Ralph Kugler
Non-Executive Chairman

Ralph Kugler

Ralph has worked on a number of private equity deals, in a number of different sectors. He currently chairs Williams Lea Tag, an Advent International investment, and is Independent Director of Keter, a BC Partners investment. He also chairs an exciting early stage business, Headbox.

Ralph has been involved in a number of education activities in recent years. He is Board Trustee on the largest primary school MAT. He chairs the Advisory board of a leading University business school. Until last year, he was Chairman of Cognita, the global K12 schools organisation, with over 70 schools worldwide. He is Trustee of a charity aiming to improve educational opportunities for very underprivileged children in Zululand.

Ralph spent 25 years at Unilever, and has lived and worked in S Africa, Brazil, Malaysia, Thailand and Belgium, as well as the UK. He rose to become executive director on the main board of Unilever. He has also been a director of Intercontinental Hotels, and was Board advisor on the main board of Mars, Incorporated.

Ralph was appointed Commander of the Royal Order of the Direkgunaborn, a Thai royal honour, in 1999.

Ralph Kugler
Non-Executive Chairman

Sir Keith Burnett FRS
Vice-Chair (Academic)
Study Group

Sir Keith Burnett FRS

Professor Sir Keith Burnett FRS is an eminent scientist who was formerly the Head of the Division of Mathematical, Physical and Life Sciences at The University of Oxford. He also worked as a physicist in the United States and at Imperial College in London before spending two decades at Oxford and then 11 years as the President and Vice-Chancellor of The University of Sheffield.

In addition to his role with Study Group, Sir Keith is Chair of the Nuffield Foundation - the charitable trust established in 1943 Lord Nuffield, the founder of Morris Motors, which aims to improve social well-being by funding research and innovation projects in education and social policy, and building research capacity in science and social science. He is also the Chair of the Academic Council of the Schmidt Science Fellows in partnership with the Rhodes Trust in Oxford, a global programme to support exemplary interdisciplinary science in partnership with the world’s leading universities. He has served as President of the U.K. Science Council, as a trustee of the Royal Society and as a member of the Prime-Minister’s Advisory Council on Science and Technology.

A speaker of Mandarin Chinese, Sir Keith has also been a significant leader of scientific and educational partnership between the UK and China. In 2014 and 2016 he was given an Award for Outstanding Personal Achievement by the People’s Republic of China for his contribution to the understanding of Chinese language and culture. Sir Keith was the co-founder of the award-winning #WeAreInternational campaign which welcomes international students and scholars to the UK, now supported by over 100 UK universities, education providers and businesses and led by the U.K. Council for International Student Affairs. He was awarded a knighthood in 2013 for services to Science and Higher Education.

Sir Keith Burnett FRS
Vice-Chair (Academic)
Study Group

Bruno Ladrière
Ardian

Bruno Ladrière

Bruno has been a Managing Director with Ardian since 2002. He was previously a Director at PAI Partners. He has extensive investment experience in the food, chemicals, industrials and healthcare sectors. Bruno has worked in the pharmaceutical industry with Rhone-Poulenc, in management consulting with Corporate Decisions and in investment banking with Triago. He qualified as a Medical Doctor and received an MBA from The Wharton School. Currently sits on the board of Envision Pharma Group, Inula, DRT and Solina.

Bruno Ladrière
Ardian

Edward Little
Ardian

Edward Little

Edward Little is based in the London office of Ardian and is currently a director of Study Group. Prior to joining Ardian in 2018, Mr. Little worked at TPG Capital where he focused on the consumer and business services sectors. Previously, Mr. Little worked at HIG Capital and began his career as an investment banker at Rothschild in London. Mr. Little is a graduate of the London School of Economics.

Edward Little
Ardian

Olivier Personnaz
Managing Director,
Ardian Buyout - Chairman

Olivier Personnaz

Olivier is a Managing Director based in the London office at Ardian. Prior to joining Ardian in 2011, he was a Principal at Apax Partners in the business and financial services team. Previously, Mr. Personnaz worked in Paris as a management consultant with McKinsey & Company. He graduated as an Engineer from Ecole Centrale Paris. Currently sits on the board of DRT and SFAM.

Olivier Personnaz
Managing Director,
Ardian Buyout - Chairman

Ian Crichton

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.

Ian Crichton
Chief Executive Officer

Emma Lancaster
Chief Executive Officer,
Study Group

Emma Lancaster

Emma Lancaster was appointed to the Study Group Board in November 2022, having served as Chief Executive Officer and Chief Financial Officer for Study Group from September 2018 and April 2013 respectively. 

Emma was Chief Financial Officer 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 the University of Oxford University (Keble College), UK.

Emma Lancaster
Non-Executive Board Member

Nick Williams
Chief Financial Officer,
Study Group

Nick Williams

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. Most recently 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. Nick is married and lives in London and West Sussex.

Nick Williams
Chief Financial Officer,
Study Group