Quentin Colborn’s new job at insurance firm Rubicon is something of a mixed
blessing – it offers a great opportunity to move forward professionally, but
means all his DIY plans have been thwarted. "I’m currently finishing off
the renovation of our Victorian house in Bristol, so if this job doesn’t work
out, I can always establish a second career as a plumber, electrician or
carpenter," he jokes.

"Unfortunately I won’t be able to enjoy the fruits of my labours, as
we’re now looking to move house to be nearer my new job."

Colborn will be responsible for developing and managing all aspects of the
HR function within the group, which employs more than 200 staff.

"One key area will be the development of an effective HR strategy,
implementing meaningful reward and recognition programmes, proactive
communication and tailored personal development plans," he explains.

He is also charged with rolling out an employee survey across the firm, seen
as particularly important following a series of acquisitions:

Rubicon’s business has grown over the past 12 months predominantly through
acquisition, and more are planned. "This will be a major focus for me as
well as playing a role in the due diligence process itself," Colborn

"My goal is to develop an HR function that is integrated into the
business strategy, providing a real service to managers and enabling employees
to give their best while at work and enjoy themselves in the process."

Colborn gained more than 20 years experience in HR before setting up his own
consultancy, advising a range of businesses.


2002 HR director, Rubicon Corporation

2000 Managing director, QC People Management

1998 Employment relations manager, RAC Motoring Services

1983 Personnel and training officer, Scottish & Newcastle

On the move

Melanie Wadeley, group personnel and training controller at Merchant, has
been promoted to executive director. She joined the perfume retailer and
department store group in 1997 and has been central to a period of growth which
saw the number of shops rise from 33 to 76. She joined the firm in 1993 as
T&D manager but left to work at BNB management consultancy. She rejoined
Merchant after three years and was responsible for reviewing operations at
another chain the group acquired.

Commercial radio company GWR has appointed Viv Miles as head of performance
development. Miles was previously group training manager. Reporting to HR
director Chris Scott, he will focus primarily on driving cultural and
structural changes across the company. He joined as a training manager in 2000,
devising a new strategy for the firm’s changing business needs. Miles has
previously worked at Zurich Financial Services, Allied Dunbar and Marks &

Karen Gabriel has joined the international benefits practice at Hammond
Suddards Edge. She will advise multinational corporations on tax and employee
benefits for staff working around the globe. She joins from
PricewaterhouseCoopers where she was a manager specialising in expatriate
pensions within the international team of the actuarial benefits and insurance

Christopher Mordue has been made a partner in the national employment group
of law firm Pinsent Curtis Biddle. He joined in 1998 and is a frequent writer
for employers’Law and contributor to Personnel Today.  He has previously worked at city firm Lovells
and in the public sector. Pinsent Curtis Biddle now has 10 employment partners
in its team of 45.

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