+44 (0)7957 339235
Richard studied at Kingston University in Accountancy and Finance and initially worked in a Chartered Accountancy practice before moving into financial recruitment.
He has over 25 years’ professional recruitment experience, operating and managing businesses recruiting at the most senior level across Commerce and Industry, Sales and Marketing, IT, HR and Finance. Richard has previously held Managing Director and Director roles within UK-based international recruitment companies.
Having covered the African market since 2007, he brings specialist experience in the Telecoms, FMCG and Energy sectors. He has been personally involved in multiple Executive level searches over the last ten years including placing a full CXO team for a leading telecoms provider in Chad, Group CFO for a FTSE250 FMCG company in Nigeria, Group CFO for a Mining Services company in Ghana, COO for an Oil Services Company in Nigeria as well as several CEO/MD/ Country Manager roles.
+44 (0)7900 996609
Sarah graduated from Oxford University in 1992 and worked in professional recruitment for ten years before moving into Emerging Markets Search in 2003 initially covering Financial Services in Russia and CIS. Having travelled extensively throughout East, West and Southern Africa, Sarah took the opportunity in 2008 to focus purely on the African markets. She co-founded Executives in Africa with Richard Putley in 2010 and has since worked on nearly 100 Search mandates across a range of C-level, Senior Management and Technical roles. Sector agnostic, she has worked with clients across FMCG, Pharmaceutical, Media, Financial Services, Business Services, Charities, Manufacturing, Property, Energy and Oil & Gas Services in countries right across Africa.
Sarah travels regularly to visit clients on the continent and is passionate about delivering the very best talent, both African and expatriate where required, to contribute to the successful growth of businesses in Africa. As part of this, Sarah is the one of the three founding members of the ‘Professionals for Africa’ network in the UK which now boasts over 1400 members and which organizes UK-based networking events for Africans based in the UK as well as individuals with an interest in doing business in Africa.
+44 (0)7595 963932
Graham Palfery-Smith has been involved in the recruitment industry for over 35 years. He is an accomplished and highly experienced strategic senior manager who has run a wide range of specialist recruitment businesses internationally, including HW Group, Robert Walters, Faro and FiveTen Group. Presently he is working with a small portfolio of businesses in, or allied to, the recruitment sector in the UK, Europe, US and Far East, as a Non-Executive Director or Board Adviser, helping them achieve strategic success.
A highly effective communicator and a team creator, Graham is considered a superior motivator with exceptional leadership skills. He brings an energetic, enthusiastic and passionate approach, international contacts and an excellent market intelligence network.
+44 (0)7808 175808
Kiera graduated from University of Sussex and spent five years working in recruitment before moving into senior executive appointments in early 2007. Heading up our In-House Research Team, Kiera’s experience working as a Search Consultant gives her and her team an in-depth understanding of each position, thus delivering the relevant, thorough and accurate research, which is critical to the success of every mandate.
Kiera is also responsible for Training, Career Development as well as managing Operational Search Delivery and Quality Assurance. With experience spanning the UK, European and African markets, Kiera manages a team across QA and Research with fluency in Portuguese, Spanish, French, Arabic and Dutch providing relevant language testing capabilities and support.
Having studied Law at Liverpool University, Jon qualified as a chartered accountant with Grant Thornton in 1999. He moved from public practice into commerce progressing his career within industry within various sectors including marketing, media, film and sport. Whilst at Tiger Aspect Television he oversaw the finances for films such as Billy Elliot and Kevin and Perry Go Large, and as Finance Director at Ska Films oversaw the financial production of the film Layer Cake. Jon was also responsible for running the takeover of the Football League club Peterborough United in 2006 for one of his high net worth clients.
Utilising his experience Jon is now Finance Director for Executives in Africa as well as for a portfolio of organisations providing a balance of financial rigor and commerciality to the Finance function.
Senior Executive Search Consultant
+44 (0)7901 000905
Simon has over twenty years’ experience of recruitment successfully filling positions with European & African operations of global blue chip companies, often managing large teams to provide recruitment solutions to multiple hiring challenges.
