Software and services providers Advanced has appointed Chuka Umunna, the former Shadow Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, as a non-exec director to its board.

Umunna will advise the company on its accelerated growth plans post COVID-19, to become a £600m revenue business within the next five years.

With an extensive track record, including serving for a decade in a number of senior posts leading on economic, business and trade policy in Parliament, and several years advising businesses on matters as a corporate employment lawyer, Umunna will help drive to the firm’s longer term strategic initiatives.

Advanced said the appointment was part of an ambition to become the number-one provider of business software solutions in the UK, while expanding its global footprint.

Commenting on the appointment, Umunna said: “I am delighted to be joining the board of Advanced as it moves into its next growth phase. This is an exciting time – its recent investment deal demonstrates huge confidence and optimism in the organisation and I’m looking forward to working with the team to develop its strategic plans as we look ahead to further acquisitions and organic growth across the business.”

In March Advanced acquired Tikit, a global legal, accounting and professional services software business, from BT.

The firm says more acquisitions are in the pipeline, which will see Umunna act as a key advisor.

Commenting on the appointment, CEO Gordon Wilson said: “Having successfully navigated our way through the COVID-19 outbreak, we want to ensure our recovery is focused on our strategic growth and therefore now is the right time to bring an external advisor to our board.

“Chuka has the right experience and attributes to support our strategic initiatives and accelerate our growth as well as deliver real value and long-term benefits to our customers.”