Business networking group BPS Birmingham has appointed its new chairman.
Ian Barnes, a tax partner with financial services firm Deloitte in Birmingham, is already a member of the group's board and has held leadership roles within the organisation since 2009 when he chaired the strategy committee at sister group Birmingham Future.
Having served as finance director of BPS Birmingham for the past two years, Mr Barnes will spend the next two years as chairman, replacing Ahmed Farooq, chief financial officer with financial services group Wesleyan who is stepping down after 18 months in role.
Mr Barnes said: "The Midlands has some of the best universities, colleges and professional organisations in the UK, yet in the past we have struggled to retain the expertise and knowledge developed here, but the tide is definitely turning.
"BPS Birmingham has made great strides over the past few years to showcase the full benefits of working and living in the city.
"I believe it is essential that we do all we can to both promote the city's existing talent while also supporting future generations, from all backgrounds, into what is an increasingly exciting sector.
"It is important that we create opportunities and for new talent to network outside of their workplace to develop their own identity within professional services and create a voice of their own.
"As chair, I will be looking to build on Ahmed's legacy, particularly around how we can help our sector address the complex and important challenges around skills."
In addition to his role as chairman, Mr Barnes will also be actively involved with the Greater Birmingham & Solihull Local Enterprise Partnership.
John Keane, media strategy director at creative agency BBJ&K, has also been appointed to the BPS Birmingham board with immediate effect.
Last year, three further directors were all appointed to the board - Andy Cawthray, a director in financial services firm KPMG in the Midlands, Nina Clewes, HR lead at bank HSBC, and Tim Rayner, a partner at law firm Browne Jacobson.