Our People

We are proud to offer a uniquely collaborative culture full of talented professionals. Our team blends the technical skills of our global network with result-oriented business acumen. Meet the Optilan team:

Bill Bayliss

Chief Executive Officer

Bill Bayliss

A part of the Optilan family since February 2020

Bill Bayliss has been actively involved in leadership positions in both the public and private industrial/energy sector; including living and working in North America, Middle East and Norway.

Bill started his career in support to the power generation and petrochemical businesses in a wide range of roles including project management, sales and commercial. He entered the oil and gas business with Brown and Root (B&R) in both London and Aberdeen. He subsequently moved to Norway with Kvaerner Engineering and returned back to UK with Kellogg B&R (KBR) fulfilling various roles including Senior Manager for the Hibernia Development in Canada, Business Manager for the Conoco Southern North Sea operations, maintenance and major project work before being promoted to KBR Global Operations and Maintenance Director.

In 2004, Bill moved to Petrofac to set up an engineering, procurement, construction and commissioning support business that grew significantly from an initial seed corn start up investment, and within his role as Vice President, developed the business into five divisional areas with an annual turnover of circa $300 million and a support staff of 1,800. In 2009, he moved to Dubai as Chief Operating Officer of Topaz Engineering and was accountable for four business units with a circa $300 million turnover and over 4000 personnel.

Bill joined Viking Seatech in September 2011 as Group CEO to take the business through financial and organisational restructuring and professionalization. Bill led the sale of this HSBC private equity backed debt leveraged business which was sold in August 2013 for £150million to USA trade buyer Actuant.

At the end of 2014 Bill moved to work as an independent consultant helping a number of Private Equity houses including Bluewater Energy and Energy Ventures in their due diligence activities for the acquisition of various targets covering are Operational, Commercial (including financial elements), HSEQ, the supply chain, organisational structures and general management support.

In mid-2016 Bill joined ICR. As Group CEO, he developed and executed a comprehensive strategy with the “end in mind” that delivered valuable change not only in terms of EBITDA but attractiveness in terms of exit multiples with the addition of new organic product lines and geographies. At its peak under Bills guidance the business nearly doubled in size.

During late 2019, Bill decided to pursue other activities and has recently been appointed as the CEO of Optlian which is part of the Bluewater Energy portfolio.

From a personal perspective, Bill has a proven track record in meeting and exceeding annual financial growth targets without compromise to personnel safety or integrity.  He is commercially astute with experience in acquisitions, private equity leveraged businesses, IPOs and divestments. He is passionate about building teams with common goals so that there is clear alignment. Having lived and worked internationally, he has a great understanding of cultural diversity and how work is performed in different regions. He has a Master of Science Degree in Engineering and Risk Management.

Chris Yarwood

Engineering and Technology Director

Chris Yarwood

A part of the Optilan family since January 1993

Chris is responsible for leading the company-wide strategy to reinforce and enhance Optilan's position as an innovative leader, optimising investments in technology across the group. Supporting the management team, he oversees Optilan's design and build activities as well as the development of our technology portfolio.

Chris has been instrumental in delivering the technological scope of a large number of Optilan's key projects, including National Grid Cadent ISS Project, TANAP Pipeline Protection Project and Network Rail Kent SISS.

Prior to joining Optilan, Chris worked for GPT Telecommunications. He is a Chartered Engineer as well as a Fellow of the Institution of Engineering and Technology.

Tony Alexander

HSQE Director

Tony Alexander

A part of the Optilan family since March 2020

As HSEQ Director, Tony is responsible for providing support and guidance to the CEO and Leadership Team on HSEQ matters, as well as the delivery of the strategic HSEQ Improvement Plan. Tony manages a team of HSEQ professionals, providing day to day support to ongoing Optilan Projects worldwide,  as well as business facilities in all our countries of operation.

With more than 30 years’ experience, Tony has held senior management HSEQ positions within a range of major oil sector operators. These have included EnQuest and Bluewater Energy Services (Netherlands), as well as global oilfield services players such as Viking Seatech, ICR Integrity and Cortez Subsea.