Having been with Executives in Africa since the first year of operations, he has managed diverse Searches across Africa including roles in Sales, Marketing, Finance, Supply Chain, Quality Assurance, Technical, & Human Resources mainly within the FMCG, Oil & Gas and Business Services sectors. The majority of these positions have been “decision making” predominately at Operational Board level where individuals have been recruited to effect the strategic goals of the business.
+44 (0)7824 567333
James has a background of over 16 years’ experience working for specialist consultancies in the UK where he recruited professionals from South Africa, Zimbabwe and Nigeria into a range of roles within UK-based organisations.
Since joining Executives in Africa, James has developed specialist sector experience in the Agribusiness, Industrial, Transport & Logistics, Development Finance, Oil & Gas and Construction sectors, working on a range of senior searches across General Management, Sales & Marketing, Human Resources and Finance as well as delivering on some highly technical and specialist positions. These include a Head of Logistics and Distribution Africa based in Morocco for a multinational industrial company, Head of Marine & Aviation for a multinational downstream Oil & Gas company based in South Africa, a GM for a commercial real estate business in East Africa, a GM for a multinational shipping company in Nigeria; and Country Managers for a multinational industrial company in Nigeria, Kenya, Zambia, DRC, Ethiopia, Benin and Angola.
Executive Search Consultant
+44 (0)7920 805809
Fiona began working in International Search & Selection in 2005, when she joined an emerging markets specialist search firm in London. She subsequently moved to Moscow for two years working on senior roles within the FMCG, Professional Services and Financial Services sectors.
Having returned to the UK in 2008, she started building her networks in Africa, developing sector expertise within Mining and Oil & Gas as well as Media. She now leads C-Level Searches across Africa, her continent of birth, returning whenever the opportunity arises.
Executive Search Consultant
+44 (0)7798 887897
Tim started his career with a leading finance recruiter in the UK assisting Finance professionals fulfilling recruitment assignments of both an interim and permanent nature for both listed companies and small businesses in the south of England.
Since Joining Executives in Africa, Tim has delivered on over 30 senior Search Assignments including mandates to find CEOs, CFOs/FDs, COOs, Technical Managers and General Managers in diverse industries including Renewable Energy, Agriculture, Mining, Logistics and Manufacturing and has visited clients in Nigeria and South Africa. Recruiting in Africa is of particular personal interest to Tim as he has family on the continent. Recently Tim has delivered on mandates for a CEO in Ethiopia for a drinks business, a GM in Nigeria for a food business, a Regional Head of Africa for a premium drinks brand, and a Country Manager within Solar based in Uganda.
João Carlos Costa
Executive Search Consultant
+44 (0)7823 554609
João graduated from Lisbon University in 1998 with a degree in Economics and subsequently did a post Graduate in Human Resources. After spending three years with one of the largest manpower companies in the world, João moved into Executive Search, initially with Boyden International.
In 2002, João started covering the African markets, working for a boutique Search firm, focusing mainly on middle and senior management roles in Angola and Mozambique, across a range of sectors including Oil & Gas, Oil & Gas Services, Construction, Retail and Telecoms. Travelling to Angola once or twice a year for the last twelve years, João has an in-depth knowledge of the Lusophone region, and extensive networks within Portuguese speaking candidates, based both in Africa, internationally in the Diaspora and across Portugal, looking to develop their careers further in on the continent.
Executive Search Consultant
+44 (0)7833 258424
Emily graduated in Business Studies from The University of the West of England. Emily has over six years’ Executive Search experience placing professionals into both SMEs and FTSE 100 companies in particular Finance Executives in the UK. She then worked in Switzerland for 10 years, whilst following her ambition to ski competitively. On returning to the UK, she worked as both a Brand Manager and an Executive Assistant for British Gas, part of Centrica Plc, a leading integrated energy company.
Emily has run C-level mandates including within the Agribusiness, Soft Commodities, Healthcare, FMCG and Media sectors for positions including CEO, Managing Director, Chief Financial Officer, General Manager Row Crops, Chief Farming Officer, Technical Executive Dairy, Senior R&D and Quality Assurance. Emily has also run Senior Corporate roles such as Chief Operating Officer, Director and Technical Director for Private Equity Portfolio Businesses and Financial Services. Emily has travelled extensively and has a keen interest in the Cocoa industry.
