Meet The Team

The Team

No description available

Jo Haigh

LLB CF

CEO

Since 1989 Jo has bought and sold approximately 400 companies specialising in owner managed companies, in addition to selling three of her own companies and undertaking two personal MBOs. Throughout her career, Jo has held 40+ non-executive roles and is currently a Non-Executive Director and Chair for number of prestigious companies across England and the Isle of Man. Jo is also a regular presenter on corporate governance and mergers and acquisitions for prestigious organisations across the UK and Europe.

Key Highlights:

  • Non-Executive Director of the Year finalist in the category of Private/Private Equity Backed, in association with Peel Hunt and supported by The Sunday Times (2021)
  • Winner of the Non-Exec Director of the Year, IoD Yorkshire & North East Regional Awards (2018)
  • Nominated for Business Woman of the Year, The Yorkshire Choice Awards (2018)
  • Finalist in Business Services category, First Women Awards (2017)
  • Announced as one of Academy for Chief Executives top 22 speakers, landing her on the “Cloud Nine League Table” (2017)
  • fds winners of Most Innovative UK Deal Negotiator & AI One to Watch in Corporate Finance, Acquisition International (2016)
  • Shortlisted for Mentor of the Year, First Women Awards (2016)
  • Shortlisted for Inspiring Leader of the Year, Forward Ladies (2015)
  • Winners of Super Staff Award, BIY Inspired Awards (2015)
  • Shortlisted for SME Business of the Year, Forward Ladies (2015)
  • Winner in the CBI First Women in Business Services Award (2014)
  • Finalist of the Yorkshire Women of Achievement Awards (2013)
  • Winner of The Sunday Times NED of the Year Award in association with Peel Hunt (2013)
  • Finalist in the Business Advisor Category, IoD Awards (2011)

Fun Facts:

  • Most likely to: Break her big toe by dropping a wine bottle on it!
  • Least likely to: Go camping
No description available

Poonam Kaur

BSC (Hons) FCCA Cert IoD

Managing Director

Poonam, a qualified accountant, manages all projects, transactions and operational issues on a day to day basis. She is also a huge supporter of, and contributor to, the strategic plans of the company. Poonam has been the lead negotiator on many deals and has successfully conducted a number of transactions of varying sizes.

Key Highlights:

  • Vice Chair of CAPA College (2021)
  • Shortlisted for Corporate/Inspiring Leader in FL Leadership Summit & Awards (2021)
  • Finalist for Director of the Year, Small – Medium Business, IoD Yorkshire & North East Awards (2020 & 2019)
  • Chair of IoD West Yorkshire (2020)
  • Shortlisted for Business Advocate of the Year, The British Business Awards (2019)
  • Winner of Mentor of the Year, Forward Ladies Yorkshire, North East and Scotland Region (2019)
  • Shortlisted for Young Director, Yorkshire Business Leaders Awards (2017)
  • Shortlisted in the Rising Star Category, Forward Ladies (2016)
  • Achieved a Distinction in the IoD Certificate in Company Direction Examination (2016)
  • Re-elected Treasurer of Wakefield First Bondholders Steering Group (2016)
  • Shortlisted in the Rising Star category, Forward Ladies (2015)
  • Winners of Super Staff Award, BIY Inspired Awards (2015)
  • Insider's 42 under forty two (2015)
  • Treasurer of Wakefield First Bondholders Steering Group (2014)

Fun Facts:

  • Most likely to: Say it as it is
  • Least likely to: Finish a cup of tea
No description available

Alan Marks

ACII

Advisory Committee Member

Alan has over 25 years’ experience of advising owner directors and entrepreneurs in both financial and business services matters. Alan has personally been involved in the building and selling of financial services companies and has also worked with many professional advisors to assist them and their clients. Alan currently holds a number of Non-Executive roles with various companies from Technology companies through to a specialist Consultancy business which works with Primary Health Trusts.

Fun Facts:

  • Most likely to: Organise a meeting on a golf course
  • Least likely to: Leave his dog at home
No description available

Graham Shiers

Consultant

With a career spanning both retail, manufacturing and the legal sector, Graham has built a solid reputation for encouraging entrepreneurial values, emergent talent and stimulating business development and growth alongside funding services, acting as a trusted source of introduction between new and existing business contacts. He also has over 20 years’ experience of organising and delivering effective and aspirational corporate networking events in locations from Leeds, Manchester and Sheffield to London, Nottingham, Birmingham and as far as New Jersey, USA.

Fun Facts:

  • Most likely to: Be watching Leeds Rhinos or F1
  • Least likely to: Take up cycling
No description available

Pollyanna Hall

Consultant

An experienced and dedicated marketing leader, with a breadth of applied knowledge, gathered at FTSE 100 level, and working with and within award-winning creative agencies. Pollyanna is a specialist in attraction, leisure, loyalty and tourism marketing, having led an abundance of above and below the line activity, including advertising, digital, PR, promotions, trade and ECRM. Pollyanna is an expert in the following fields; B2B marketing, B2C marketing, local marketing activities and crowdfunding raises.

Fun Facts:

  • Most likely to: Be awake by 5:30 (two children under 3!)
  • Least likely to: Watch any sport
No description available

Katie Craig

MAAT

Accountant/Corporate Finance Executive

Benefiting from extensive experience in finance and accounts across different industries, Katie provides essential support regarding financial data that is required on a daily basis, whilst assisting on all ongoing projects.

Fun Facts:

  • Most likely to: Be out walking the dogs
  • Least likely to: Try something new
No description available

Rachel Gill

BA (Hons)

Creative Marketing Executive

With a degree in Surface Design, Rachel oversees and facilitates the marketing requirements for fds and leads the creative process, design and preparation of all internal and external marketing collateral and business documents.

Key Highlights:

  • Shortlisted for Employee of the Year Wakefield Business Week Awards (2016)
  • Winners of Super Staff Award BIY Inspired Awards (2015)
  • Exhibited at New Designers Part 1 (London) (2014)

Fun Facts:

  • Most likely to: Be planning/organising something
  • Least likely to: Turn into an adrenaline junkie
No description available

Gemma Dickinson

BA (Hons)

Course Coordinator and Office Executive

Gemma has a degree in Hospitality and Business Management, and 13 years’ experience in the hospitality industry, she has extensive skill in client management and customer service. Gemma oversees all aspects of director-level training services, office duties and is responsible for client liaison and meeting management.

Key Highlights:

  • Took part in the Great North Swim, Lake Windermere to raise money for Mind Charity (2014 & 2013)

Fun Facts:

  • Most likely to: Be out walking with my family
  • Least likely to: Cook dinner!
Nikki Simpson fds Director Services Limited

Nikki Simpson

Project Assistant

Nikki provides daily assistance with client relations and client management. She also contributes on all ongoing projects, utilising her exemplary organisation and research skills throughout.

Fun Facts:

  • Most likely to: Book a weekend away
  • Least likely to: Be ready on time
No description available

Lorrell Taylor

Executive Assistant

Lorrell brings vast experience of staff and client organisation to her role. Her exemplary administration skills enable her to conduct her role efficiently and make her an essential member of the team. Lorrell is responsible for client liaison and meeting management, as well as course coordination.

Fun Facts:

  • Most likely to: Try a new restaurant's menu
  • Least likely to: Do the ironing

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