New role for corporate chief exec
GK Strategy and its sister digital agency, onefourzero, have appointed Justin Ash as their new Chairman. Justin begins his new part-time position this week.
Justin begins his position after a highly successful period as chief executive officer of Oasis Dental Care, where he successfully grew the business to become the largest private dental provider in the UK, culminating in its sale in November 2016, from European private equity house Bridgepoint to Bupa for £835m. Prior to Oasis Dental Group, Justin was UK managing director of Lloyds Pharmacy.
The appointment comes after a strong financial year for GK and onefourzero, which saw the businesses grow in excess of 20 per cent year-on-year for the seventh consecutive year and pick up Specialist Advisor of the Year at the Private Equity Awards last week.
GK was formed in 2008, by Robin Grainger and Luke Kennedy, to offer high quality in-depth political due diligence to mid-market private equity firms for transactions in highly regulated markets and commercially focused public affairs. The business has since evolved to become a full-service integrated communications consultancy.
GK Strategy will continue to be led by current CEO, Emily Wallace, and onefourzero by Fleur Hicks, managing director.
Justin Ash, commented,“I am hugely excited to work with the visionary founders, Luke and Robin, and the expanding, high energy, highly skilled GK and onefourzero teams.
“I will be helping the businesses layout and deliver an ambitious road map of growth and expansion in the years ahead as well as further strengthening their respective propositions, especially for the private equity community.
“Much of my leadership experience has been gained in highly regulated health markets. These are challenging but rewarding environments to work in. Businesses that are most successful gather objective, fact-based analysis of risk and are proactive in contributing to the ever-changing regulatory framework. GK’s consulting arm excels in doing this evidence-based engagement.
“GK’s political risk advisory and diligence service and sister digital agency, onefourzero, are innovating in the support of private equity sponsors in the deal process. I am struck by the unique approach onefourzero take in digital profiling and there are very few types of business that onefourzero and GK are not working with. That variety and leading edge practice is extremely exciting.”
Emily Wallace said, “Justin’s appointment is a really exciting moment for GK and onefourzero – his commercial experience and expertise will be invaluable in guiding us on our path to future sustained growth. We pride ourselves in being a really agile business that loves to offer new and challenging services to the markets we work in.”