Blythe Barber joins Catalyst Development as Commercial Partner

04 June 2018

Catalyst Development has continued its UK headcount growth with the appointment of Blythe Barber. The former JWG and Capco employee becomes the firm’s new Senior Commercial Partner, as the organisation looks to grow its specialist offerings in the UK and abroad.

Fast-growing financial services consultancy Catalyst Development enjoyed a record year in 2017, tripling the firm’s headcount in its London office to 100 employees. Between April 2017 and March 2018, Catalyst substantially grew its investment base, services, markets, clients, staff and profitability, as well as beginning to supplement its growth with an ambitious M&A strategy. In Autumn 2017, this saw the financial services consultancy secure a growth investment, in the form of a management buy-out backed by private equity investor Livingbridge.

Now as the firm prepares for further growth in 2018, Catalyst has hired Blythe Barber as a Senior Commercial Partner. In the role, Barber will spearhead new business development, with a remit covering all aspects of Catalyst’s specialist service offerings in business, technology, regulation, operations and talent development, both in the UK and overseas.

Blythe Barber, Commercial Partner - Catalyst

Barber, who arrives from his most recent role as Managing Director of the JWG Group, is a well-known industry figure with a track record working closely with the top 30 global banks over a career spanning 15 years. He also brings expertise from previous senior positions within Expand Research (a subsidiary of the Boston Consulting Group), financial services consulting firm Capco, where he spent a year as a Managing Principal, and Schneider Trading Associates.

Matt Parkinson, Chief Commercial Officer said of the appointment, “Blythe joins us at a time of growth at pace across all aspects of our business. I particularly value the fact that he is highly regarded across our industry for his pragmatic approach to supporting clients and brings a significant depth of strong client relationships and in-sector knowledge.”

Blythe Barber himself added, “Catalyst has a total commitment to clients, combined with an incredibly talented, expert team and longstanding trusted relationships. Building on its recent investment and already rapidly expanding reach, it can now offer specialists at significant scale to execute against some of the biggest challenges faced by some of the world’s biggest firms. I am really looking forward to working with my new colleagues to help more new clients benefit from Catalyst’s unique ability to accelerate business, operational, technology and human performance.”

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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.