Former OC&C advisor Toby Robinson new CCO of Avanti Communications

18 December 2017

Satellite operator Avanti Communications has appointed industry expert Toby Robinson as its new Chief Commercial Officer. Robinson, who joins from the same role at Eaton Towers, honed his extensive skill-set as a Partner at former Big Five consultancy Arthur Anderson, as well as a Director with strategy consulting firm OC&C, along with a number of other senior positions.

Toby Robinson was most recently the CCO of Eaton Towers, a towers and masts business operating across the continent of Africa. Robinson was also a member of the start-up management team at Eaton Towers, helping to grow the business to 5,000 towers across Africa, handling negotiations with Bharti Airtel and Orange, among others, as part of the group’s acquisitions programme.

Prior to this, Avanti’s new CCO was a TMT specialist consultant at Arthur Andersen, having joined from the Kalachas Group in 1998, where he had been a Partner. Robinson had become a Partner at Arthur Anderson before its de facto dissolution in 2002, following the Enron scandal in the US. Following this, Robinson joined OC&C in 2004, and spent three years at the firm, becoming a Director before departing to Mercator. Robinson spent two years at the telecoms consultancy, becoming Managing Director before leaving in 2014. He is a graduate of Cambridge University and has an MBA from Insead.Toby RobinsonSpeaking on his latest engagement, Robinson said, “Avanti is a company with market-leading expertise and proven technical excellence and I hope to bring my experience in the sector to bear in helping it grow and perform to its potential. There’s a very strong team here and I believe we can take the business forward in a material way.”

Avanti’s acting CEO Alan Harper added, “This is a new – and vitally important – role at Avanti and we are delighted to have someone of Toby’s experience and track record joining us at this moment in our development.”

Robinson worked with Harper at Eaton Towers, a company that the latter co-founded, and the acting Chief Executive was keen to reference their previous working relationship, saying, “I have known him within the industry for some years and can attest to his technical and industry skill-set, contact base, drive and intelligence.  His arrival represents a major vote of confidence in the business, its abilities and its ambitions.”

Harper became acting CEO of Avanti Communications after the company announced that David Williams was "stepping down from the board and leaving the company". Harper, who was strategy director of Vodafone until 10 years ago, is also chairman of Irish fibre company Gigabit and of solar power company Azuri Technologies.

Toby Robinson, meanwhile, is the second OC&C alumnus to be appointed to a high-profile position recently. Michael Jary, the co-founder and a continuing Partner of the firm was named as a Non-Executive Board Member by Barclays, in preparation for the launch of their ring-fenced retail bank, this Autumn. Upon the commencement of the project, Jary will be joined by other boardroom hires including ex-PwC auditor Andrew Ratcliffe, along with Avid Duggan, a senior investment professional at Google’s parent company Alphabet, and Sir John Timpson, owner of UK shoe repair chain Timpson.

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Grant Thornton UK appoints five new Partners

23 April 2019

Sergio Cardoso, Matt Maltz, Jessica Patel, Marc Roberts and Nick Warner have been appointed as partners at Grant Thornton. With the company undergoing a year of transition under new leadership, the new members will help consolidate the firm’s offering as it looks to reach new levels of growth in 2019.

2019 sees Grant Thornton’s UK wing undergoing a process of transformation. As the group looks to ensure its teams “provide the right level of support for profitable growth” and create an environment that “makes it easier for our people to do great work”, the firm has announced a succession of senior appointments across its regional divisions.

In February, this saw Chris Petts and James Bulloss named Partner and Director in the North East and Yorkshire respectively. Now, the UK’s sixth-largest auditing and consulting firm has confirmed the installation of a further five Partners across its UK team.

Sergio Cardoso is a long-standing Grant Thornton employee, having joined from Daniel Auerbach & Company – where he was an Accountant – in 2005. Cardoso rose steadily through the ranks since then, taking up his most recent role as Audit and Assurance Director in 2015. In that role, he focused on dynamic, fast-growing and entrepreneurial private companies, as well as multinational and AIM-listed groups. He now takes up the position of Partner in Grant Thornton’s audit practice.

Grant Thornton UK appoints five new Partners

Nick Warner has been appointed as a partner in Grant Thornton’s VAT team based in London. Bringing more than 20 years of experience in tax to the role, Warner joins the firm from Moore Stephens, where he most recently was VAT Partner, during a five-year stay with the firm. Prior to that, Warner was a Partner in VAT at BDO and PKF UK. He also spent five years at HMRC as a Higher Executive Officer.

Matt Maltz is the first of three Partner appointments in Grant Thornton’s real estate tax division. A former EY Partner in real estate tax, Maltz spent 17 years with the Big Four firm. In his new position with Grant Thornton, he will tackle similar client areas, as a Partner in real estate tax.

Jessica Patel has also been promoted as a Partner in the firm’s real estate tax practice, having been with the firm for more than 15 years. Patel joined Grant Thornton as a trainee in 2003. She is a licensed member of both the Association of Tax Technicians and the Chartered Institute of Taxation. As a Partner, Patel will advise a wide variety of clients ranging from UK property investors and developers to overseas investors and property funds.

Marc Roberts is another Big Four alumnus to join Grant Thornton as a Partner. Roberts exited EY to take up his new position, having been an Associate Partner and real estate advisory lead at the company. With more than 25 years of experience in the financial services sector, Roberts also formerly held a Directorship and headed the corporate finance real estate advisory team at fellow Big Four firm PwC.