Co-Founder and CEO
+44 (0)7957 339235
Richard studied Accountancy and Finance at Kingston University and initially worked in a Chartered Accountancy practice before moving into financial recruitment. He has over 30 years of 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 Fintech, Agriculture, Infrastructure, Telecoms, FMCG, Renewable Energy, Business & Professional Services and Oil & Gas sectors. In the last 15 years, he has been personally involved in a significant number of Executive level searches across the Continent completing numerous Searches for CEO’s and other CXO roles, for example, a CEO for a leading Telecoms provider, Group CFO for a FTSE250 FMCG company in Nigeria, Group CFO for a Mining Services company in Ghana, and COO for a FinTech business in Kenya. He also specialises in the identification of senior leaders required by Private Equity, African-focused funds and Venture Capital investors for their portfolio companies, identifying individuals in both operational and Chair/NED/Advisory positions. In addition, in 2020, he was responsible for the securing of both the CEO and COO for the AVCA.
Co-Founder and CEO
+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. Her specialist focus remains in Financial Services but she also brings experience working with a range of clients across FMCG, Pharmaceutical, Media, Business Services, Charities, Manufacturing, Property, Energy and Oil & Gas Services in countries right across Africa.
Sarah travels regularly to visit clients on the continent when possible 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. She regularly speaks at Conferences, established the Professionals for Africa (PfA) network in the UK, and is delighted now to be supporting 100 Women in Finance with growing their networks across 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) 7552 836426
Steve has over 20 years’ experience in Recruitment having been responsible for the Global Centre of Excellence for Talent Acquisition across Africa, Asia and Europe within FMCG. He has developed and introduced recruitment processes, profiling tools and recruitment skills training, aligning the recruitment strategy and processes to change programmes, resulting in controlling costs and improving retention.
Most recently working for PZ Cussons Plc, Steve’s focus for the last 10 years has been specifically on sourcing local talent for operating units, especially in Africa, always aiming to grow senior talent pipelines for the businesses, not just delivering on single critical hires. He also brings over 15 years’ experience in coaching HRBP’s & Line Managers globally to deliver a strong end-to-end candidate experience and improve Employer Brand and EVP. Now working as an Executive Search Consultant for Executives in Africa, Steve continues to work within his sectors of strength, being FMCG, Agribusiness and Industrial Manufacturing.
+44 (0)7799 590534
Kiera graduated from University of Sussex and spent five years working in recruitment before moving into senior executive appointments in early 2007. Kiera began her career with Executives in Africa in 2010, heading up the In-House Research Team.
Kiera is now responsible for Operations including Research, Business Services, HR and Quality Assurance. With experience spanning the UK, European and African markets, Kiera’s experience working as a Search Consultant gives her an in-depth understanding of the industry, thus providing relevant support and Quality Assurance which is critical to the success of every mandate.
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.
+44 (0)7584 420388
Adam graduated with a Master’s Degree in Philosophy before working in International Executive Search & Selection for over 5 years in the Construction, Mining and Oil & Gas sectors in Sub-Saharan Africa. Here, he worked with leading international companies and indigenous SMEs on high-profile Director and C-level mandates. Adam has since developed his specialist sector knowledge to include the Agribusiness, Financial Services and Manufacturing sectors.
Since joining Executives in Africa in 2016, Adam has delivered on over 50 senior Search Assignments across Africa including an MD for a Manufacturing Business, CFO for an Agribusiness, Global COO for a Technology Company, Head of Remedial for a Pan African Bank, Multiple General Managers for an Agribusiness and a Business Development Manager for a Global Mining Company. Adam has worked on mandates across multiple African countries including Cameroon, Congo, Cote d’Ivoire, Ethiopia, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Sudan, Tanzania, Togo, Uganda and Zambia.
+44 (0)7557 270743
Nicki graduated from University of Central Lancashire in 1996 with an HND in Business Management and Marketing. Her career within recruitment began in 1999 in the Commercial Industry before specialising for 15 years in Finance and Accounting, Financial Services and General Insurance. She then moved into the niche mobile space within the Tech industry, headhunting candidates worldwide on behalf of her clients, especially in the disruptive area of advanced technology.
Nicki’s talent lies in gaining a thorough understanding of a client’s talent needs -from a business and cultural perspective; and matching that to both skill set and, more importantly, an individual’s character. Nicki brings a flair for developing lasting relationships and has a track record of building rapport and fully working with individuals both in the capacity of candidates and as clients.
