Tom Holt

Tom Holt

Tom is Pragma’s CEO: he defines and leads Pragma’s business strategy.

A Bristol University graduate and London Business School alumnus, Tom started his career at HSBC. He then moved to Nectar to drive strategic retail partnerships for the UK’s largest loyalty programme.

Joining Pragma to head up the Investor Services division in 2011, Tom became CEO in 2015. His leadership focuses on driving Pragma’s growth both in the UK and overseas. With consumer expectations surging, and competition intensifying, Tom works closely with the team to help clients identify winning strategies.

Alongside leading the business’s strategy and ambitions, Tom is pivotal in bringing teams together and making Pragma a great place to work. He has a strong commitment to engendering a culture of collaboration and keen interest in client problems, together with delivering a first class client service.

Out of the office, his young family gets Tom’s complete attention, be it a picnic in the park, a trip to one of London’s many museums or just a tantrum at the shops (the girls, not Tom).

Alex Avery

Alex Avery

Alex specialises in commercial space optimisation, retail strategy and commercial due diligence and leads our work with Airports, Travel & Commercial Spaces clients.

He has wide-ranging experience of leading commercial strategy projects across a variety of geographies including Europe, Asia, the Middle East, Africa, and the Americas, for clients ranging from leading airport operators and commercial developers, to brand owners and private equity investors. Alex’s key strength lies in understanding how consumers behave and what motivates them to buy, translating this to the commercial environment of retail developments.

Hunting out the best places to eat, retail therapy and live music in different countries around the world keeps Alex busy in his spare time, as well as balancing on his bike, a board travelling down the mountains or on waves in the sea.

Ralph Fernando

Ralph Fernando

Ralph leads our Strategy and Investor Services divisions, supporting operators, investors and lenders to grow profitably through applied commercial insight and action. 

Prior to joining Pragma, Ralph was a Strategy Director at PwC, starting his career in supply chain consulting and technology.  He is a Cambridge graduate and Warwick Business School MBA.

With his team, Ralph answers the key questions of where to play and how to win, partnering with clients to solve problems and realise opportunities.  “Dynamic strategy” is a real focus, where Ralph has developed practical approaches to achieve long-term strategic and financial goals in the face of increasingly dynamic markets.

Out of office hours, Ralph spends most of his time failing to convince his 4- and 6-year-old sons to do what they are told, treading the line between donkey and gazelle on the football field and writing and performing original music. He is also currently writing a book on strategy in dynamic markets.

Dan Stolarski

Dan Stolarski

Dan leads our North American practice, specialising in retail and consumer strategy & operations, and investor services

Dan has nearly 20 years of experience partnering with retailers, brands and investors in developing and executing growth strategies, operational improvements, commercial due diligences, turnarounds and transformations. He began his career as a Merchant at Target Corporation and has held various positions at The Boston Consulting Group, PRTM Management Consultants, and Deloitte. 

Dan has worked within many retail and consumer goods segments, including Fashion & Luxury Apparel, Specialty Apparel Retail, Luxury Consumer Goods, Health & Beauty, General Merchandise, Big Box Specialty Retail, Off-Price Apparel and Home Goods, and Discount Chains. He also has significant global retail experience, having worked with clients based in Asia, Australia, Europe, Latin America and North America. He received his MBA and BA degrees from the University of Michigan. 

Dan loves the game of golf and is also a wine enthusiast, an avid reader of political, world and war history literature, and is on an endless pursuit to explore the world with his wife, son and daughter.

Helene Mills

Helene Mills

Helene has over 15 years’ experience in consumer insight and strategic consultancy, and has led many projects for clients across diverse sectors, including fashion, leisure and food & beverage.

Her passion is in developing strategies to align and optimise consumer propositions to meet the needs of the target audience. She has worked extensively with both private equity and retail clients to develop improvement strategies for their businesses.

Prior to joining Pragma, Helene worked for the John Lewis Partnership and for the Wellcome Trust Institute.

Helene loves to spend time with her two daughters, get out and about in the countryside with her dogs, and attempting the odd trail run. Helene studied Human Sciences at Oxford University.

