Tour operators

Former Jet2holidays legal chief joins Canadian ‘collaborative commerce’ firm Kognitiv

Posted by Lee Hayhurst on
Former Jet2holidays legal chief joins Canadian ‘collaborative commerce’ firm Kognitiv

Former in-house legal advisor to Jet2holidays, Andy Cooper, has started in a similar role at Canadian firm Kognitiv Corporation that provides travel fulfilment services to brands.

Cooper started as Kognitiv’s head of regulation and compliance for the UK, Europe and Asia on Monday bringing with him almost three decades of travel experience.

He left Jet2holidays last July and has previously worked for Thomas Cook, was director-general of the Federation of Tour Operators and head of legal service at Airtours/MyTravel.

Kognitiv owns two hotel booking engine specialists; Seekda, based in Vienna, and US-based Regatta Travel Solutions.

And the firm has been on something of an acquisition spree in the UK as it looks to roll out internationally. It bought Bournemouth-based travel technology firm Digital Trip last year and Warrington-based call centre outsourcing specialist Contemporary Travel Solutions.

The Kognitiv website lists CTS founders Garry and Lindsey Winterburn as vice presidents of client management and customer contact centres respectively.

Digital Trip co-founder Andy Speight is managing director of Kognitiv’s Bournemouth Product Design Centre. Fellow co-founder Darren Swan has been appointed chief architect.

Another member of the management team familiar in the UK and Europe is Cressida Sergeant. Formerly senior director business development EMEA at Expedia, she was appointed as EMEA vice president of sales in April 2017 before being promoted to senior vice president of sales in December.

Eamonn Ferrin, who has held senior positions in the travel sector at MyTravel, Libra Holidays, Holidaybreak and Air Canada Vacations, was Kognitiv’s chief operating officer for just over a year until August last year. Now running his own consultancy, he continues to advise Kognitiv.

Kognitiv’s Americas president is Jonathan Carroll, founder of leading Canadian travel agency Travel Nation, another brand in the group. Carroll previously founded and was chief executive of OTA iTravel2000 which joined the Travelzest portfolio of travel firms in 2006 in a deal that valued it at Can$51.5 million.

Kognitiv was founded in 2009 by Canadian entrepreneur and investor Peter Schwartz who was previously chairman and chief executive of Descartes Systems Group from 1990 to 2003.

Schwartz was also the founder of Demeure, a vacation rentals club and marketplace touted as an upmarket alternative to Airbnb.

As an investor he founded Laurence Capital, a private capital firm which backed entrepreneurial success stories such as Clearpath Robotics, Globalive, Quickplay, Achievers, Symbility and BigRoad.

Kognitiv Corporation describes itself as a collaborative commerce company that enables trading between the asset owners such as hotel groups and consumer brands who want to use travel as a tool to drive consumer loyalty.

It is a pure B2B player that helps its clients mine their customer data and provide the technical capability to enable them to provide a travel solution to their customers.

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