Chief Executive Officer
Ian Crichton joins Study Group as Chief Executive Officer in September 2022. 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.
Chief Legal and Compliance Officer
Alison Alfers joined Study Group in February 2021 as Chief Legal and Compliance Officer. 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.
Director of External Relations, ANZ
Alex is responsible for External Relations in Australia and New Zealand. He joined Study Group in 2014 and is based in our Sydney offices.
Alex has extensive experience in international and higher education, university pathways, and English language training.
Over the past two decades, Alex has developed and managed education programs and agent networks in Australasia, Europe, Africa, and Asia, including during his six years living in China. Previous roles include Global Sales Director then Managing Director of Study Group ANZ, Managing Director of Kaplan Business School Australia, Vice President Sales and Marketing in Asia for Kaplan International Colleges, and General Manager of Kaplan International Colleges in China.
Alex speaks French, Mandarin, and Portuguese. He holds a Licentiate Diploma in TESOL from Trinity College London and a Master of Arts in Teaching English for International Business from the University of Central Lancashire.
Chief Information Officer
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.
Chief Learning Experience Officer
Dr Mark Cunnington is Chief Learning Experience Officer for Study Group. He has global responsibility for teaching, learning and student success. Whether at International Study Centres, Colleges or online programmes, Mark leads a team focussed on engaging and preparing thousands of international students for undergraduate and post-graduate university study.
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.
Chief Student Experience Officer
Mike Everett is Chief Student Experience Director, responsible for student experience across the whole of the student journey. Mike joined Study Group in February 2015 as Chief Operating Officer, UK and Europe. After this, he became Global Delivery Director and then Chief Growth Enablement Officer.
Prior to joining Study Group, he worked in research and consultancy in a variety of senior roles. These roles included Global COO at YSC (a business psychology consultancy); Global Head of People and Talent (HR Director) for Ipsos; CEO and COO of Ipsos MORI in the UK; and Global Head of Customer and Employee research for TNS.
Mike has a degree in Industrial Economics from Warwick University. He started his career as a Management Consultant with Ernst & Young followed by working as an employment researcher at the Institute for Employment Studies.
Chief Student Recruitment 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.
Chief People & Transformation Officer
At Study Group, Nikki Hall has served as Chief People & Transformation Officer since November 2019, having served as Chief Human Resources Officer from May 2018. Nikki currently holds a dual role as Interim Chief Product Officer.
Nikki has been in HR for over 25 years, including serving as Chief Human Resources Officer at HotSchedules, Twenty Eighty and SHL/Previsor.
As part of her experience, in prior organisations, she has been responsible for managing large transformation programmes, including running her own boutique merger and acquisition integration consulting company, Xceleration Partners.
Nikki has held other senior executive roles including serving as Chief Product & Content Development Officer at Previsor.
She holds a BBA in Business Administration with an emphasis in HR/Industrial Relations from the University of Iowa.
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.
Chief Executive Officer
Having served as Chief Financial Officer since April 2013, Emma Lancaster was appointed Chief Executive Officer of Study Group on 1 September 2018. Emma is currently handing over to the new Chief Executive Officer, Ian Crichton, and will remain as a member of Study Group’s global Board.
Emma was CFO of SHL Group Ltd for 11 years, during which time it was both a public company and private equity backed. Prior to SHL, she was Director of Finance and Business Development at The Rank Group plc. Emma’s early career was at Arthur Andersen in a variety of both client-facing and internal roles in the Global Corporate Finance group.
Emma has a BA (Hons) in Zoology from Oxford University (Keble College), UK.
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.
Managing Director, Chief Development Officer, UK & Europe
James Pitman is Study Group's Managing Director and Chief Development Officer for UK and Europe. James is also the Chair of Exporting Education UK and Vice-Chair of Independent Higher Education.
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.
Chief Financial Officer
Nick joined Study Group on 1 October 2018 as Chief Financial Officer 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.