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Optionis Group Continues to Drive New Frontiers with New CEO Appointment


Professional services provider, Optionis Group (which includes market-leading brands SJD Accountancy, ClearSky Accounting, Parasol, First Freelance, Nixon Williams, ClearSky Business and Brian Alfred), has appointed a new chief executive officer to replace Derek Kelly, who has retired after 10 years with the company.

Doug Crawford has taken up the role after leaving Leicester-based conveyancing firm My Home Move, where he spent seven years as the company’s CEO, turning it into the clear market leader in this sector.

With a career spanning more than 25 years, Doug brings with him extensive experience of working with professional and financial services businesses in the UK, helping to develop, implement and oversee strategic growth plans.

The change in leadership marks the beginning of the next chapter for award-winning Optionis, which works with UK-based contractors, freelancers, and small businesses and is the leading provider of accountancy, tax and umbrella employment solutions to the UK’s flexible workforce. The firm is backed by private equity specialist Sovereign Capital Partners.

As well as putting people management at the forefront of the company’s business strategy, the new CEO is looking to invest in new technologies to meet and support the needs of the modern flexible workforce.

With ever-changing legislation across the industry, the firm’s commitment to leading the way in compliance and expertise will be a cornerstone under Doug’s leadership.

Doug said:

“I’m thrilled to join Optionis at such an exciting time, with the company currently going from strength-to-strength. It’s already clear that Derek has left a fantastic legacy, both in terms of the company’s financial health as well as its internal culture. I’m excited to take on the challenge of facilitating future growth, while building on the company’s history and heritage as the leading market provider.

“Within any professional services business, I believe people are the key to success, so we plan to continue investing heavily in hiring the very best people. We will also focus on driving new technologies to further augment the level of market-leading service and support we provide to our customers and business partners across the UK.

“Another part of my role will be to implement strategies that will allow us to deliver on our ambitious growth plans. Progressive thinking, particularly in the ever-changing marketplace, will be key to drive the company even further forward, including strategic acquisitions to strengthen our stable of brands.”

Headquartered in Warrington, the Optionis Group employs around 600 head office staff and has offices across the UK.