Team Profiles

Charles Cormack

CEO & Director

Charles experience is working with Universities and Colleges helping them develop effective internationalisation strategies, and through his interest and involvement in the sector has become involved in a number of education businesses.

Charles's personal interest in student retention came about when his eldest daughter attended university and he became interested in issues around student retention, satisfaction and employability and the strategies universities can put in place to improve them.

In 1999 he created a specialist international business Cormack Consultancy Group (CCG), which has grown to include fifty regional offices around the world.



Geoff Fenlon

Geoff is the former Principal and Chief Executive of Carnegie College in Dunfermline, Fife.  Responsible for revitalising the institution with over 500 staff and achieving year on year improvement in education attainment and retention including the highest rating for an external review.  In addition, he guided the College into a merger to form Fife Regional College in 2013. Under Geoff’s leadership the College transformed its culture into a single team with a common focus and a desire to be successful.  The impact resulted in a cohesive team, raised student attainment and improved retention.

Geoff has significant experience in the international Meetings industry, a specialist in Total Quality Management (TQM) and Business Excellence – being one of a handful of UK Business Leaders in the UK who has led an organisation to win the European Quality Award.

As well as leading organisations, Geoff has always been involved in people development and skills training.  Experience as a Board Director of a National Training Organisation and a founding Trustee of the Sector Skills Council (People 1st) and its first Scottish Chair. He continues to be actively involved in developing people being a member of the faculty of the Association Internationale de Palais des Congress Academy.  He also runs his own Business Consultancy.


Chief Operating Officer  & Director

Dr Aulay MacKenzie

Dr Aulay Mackenzie is an academic and university executive with over 25 years experience in the UK HE sector. He has worked at Pro-Vice Chancellor level atTeesside University and Wrexham Glyndwr University with responsibilities including student experience, quality assurance, international recruitment, partnerships and enterprise.

Prior to this he was Chief Academic Officer at an online higher education start-up, where he gained expertise around innovative blended and online pedagogy.  Prior to that he was Dean of Academic Partnerships at Essex University, with responsibility for the development and oversight of institution’s educational partnerships. 

He applies his background as a quantitative modeller in evolutionary ecology to a variety of higher education management issues, including retention, performance, NSS and league table analysis.


Chief Academic Officer & Director


Hugh Mannerings

Associate Director

Hugh moved to Retinent Ltd in January 2019 after almost 3 years with Advance HE and the Higher Education Academy (HEA).  With over 20 years’ experience in HE, as a national lead on retention,  senior lecturer and programme leader.

As Academic Lead for Retention and Attainment at Advance HE, he covered a number of important sector themes including student success (employability, students as partners, mental health and well-being, personal tutoring and peer mentoring).  He developed the successful HEA collaborative projects, working on two important HEA National Student Retention Collaborative projects working with 25 universities to look at ways to improve approaches to student non-continuation, progression and attainment.  These projects acted as positive catalysts for change raising the awareness among staff and providing for investigation of the underlying causes.


Hugh also led projects relating to peer mentoring within the Cathedrals Mission group and action learning by Harper Adams University as well as being involved in the RARA project on closing attainment gaps through personal tutoring.

Hugh takes an appreciative inquiry approach to working with universities, recognising the challenges they have and identifying areas of good practice that can be scaled up.  Hugh has a clear understanding of effective approaches to improving student retention through examples of good practice, and stresses the importance of measuring impact, collecting data and sharing good practice to understand the effectiveness of interventions.



Dr Barbara McCrory

Business Development Director

Barbara has over 25 years in the field of buying and selling at Director level. She currently holds a number of roles including: Managing Director with Cormack Consulting Group who facilitate business between international countries helping companies globalise and is a trainer and advisor in exporting for Scottish Development International and has recently completed a programme in International Selling and Negotiating with Invest Northern Ireland.

She holds a Doctorate in Customer Retention, an MBA in Retailing and a Degree in Marketing. She is a lecturer in International Sales Management, Entrepreneurial Leadership and Professional Selling with Napier University, and is currently writing a new Batchelors Degree “The Science of Selling”, she is also an Associate with Teesside University working across the SME agenda focused on local business growth, entrepreneurial leadership and MBA programmes, and a visiting lecturer with the Stockholm School of Economics delivering lectures on Consumer Behaviour, and International Selling. Through the universities she is also a consultant to local businesses helping with business development and growth.

She is also an invited speaker at European business conferences and seminars across topics such as “Internationalising your Business”, “Working in the UK Market”, “Managing Risk in Exporting” and “The UK Food and Drink industry”.


Her career expanded into other areas such as General Manager, Commercial and Sales Director for a number of different companies and within different industries. Her experience allows for a fuller understanding of selling, procurement and exporting across large and small companies.