A round-up of recent appointments from firms who are expanding or changing direction.

Sovereign Strategy, the political consultancy firm founded in 2000 by former North East MEP Alan Donnelly, has appointed a new CEO.

Just five years after joining the company as an intern, which has offices in Newcastle, London and Brussels, 31-year-old Hatice Küçük Beton is the company’s new chief executive.

Founded in 2000 by Donnelly, who led the Labour Party in the European Parliament for much of Tony Blair’s first term, the company advises global clients including health NGOs such as Unitaid and FIND, financial news service Bloomberg and global accounting service Intuit.

Küçük Beton is a Turkish-born German who studied in the United States and went on to head up Sovereign’s London operations before being appointed CEO. She said: “Alan Donnelly has been an outstanding boss and mentor to me, and I know that we will always be loyal to the North East roots and ethical values of Sovereign that Alan has instilled within this company. It is a wonderful challenge and I can’t wait to get stuck in.”

Leading partnerships developer Lovell Partnerships has welcomed an experienced housebuilding professional to the team as its area director, forming part of its ongoing objective to bolster its presence in the northeast.

Paul Devaney has more than 33 years’ experience in the industry, having previously worked for Avant Homes, Persimmon Homes and Keepmoat Homes, and will be responsible for establishing Lovell’s presence in the northeast.

A NEW sales director has been appointed to lead the team at leading regional housebuilder Persimmon Homes Durham.

Andrew Somerville, 46, has joined the Bowburn-based business from Miller Homes where he progressed from sales advisor to regional sales manager and associate director over nine years.

Prior to that Andrew worked for Barratt Homes in the North East.

MILLER HOMES has announced two new key appointments in its North East region to support its ambitious growth plans.

Sales Director, Aisling Ramshaw, and Commercial Director, Glen Hyland bring a wealth of experience and knowledge to drive sales and opportunities as the business grows.

Aisling is a chartered surveyor and a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Marketing. Glen will use his expertise to assist with the preparation of budgets and strategic plans in both the North East and Teesside regions.

Newcastle Building Society has shown it is developing young talent by appointing 23-year old Johnny Haram as their new branch manager in the town.

Country Durham resident Johnny has become the Society’s youngest branch manager after taking up his role in Newcastle Building Society’s Barnard Castle branch.

Johnny, who was born and lived in Northumberland for most of his life before a recent move to Bishop Auckland, first joined the North East’s largest building society in 2016 after leaving school aged 18.

Having built several years’ experience in financial services across several different roles, Johnny is now leading a team of four customer advisors based at the Barnard Castle branch in the town.

World-renowned biologist, Professor Jacquie McGlade, and the former Chief Executive of Which? Peter Vicary-Smith, are among the newest board appointments at Northumbrian Water Limited.

Professor McGlade, previously the UN Environment Chief Scientist and Global Director of Science and Executive Director of the European Environment Agency is the company’s new advocate on environmental issues.

Mr Vicary-Smith, previously a strategy consultant at McKinsey, leading fundraising for Oxfam, and Commercial Director at Cancer Research UK, is the new champion for customer-related issues.

They both join as Independent Non-Executive Directors.