Avanti Communications Group
Paul Walsh, chief executive of Diageo, has joined the board of satellite data company Avanti Communications as a non-executive director. He is also a non-executive director of FedEx Corporation and Unilever. Prior to joining Diageo, Walsh held financial and commercial positions with InterContinental Hotels and in the GrandMet food business, becoming CEO of the Pillsbury Company in 1992. He was appointed to the GrandMet board in October 1995, and to the Diageo board in December 1997.

Michel Prada has stepped down from the board of trustees of the International Valuation Standards Council, following his appointment as chairman of the International Financial Reporting Standards Foundation trustees. The IVSC nominating committee has started recruiting for a new chair for the IVSC board of trustees.

Bluefin Corporate Consulting
The employee benefits and technology consultancy has appointed Ryan Hall as group health and risk consultant. Hall joins from Aon Hewitt, where he was associate consultant.

Neuberger Berman
The employee-controlled asset manager has appointed Robert Schlichting as managing director, head of distribution Germany and Austria. Schlichting, who will be based in Frankfurt, joins from Schroder Investment Management, where he was head of institutional business for Germany and Austria. Prior to Schroder, he worked at Merrill Lynch Investment Management and JP Morgan Asset Management.

Assura Group
The primary care property company has appointed David Richardson, senior independent director of Serco Group, as a non-executive director. Richardson is also chairman of Bilfinger Berger Global Infrastructure Sicav SA and a board member of Worldhotels AG.

Just Retirement
The Aim-listed financial services provider for the retired market has appointed Keith Haggart as director of retirement needs. Haggart joins from Prudential, where he was business director for equity release.

Oriel Securities
The stockbroker has strengthened its research team by appointing Chris Wickham to cover the consumer sector, John Karidis to cover telecoms, Justin Smith to cover pharmaceuticals, and Vugar Aliyev to cover oil and gas. Smith, Wickham and Karidis join as partners and Aliyev joins as associate partner. Wickham most recently worked at Matrix Group, Karidis and Smith move from MF Global, and Aliyev joins from Matrix Securities.