Optima bolsters ambitious growth strategy with key senior appointment 

Martin Dowson (OPTIMA)

INSIGHT-led consultancy service, Optima Partners, has today announced Martin Dowson FRSA as its new Managing Director of Consulting, as the Edinburgh-based company remains on track to double in size this year. 

Known for his expertise in driving effective business transformation through Design & Customer Experience, Martin is the latest key hire in what Optima Partners is calling “an aggressive recruitment strategy to bolster its team”. The company is on course to double headcount to more than 100 across its three UK bases by the end of 2023. 

Martin has previously led Customer Experience Design teams in Industry and Consulting with organisations including Lloyds Banking Group, BT and Accenture.  He has advised on Design-Led Transformation across Banking, CPG, Energy and TelCo industries. Martin is a current Fellow at the RSA and has been regularly invited to guest lecture on Design and its Value in Business at Glasgow School of Art, Napier University and Rutgers University. 

Martin’s hiring follows the announcement that Optima Partners has secured a £2.3 million investment from capital investor BGF. Rapid growth has also seen the business post turnover in excess of £5.7m for their Financial Year 2022.

Earlier this year [2023], Optima Partners announced the opening of its third office, in Bristol, adding to its Edinburgh office and site in central London with expansion plans into Europe already under way. According to a recent study, the value of Europe’s data economy is expected to grow by €225 billion to €550 billion by 2025.

CEO and founder of Optima Partners, Alan Crawley, said: 

“The very ethos of Optima Partners is about unlocking latent value in businesses through transformation by design, and having Martin Dowson join us as Managing Director for Consulting is testament to the value we place on expertise in design and user experience. 

“Businesses need significant shifts when it comes to making marked improvements, not tweaks around the edges, and Martin has a track record of success in business transformation at the level we provide. We have hit the ground running this year and are on track for a major expansion which Martin is a key part of and we are delighted to welcome him to the team.”

Optima’s flagship “Transformation by Design” approach is described as integrating state-of-the-art techniques from design thinking, systems thinking, outcome-driven innovation and data sciences. 

Martin Dowson, Managing Director Consulting at Optima Partners, said: 

“I am thrilled to be part of the team as we work to realise a visionary and ambitious year ahead. Optima Partners has a clear purpose to help our clients establish and improve the value exchange they have with their customers and in so doing unlock latent value in their business.  
What attracted me to working with Optima Partners is the recognition that the Transformation required to unlock that value must be purposefully designed using a full range of skills and capabilities that are rarely brought together so well.  

“I’m looking forward to working with our clients to combine Customer Strategy and Data Science with Design and Systems Thinking to solve some truly systemic challenges for our clients.” 

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