Ian Crichton 
Chief Executive Officer

Ian Crichton

Chief Executive Officer

In the course of an international career spanning over 30 years, Ian has worked in a variety of private and public sector roles, 12 of them as CEO. Prior to his appointment with Study Group, Ian was Chief Executive of Servelec, a global health informatics company supplying software to the healthcare, social care and education sectors, where he led the transformation of the company from a legacy software business to a successful innovative business focused on improving public services at scale.

Ian is a graduate of the University of Aberdeen and has undertaken executive education at CEDEP (INSEAD), Harvard University and the Saïd Business School at the University of Oxford.

Alison Alfers - Chief Legal and Compliance Officer

Alison Alfers

Executive Director, Legal & Compliance

Alison Alfers joined Study Group in February 2021 as Executive Director, Legal & Compliance. Alison’s background includes serving as General Counsel in a range of publicly traded and privately held companies, including DigitalGlobe Inc. (now MAXAR)- a NYSE-listed satellite technology company, Knowledge Learning Corporation, and most recently Cherwell Software. Key areas of expertise include global transactions, corporate governance, regulatory compliance, intellectual property and governmental affairs.

Alison is passionate about education and followed up her Juris Doctor degree with a Master of Public Health in 2015. Alison has also served as an Adjunct Professor at the University of Denver College of Law, and the Milken Institute School of Public Health at George Washington University.

Ruth Arnold

Ruth Arnold

Executive Director, External Affairs

Ruth Arnold has worked in higher education for over two decades, including as a consultant to senior teams in UK universities and sector bodies, and as Head of Strategic Projects and Communications and Director of Public Affairs at The University of Sheffield. She is a Senior Advisor to the National Indian Students and Alumni Union, served on the International Working Group of the Student Futures Commission and has given evidence to Parliament on the public benefit of international education.

A Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, Ruth is a regular commentator on higher education policy. She cofounded the award-winning #WeAreInternational campaign and was the 2020 recipient of the Professional International Education ‘Outstanding Contribution to the Industry’ Award.

July Behl

July Behl 

Executive Director, Partner Acquisition and Development

July Behl has an extensive track record in strategic partnerships and business development, including a focus on strategic innovation and driving growth for major corporates. He was previously Vice-President for Growth and Strategic Partnerships with global business transformation and development firm, and Director of Strategic Partnerships for education provider Pearson. He has also held senior development roles in leading multinational companies in engineering, development and media. 

July Behl is passionately committed to the impact of international education on individuals and society. He has a bachelors degree with honours in History from Delhi University and an MBA from The University of Edinburgh.

Simon Belfer

Simon Belfer

Chief Financial Officer

Simon joined Study Group as Chief Financial Officer in April 2023.

Prior to Study Group, Simon has spent the last 20 years as a successful CFO at a number of UK entities, gaining experience of a range of sectors, scales and governance structures. Since 2009, he has focussed on health and education. His immediately preceding roles were as CFO at Connect Health (physiotherapy services to the NHS) and prior to that he was CFO at Servelec (IT software to the public sector) until their successful exit to The Access Group in August 2021, where he worked with our Chief Executive, Ian Crichton. His earlier CFO experiences include Serco (Healthcare FM), Edinburgh Napier University and NHS National Services Scotland.

After Simon qualified as a Chartered Accountant, he spent many years developing his commercial and skills in a range of finance and operational roles in large-scale food and drink businesses including Guinness, Bass, Burton’s Biscuits and Scottish & Newcastle.

Simon lives in Edinburgh with his wife Kathryn and their family.

Anthony Claridge - Chief Information Officer

Anthony Claridge

Executive Director, Partner Management & Operations, RoW

Anthony has worked globally across many industries, with business leadership positions in the medical sector, with ResMed, where he was in charge of global supply operations and more recently the Chief Operating Officer of ResMed’s German Healthcare Business and the scientific sector with Leica, where he was responsible for global processes.

Anthony has held various technology roles, including CIO within the life science, industrial and software sectors, with companies including United Technologies and Xerox, where he worked closely with business leaders to streamline processes and systems architecture to speed up internal processes and make life easier for their customers. Anthony has worked in the USA, Germany, France, the United Kingdom and Australia.

Mark Cunnington - Chief Learning Experience Officer

Mark Cunnington

Managing Director, University Partnerships

With 25 years of commercial and strategic experience across media and education, Mark’s professional expertise is broad and varied. After a successful career as one of the Financial Times’ commercial directors, Mark has worked in the field of education for over 11 years. Prior to joining Study Group in 2017, Mark ran Pearson South Africa’s higher education business, which included the running of their higher education institution. As Chief Executive Officer he oversaw an institution with 12 campuses, over 9000 students and more than 1000 staff.

Mark has a Master’s degree from the Royal Holloway University London and holds a Doctorate from the University of Liverpool in international Higher Education.

