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Ascent Sets Out Growth Vision As Senior-Level Recruitment Continues

Latest Strategic Hires Include Lowell’s Director Of Collections John Haywood


David Shirt, Press Officer | 0161 838 3094

Specialist debt solutions law firm Ascent, has signalled its intention to rapidly grow the market share in its core markets whilst exploring opportunities in new sectors, with the appointment of two new Chief Operating Officers.

Manchester-based Ascent, which offers a comprehensive range of services including arrears management, collections, litigation, recovery and enforcement solutions, has made the appointments as part of its strategic vision to expand rapidly across the UK.

John Haywood moves to Ascent as Chief Operating Officer of Consumer Recoveries from Lowell Financial Ltd where he was most recently Director of Collections. During his four years there, he was responsible for all internal collections on behalf of the Lowell Group, and was also involved in the management of its panel of external debt collection agencies and law firms.  

A well-recognised figure in the industry, John, who has held numerous other high profile positions within the collections and recoveries sector, including Head of Collections at Eversheds, will be responsible for driving significant growth across Ascent’s core consumer market. 

Also joining Ascent in November is Mark Burgess who has been appointed as Chief Operating Officer of Commercial Recoveries. An experienced operations and business development leader, Mark has held a number of senior positions including Operations Director at Reader’s Digest and Director of Sales & Operations at Welcome Finance.

The latest appointments follow news in September that Ascent had appointed Adrian Sproston as its Head of Sales & Partnerships. Adrian has spent more than 20 years with HSBC Group during which time he was in charge of branch performance, field sales, training and customer service. In addition to HSBC, he has considerable experience of implementing strategic and conceptual sales campaigns within a business-to-business environment.  

Niall Gilhooley, chief executive at Ascent, said: “These latest two appointments, added to the recruitment of Adrian Sproston in September, highlight Ascent’s intention to build an exceptionally strong and experienced management team. They say everything about our expansion plans and are a serious signal of our intention to grow Ascent and build on our already strong position in the market.

“Ascent has expanded significantly over the last 12 months and strengthened its proposition to the point where it now provides the most comprehensive range of support services to institutional businesses, particularly within the banking and insurance industries. We believe we have opportunities to grow market share, whilst also explore new areas within the consumer and commercial arenas.”

Established in 2009, Ascent is a member of the Irwin Mitchell group. In addition to strong organic growth, it has completed a number of acquisitions since being awarded its Alternative Business License (ABS) in August 2012. In the last 12 months Ascent has acquired PDP Management Services, Elliot Davies and Fraser Gowrie Johnston.