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Grant Thornton strengthens pensions offering with new hires

Business and financial adviser Grant Thornton UK has made “significant” investment in its national pensions practice with the appointment of five new practitioners across the north and midlands.

Tim Birkett has joined the firm as a director in Manchester and will be leading Grant Thornton’s Pensions Advisory offering in the North. According to the firm, Birkett brings a wealth of experience to Grant Thornton, having advised a range of pension scheme trustees and companies on employer covenant matters for over 11 years.

He has experience across a broad range of sectors, including financial services, mutuals, charities and other not-for-profits including higher education and the Local Government Pension Scheme (“LGPS”).

Joining alongside Birkett is associate director Gavin Hutchinson, who will be based in Leeds. Hutchinson brings with him over 10 years’ employer covenant advisory experience and has significant expertise in a range of sectors – including social housing, charities and LGPS.

Birkett and Hutchinson will be supported by Lucinda Highfield. She will be joining as an assistant manager from the firm’s public sector audit team and said she is “excited” about developing her career in the pensions advisory field.

In addition to the firm’s new Northern team, Stephanie Bowmer has joined the firm’s Birmingham office as a manager in the Pensions Advisory team. She will be focusing on helping the firm grow its regional presence in the midlands.

The firm has also invested in its audit offering with the internal promotion of Karen Hancox to Director, who will now lead the firm’s pensions audit team in the North West.

Neil Knights, head of UK pensions at Grant Thornton UK, said: “We are truly excited to be welcoming Tim, Gavin, Stephanie and Lucinda to the team, and to congratulate Karen on her promotion.

“These appointments reflect our ongoing commitment to building a strong national pensions practice. We are dedicated to delivering the best quality work for our clients and these new roles strengthen our existing offerings across audit and a range of advisory services for schemes and sponsoring employers.”

Paul Brice, head of pensions advisory, Grant Thornton UK, added: “We are committed to developing the strength and breadth of our specialist Pensions Advisory team. These appointments reflect the firm’s commitment to developing a market-leading Pensions Advisory practice, underpinned by regional centres of excellence.”

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