Interim management specialist Ashton Penney has targeted the West Midlands in plans to go nationwide.

The London-based £2.5 million turnover company, whose shares begin trading on AIM on September 30, has recruited David Hay to lead its Birmingham management team and brought in Bob Michaelson, chairman of the Institute of Directors in the West Midlands, as nonexecutive chairman.

Chief executive James Wheeler said the Birmingham launch at the IoD hub in Victoria Square tonight, is the first stage in building a powerful presence in key regional centres. Offices in Manchester, Leeds and the Thames Valley are expected to follow.

Mr Wheeler said: "The appointment of David to lead our West Midlands expansion is a key factor in our decision to move into Birmingham first, as is the availability of Bob, whose tenure as IoD chairman in the region ends in November.

"Bob and David will be supported by Bill Penney, founder of the original company. We are seeking two further consultants to build on an auspicious start in our plans to roll the business out."