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The team

Lionel Thain

Lionel has been providing switcher data and call centre services to the energy industry for over 20 years working with the Big 6 utilities, challenger brands and start-ups.

He was heavily involved in the planning, strategy and set up of a UK energy business, providing know-how for building their website and developing their marketing, PR, Social Media, SEO, Direct Mail and Door Drop activities. This resulted in the acquisition within two years of 250,000 customers.

His in-depth knowledge of the market place led him to publish a number of well-received comprehensive industry market research reports.

Ivan Southall

Ivan, a Qualified Chartered Accountant, has a superlative knowledge of data protection legislation having been involved in the legal and compliance side of the data industry since 1996.

He was instrumental in setting up the legal structure and data protection compliance requirements for GB Energy Supply.

Toby Selves

With his experienced team our Sales Director Toby has since 2003 managed day-to-day operations concentrating on lead generation and data management via in-house and external call centres.

He brings a wealth of knowledge across many consumer markets and has particular insight into the Utility and Telecom sectors.

Toby ensures that we achieve the highest quality using our suite of proprietary tools.

Steve Cripwell

Steve brings a wealth of experience to the role of UK COO to ensure that clients receive a premium service. His background in marketing, account management, supply chain roles and extensive experience of working with outsourced service providers give him valuable insight into every aspect of our services.

As certified EU GDPR practitioner he can provide a structured, bespoke step-by-step approach to guiding our clients to meeting ongoing compliance requirements

Lara Harkins

Having worked in numerous different roles for five energy companies since 1994 Lara has acquired an in-depth knowledge of how the industry operates.

She has held sales, marketing, business change and customer operations positions in utilities including British Gas, Npower, Ecotricity and Octopus.

Lara specialises in customer led transformation and operational improvement. Her invaluable blend of client, third party and direct change management experience has delivered transformational change in highly regulated environments.

Derek Warner

As Owner and Managing Partner of Synergy Contact Centre in South Africa Derek (Des) has 20 years' experience in managing and directing large scale multi-site sales and service centres in the UK and South Africa. He has a proven track record of building and developing high performance teams to deliver operational excellence, customer and client satisfaction and profitable sustainable growth in highly competitive and regulated environments.

Des’s experience of working in the BPO sector in South Africa stretches back to 2012 since when he has built sales and service teams for UK clients.

Andy McKinley

Originally from Manchester with a "can do" attitude Andy settled in South Africa in 2010 and joined Synergy in 2017.

As our South Africa COO, and having started his contact centre career in 2000, Andy has leadership experience running large blue-chip accounts both onshore and offshore with a valuable blend of operational knowledge, business development and stakeholder management skills. He has diverse industry experience and ensures projects land and deliver against targets.