(L-R) Sharon Kennett And Philip Treanor

Leading business advisory firm Grant Thornton has strengthened its Growth 365 team in the North West with the appointment of a brace of experienced industry experts.

Designed for CEOs and entrepreneurs running mid-sized businesses, the Growth 365 service provides bespoke insights, trend analysis and connection to an international network of dynamic leaders.

Sharon Kennett joins with more than three decades’ experience in strategic marketing, brand development and internal communications. She has worked both agency and client-side, advising the C-suite of internationally-trading businesses operating in multiple industries, including agriculture, pharmaceutical, international food and beverage export, and engineering.

Kennett’s most recent role was as marketing director for Frontier; the UK’s largest agricultural business which has a turnover of more £1.5bn.

Also joining the Growth 365 team in the North West is Philip Treanor; an experienced commercial director with a strong legal and corporate finance background spanning almost 30 years.

Between 1993 and 2014 Treanor worked for some of the region’s most active corporate law firms including Addleshaw Goddard, Brabners and Pannone, heading up the latter’s corporate department as an equity partner. He has led several high-profile IPOs, including 3i’s £28m investment in Go Outdoors; the sale of Leighs Paints, and the sale of On the Beach to ISIS Equity Partners.

In 2014, Treanor became a commercial director for power distribution and protection equipment manufacturer, Mardix.

During a four year tenure, he worked with the management team to more than double EBITDA and turnover, alongside negotiating major contracts with global tech giants Microsoft, Google and Apple.

In 2018 Treanor exited the business following its successful sale to Anord Control Systems, following investment from US private equity firm Bertram Capital.

Commenting on the appointments, Carl Williams, North West managing partner at Grant Thornton, said: “We’re continually adding to the diverse mix of advisers who support the leaders accessing our Growth 365 service. Sharon’s expertise in high-level marketing strategy and insight, and Phil’s blend of commercial experience and corporate deal making, add distinct but complementary skills to an already strong team. Both understand the pain points faced by leaders looking to scale and unlock new market opportunities, and I have no doubt their counsel will be of real value to our clients.”

Kennett said: “The international connections and data-driven insights afforded by the 365 service are pitched perfectly for CEOs and entrepreneurs leading high-growth businesses. I’m delighted to be joining the firm and look forward to adding my strategic marketing and branding skillset to the offer in the North West.”

Treanor added: “The corporate finance team at Grant Thornton is working with some of the most dynamic mid-market companies in the region. There’s a real demand from ambitious growth and exit-focused management teams for the consultancy provided by the Growth 365 service, and I’m incredibly pleased to join the team.”

Grant Thornton has also strengthened its pensions team in the region with a senior appointment, and a promotion. The firm has hired Tim Birkett as a Director in its Manchester office to lead the pensions advisory offering in the North.

Tim 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”).

Karen Hancox, who has been at the firm since 2014, has been promoted to Director and will lead the pension audit team in the North West.