Executive Search Consultant
+44 (0)7880 330089
Stuart graduated from the University of Leicester in 2001 with a degree in Geology. He commenced his recruitment career as a Researcher for an Executive Search Company within the UK Construction Industry, and after two years having a major impact on searches, he transitioned to a Consulting role.
Stuart has successfully recruited for both multinational organisations and locally based companies within the Global Property, Construction and Engineering Market delivering on key positions internationally across Africa, The Middle East and Asia. During these 8 years he developed a strong network within Africa, having placed candidates in 15 African Countries across the Continent including Francophone, Anglophone and Lusophone locations.
Since joining Executives in Africa Stuart has further developed the Construction, Property and Engineering sectors having worked on C-Level assignments in technical and challenging disciplines. He has recently delivered on Executive level HR, Finance and Operational roles across the continent, as well as an Africa Regional Project Director, Design and Construction for one of the leading Real Estate businesses in the world.
+44 (0)7867 486265
Colleen holds an honours degree in Psychology and Linguistics obtained at the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg. After 16 years’ working for a privately owned recruitment consultancy and later running her own business recruiting for small and medium-sized companies, she joined EiA in 2014 to cover Executive Search in Africa.
Colleen is passionate about Africa, assisting the professional development of candidates and contributing to a lasting and positive impact on the continent of her birth. She has worked on C-level mandates in Banking, Microfinance, Property, Telecoms, Commodities and FMCG. Working across Senior Management, HR, Engineering and Finance functions, Colleen has delivered on multiple mandates including a CEO, CFO, HRD and other Executive and Operational roles covering Kenya, Nigeria, Ghana, Uganda, Tanzania, Sierra Leone, South Africa and Egypt.
+44 (0)7833 252577
David has been with Executives in Africa for over three years, initially working as a Researcher and then Assistant Consultant supporting on Search Delivery on over 80 roles in Africa. David was also responsible for the Social Media Strategy for the company as well as helping drive various PR initiatives.
David’s natural talent has enabled him to progress into a Search Consultant role and since doing so, he has successfully recruited for both multinational organisations and locally-based companies delivering on key positions to support their growth in Sub-Saharan Africa. He has worked on mandates across FMCG, Oil & Gas, Agriculture, Chemical and Financial Services including Advisory and Private Equity firms covering a range of C-level roles as well as Technical positions, HR, Finance and Marketing.
+44 (0) 7557 270743
James joined Executives in Africa having previously worked in the shipping industry in both Ghana and the UK. He started as a dry cargo broker for a leading London firm where he negotiated a number of Africa charters and later moved to Ghana to run a ship agency branch in the port of Takoradi. He worked for an Africa-focused offshore brokerage running vessel tenders on behalf of E&P companies with operations in Africa then most recently worked for a Ghanaian offshore support vessel owner negotiating a Joint Venture with a leading international ship owner for him.
James has also worked and travelled wider across Africa including principally in Zimbabwe, Uganda and Kenya. In 2011, he rowed the Indian Ocean east to west with a Kenyan friend taking 116 days to complete the 3,500-mile journey and writing a book to share this epic experience. He therefore brings both extensive commercial and personal experience of the challenges living and working on the continent, which gives him valuable insight into what is required by business leaders in order to be successful in this challenging operating environment.
+44 (0)7584 420388
Adam joined Executives in Africa in 2016 having previously worked in International Executive Search & Selection for over 5 years with a core focus on the Oil & Gas, Mining and Construction sectors in Sub-Saharan Africa. Here he worked with leading international companies mainly covering Director and C-level mandates.
Recent Searches he has delivered include Regional CFOs and Regional Heads of IT for an industrial manufacturing company, Country CFOs for a construction company and Project Directors for a mining company. He has worked on mandates across a number of African countries including Cameroon, Ethiopia, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Tanzania, and Zambia.
