Smart energy software developer UD Group has announced the appointment of Simon Cook as CEO.

The Manchester firm is using data to drive the evolution of the market after signing deals with several of the Big Six energy companies.

UD Group provides online portals which suppliers and brokers can use to deliver the best deals to customers, based on their usage, and register new clients.

It announced the addition of water to its portfolio this year by signing a deal with business water retailer Water Plus, formed out of a merger between United Utilities and Severn Trent. It is now working with several water retailers.

Cook, who has more than 20 years’ experience in the Information Technology sector and has brought new products to international markets includes in the UK, Finland, Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Germany, Poland, Netherlands and Spain, will lead UD Group’s commercial and organisational development as the business eyes further expansion.

He replaces outgoing MD Steve Armitage, who is stepping down having successfully managed the business over the last 18 months.

Armitage remains as a company shareholder and will continue to act as a consultant to the business, drawing on his four decades of experience in the energy sector.

UD Group director Steven Daniels said: “Simon’s appointment is a real coup for UD Group.

“His track record in the international IT market, especially in adapting products for new markets, is exceptional and will prove instrumental in our continued growth.

“The appointment comes at a time of great opportunity for UD Group as we continue to secure major deals with some of the UK’s leading energy and utility retail businesses.

“I would like to take this opportunity to thank Steve for the huge contribution he has made to the success of the business in his time as managing director, as we’re in a great position to continue our strong growth trajectory.”