Steve Goh - Chief Student Recruitment Officer

Steve Goh

Chief Revenue Officer

Steve joined Study Group in May 2021, bringing to the company over 29 years of sales and management experience. Now based in Singapore, Steve’s career in transformational and entrepreneurial leadership roles spans Asia, the Middle East and Africa. Steve has primarily worked across the technology sector in sales, business development and transformation roles in companies such as HP, EMC and Microsoft. Before joining Study Group, Steve was part of a Silicon Valley technology start-up, setting up presence and growth in Asia.

Ed Griffin

Ed Griffin

Executive Director, Organisational Effectiveness

Ed Griffin is responsible for leading the delivery of HR services globally and helping to build a working environment where people can work and grow to their potential. He is also responsible for the delivery of programme and project management across the business. 

Ed has worked as an HR leader in international sport, the NHS and at the British Council. He has extensive international experience that has taken him to a wide range of countries that have included Brazil, Singapore, the USA, Hong Kong, Kenya, Nigeria and across Europe. His work as a consultant gave him experience of working across many sectors including Education, technology and consultancy, telecoms,  financial services, not-for-profits and government departments. His consultancy work included strategy development with top teams, development work with HR professionals, and running international leadership development teams. He has written, researched and spoke at conferences about Organisational Development and HR.

Fiona Harvey

Fiona Harvey

Executive Director, Marketing

Fiona has worked as executive director of marketing since joining Study Group in 2019, based in our Singapore office. Fiona is a CIM-qualified marketer, and her career has seen extensive global experience in B2B and B2C education marketing and business development having previously led her own consultancy as well as working for AICPA and CIMA in various international roles.

Fiona has a degree in Management and French and a Licence en Sciences de Gestion and has lived in the UK, France, India, Middle East and Australia.

Steve Pinches - Chief Product Officer

Steve Pinches

Chief Product Officer

Steve began his role as Chief Product Officer at Study Group in June 2022, after many years' experience in the education industry. Steve began his career working as an English language teacher in the Americas and Europe, before spending over ten years launching a range of award-winning digital products and services for the Financial Times. Steve then moved back to education, heading up digital development for Pearson ELT, developing blended learning solutions for a global audience. He then joined Tes Global and established the Tes Institute, a pioneering teacher qualification and training organisation – before being appointed Chief Operating Officer to oversee a portfolio of teacher development and EdTech businesses. More recently, Steve has worked with Hyve Group plc to help build new digital and blended revenue streams around their portfolio of exhibitions and shows – including the Bett education show in London.

James Pitman MD, Chief Development Officer UK Europe

James Pitman

Managing Director, UK & Europe

James Pitman is Study Group's Managing Director for UK and Europe. James is also the Chair of Exporting Education UK and Vice-Chair of Independent Higher Education. He is a member of the British Council’s Higher Education Advisory Group and Destination for Education, a coalition supporting the UK education export sector, and was a founding advisor to the UK All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for International Students.

Prior to joining Study Group in February 2007, James was Managing Director of the EMEA businesses of Rosetta Stone, a market leading, global e-learning software provider.

During the 1990s, James held a variety of senior international roles, including those of Vice President of International Marketing and Vice President of Operations and Business Development with Warner Music International and EMI Music. This followed eight years in international education publishing.

James has a BA(Hons) and MA from Cambridge University in Natural Sciences and a MBA from IMD in Switzerland.

Nick Williams - Chief Financial Officer

Nick Williams

Executive Director

Nick joined Study Group on 1 October 2018 as Executive Director and was appointed to the Board on the same day.

Nick began his finance career at KPMG, and prior to joining Study Group, he was finance leader for a number of growing, international businesses. Immediately before Study Group, he was CFO of JacTravel, the global B2B travel provider. Previous businesses included Masternaut, Truflo International and Biocompatibles. Nick also serves as Non-Executive Director of Cambridge Scientific Innovations.

He has a BA (Hons) in History from the University of Exeter, and is a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales.

An image of Ravi Singh.

Ravi Singh

Global Director of Admissions and Student Services

Over a career spanning 28 years, Ravi Singh has built a name for his ability to turn around businesses and operations into sustainable operations. He helped make the loss-making Promotional Market business into a profitable business unit in less than 12 months and lead the exponential growth of ItzCash Cards, turning ItzCash into the only profitable prepaid payments issuer company in India. Prior to this, Ravi helped establish Western Union India as the largest agent network globally in the remittance world. 

Prior to joining Study Group, Ravi was Head of Center of Excellence – International Operations and Head of Client Experience - India and Sri Lanka at Fiserv, a Fortune 500 company. As Head of Merchant Acquiring business at Fiserv, he led the ICICI Merchant Services, JV with ICICI Bank, which is among the top merchant acquiring companies in India. 

Ravi has been recognized & awarded for his accomplishment as business and operations leader. He received “Man of Excellence Award” at India Achiever’s Forum in 2021 as a recognition of his professional achievement. Ravi has been invited as a guest speaker or panellist to multiple industry platforms including leading business news channels in India, such as ET Now & CNBC Awaaz.