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Commercial practice Sherwin Oliver is making a bid to strengthen its corporate credentials in the South by appointing a former banking director with Barclays as its new chairman and chief executive.
Adrian Davis will join the Portsmouth-based firm in September. His duties will include strategic planning, marketing, and firm development.
Sherwins managing partner Nigel Steward says the 13-partner firm is recruiting Davis because it wants to raise its profile - particularly in its target market.
Steward says: "It is unusual to take someone from banking. We were not looking for someone specifically from this field, but Adrian's background and personality are ideal for us. He knows a lot of clients and commands a huge amount of respect."
Steward says: "Adrian has many years of experience in the area of small to medium-sized enterprises. He will be a great asset to our profile."
He adds that he wants clients to be aware that Sherwin Oliver is not a high street firm, but a specialist in commercial work for smaller clients.
He says this should now improve its standing against its nearest rival, Blake Lapthorn.