Jacob Gascoine-Becker

Jacob Gascoine-Becker

Jacob specialises in ecommerce and omni-channel strategy and implementation, with over 9 years’ experience working in digital marketing, retail and ecommerce roles. His passion is for combining analytical rigour with an in-depth understanding of the evolution of multi-channel retailing.

Jacob joined Pragma in 2014 and is a Director in the Strategy Division. He has successfully delivered a number of projects for Pragma’s clients, including strategic reviews, location planning, international market assessments and multi-channel strategy development.

Outside of work, Jacob is a big fan of cooking, keeping fit and travelling.

Andrew McVicker

Andrew McVicker

Andrew works with asset management, leasing and marketing teams.

 Andrew leads the team in our Property division, working with a diverse mix of investors, developers, asset managers and local authorities, all with a view to maximising the value of their retail assets.  With such a broad scope of end users, Andrew is often a key part of a broader team including architects, leasing, marketing and property teams.

Andrew joined the team following the integration of FSP and Pragma, having worked at FSP since May 2010, where he was appointed to the Board as Sales Director in June 2015. Prior to joining FSP, Andrew had worked at both ORC and CACI, having graduated from Manchester Metropolitan University with a BSC Hons degree in Geography.

With his team, Andrew utilises Pragma’s wide range of research capabilities and vast industry knowledge to understand customer behaviour and quantify the impact it has on retailer profitability. In doing so, Andrew is able to work with clients on both high level strategic assessments through to practical steps to maximise asset value.

Out of the office hours, Andrew spends most of his time debating the fighting capabilities of various dinosaurs with his young sons, sneaking the odd evening out with his wife and assessing the strengths and weaknesses of retail locations on various shopping trips.

Chris van Ryswyck

Chris van Ryswyck

Chris brings hands-on retail, analytics and nearly 8 years’ commercial experience at Gatwick Airport to Pragma’s Airports, Travel & Commercial Spaces team.

Chris helps our airport clients understand how to maximise their non-aeronautical revenues by looking at their passenger base and commercial space, in combination with business needs. Chris’s background helps him connect with the interplay between various airport departments, and, how commercial is often at the mercy of other areas of the airport environment.

Chris has led a number of Pragma’s flagship projects including our work on Vienna and Lima Airports.  He was recently a keynote speaker at Passenger Experience Conference 2016 in Hamburg.

Tim Roach

Tim Roach

Tim is a Director in the Investor Services Division.

He previously spent seven years at Boots, covering both strategy and buying experience, and four years at PwC.

Project experience across a range of retail clients including high street electronics retail, high street beauty, off-licence and discount retail.

Ed Newton

Ed Newton

Ed joined Pragma in February 2011 after completing a MEng in Civil Engineering from the University of Bristol. He works as a Associate Director in the Airports, Travel & Commercial Spaces division.

He specialises in the holistic analysis of consumer and financial data to develop detailed revenue and space supportable models.  These have been applied across a wide range of projects including airport commercial reviews, space planning and commercial due diligence for major investment situations.

Ed is a keen amateur photographer and is often found wandering the streets and fields in search of a great shot.

Sam Fox

Sam Fox

Sam works with asset management, leasing and marketing teams on in-town and out of town assets both in the UK and in Europe.

Sam joined the team following the integration of FSP and Pragma.  She works with a number of developers as well as providing strategic advice on mixed used developments. As well as working with retainer clients, Sam works on a wide variety of projects including detailed shopper surveys, impact studies, focus groups and pre-acquisition assessments.

Sam joined FSP in June 2012 as a Senior Consultant and works extensively with major property clients including Legal & General, Aviva and Shaftesbury. Prior to joining FSP, Sam spent 8 years working for The Oxford Consultancy, providing research and consultancy to retail, property and publishing clients including John Lewis, Hammerson, McArthurGlen and the Daily Telegraph. 

Sam laughs at the concept of spare time, but somehow juggles being a mum of two young boys with a love of Zumba and Body Combat classes. Sometimes she even juggles to the boys.