The National Eyecare Group (NEG) has announced a merger with global optical community CECOP – marking an exciting new phase in the Group’s 40-year history.
Founded in 1996 by Jorge Rubio, CECOP (Central de Compras Ópticas) specialises in providing strategic solutions for independent opticians in all areas of operational management. Present in eight European and Latin American countries, as well as in the USA, CECOP has more than 8,000 members benefiting from its pioneering business model.
CECOP’s mission is to be proactive rather than reactive by attracting and developing talent, and generating a collaborative environment – all whilst adapting to the changing needs of the independent sector. Its stated values are: collaboration, excellence, flexibility, commitment, innovation and ethics.
Previously known as Percy Kirk Ltd, NEG was formed in 1979 by Michael Daunt and Mike Wheeler to support independent UK practices with preferred terms with suppliers and simplified administration. The group currently has over 1,000 UK members.
Commenting on the merger, Mike Wheeler said: “After more than 40 years supporting the UK’s independent optical community, the merger of NEG with a larger international organisation is a momentous step forward. For both myself and Michael Daunt, it is great moment in our history – and we look forward to watching its continued success.
” We are confident that the members will benefit greatly with this merger – and that exciting times lie ahead,” Mike added.
CECOP CEO, Jorge Rubio, said: “For the whole family of CECOP, it is a pleasure to welcome NEG into the fold. With this important step, we become a reality in the biggest market in Europe and the Americas. Our aim has always been to unite the best independent eyecare practitioners in the world, and to share knowledge between different countries, to improve the sector and bring enhanced eye health care solutions to patients.
NEG’s IT division, Optinet, will continue to provide practice management solutions to practices across the industry. Jorge added: “NEG’s highly successful IT offering – Optinet – gives us the right digital tools to facilitate the digital transformation of the industry, giving NEG and CECOP members potentially the most advanced practice management solutions on the market.”
NEG managing director, Phil Mullins, said: “It has been an honour to work with Michael Daunt and Mike Wheeler for the last 18 years and I believe that together with the entire NEG/Optinet team, we have built the company to be the leading light in supporting the UK’s independent eyecare practitioners.
“Now is the time for the next chapter in the NEG story and we are excited about the partnership with CECOP and the opportunities this will bring. We will grow the company but we will add further support for our members and, in turn, help them to flourish and become even more successful,” Phil concluded.