A&M strengthens European practice with duo of appointments

22 March 2018 Consultancy.uk

Global professional services firm Alvarez & Marsal has bolstered its Corporate Performance Improvement practice via two senior appointments. Kate Donaldson has been hired as a Managing Director, while former Deloitte employee Erin Brookes has been promoted to Head of Retail for Europe.

As tighter regulatory requirements, in relation to audit conflicts, give rise to disruption in the professional services market and create a competitive advantage for non-audit based firms, Alvarez & Marsal (A&M) is working to bolster its operations, in anticipation of a glut of business. Following a large roster of new appointments and promotions across the firm’s international operations, A&M’s corporate performance improvement service is its latest wing to receive such a boost.

According to A&M, the senior appointments of Kate Donaldson as Managing Director and Erin Brookes as Head of Retail, Europe, illustrate the expansion of A&M’s performance improvement offering in response to the structural challenges facing multiple business sectors, from digital disruption to the rise of e-commerce, the struggle for growth and the increasing client demand for solutions that address key performance challenges and deliver sustained change at pace.

Erin Brookes and Kate Donaldson - Alvarez & Marsal

Kate Donaldson arrives at the firm from AlixPartners, a firm where she latterly held the position of Senior Director, before joining A&M this year. She was with AlixPartners from 2014, working within its Enterprise Improvement Practice, with a focus on helping businesses identify and overcome the barriers to profitable growth and improving salesforce effectiveness. Donaldson joined the firm from Blue Ridge Partners – where she similarly spent three years, becoming a Managing Director before departing for a new challenge. Having begun her career in the highly competitive consumer products industry in the US, prior to this, Donaldson held a number of senior roles at various companies, including a Partnership at Beta Business Ventures, where she spent eight years of her career. She also holds an MBA, which she obtained from the Northwestern University – Kellogg School of Management.

Erin Brookes has more than 17 years of experience in the retail sector advising retail businesses and their key stakeholders along with leading revenue creation opportunities for businesses targeting the sector. Brookes, who has been with A&M since 2016, specialises in retail commercial strategy and operations, consumer/shopper engagement and store performance improvement. Prior to joining A&M she worked in a variety of commercial strategy and execution roles for a leading international retail business. This included three years with Big Four professional services firm Deloitte, where she became Head of Business Development, Consumer Business before leaving in 2009. She spent the following three years with The Body Shop, where Brookes reached the role of International CRM & Loyalty Development, before leaving in 2014 to take up a Research Associate position at the University of Southampton. Before exiting the University in 2016 to take up a position with A&M, she became a Senior Enterprise Fellow for Retail Business Engagement.

Donaldson will now lead CPI’s Revenue Growth practice, focusing on driving pragmatic top line growth for A&M’s corporate and private equity clients, while Brookes will head up the firm’s  European Retail Practice, advising corporate and private equity clients on commercial strategy and operations and performance improvement opportunities. The team will continue to be led by Lawrence Hutter and Roger Bayly, Co-Heads of the CPI practice in Europe.

Hutter, who is Managing Director and Co-Head of A&M’s Corporate Performance Improvement practice in Europe, said of the appointments, “Our overall European growth rate was 25 percent last year, as clients look beyond the ‘Big Four’ and strategy firms for non-audit advisory and transformational performance improvement. We’re committed to meeting this demand and are becoming the ‘go-to’ firm for corporates facing the need to rapidly address challenging performance issues.”

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Rapid growth sees Quantum Advisory promote trio of partners

18 April 2019 Consultancy.uk

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.