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Executive team

With the drive and experience to deliver success, our executive team leads Optionis from the front. It’s the team’s unique set of skills that sets Optionis apart.

Derek Kelly - CEO
Derek Kelly CEO
Derek joined Optionis in 2008 following 15 years at KPMG. Whilst at KPMG Derek specialised in Employment Taxes, leading KPMG’s northern and south west practices. Derek has spent his career providing no-nonsense advice to employment outsourcing specialists, employment agencies and blue chip corporates. In his free time Derek can either be found sailing his boat “Noah’s Ark” on lake Windermere or walking his dog Minnie; but is never far from his iPad.
Jeremy Newman - Chairman
Jeremy Newman Chairman
Jeremy was the initial chairman of Arkarius when it was formed in 2014 and became chairman of the enlarged Optionis group when it merged with Arkarius in December 2016. He spent over 30 years in the accounting profession latterly as Managing Partner of BDO’s UK firm and then Global Chief Executive of BDO. He currently has a number of chair and non-executive roles in the private, public and not-for-profit sectors. Jeremy enjoys theatre and opera and spending time with his wife and family.
Ifti Ahmed - Group Operations Director (ClearSky, Brian Alfred & Parasol)
Ifti Ahmed Group Operations Director
Ifti Ahmed joined Optionis in January 2014 after spending 12 years at outsourcing giant Capita, where he played a key role in the delivery of several central and local government contracts. During his time at Capita he occupied senior roles including managing director (BPO) at Capita Insurance Services and, more recently, operations director with responsibility for the Capita Secure Border Services partnership with the Home Office. A self-confessed football fanatic, Ifti is a Manchester City FC season ticket holder and coaches his local under-12s football team.
Kevin Budge - Chief Finance Officer
Kevin Budge Chief Finance Officer
Kevin joined Optionis in September 2014 and has a Joint Honours degree in Economics and Econometrics from Nottingham University and then qualified as Chartered Accountant (now FCA) in 1987 with Robson Rhodes. After a 2 year stint in Corporate Finance within the profession, Kevin has been an FD/CFO for over 27 years. He has specialised in fast growing entrepreneurial business with a ‘Buy & Build’ strategy backed by Private Equity covering a number of different industries (transport, financial services, technology and support services). In his free time, Kevin enjoys keeping fit and travelling to sample fine wines and watch England play rugby.
Lee Kingshott, CIO
Lee Kingshott Chief Information Officer
Lee Kingshott joined Optionis in March 2018 having spent the previous 20 years in various senior positions within the financial services sector, including directorships at subsidiaries of the Bank of Scotland and Royal Bank of Scotland.  More recently Lee spent 4 years at a competitor where he was responsible for the technology strategy & delivery and 2 years as CIO for Payzone, a leading UK payments solution provider.  In his free time Lee enjoys running and completed his first off-road marathon in 2017.  He is hoping to complete an Ultra marathon in 2018 if he can combine training with his children’s busy social lives.