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

14 November 2017 2 min. read
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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.