+44 (0)7887 477506
William has been part of the EiA team since 2012, initially joining on a year-long work placement as part of his Business Management degree with the University of Surrey. Since graduation, William has continued his career with EiA, rising quickly through the business, working as a Researcher and an Assistant Consulting before becoming a Search Consultant.
William has successfully executed Searches on a large variety of roles including General Management, Technical, Finance, HR, Sales and Marketing business leaders. He has also has experience across a broad range of industries and sectors including FMCG, Premium Brands, Telecommunications, Agribusiness, Financial Services, Media, and Renewable Energy, especially Solar.
+44 (0) 7585 703271
Gary studied law at the University of Zimbabwe, then spent the first 2 years of his working career working for the Zimbabwe Ministry of Justice where he rose to the position of Registrar of the Supreme Court. After this, Gary was appointed as Head of Contracts at Old Mutual Zimbabwe where he successfully migrated the entire Zimbabwe contracts creation and maintenance portfolio from South Africa to Zimbabwe.
Gary was headhunted to join ICL Limited in Zimbabwe and within two years was headhunted by NCR Corporation. He went on, through rapid promotions, to hold a Marketing Management post at NCR’s Middle East/Africa Headquarters in Cyprus and then on to be the Managing Director and Chairman of NCR East Africa, based in Nairobi, Kenya.
After returning to Zimbabwe in 1998, Gary and his wife, Barbara, set up their own recruitment company, which they jointly ran successfully for 17 years recruiting a range of positions based in multiple African countries as well as the Middle East. Gary recently immigrated to the UK to join the Executives in Africa team bringing with him a wealth of Pan-African experience.
+44 (0) 7787 939494
Sarah graduated from Oxford Brookes University in 2002 with a joint honours degree in Biology and Business Management. Her career in HR/Resourcing began within the Telecom/Digital sector with a primary focus on psychometric assessment and job profiling. She completed training with the British Psychological Society and is also a qualified NLP practitioner.
After six years in the Tech sector, she moved into the FMCG sector with a UK-wide remit, resourcing for Commercial, Manufacturing, Procurement, HR and Marketing roles which gave her experience across a wide range of functions. She went on to spend a further four years working in the Drinks industry with responsibility for roles across Europe, Middle East and Latin America including Europe Country Managers, Commercial Managers in Latin America, Brand Directors as well as Senior Sales and Category roles.
Sarah’s passion lies in really understanding a client’s talent needs, from a business and cultural perspective, and matching that to both skill set, but more importantly, an individual’s character, in order deliver the right overall fit to the opportunity.
+44 (0)7342 889050
James studied at Southampton Solent University and then spent 5 years working in the retail, hospitality and logistics sectors. Here he developed strong telesales skills as well as gaining management experience with leading a small team of sales professionals which prove invaluable in mapping and identifying candidates for a piece of research.
A keen sportsman, James brings his naturally competitive nature to the Research Team, as well as working well to plan, manage and deliver on multiple concurrent projects being run within the Team which he oversees in his role of Managing Associate.
In his role of Managing Associate, James is responsible for the training of new Researchers and is pivotal in the Talent Management and Succession Training of his team, encouraging progression within the company.
James is also responsible for Social Media and website management.
Khadija (Heba) Talha-Dean
+44 (0)7900 828232
Khadija (Heba), was born in Morocco and moved with her family to Paris at the start of her secondary education. She went on to achieve Master’s Degrees in International trade and Arabic at the Sorbonne and Dauphine Universities in Paris. She is therefore trilingual, Arabic, French and English. Heba has lived and worked in several countries in Africa, the Middle East and Europe before settling in the UK in 2010.
Heba’s broad-based work, together with counselling qualifications and life experience enhances her natural ability to understand and communicate with people at all levels. A natural team player, Heba’s deep personal interest in Africa, resourcefulness and emotional intelligence makes her a highly focused and valuable addition to the EiA In- House Research Team who is keen to further enhance our northern Africa and Francophone reach.
