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Optionis appoints non-executive chairman

Ferguson, a former executive vice president at global advertising and marketing giant Havas, will advise the Optionis management team on strategy and operations. 

His arrival comes a year after Optionis completed a secondary buyout (SBO) backed by MML Capital Partners. 

Ferguson will play a key role as the Cheshire-headquartered group, which has made four acquisitions in the past 18 months, eyes further potential takeover targets.

Optionis group managing director Derek Kelly said: “Iain’s expertise will be invaluable as we enter the next phase of our long-term growth strategy. 

“Crucially, he has experience of advising and helping to lead ambitious, private equity-backed companies such as Optionis. We are pleased to welcome him aboard.”    

Optionis now employs more than 300 office-based staff across seven UK sites.

Through its three brands – Parasol, ClearSky Contractor Accounting and ClearSky Business – the group provides support to thousands of contractors, freelancers, small businesses and recruitment firms. Group turnover for 2013/14 was &pound316m.

Last month’s swoop for tax firm Brian Alfred Associates followed takeovers of accountancy practices Wheatley Pearce, Lofts & Co and Michael Brookes & Co since May 2013.  

Ferguson adds his non-executive chairmanship at Optionis to several other leadership roles at UK and international firms.  

He said: “Optionis ticks all the right boxes for me. It is a dynamic, acquisitive and bold organisation with a strong leadership team and excellent growth potential. 

“I plan to help it fulfil that potential over the coming months and years.” 

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