LEADERSHIP TEAM

Charles Whitaker
Founder & CEO

Charles is the founder and CEO of Connaught Search, which he launched as the first Search Solutions company in the executive recruitment industry. He conceived and delivered Embedded Search within a FTSE 100 company and developed its wider application to major corporations to save cost, contribute to competitive advantage via strategic partnership - partnership in its truest sense - and so support their overall corporate strategy.

Charles has extensive expertise across the financial services, technology, real estate, defence and aerospace sectors and specialises in building high performance delivery teams across international platforms.

Formerly a professional soldier, Charles was educated at Sandhurst and The Staff College, his latter appointments including command of an operational reconnaissance squadron in the Balkans, and Chief of Staff of a Brigade. He entered the Executive Search industry in 2001 and also provides pro-bono support to charities focused on finding employment for injured ex-servicemen.

 

Email : charles.whitaker@connaughtsearch.com

Mike Ritchie-Cox
Director & COO

Mike is a Director and COO of the business and is personally responsible for delivering senior searches. He has deep expertise in a number of sectors including: technology, telecoms, financial services, construction/property development, environmental services and civil nuclear power sectors.

He is an experienced executive and has led sales and marketing transformation programmes internationally, delivering a step change in skills and competencies, and delivering an in-house recruitment programme to create a completely new capability within a FTSE100 technology player (280 hires in 18 months). Mike started out as a British Army Officer.

In 2002 he joined Vodafone New Zealand to deliver a critical business transformation programme. He then joined a Vodafone operating business to launch its B2B operations in the Middle East and held senior business development roles in Vodafone Group on his return to the UK.

Mike is an accomplished and experienced business executive whose consultative approach to understanding and
fulfilling client needs ensures a deep understanding of requirements against which to select the best talent.

Email : mike.ritchiecox@connaughtsearch.com

Nick Bunkum
Director

Nick has deep sector experience in the financial services, IT and technology, retail, property, professional services and energy.

Nick joined Connaught Search in 2007 as Client Director for a Fortune 500 Global Technology client that was an early and extensive adopter of Embedded Search, which he delivered internationally. He later became Customer Services Director and is now COO of Connaught Search, where he is responsible for the company’s overall delivery capability and excellence with strategic clients. 

With over 20 years’ experience, Nick began recruiting IT specialists in the UK, eventually moving to Brussels to manage a European operation. He then joined a US management consultancy where for five years he led the EU recruitment team hiring consultants in twenty-two countries, before joining Cambridge Technology Partners as Head of Recruitment. Nick then worked as a Director of a boutique executive search firm focused on technology and e-commerce sectors.

Email : nick.bunkum@connaughtsearch.com

Greg Tait
Director

Greg has over 12 years professional experience in Executive Search, predominantly supporting blue-chip clients in the technology and professional services sectors.  Greg joined Connaught in 2012 as a Client Director supporting a global supply chain services client as their internal consultant, advising and delivering their strategic resourcing challenges across EMEA. 

Greg's previous roles have included Global Talent Director for AEA, an international sustainability business and growing technology practices with several Executive Search boutiques, including Hanover Matrix and Hanover Fox International.  Greg also co-founded Mars, a technology and Sustainability Search firm.

He spent the first part of his career within the Armed Forces serving worldwide.

Email : greg.tait@connaughtsearch.com

Andy Gibb
Non-Executive Director

Andy has deep sector experience in the energy, professional and financial services.

Andy worked for 25 years in Royal Dutch Shell, including roles as Head of Global Recruitment, HR Director of the pioneering SMDS Gas to Liquids plant in Malaysia, and in the Middle East.

 

Subsequently he was Director of International Resourcing for Ernst & Young International, and Head of Global Resourcing for Man Group, the major FTSE100 hedge fund group based In UK, Switzerland and the USA. At Ernst & Young Andy recruited Partners within Europe in Corporate Finance, Tax, Law, and Audit working with the senior leadership teams in each country practice to identify and confirm the business need, and then to recruit the best people. 

A Fulbright Scholar, Andy chaired the British Fulbright Alumni, and is a Chartered Occupational Psychologist who developed Shell’s recruitment and selection methods. He is the author of “Get that Job!” a complete guide to recruitment and selection. Andy joined the Board of Connaught as a Director in early 2010.

Email : andy.gibb@connaughtsearch.com

Fiona Barnes
Financial Controller

Fiona joined Connaught in 2009 as Financial Controller, with all the functional support and financial administration of the company falling under her remit.

 

Fiona’s meticulous organisational and financial skills have driven considerable improvements in the efficiency of the company, to ensure its smooth running.  Her systems have earned the notice of - and highest commendation from - HMRC.

Prior to joining Connaught, Fiona was PA and Office Manager to the Chairman of a Commercial Property developer, a Knightsbridge Surveyor and also to fashion designer Bruce Oldfield.

Email: fiona.barnes@connaughtsearch.com

Connaught Search Solutions Ltd, 180 Piccadilly, London, W1J 9HF

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