Newcastle firm UNW expands business advisory activities with new talent search division

The Newcastle-based firm has also recruited a new partner and former Entrepreneurs' Forum boss, Nicola Short

Nicola Short, Fiona Railson, Peter Neal, Hazel Smith and Dave Bowman, who have joined UNW to launch and support its new Strategic Talent team
Nicola Short, Fiona Railson, Peter Neal, Hazel Smith and Dave Bowman, who have joined UNW to launch and support its new Strategic Talent team

Newcastle accountants UNW has made a string of top-level appointments aimed at expanding its business advisory capabilities.

The firm has recruited its 13th partner, a former Entrepreneurs’ Forum boss and two recruitment specialists, to lead a new service.

From Newcastle recruitment firm Nigel Wright, Peter Neal and Dave Bowman have been installed to lead the Strategic Talent team, which will help UNW clients to establish the correct senior and board level individuals to complement their strategy.

Mr Neal and Mr Bowman have spent 16 and 10 years respectively in their field.

Elsewhere Hazel Smith, who was born and bred in Newcastle, has returned to the city to take up the post of accounting services partner.

The Citygate-based firm has also attracted former Entreprneurs’ Forum chief executive Nicola Short to help advise and review its own marketing, brand and communications strategy.

Ms Short takes up a part-time head of communications role having stepped down from her previous position in September 2014.

The marketing and business development expert has held senior roles at Sage plc, NGI and Newcastle Building Society.

She said “UNW offered me a fantastic opportunity to work with a fast moving, innovative, entrepreneurial professional services firm while giving me the flexible balance with my family.

“UNW has grown exponentially in the region and I feel really excited, and value the opportunity, to work with such an experienced group of partners.”

UNW managing partner Andrew Wilson said: “It remains an exciting time for UNW and we believe that our robust record for growth over the last five or six years is underpinned by our ability to attract talent and we are delighted to welcome yet more top people to our firm.

“Our own business has grown off the back of helping North East businesses grow and we hope the new strategic talent team will help ensure that even more of our clients maximise their growth potential by ensuring they have the right board and leadership team in place to deliver their business goals.”

UNW head of strategic talent Peter Neal said: “We, as part of the business planning process, can fulfil an advisory role to help identify what the gaps might be in the leadership team, now and in the future.

“We don’t think there is any other professional services firm in the region with this in-house capability of identification, selection and appointment of leadership talent, such as board members and non-executive directors, and that was what was so attractive about joining UNW.”

New partner Hazel Smith, formerly a partner with Greaves West & Ayre in Berwick and a Durham University graduate, has been in general practice and is a qualified tax advisor, as well as a chartered accountant.

She added: “UNW is a very ambitious firm with a clear idea of where they have come from and where they want to go. That ambition and desire to grow is infectious and I felt it was a very good opportunity.”

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