She has worked on over forty Searches across the continent mainly in Nigeria, Kenya, Ghana, and South Africa including Chief Product Officer for a Nigerian eCommerce organisation in hypergrowth, Global Head of Talent and Culture for a Fintech Financial Inclusion organisation based remotely, a confidential search for a MD of an Insurance Company, CDO for a Pan African Bank, a COO for a Microfinance business, County Manager in Mobile Payments and a B2B Country Lead in Tech Education. Nicki comes highly recommended by all her clients for her superb Search management and high levels of candidate care.
Executive Search Consultant
+44 (0)7887 477506
William holds a Business Management degree with the University of Surrey and joined the EiA team in 2012. Since graduation, William has risen quickly through the business, working as a Research Associate, Associate, Search Consultant and now Executive Search Consultant. He has travelled to Nigeria and Kenya to meet clients and attend conferences, takes an active role in Africa-focused networking events held in London and has worked on over sixty Search Mandates on the continent.
William has expertise within a variety of sectors but has a particular interest in the Agriculture sector, both within Agricultural Development not-for-profits helping small holder farmers across the continent and within Agricultural Cultivation for organisations growing Tea, Avocados and Macadamia Nuts and raising Livestock. He has also gained experience in Pharmaceuticals across Africa working with one of the world’s largest generic pharmaceutical companies. Working with PE funds has seen him deliver senior leaders in Life Sciences in East Africa as well as the Retail sector where he also worked with a multinational shoe manufacturer and retailer.
Executive Search Consultant
+44 (0)7880 330089
Matt graduated in 2018 from Swansea University with First Class Honours having studied History. He joined Executives in Africa following his studies and as since risen quickly through the business from Research Associate to Associate, Delivery Consultant, Search Consultant to Executive Search Consultant. During his time at Executives in Africa he has been responsible for securing the first Chairman search in EiA’s history as well as executing the first Sports search for EiA.
Since joining Executives in Africa, Matt has delivered on over forty senior Search Assignments including mandates to find Board members, Group Executive Management and C-Suite level across a broad range of sectors including Financial Services, Non-For-Profit, Agriculture, FMCG, Sport and Entertainment, Construction, Logistics and Manufacturing. Recently Matt has delivered on mandates for a CFO in East Africa for a football club, a COO for a financial services group, a Chairman for an East African bank, and a HR Director for a global construction business.
Executive Search Consultant
+44 (0)7833 470804
Andrea joined Executives in Africa after re-patriating to the UK from South Africa in June 2018 bringing valuable local knowledge of Southern and South African culture and a passion for empowering and uplifting the local African talent. She has over 25 years’ Sales and Management experience including 10 years in Freight Forwarding and Clearing and 15 years in Recruitment and Executive Search having owned her own recruitment firm in South Africa.
Andrea focused mainly on the Financial Services sector and was awarded a substantial contract with a blue-chip insurance company in Johannesburg as a result of her thorough approach and commitment to delivering results. She was responsible for all levels of Recruitment throughout their entire Policy Services Division from Call Centre through to Director Level hires. Since joining Executives in Africa, Andrea has been involved in a number of Director and MD Level Searches within Financial Services and Real Estate.
Executive Search Consultant
+44 (0)7747 845918
After graduating in Psychology, Stephen gained experience working for two leading recruitment firms moving into leadership roles before setting up and leading a specialist recruitment business that focuses on the delivery of executive level Financial, Legal and HR appointments. He brings over twenty years of experience in delivering on Director and C-Level mandates for Corporate roles.
Stephen has a broad knowledge of working across a diverse range of industries, from Financial Services to Manufacturing, including in depth specialist sector knowledge in Pharmaceuticals, Medical Devices, FinTech, MedTech, E-Commerce and Hi-Tech Manufacturing. Now working at Executive in Africa, Stephen partners with businesses across Africa, building capability at board level to execute and enable company’s growth plans for future.
Executive Search Consultant
+44 (0)7920 805809
Ryan holds a Higher National Diploma in Business and Finance and after a short stint working as an accountant, began his twenty-five-year career in recruitment, working firstly in professional Finance recruitment for six years before establishing a Search and Selection business for the UK market.
