Board of Directors
Giles Fearnley. A career in the passenger transport industry saw Giles lead an MBO in 1991 forming Blazefield Holdings Limited, a business operating bus networks principally across Yorkshire and Lancashire. This company was sold to Transdev in 2006.
In 1997 he was appointed Chief Executive of Prism Rail PLC, having been one of that company’s founders, and held that position until its sale to National Express in 2000. Prism Rail operated four of the UK’s passenger rail franchises with a turnover of £500million per annum.
Giles retired in November 2020 from the role of Managing Director – Bus, UK and Ireland for First Group Plc. Giles served as chairman of the Association of Train Operating Companies in 1999/2000 and as chairman of The Confederation of Passenger Transport UK.
Jason Starr, Group CEO.
Jason Starr joined the Group in 1994, becoming Marketing Manager in 1996 and Managing Director of the UK business in 1998. Following the MBO, Jason became Chief Executive of the Group. Jason was appointed a Non-Executive Director of AIM listed PCIPAL PLC from January 1st, 2015. Jason has a BA (Honours) business studies degree from the London Guildhall University.
Ian Mackin, Finance Director
Ian graduated with an honours degree in Accountancy Studies from the University of Huddersfield. Following CIMA qualification in 2004, Ian spent 11 years as Financial Controller of a Childcare chain before a stint as Director of Finance in a Care Home chain.
Ian joined the Group in 2018 and since 2019 has been Group Financial Controller, playing a key role in the restructuring of the Group. He joined the Group Board up in June 2022.
Paul Mather, Chief Operating Officer.
Paul has been employed in the group since 1999 after graduating with an honours degree in Physics from the Surrey of University. Paul joined in a 2nd line support role with Voyager Software Ltd before taking over the support function in 2000. In 2001 he became Customer Services Director before taking over as Operations Director in 2003. After selling Voyager to Dillistone Group in 2011 Paul was part of the due diligence teams for the subsequent Group acquisitions and is now responsible for Group operations globally.
Simon Warburton, Chief Technology Officer.
Simon graduated with an honours degree in Computer Science from the University of Leeds and following a brief stint with an IT recruitment business, joined Voyager Software’s technical team in 1997. In the following years, Simon held various roles in the business in both the technical and sales arenas before becoming Managing Director in 2002, where he remained until Voyager Software’s acquisition by Dillistone Group in 2011.
Post-acquisition, Simon continued in the role of Managing Director for the contingent recruitment division of the Group, which included the acquisition of two further businesses in 2013 and 2014. Simon’s responsibilities also included the Group’s IT infrastructure before being formally appointed as CTO in January 2020. Simon continues to be responsible for the Group’s IT infrastructure alongside his other responsibilities in the sales, marketing and account management operations.
Steven Hammond, Group Engineering Officer
Steven Hammond has a multifaceted IT background spanning more than 20 years with a blend of technical, software development and business roles throughout that time. He joined the Group after the acquisition of ISV Software Ltd in 2014. Post-acquisition, Steve continued his role of Director of IT for ISV, and in 2019 became responsible for the R&D and software engineering strategy of the Group’s software products.
Julie was Dillistone’s Finance Director from April 2010 until 30 September 2021 when she retired from executive responsibilities and became a non executive director. Julie is an experienced finance director of quoted and private companies. She graduated with an honours degree in Physics from Birmingham University and is a Chartered Accountant and Chartered Director. She also holds tax and treasury qualifications. Julie was group finance director of Carter & Carter Group plc until October 2005 having joined in 2002 to help grow and float the business.
She had previously been chief financial officer of Weston Medical Group plc and prior to this, Julie worked at East Midlands Electricity plc as director of corporate finance. She was finance director of AIM quoted Biofutures International plc until July 2010. Julie also spent over 12 years as a non-executive director of Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust and Nottinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust. She was appointed as a non-executive director of Oxford Cannabinoid Technologies Holdings Plc in May 2021.