The Institute of Directors (IoD) has appointed Poonam Kaur as acting chair of its West Yorkshire branch.

Poonam is managing director of corporate finance firm fds, based in Wakefield. She was formerly vice-chair of the branch and an IoD Ambassador, representing the M&A sector.

She succeeds Dr Richard Smith, chief operating officer of 2M Holdings, who has reached the end of his three-year term.

Poonam will work alongside a branch team to ensure that the views of West Yorkshire businesses are represented within the IoD’s influential, national policy voice.

Poonam said: “I’m excited and honoured to lead this important and vibrant branch, which is home to so many talented directors and businesses.

“These are incredibly challenging times for all types of organisations so we’ll be continuing to offer knowledge, connections and professional development online while ensuring that members’ voices are heard by decision makers so they can get the support they need.”

Natalie Sykes, IoD regional director for Yorkshire and North East, said: “Poonam is a fantastic asset to our team and thoroughly deserves this opportunity to lead our branch team and become the leading voice for West Yorkshire business.

“She will promote the profile of the IoD across our region by engaging with local businesses and other stakeholders including local authorities and universities.”

The IoD has launched the search for a vice-chair to support Poonam and her committee. Interested candidates should send their CV and covering letter to