First Response Group (FRG), an nationwide security, risk, and property protection firm, has added to its senior leadership team with the recent appointment of Derek Neilson to the newly established position of Group Operations Director. Mr. Neilson, holding a Politics and International Relations (MA Hons) degree, brings a wealth of experience, having served as the head of the company’s Scottish division, Apardion, for the past eight years. He initially assumed the role of head of operations and later took on the responsibilities of managing director after FRG acquired Apardion in 2018.
With a background encompassing more than 16 years in security, Neilson’s expertise was cultivated during his tenure in the police force, where he specialized in counter-terrorism emergency response management and served in the territorial army. His skill set extends to comprehensive management, encompassing strategy, governance, policies, and intelligence in a risk environment.
Mark Mansfield, FRG’s Chief Operating Officer, emphasized the strategic significance of Neilson’s appointment, stating, “This appointment is a strategic move that underscores our commitment to growth and recognizes the talent from within our company.”
“In this new leadership role, Derek will enhance our operational efficiency and be responsible for supervising our group-wide operations and central services function. This move is all part of our objective to grow the company as we aim to exceed £100m in turnover in the next three years. To meet this, we need operational excellence in leadership and Derek is a proven operator who brings this in abundance. We have every faith in him as he takes up his new role.”
Neilson said: “I am delighted to take up this new position and meet the strategic priorities of the company as we drive forward on our growth journey.
“I look forward to working with the leadership team to continue to instil operational excellence in all that we do. That this position is newly created demonstrates we are moving in the right direction and I hope I can bring my experience of leading the Scottish business, as well as my track record in the police, to the new role.”
Headquartered in Leeds, FRG boasts a workforce of approximately 2,000 professionals. The company is poised to exceed £60 million in revenue this year, with plans for integrated growth through acquisitions and organic expansion, aiming to surpass the £100 million threshold within the next three years. FRG has solidified its position as a leader in the UK security market, recently earning accolades for its exceptional work with Wembley Stadium. The company received two awards at the esteemed Security & Fire Excellence Awards held in December of the preceding year.