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Movers and shakers

Simon Conn says goodbye to Conti Financial Services

Simon Conn, sales and marketing director at Conti Financial Services (pictured), has decided to leave the overseas mortgage company after 15 years it, but he will continue to work for it as a consultant. Conn started out in the financial services industry with Legal & General in 1980 and founded Conti in 1994.

The company merged with Anchor Mortgages in October 2007 to provide wider access to overseas and UK mortgages for UK residents as well as foreign nationals.

Conn’s departure follows the recent appointments of Clare Nessling as operations director and Michael Axelrod as commercial director to the company’s board.

Axelrod plans to incorporate Conn’s previous responsibilities for sales and marketing into his own role.

Conn said: “I know that I am leaving Conti in the safest of hands. The merger with Anchor Mortgages and the introduction of a fresh management team means that I am under less pressure than I have been in recent years.

“This change will enable me to undertake some of the projects that have been formulating in my mind for some time. It feels like the right time for me to look in different directions.”

He added: “The fact that I’m staying on as a technical consultant speaks volumes about my positive relationship with the Conti team and I am still keen to contribute to the success of the company I started from scratch in 1994.”

Axelrod said: “Conti has built up a strong and respected brand, but we must adapt to the challenges of the changing market and ensure our business model reflects all our clients’ needs.

“Simon can rest assured that Conti is in good hands and we wish him the best of luck with his new ventures.”

Batchelor completes Countrywide dream team

Cammy Amaira, former director of sales at Intelligent Finance (pictured left), and Richard Beardshaw, former head of sales at The Exchange In- surance Company (pictured bottom), have been snapped up by Countrywide.

Both men join the corporate business team headed by industry stalwart Guy Batchelor, corporate business director and a former senior vice-president at Lehman Brothers.

Amaira and Beardshaw complete Batchelor’s dream team of corporate account managers, who will manage the relationships of the group’s corporate customers at a national level. The team, which also includes Kharla Mullen and Sally Young, will focus on sales and marketing functions for Countrywide. They will promote asset management, auctions, conveyancing, Law of Property Act receivership, valuation and surveying services to corporate customers and lenders.

Mullen and Beardshaw will manage accounts in the south of England and Wales, while Young and Amaira will control of the northern region including Scotland and Northern Ireland.

Batchelor (pictured left) said: “I am delighted to bring two individuals of the quality and gravitas of Cammy and Richard into Countrywide. We now have a strong team.

“Together with myself, Paul Hunt, Kharla and Sally, the addition of these two professionals will enable us to focus on new customers while increasing our take from existing clients and widening the range of services we provide to our partners.”

Prior to his position at Intelligent Finance, Amaira was head of sales in the home improvement division of GE Home Lending. Before that he was head of sales at Mortgage Express.

Meanwhile, prior to being head of sales at The Exchange Beardshaw was director of sales at Southern Pacific Mortgage Company following a nine-year career at Platform.

Mullen spent seven years with American Express before joining Countrywide in 1998, where she soon became head of account management for its conveyancing division. In 2006 she took on an operational role as centre manager for one of the group’s property law centres until she joined the corporate business team.

Young, meanwhile, has 16 years’ experience working in financial services, including stints at Yorkshire Bank and Britannia. She joined Countrywide in June 2008 to head the group’s internal and external panel conveyancing sales teams at Absolute.

Before joining Countrywide, Young was head of sales for the northern region at Advantage and prior to that she worked at Mortgages PLC.

Batchelor added: “We have been overwhelmed by interest in the corporate account manager roles – we received almost 100 applications from some strong and talented candidates.

“The selection process has been tough and I would like to take this opportunity to thank all those who applied and wish them well in their careers.”

Regulator appoints chief operating officer

The Financial Services Authority has appointed Mark Norris as chief operating officer.

Norris, who takes over from David Kenmir (pictured), has worked in the financial services industry for more than 25 years. A qualified accountant, his early career included stints in audit services roles at KMG Thomson McLintock and PricewaterhouseCoopers.

He joined Jardine Fleming Hong Kong in 1994 and later took up the role of chief operating officer at the investment bank’s operation in Japan.

Between 1998 and 2003 Norris worked at Deutsche Bank. He was head of operations at Deutsche Asset Management in Europe before moving to JP Morgan’s Worldwide Securities Services business in the US. After this he took over as head of operations Europe at the banking giant’s asset management business based in London.

Prior to his appointment at the FSA, Norris’ was chief operating officer at Credit Suisse’s UK private banking business.

Hector Sants, chief executive officer of the FSA, said: “Norris will be a valuable addition to our management team. I know he will play an important role in driving our operations forward.”

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