Sarah Shay, Jane Wilson and Harriet Cowie join Yorkshire-based Alpaca

14 November 2017

Alpaca, a professional services provider based in Leeds, has welcomed three new board members. Sarah Shay joins as Chief Commercial Officer, Jane Wilson as Human Resources Director and Harriet Cowie as Financial Director, taking the firm’s core team to a total of thirteen.

Yorkshire-based Alpaca offers a range of professional services to clients in the region, including business consultancy, financial, HR and legal offerings. The firm differentiates itself in the market with a flexible subscription model, enabling clients to ‘dial up or down’ the level of each area of professional support in a given month. “We built Alpaca without silos because clients told us they were sick of the wasted time and money that comes from instructing multiple advisors, each in their own professional bubbles,” explained Richard Turner, CEO of Alpaca.

Prior to establishing Alpaca, Turner worked over seven years for law firm Pinsent Masons. After gaining a diploma in Management Consulting from the University of Leeds in 2011, Turner worked a few years at the intersection of management consulting and law, which stood at the basis of the idea to found a professional services firm that “joins the dots” across functional areas.

Sarah Shay, Jane Wilson & Harriet Cowie

Alpaca’s formula has drawn growing attention from clients, and to meet growing demand for its services, the firm recently hired three new senior professionals for executive positions. Sarah Shay has been appointed Chief Commercial Officer. She was previously a corporate banker and business developer over a 17-year career at Santander, Barclays and RBS. Jane Wilson, the firm’s new Human Resources Director, has held previous roles at West Yorkshire Playhouse and Addleshaw Goddard. Harriet Cowie has been named Financial Director, she joined from Q Hotels, a company with over 20 4 star hotels throughout the UK.

The additions build on two new solicitors who also recently joined the team, following the recent acquisition of Genus Law, formerly Brilliant Law.

Interestingly, all three new senior hires have taken on flexible terms of working at the firm. “Happy employees are productive employees! 11 out of our 12 employees currently work flexibly – including two of the founder directors who work four days a week to allow them to look after their children,” said Turner.

“The obvious trigger for flexibility is kids, but I don’t care why you want to work flexibly as long as we agree on a fair price and you commit your full efforts to Alpaca, I’d rather have employees refreshed, ambitious and hungry to achieve than oppressed and a slave to an archaic (or even anarchic) working pattern. I’m on a mission to kill the myth that the only appropriate working pattern is an eight-hour, five-day work week,” he remarked.

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Rapid growth sees Quantum Advisory promote trio of partners

18 April 2019

Three senior level consultants have been boosted to the rank of Partner at Quantum Advisory, as the firm works to meet heightened levels of client demand. Aled Edwards, Amanda Burdge and Chris Heirene become Partners as long-time Quantum member Rob Davies retires in May after 15 years as a Partner at the firm.

Founded in 2000, Quantum Advisory provides pension and employee benefits services to employers, scheme trustees and members, with five offices across the UK. The firm has enjoyed exponential growth in recent years, following a number of major client wins and booming demand for its services. It opened a new office in Bristol in 2016 to service the South West and in 2017 relocated its Cardiff office to a larger site within the Welsh capital to house the increased workforce. More recently, Quantum relocated its Amersham, Birmingham and London offices to more spacious premises in the centre of both cities to cope with demand.

The financial services consultancy, which employs 115 people across the UK, has promoted three senior team members to Partner, as part of its wider growth plans. The firm has moved Aled Edwards from Principal Consultant & Actuary, while Amanda Burdge has ascended from Principal Investment Consultant. Chris Heirene, former IT Manager, has also joined the ten current Partners at Quantum.

Aled Edwards most recently managed the actuarial team within Quantum’s Cardiff office as well as providing technical training for all staff. He boasts more than 17 years of pensions experience. He started his career as an Actuary at Jardine Lloyd Thompson’s Bristol wing, before joining Quantum in 2011. Edwards is also the President of the Welsh Actuarial Society (WAS), which supports actuaries and actuarial students living or working in Wales.

Rapid growth sees Quantum Advisory promote trio of Partners

Amanda Burdge joined Quantum’s team in 2001, as one of the fledgling firm’s first employees. Most recently she was a Principal Investment Consultant with the firm, and with more than a quarter of a century’s experience in the sector, she is responsible for providing investment advice to many of Quantum’s key clients with both defined benefit and defined contribution schemes. Prior to her time with Quantum, Burdge spent two years as a consultant with SBJ Benefit Consultants (now Capita), and three years with Tesco Pension Trustees. She currently sits on the Regulation Committee for the Pensions Management Institute.

Chris Heirene initially worked with Quantum as an IT Consultant with Teamwork Technology Services and then UES for over five years, before finally joining the firm itself in 2011. He is now responsible for Quantum’s IT systems across all of its offices, including the network and core server infrastructure which supports the business. Heirene is heavily involved in utilising IT to improve and build upon the processes in place throughout Quantum.

David Deidun, Partner at Quantum Advisory, said of the promotions, “This is a very exciting time for Quantum. The recent round of promotions fully recognise the hard work and dedication shown by the three, all of whom go above and beyond for the company. I’ve no doubt that Aled, Amanda and Chris will settle into their new roles with ease and look forward to working together to grow Quantum even further.”

The news comes as Rob Davies retires in May, after spending fifteen years as a Partner at Quantum. A qualified actuary, Davies was instrumental in setting up Quantum’s Investment Division, specialising in aiding clients with their investment strategies. He will remain with the company on a part-time consultancy basis, while working with several clients in the Fiduciary Manager area.