+44 (0)7747 845918
Reece spent the first four years of his career working in the retail and customer services sectors. Here he developed the ability to communicate with people confidently at all levels which has enabled him to transition easily to speaking to potential candidates for search mandates. He has a background in the sporting world and has a competitive edge which makes him an excellent team player as well as striving to deliver excellence in all he does.
Reece initially joined Executives in Africa as an intern. After impressing many of the Consulting team during this time with the thoroughness of his work, he was offered a permanent full time position as a Researcher in the company. He has quickly established himself as a critical and valued member of the Research Team, providing complete and accurate information on the searches he has supported.
+44 (0)7900 828232
Emma was born in Zimbabwe and spent most of her life in Southern Africa, moving over to the UK for university. She studied Politics and International relations at the University of Kent. Emma has work experience in the customer service and hospitality industries, which has given her strong people skills, critical in working as an integral part of the Research and Consulting teams.
Her strong ties to Africa combined with her passion for the continent, gives her a real insight into some of the operational challenges faced on the ground by individuals and corporates looking to build careers and businesses respectively. This unique insight makes her very excited to be a part of the research team at Executives in Africa.
+44 (0)7789 795391
Sam studied Law at Oxford Brookes University, then spent the first 3 years of his career working in hospitality where he excelled in providing a high level of customer service and learnt to manage his time effectively.
He prides himself on his ability to understand and exceed customer expectations, is committed to meeting deadlines and, consequently, believes he can work exceptionally well under pressure making him the perfect fit for the Research Team. He is focused on becoming an expert in Agribusiness as well as having worked on mandates in Financial Services, Real Estate and FMCG.
Senior Research Associate
+44 (0)7900 828232
Vanessa graduated from the University of Westminster and initially worked as a photographer, travelling extensively throughout Africa, the Middle East and ex-Soviet republics. Her work encompassed a wide spectrum of subject matter including human-interest stories such as ex-women fighters from Eritrea, Ethiopian architecture and Saharawi refugees from Southern Algeria. Having an Armenian mother, she travelled regularly to Armenia during the 90’s and published a book on the country in 2002.
Vanessa then worked as a freelance researcher for BBC Radio 4 Current Affairs, working on both weekly and one-off series, and for the past ten years she has worked as a freelance consultant for Spotlight Research and Consultancy Ltd. She has conducted numerous in-home ethnographic interviews and focus groups and therefore is now able to combine her keen interest in Africa with extensive interviewing skills and broad international knowledge.
+44 (0)7747 845918
Emily is a Psychology graduate from the University of Winchester, who went on to gain a Master’s Degree in Mental Health at King’s College London. She has a keen interest from her studies in how people behave and communicate within businesses and has investigated this through conducting a range of interviews for a variety of business purposes.
Having also worked in customer services, she prides herself in delivering excellence and, being a keen athlete, she is driven by continually improving her own performance and thus aligning her natural personality traits closely with the Executives in Africa culture of striving to deliver excellence.
+44 (0)7747 845918
Ciara recently graduated from the University of Plymouth with a Bachelor of Science in Ocean Science. Having grown up in the Middle East and having lived in a number of different countries, she was keen to travel and spent some time in Australia working in the hospitality industry.
Her experience living and working in diverse surroundings has enabled Ciara to develop the ability to think quickly and to develop speedy solutions to a variety of problems. Working as part of the Research Team at Executives in Africa, she is able to combine her people skills with her love of working across international markets and her natural analytical skills in order to identify relevant candidates for each client brief.
+44 (0)7747 845918
Carla was born in Luanda, Angola, so she is bilingual in Portuguese and English. She graduated from a college in Portugal and obtained an MA in the UK. She has 10 years business experience in the textile manufacturing sector with specific expertise in sourcing, developing and buying fabrics for Marks & Spencer in Europe and Asia.
As a result of working with manufacturing teams from many countries, she brings good understanding to the processes required to raise technical, environmental and safety standards in developing markets to ensure success in international auditable accreditation. With management experience involving regular site visits to Europe, Asia and Morocco, she understands the importance of finding the right person to complement a team in an international environment.
