Finance and Head of Corporate Loan Management Unit (Intensive care) for the North 

Nicola Quayle, pro.manchester Chairman & Partner, KPMG UK

Judging: Chairman’s Rising Star category

pro.manchester Chairman Nicola has been an Audit Partner at KPMG since 2008.

Nicola leads the audit of a number of KPMG’s larger publicly owned and private equity backed clients, including Stobart Group Limited, Booker Group plc, Speedy Hire Group Plc and Four Seasons Health Care Limited.  Nicola also has a particular interest in the UK Co-operative sector and works with both the Co-operative Group and many of the other large regional Co-operative Societies.

In addition to her audit experience, Nicola has extensive transaction experience, having spent a year working in KPMG’s transaction team in London and, most recently, advising on the acquisition of Makro UK by Booker Group plc. Nicola takes a very ‘hands on’ approach to her client base, providing high quality accounting and governance advice in a proactive and pragmatic way. 

Nicola was educated at Liverpool John Moores University and before joining KPMG she completed her professional training with Pannell Kerr Forster in Liverpool. Nicola is married with two young children.

Susanna Whawell, Founding Director, Auxilium Legal

Judging: Talent and Recruitment Professional & Mentor of the Year categories

Susanna is a founding director of Auxilium Legal, a niche and thriving law costs consultancy based in Salford Quays.  A business and supply chain analyst by training, Susanna worked at a senior level in a number of blue chip firms before establishing Auxilium.  Regarded as an industry expert in the field of supply chain systems analysis she has twice been a keynote speaker for international conferences, and her team has also been recognised at a national and international level for successful completion of £multi-million projects.  An experienced judge she has served on the panel of the GFA for the last 3 years as the systems specialist.  She is the current local chair of the 22,000 member CILT, and is striving to bring together members from multiple industry disciplines to share knowledge and best practice in service supply chain management.


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