For the past fifteen years, Ryan’s area of expertise has been within Financial Services internationally, with a particular specialist focus on all areas of Risk and Compliance within this. He adopted a research methodology to map, track and attract candidates in niche areas across risk within Capital Markets, Retail & Corporate Banking, Wealth and Asset Management. Ryan’s keen interest in the development of financial inclusion for individuals and microenterprises on the continent of Africa led him to join Executives in Africa, where his specialism remains in Financial Services along with Banking, Wealth Management and Fintech.
Recent examples of completed mandates include: Credit Risk Quant Manager and Digital Transformation Director for a Financial Services organization; Risk Management Consultant for a Management Consultancy; Structural Reform Manager within a Financial Services organisation; Senior Compliance Manager for a Boutique Bank; Legal Analyst for a Fintech and Compliance Manager for an Asset Management organisation.
Anju graduated from Kings College London in 1993 with a Bachelor of Arts in Hispanic Studies. She started her career in Public Relations in the UK and subsequently moved to India where she specialized in Marketing, Corporate Communications and Investor Relations representing companies across diverse sectors. Having spent most of her childhood in Nigeria, Anju decided to move back to Lagos in 2009 and in 2010 she joined the Emel Group where she spent ten years working in different capacities including Marketing & Communications, Business Strategy & Management, People & Culture Development. During the last five years of her tenure at Emel, Anju played a key role in recruitment at all levels and across multiple business divisions.
As a Consultant with Executives in Africa, Anju brings valuable knowledge of the Nigerian market and culture, as well as hands on experience of dealing with local talent and multi-cultural teams. She is an insightful interviewer with an aptitude for understanding the true requirements of a role and assessing whether an individual has the requisite skills and behaviours to succeed.
+44 (0)7867 486265
Tonye is an HR leader with almost two decades of experience and expertise in the multinational telecommunications and financial service industries across the Human Resources spectrum in Recruitment, Training & Development, Performance Management, HR Operations and HR Shared Services. He has held leadership positions across the African continent and has led multiple transformation activities to drive business growth with extensive experience in People, Process and System Re-engineering projects from a career that includes stints in Customer Service and Marketing.
Having recently led the global Shared Services team for UBA Plc covering 23 countries in Africa, Europe, the Middle East, and America, as well as the Shared Services team for Bharti Airtel covering 15 countries in Africa, he brings on board not only his vast networks in the financial services and telecommunications sectors but also his understanding of the Africa market and its talent landscape as well as his project-driven approach to delivering value to businesses.
A graduate of the University of Port Harcourt, Nigeria with a BSc degree in Geology and an MBA in Business Administration and General Management from the University of Liverpool, he is also a member of the Chartered Institute of Personnel Management (CIPM) and the Chartered Institute of Personnel Development (CIPD) and holds various certifications across the HR value chain.
Business Development Consultant
+44 (0)7824 567333
Graeme joined Executives in Africa in August 2019 after emigrating to the UK from South Africa in January 2019. He brings valuable hands on knowledge of not only Southern Africa but Africa as a whole as well as the Middle East. He has over 40 years’ Financial Management experience including 16 years with a leading Mobile Telecommunications Company in Africa having been based in South Africa and the Middle East.
Most recently Graeme utilised his strong communication skills in a Customer Experience Manager position in a regional role covering Southern and South Eastern Africa. Besides Telecommunications, Graeme had also had exposure to a number of other sectors including Venture Capital, Hospitality and FMCG. This extensive corporate experience gives him a unique insight from the “client’s” perspective and enables him to bring first-hand experience of the challenges of operating on the ground across Africa.
Khadija (Heba) Talha-Dean
Business Development Associate – Francophone Africa
+44 (0)7833 473929
Heba was born in Morocco and moved with her family to Paris at the start of her secondary education. She went on to achieve a Master’s Degree in International Trade and Arabic at the Sorbonne and Dauphine Universities in Paris. Being trilingual, (Arabic, French and English) has enabled Heba to live and work in several countries in Africa, the Middle East and Europe before settling in the UK in 2010.
Heba’s broad-based work and life experience, together with qualifications in psychotherapy, 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 together with her keen sense of fairness and objectivity makes her a highly focused and valuable addition to the EiA Team with a specific focus on Francophone Africa.
Technology and Data Manager
+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.
A keen sportsman, James brings his naturally competitive nature to the team, and is responsible for supporting the Business with Technology and Data Management.