Tony holds a Bsc. degree in Mechanical Engineering and an C.Eng M.I.MechE industry accreditation.

Kate Davies

Project Delivery Director

Kate Davies

A part of the Optilan family since July 2020

Kate is responsible for resource and project management functions, leading the planning and delivery of all capacity planning, forecasting, and project profitably. This includes continually reviewing and improving internal processes and tools, driving efficiency and business growth.

Prior to joining Optilan, Kate was the Director of Projects at Rolls Royce, Bergen Engines. She has also previously held senior positions at General Electric, Alstom and E.ON. Kate has spent the last ten years taking the lead on major multi-million pound Power Generation Projects - retrofitting new technology into existing Gas and Coal power stations across Europe.

Kate graduated from the University of Hull with a BA Business Management degree and went on to gain a MSc in Project Management from the University of Manchester.

Laura Meneaud

HR Director

Laura Meneaud

A part of the Optilan family since March 2018

Laura Meneaud is the Human Resources Director for Optilan.

With a successful career spanning over 13 years as an HR Director for various companies, Laura has been instrumental in shaping and implementing the talent acquisition strategy for the group.

Capitalising on her approachable and dynamic nature, Laura is involved in all aspects of the employee life cycle. This includes recruitment, employee engagement and relations, learning and development, as well as working alongside the Leadership team in driving forward the People plan for the business.

As part of her role, Laura oversees the company's human capital function and its strategic plans to help realise the company's vision and objectives.

Jason Keith

Group Commercial Director

Jason Keith

A part of the Optilan family since September 2020

Jason oversees all commercial, procurement and tendering activities across the Optilan Group and is responsible for the delivery, development and maintenance of these services in compliance with Group policies, procedures and legislation. This is whilst simultaneously ensuring the safe, efficient and economic execution in support of our operational requirements.

Jason has 28 years’ experience predominantly within the Energy Industry, working for major multi-national and international contracting companies across the globe. This includes his previous position at Wood plc, as well as Petrofac, Subsea 7 and BP.

Throughout his professional tenure, he has held several commercial positions at both project and corporate levels, with the last 15 years spent in Senior Executive Leadership roles. He has extensive skills in commercial and contract management; this has encompassed valuable multi-cultural experiences, having lived, worked and managed teams across the globe.

He holds a Masters in Oil & Gas Law (LLM) and a Postgraduate in Management, both of which he graduated with Distinction from the Robert Gordon University in the United Kingdom. He also holds a Diploma in Finance and a master’s certificate in Lean Six Sigma (Black Belt) attained through the Villanova University, USA.

Adrian Bannister

Chief Financial Officer

Adrian Bannister

A part of the Optilan family since November 2020

As the CFO, Adrian is in charge of the financial planning, record keeping and monetary health of Optilan, as well as managing its financial risk . He works alongside other members of the executive management team to determine an overall direction for the company.

Adrian joined Optilan from Ardyne, the specialist energy technology business that drives cutting-edge innovation for onshore and offshore well management, where he was Chief Financial Officer. Adrian has amassed 25 years of experience specialising in financial roles within private equity-backed, entrepreneurial, and fast-growth businesses.

He graduated from RGIT with a Degree in Business Studies and then joined EY in Aberdeen where he qualified as a Chartered Accountant in 1988.

Kari Williams

Sales and Marketing Director

Kari Williams

A part of the Optilan family since April 2021

Kari is Optilan's dedicated Sales and Marketing Director and is responsible for the delivery of group sales budget and marketing activities, within Optilan’s dynamic, fast-paced environment.

Prior to joining Optilan, Kari was most recently the Vice President of Marketing at Rolls Royce, responsible for Services. She has worked globally with customers, suppliers and governments across diverse sectors such as Civil Aerospace, Defence and Energy markets with a focus on Sales, Business Development, Marketing and Transformation.

Kari holds an Honours degree in Business Management and has subsequently completed a Masters in Supply Chain Management. In addition to these professional qualifications, Kari is also a qualified mental health first-aider and has received an ICF Accredited Diploma in Transformational Coaching.


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