Finance and Credit Controller
+44 (0)7585 705640
Johannah brings over four years’ of progressive administrative experience gained within diverse sectors, including recruitment. Her self-driven motivation and excellent organisational skills, ensure that an effective secretarial and administrative service is provided to the Managing Directors, Senior Management and the Consulting team.
Johannah supports the EiA Search Process by making travel and visa arrangements, scheduling appointments and interviews, as well as supporting our Quality Assurance Managers with Search documentation.
Quality Assurance and Project Manager
+44 (0)7834 683110
Heather graduated with First Class Honours in Applied Chemistry from The University of Northumbria, and spent 27 years working for Akzo Nobel as a Senior Research and Development Chemist. Here she specialised in Marine and Yacht Coating research, development and manufacture. After moving from Akzo Nobel, Heather had a short stint in Science Recruitment before taking up Project Management roles in Yacht OEM and Refit Yards in the UK. Having worked in a technical role for a major world leading Global Company, she has travelled extensively during her career, visiting customers and technical facilities across several continents.
Now heading up Quality Assurance and Project Management for Executives in Africa, Heather brings her extensive knowledge in project management and delivery optimisation, as well as her years of quality systems management. With a passion and track record of delivering the best products and services, on time and in full, she ensures that Executives in Africa are able to deliver Searches within the agreed deadlines and with high quality reporting.
Quality Assurance Manager
+44 (0)7834 683110
Carla graduated from the University of Scranton (Pennsylvania, USA) with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Secondary Education in 1997. After spending a short time in private banking with Brown Brothers Harriman on Wall Street, New York she moved to the UK where she taught French and Spanish for 9 years at secondary level.
Portuguese by birth, Carla joined Executives in Africa in 2012 to support Consultants specialising in Portuguese-speaking C-Level mandates, assessing candidates’ language skills in order to deliver to clients the very best available individuals who best match the target profile. Now a permanent member of the team as a Quality Assurance Manager, she is a critical member of our delivery team ensuring excellence on every Search.
Quality Assurance Manager
+44 (0)7834 683110
Barbara was born in Zambia and educated at St. John’s Diocesan School for Girls in South Africa. After matriculating she went on to study an ITEC Diploma and then set up her own beauty therapy business in Harare, Zimbabwe mainly catering for the diplomatic community in Zimbabwe. With her husband, Gary, taking up various expatriate positions, she lived in Cyprus and Kenya for the next 5 years, during which time Barbara travelled extensively throughout Africa, Europe and the USA.
On returning to Zimbabwe in 1999 Barbara helped Gary set up their own Pan-African recruitment company, one of the top 5 Zimbabwe recruitment companies. Barbara migrated all the Recruitment systems onto a world-leading, state-of-the-art multimedia cloud-based recruitment system. She has enjoyed a 17 year career recruiting into multiple African countries as well as the Middle East market.
Barbara and Gary recently immigrated to the UK to join the Executives in Africa team.
Office and Events Manager
+44 (0)7747 845918
Wilhelmina has a HND in Business and Finance from Portsmouth University. She has 8 years’ experience in the Financial Services, Investment Banking and Retail sectors before joining Executives in Africa as Quality Assurance Manager.
Previously, she worked as Personal Assistant for C level Managers within large and small organisations which has helped her to gain a clear understanding of company organisational structure, human resources and recruitment processes. She has strong administrative skills and attention to detail, which will help her ensure that the EiA team are able to continue to deliver the best quality standards to candidates and clients alike.
In addition to the above core personnel, we employ a number of freelance researchers with specific language and sector expertise. If you are approached by any of our freelance researchers and wish to verify that they are authorised to approach you on behalf of Executives in Africa, please do not hesitate to contact Kiera Mauro, Director.
Join The Team
We are continuing to grow and are always interested to hear from Consultants who would be interested in joining our team, either as a Consultant or a Researcher. We would be particularly interested in anyone with French or Portuguese language skills, as well as any previous exposure to Africa.
Please send your CV in confidence, to Sarah Fitzgerald at firstname.lastname@example.org
Our Core Values
- Be exceptional
- Stronger together
- Driving professional growth
- Trusted to deliver
- Treat everyone with respect
- Thinking long term not short term