In 2010 Paul founded Lightbulb, a training and consultancy business with the mission to reduce the painful bits we often live with when working for organisations and with other people! Lightbulb’s Painless People Management Programme continues to prove popular to organisations of all sizes and its innovative Chinwag approach is ditching the annual performance appraisal and redefining how we manage performance at work.
Paul’s experience spans several blue-chip Companies in operational, HR and at board-level as a COO in the recruitment sector. He is also the author of ‘HR & Other Swear Words: Practical & Credible HR for Beginners’. As a speaker he is reported as being ‘engaging’, ‘memorable’, ‘non-fluffy’, ‘energetic’ and ‘down to earth’. He has trained, coached and worked with hundreds of people across sectors and from SMEs to more well-known brands such as Mulberry, Rank Entertainment, MC Saatchi, BMW, Zenith, Eurostar, Macmillan Publishing, Conde Nast, ITV, Pizza Express, Primark, Citigroup and London School of Economics.
Senior Research Associate
+44 (0)7833 252577
Tim graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Chemistry from York University in 1983. After spending 12 years working in finance and accounting for various companies, Tim decided to join VSO (Voluntary Service Overseas) and in 1995 was posted to Guinea-Bissau in West Africa to teach IT at the National Business and Administration College. Following this 2 year posting, Tim joined a medical research organisation as Coordinator for their research station in a remote village in Guinea-Bissau. Later he moved to the capital, Bissau, also within a health research environment, as International Coordinator.
Tim returned to the UK in 2018 and continues to have a strong personal interest in Africa, in particular Guinea-Bissau and its development. Having worked in a research environment as well as corporate environments, combined with having spent many years in Africa, Tim is a real asset to the EiA Research Team.
Yared studied Software Engineering at Adama Science and Technology University in Addis Ababa. During his time there, he was involved in a charity group and was also one of the Founders and President of Red Cross Club in the university.
As part of the Executives in Africa team based in Ethiopia, Yared works on Research Projects including database integrity. In his spare time, he undertakes charity work as well as having a keen interest in photography and graphics work.
Surafel Fitsumsew has a Bachelor of Science Degree in Electrical and Computer Engineering from Addis Ababa University. As part of the Executives in Africa team in Ethiopia, Surafel works very closely with our Research team in the UK and works on Research Projects including database integrity.
Surafel plays soccer and is a devoted Liverpool fan. He admires technology and in his spare time enjoys working on electronics and programming.
Yafet has a Bachelor of Arts in Accounting and Finance from Arbaminch University. He was involved in an International professional work experience opportunity representing Ethiopia as a Global Volunteer with AIESEC. He spent his early career working for a Trading Industry Construction & Services Company as a Sales Associate.
Yafet has an interest in Sports and Travelling.
Bassam graduated with an LLB from the University of Kent, as well as an LPC from Manchester Metropolitan University. He brings experience gained in the legal field including working at one of the top law firms in Ghana. Having subsequently spent time in the recruitment field in the UK, he discovered his passion for this area and joined Executives in Africa as a Researcher in 2022.
Bassam’s training in law helped him develop an eye for detail which he now applies to the research process to ensure he delivers thorough mapping of the relevant market for every Search. His previous experience dealing with clients allowed him to garner good all-round business knowledge as well as a practical understanding of the operating environment in Africa. Bassam is an avid reader and is rarely seen without a book in hand, unless it’s to watch football, supporting both his national team, Ghana, and Arsenal in the UK.
+44 (0)7833 258424
Ayre studied Sociology and Social Anthropology at Bournemouth University, she has previously worked in hospitality and currently manages an Airbnb which has helped her build transferable skills such as, time management, communication skills, problem solving and attention to detail. Alongside working as a Researcher in the Research team for Executives in Africa she regularly competes her horse in dressage and eventing competitions.
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.
Company QA and Training
+44 (0)7585 703271
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.
Research and Quality Assurance Team Leader
Meareg Hailu has a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science form Addis Ababa University. As part of the Executives in Africa team in Ethiopia, Meareg works very closely with our QA Manager in the UK and works on assuring the accuracy of documents. He also works on Research Projects including database integrity.
Meareg plays soccer and is a devoted Manchester United fan. He loves travelling around the country and visiting the different “Ethiopian Treasures” like Axum and Lalibela.
Could This Be You?
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, Research Manager at email@example.com.
Join The Team
We are continuing to grow and are always interested to hear from talented individuals who would be interested in joining our team, either as a Consultant or an Associate 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 FitzMorris at firstname.lastname@example.org