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The Quoted Companies Alliance, the independent membership organisation that champions the interests of small to mid-size quoted companies, announces the appointment of Michael Higgins, Chairman of AIM quoted company Ebiquity plc, as Chairman of the Quoted Companies Alliance. Michael takes over from Fiona Kelsey, Partner at PwC, who has held this post for a three-year term. This is with effect from 1st October 2013, following the Quoted Companies Alliance’s Annual General Meeting.

Michael Higgins has been a director of the Quoted Companies Alliance for five years and Deputy Chairman since 2011. He is currently Chairman of Ebiquity plc, an AIM quoted media and marketing data analytics business, and an adviser to and an investor in a number of early stage businesses in the intelligence, publishing and medical services sectors. For the previous 15 years, he was a partner and then an adviser with KPMG Corporate Finance focusing on the information, communications and technology industries whilst also advising more widely on public and family company matters. Prior to joining KPMG he was a Director at Charterhouse, the merchant bank, having qualified as an accountant with Price Waterhouse.

In addition to the appointment of the Chairman, three new directors have been elected to the Quoted Companies Alliance Board – Claire Noyce, CEO of Hybridan LLP, Simon O’Brien, Partner at PwC, and Tom Shaw, Partner at Speechly Bircham LLP.

Claire Noyce is founding partner and CEO of Hybridan LLP, an AIM broker and adviser, dedicated to fundraising, share price support and providing market-driven corporate finance advice. She was previously at Nomura in the UK Small Cap Life Sciences and Technology Sales and Trading team, where she sold equities to UK and Continental European investors.

Simon O’Brien is a partner at PwC based in the London team which focuses on small and mid-cap quoted companies. He leads their services in London to AIM quoted businesses and works closely with other advisers and the AIM team at the London Stock Exchange. Simon has 20 years’ experience with PwC.

Tom Shaw is the head of the Business Services Division of Speechly Bircham LLP having joined them in 1992, becoming a partner in 1995. Speechly Bircham is a full-service law firm with over 200 lawyers, headquartered in London and with offices in Zurich, Geneva and Luxembourg.  He specialises in corporate and commercial law and has over 25 years’ experience dealing with advisory and transactional work for public and private businesses, including mergers, acquisitions, joint venues and securities. Tom Shaw was Chairman of the Quoted Companies Alliance’s Legal Expert Group from October 2010 until September 2013.

The members of the Quoted Companies Alliance have also re-elected the following board directors: Anthony Carey, Partner at Mazars LLP, Donald Stewart, General Counsel of ILX Group plc, and Theresa Wallis, Deputy Chairman of the Quoted Companies Alliance and Non-Executive Chairman of LiDCO Group plc. Rob Collins, Head of Oil & Gas Investment Banking at GMP Securities Europe LLP, Paul Lee, Director at Hermes Equity Ownership Services, Andy Brough, Director at Schroder Investment Management, and Fiona Kelsey have now stepped down from the board.

Tim Ward, Chief Executive of the Quoted Companies Alliance, commenting on the board appointments said: “I should like to welcome Michael Higgins as our new Chairman. I am delighted that a quoted company director is now – for the first time – Chairman of the Quoted Companies Alliance. This is particularly appropriate for the only membership organisation that champions the interests of small and mid-size quoted companies. Our members will benefit hugely from having direct input from someone who has been closely involved in growing quoted companies. I look forward to working with Michael.

“I also welcome the appointment of our new board directors and believe that their experience as brokers, lawyers and accountants in our sector is invaluable and will bring unique perspectives to the issues small and mid-size quoted companies face. I would also like to thank the directors who are stepping down for their time and energy.

“I would like to express my thanks to Fiona Kelsey for all the work she has done as Chairman in helping the Quoted Companies Alliance achieve many key successes over the last three years."

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