Covid-19 Notice

Semafone is closely monitoring the global impact of the coronavirus and is taking all precautionary measures to protect our staff and to maintain operations. Read More

There is currently no impact on our business, and we have robust contingency plans in place to ensure the safety of our employees and continuity of our operations for all our customers should the virus spread at an increased rate. If you have any questions, please contact us at [email protected].

We have issued country specific guidance on travel to all employees and are monitoring threat levels and reissuing guidance accordingly. Our employees are fully equipped to work from home in all of our geographical locations and we will be keeping home working as the norm until risk levels have significantly declined.



Semafone Chairman David Sear

David Sear – Chairman

David has been an entrepreneur and investor in FinTech companies for the last two decades.

David’s career involves many notable successes with financial technology firms. In 1999 he was a founder of WorldPay, today’s FTSE 100 global payments powerhouse. At Travelex he spearheaded the global roll out of the CASH PASSPORT travel card business, which was sold to MasterCard in 2011 for $500m, along with Travelex Global Business Payments, which was sold to Western Union in 2012 for $1bn. He was recently Group Chief Executive of Skrill, which was sold to Optimal Payments (now FTSE 250 PAYSAFE) for €1.1bn in 2015. In addition to his current role at Semafone, David is Chairman of Ixaris an online B2B and B2C payments provider and Bango, a LSE listed leader in app-store mobile payments. He is also a NED at FTSE 100 Provident Financial Services and private equity backed cross border tax and payments specialist Fintrax.


Semafone Founder David Jackson

David Jackson – Founder

David is one of Semafone’s founders and supports the commercial and strategic development of the business.

He co-founded Careline Services in 1997 with Charles Cooper-Driver, having recognized an opportunity to create a quality call center business, and here identified the need for enhanced security in the processing of sensitive data which led to the formation of Semafone.

Previously, David founded and sold a fresh food manufacturing and distribution business following a graduate traineeship with Cadbury Schweppes, which had led to various roles within the food sector.

David has a degree in management sciences from Manchester University.


Semafone Non-Executive Director Mike Havard

Mike Havard – Non-Executive Director

Mike Havard has been an advisor to many organizations and industry bodies within the customer management arena globally.

In addition to his role as a Board Director for Semafone, Mike is founder and Chairman of Ember Group, works as a director and advisor for several other innovative firms in technology and consultancy, and continues to act as an advisor to major brands, industry and government bodies on their customer management strategies and operations. In 1998 he founded and led CM Insight, a leading advisory and analytics firm, working with many of the world’s champion brands on transforming their customer management capability. This business was acquired by Verint Systems in 2006 and Mike completed his tenure there in 2008. Prior to founding CM Insight, Mike worked in senior roles in BT and The Decisions Group, as well as being a Director for Sitel Corp. in Europe. He is an Honorary Life Fellow of the IDM, is an international speaker of repute, and is widely published on issues of customer management.


Malcolm Ferguson Headshot

Malcolm Ferguson – Non-Executive Director

Malcolm joined Octopus Ventures in 2013 and splits his time between the assessment of new investment opportunities within the Future of Money team, primarily within the Fintech and Insurtech sectors, and ongoing portfolio management.

In addition to Semafone, Malcolm is a Non-Executive Director of various portfolio companies including BoughtbyMany, By Miles, DeadHappy, Metrasens, Segura and Sofar Sounds.  Prior to joining Octopus, Malcolm spent a number of years in the investment banking industry, firstly within the TMT team of Bank America Merrill Lynch in London then at GP Bullhound, a leading boutique investment bank, focussing exclusively on technology businesses.


Will Gresty Headshot

Will Gresty – Non-Executive Director

Will joined BGF in June 2011 as an investor covering London and the South East.  He is now a portfolio specialist focused on working with BGF’s portfolio companies to drive value through supporting acquisitions, follow-on investments and delivering successful exits. 

Apart from his work with portfolio companies, Will has completed a number of new investments during his time at BGF.

Before joining BGF, Will was at Bank of America in London and the US, latterly in the bank’s leveraged finance team focusing on acquisition financing for Global Industrial and US Middle Market clients. After leaving Bank of America, Will completed an MBA at London Business School. He also has an MA in Economics & Economic History from the University of Edinburgh.


Gary E. Barnett – Chief Executive Officer

Gary is recognized worldwide as an authority on contact center and unified communications technologies and solutions.

With a proven track record for delivering outstanding leadership and stakeholder value throughout his 30-year career, Gary has been recognized by the contact center industry with a Lifetime Achievement Award. Prior to joining Semafone, Gary was senior vice president and general manager of Engagement Solutions at Avaya, where he helped take the company public and produce over $1.2B in revenue for the contact center solutions annually. Before this, he worked for Aspect Software in multiple senior leadership roles, having served as both chief executive officer and chief technology officer as the company (formerly Aspect Communications) merged with Concerto Software. Gary is also regarded as a pioneer of contact center technologies such as automatic call distribution (ACD), computer-telephony integration (CTI), workforce optimization (WFO), and the integration of contact centers and enterprises through unified communications. Gary received his Bachelor’s of Science degree from Western Kentucky University.

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John Donaldson – Chief Financial Officer

John is a chartered accountant with over 20 years’ financial and commercial experience working within fast-growing technology and telecom companies.

He has worked with businesses spanning mobile and fixed line Telecoms, Manufacturing, SaaS and Telematics. John joined Semafone from the Nowtel Group, a provider of fixed line telecom and MVNO services, where he was CFO, having previously held the post of Operations and Finance Director of iHub, a provider of hosted IP telephony.  John has considerable experience of leading teams to support profitable growth in rapidly developing businesses as well as leading funding initiatives to allow the businesses to expand. John began his financial career at PriceWaterhouse Coopers and holds a Biology degree from the University of Newcastle Upon Tyne.