Opus brings Allister Manson on board to spearhead technology wing

30 January 2019 Consultancy.uk

Restructuring consultancy Opus has brought Allister Manson on board to spearhead the firm’s newly launched technology practice. Manson brings two decades of restructuring and insolvency experience to the role.

While notable names across British industry continue to suffer from rising business costs and stagnant sales rates, the UK faces a gloomy economic outlook ahead of Brexit’s finalisation in March 2019. However, just as recessions never seem to impact the local undertaker, so the consulting industry continues to ride a wave of successful expansion into the New Year. Amid this continuing period of growth for the sector, one segment in particular is doing unsurprisingly well: restructuring. 

Even the UK’s technology sector has been hit, with phone maker WileyFox one of multiple casualties to have collapsed in 2018, despite the huge demand for digital products at present. The restructuring and insolvency consulting scene, which is involved in liquidation, administration and corporate rescue proceedings in the UK is thriving at present. 

In line with this, consulting firm Opus saw a highly successful 2018, which has included the opening of a new Birmingham office as well as expanding the group to deliver specialist forensic accounting, corporate finance and business turnaround services. Now, Opus is looking to expand its insolvency and restructuring practice into the technology sector.

As the firm looks to grow rapidly with its new offering, it has appointed Allister Manson to head up its new practice. A qualified insolvency practitioner and chartered accountant, Manson brings more than 20 years of insolvency and restructuring experience to the role, supporting businesses from start-ups to established software, hardware and tech service providers.

Opus brings Allister Manson on board to spearhead technology wing

Prior to joining Opus, Manson worked to support the technology sector at Cork Gully, having previously worked for Big Four firms PwC in the UK and KPMG in the Cayman Islands. As well as an extensive career in accounting, Manson brings significant tech experience to the role, having spent five years managing and advising Fintech companies in Latin America, as well as currently supporting tech businesses as a mentor at the Startupbootcamp.

One of Manson’s opening engagements as the head of Opus’ technology team is the administration of Cubits, a well-known online crypto-currency exchange. The group suffered a £30 million fraud in 2018, which ultimately led to its collapse. Manson and his team are now looking to sell off the firm’s intellectual property, while collaborating with Opus’ forensic team to continue to pursue the Bitcoin and cash that was stolen.

Speaking about his new role, Manson said, “Understanding the value of intellectual property and being able to engage with management in technology-based organisations is critical, particularly when a business is looking to restructure.  Whilst the technology market is seeing lots of innovation, unfortunately, not all ideas prosper and our services can be required. In other cases, businesses are looking to scale quickly and require help getting to the next level, which is also where my team can assist.”

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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.