Chairman of the Advisory Council, AW Europe
Founder & Chief Executive Officer, The Lighthouse Company
I spent the first nine years of my career in media sales roles at Sky Television, Capital Radio, Emap Advertising and Carlton Screen, selling ideas and airtime to the major London agencies and blue chip clients. In 2000, I joined the much celebrated planning agency PHD, as Business Development Director, working with the legendary founding partners, spending four wonderful years helping to develop the business and learning the new rules of operational management. In 2004, I joined Saatchi and Saatchi as their board Marketing Director, completing my full 360 degree journey in the industry, as part of the dynamic but tough change management team developing and broadening Saatchi’s offerings to clients to reflect the needs of today.
Towards the end of 2005 I joined Fru Hazlitt at Virgin Radio as Director of Strategy and Planning where I led the valuation of the national licences, directed future business and platform strategy and managed the research, legal and planning teams. It was at this point my unswerving impatience finally got the better of me and I realised it was time to run my own business.
After a long-term flirtation with the idea of professional headhunting, I became a founding partner and shareholder at Grace Blue, bringing my lateral and diverse experience to the team. Grace Blue quickly became a profitable and successful headhunting firm and I felt I had found my home both as a headhunter and a striving entrepreneur.
In late 2009, it was clear the world was changing at a pace we had never experienced before. Clients were frustrated by historical headhunting practices and ambitious talent was looking for a more personal and intimate service. With the combination of the digital explosion, economic meltdown and changing talent demands a whole new approach to finding leaders was required.
I set up The Lighthouse Company with a vision to create the modern headhunting firm that clients have been asking for. Our aim is to pioneer consistently in the area of true senior talent representation – offering a highly personal, bespoke “agent representation” model to the true leaders of today and delivering exceptional and insightful headhunting, built on trust, candour, authenticity and lateral thought to our clients.
We are now blessed to represent some of the most talented individuals globally and ensure they connect to and flourish within visionary, brave and ambitious clients. We work with all the six major advertising networks, hyper growth businesses such as Vevo, Linked In, Facebook and EA and Media, Creative, PR, Research, Management Consultancy, Film, Hospitality, Gaming, Mobile, Data, Apps, and Content businesses. We are equally as potent working with established or start-up businesses – all at C suite level.
I passionately believe that a career should be an on-going journey of inspirational, surprising and courageous episodes. For my part, our entire focus is to ensure The Lighthouse is and will become for many, the place to come to realise and advance their professional future.
In 2013 after five years of attending and speaking at the inspiring Advertising Week event in New York, I decided the time was right for something similar in Europe. Together with Matt Scheckner and Stillwell Partners we launched Advertising Week Europe – a week of thought leadership and celebration held at a range of iconic and inspirational venues across London. The event has been an explosive success, uniting the entire advertising industry and attracting 14,000 delegates in year one and 23,000 in year two.
I am a psychotherapy graduate from Regents University and continue my clinical studies at CCPE. I am also an accredited psychometric evaluator with StrengthScope. I hold a non exec directorship with Bigballs Films, am a regular contributor in the Government Speakers for schools programme encouraging school leavers to realise their true potential and I am also the president of the Centre for separated families. I am also a frequent and a passionate speaker on the matter of leadership within the digital age.
I now live in Hampstead, with my two children Ned and Nancy (both soon to be leaving school) and play the flute and piano given any opportunity and my greatest hobby is live music.