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Big 5 shed 10 stone for SOS Children’s Village in Port Elizabeth, South Africa

10th January 2019. Chris Stainton (Managing Partner), Dominic Collier (Chair),  Marcus Luke (Partner, Public Sector), Andy Baggus (Partner, Industrial) and Steve Rutherford (Partner, Interim Management) are living on Ryvita, hitting the gym and avoiding the pub for the next three months to lose weight and raise sponsorship for SOS Children’s Villages. Funds will provide much-needed sets of school uniform for the children there. Please visit our JustGiving page if you would like to sponsor them – Thank you!

Welcome to ‘The Interim Statement’ January 2019.

11th January. This month’s edition focuses on the business landscape going into 2019.

We hope you find this an interesting read. Please do not hesitate to get in contact with Steve Rutherford should you wish to understand more about the value Interim Managers could bring to your organisation.

Read more …

Welcome to ‘The Interim Statement’ November 2018.

This month’s edition features an interview with interim Chief Risk Officer, Andrew Shiels. We hope you enjoy this and future editions. Please do not hesitate to get in contact with Lenny Michael or Steve Rutherford should you wish to understand more about the value Interim Managers could bring to your organisation.

Read more…

Welcome to ‘The Interim Statement’ October 2018.

Our latest edition is an interview with Mike Gansser-Potts.

Read more…

Welcome to ‘The Interim Statement’ September 2018.

Our latest edition is a special feature on Interim Management within Private Equity.

Read more…

Written in collaboration with the MMM Network, Partner Korinna Sjoholm discusses AI and the equality question.

Is AI gender agnostic? Or is it being programmed with societies’ inherent inequalities inbuilt?

Click here to read the full article.

Welcome to ‘The Interim Statement’ June 2018.

Our latest edition features interim manager Jonathan Grisdale.

He talks about how he became an interim manager, the value of networking and why businesses need to address gender and race inequality. He even risks a prediction for the World Cup.

For more information and to continue reading click here

Steve Rutherford & Lenny Michael, Interim Management

Welcome to The Interim Statement. Our latest edition is an article titled “Fighting on too many fronts”, featuring interim manager Steve Britain.

May 2018

We highlight the current issues and challenges faced by CEOs in the financial services sector, and discuss how our network of interim managers can be the appropriate solution in helping to deliver their strategic goals.

For more information and to continue reading click here

Steve Rutherford & Lenny Michael, Interim Management

Analysing data for better business decisions

April 2018

We’re really tapping into the power of data analytics and it’s driving a best practice approach to information management across our firm.

For more information and to continue reading click here

Sue Simmons Manager – Data & Management Insights

Welcome to the second edition of The Interim Statement. Daniel Kasmir, Chief Human Resources Officer at NGAUK Human Resources, is our second interviewee.

April 2018

We hope you enjoy this and future editions. Please do not hesitate to get in contact with Steve Rutherford, should you want to understand more about the value Interim Managers could bring to your organisation.

For more information and to continue reading click here

Steve Rutherford, Interim Management

Welcome to the first edition of The Interim Statement; a new monthly insight from The Miles Partnership.

March 2018

Steve Rutherford is our first interviewee. In coming months we will feature other leading players in the interim community, talking about their lives and careers.

We hope you enjoy this and future editions. Please do not hesitate to get in contact with Steve Rutherford, should you want to understand more about the value Interim Managers could bring to your organisation.

For more information and to continue reading, click here.

Steve Rutherford, Interim Management

New appointments at The Miles Partnership

August 2017

The Miles Partnership is pleased to announce the appointment of two new Partners; Julia Roberts who joins to strengthen our Public Sector practice and Steve Rutherford, who joins our Executive Interim practice. We are also delighted to appoint Noel O’Curraoin as Principal within the Financial Services team.

Chris Stainton, Chief Executive said ‘The Miles Partnership is committed to being the most innovative and dynamic Executive Search and Human Capital firm in the UK. We are committed to building the very best team of individuals and these recent appointments demonstrates that commitment. Julia, Steve and Noel are outstanding individuals and each bring a wealth of experience and commitment to excellence’ continue reading

Dame Helen Alexander dies aged 60

August 2017

An amazing woman of our time.  Dame Helen was a true polyglot, she carved out a career that was so broad in as much as the areas she touched were extensive.  Each time she talked about any of her commitments it was with equal amounts of passion commitment and knowledge.  She was able to display confidence and capability in equal measures.  A great listener, a quiet thoughtful manner.  Her influence and appreciation spread far and wide.  She was one a handful of women to receive the Legion de Honour in 2016.  Dame Helen loved business, education and culture. Her support for an engagement in the need for greater equality for women in the work environment was truly commendable. Just a few months ago she was a key note speaker at a KPMG Senior Women’s Breakfast.  She remained involved in the development of the Hampton Alexander review to the end.  She was a lovely person who will be greatly missed by so many of us.

Katushka Giltsoff, Senior Advisor

Diversity remains high on the agenda in the Boardroom

August 2017

Diversity remains high on the agenda for board level recruitment.  However, the conversation has moved beyond that of debating why boards are comprised of directors who are simply ‘pale male and stale’!  Since the launch of the Davies Report over five years ago, progress has been made on improving the numbers of women on boards, so much so, that we are now looking at how we can develop gender diversity at all leadership levels. This is reflected in the number of organisations that are continuing to sign up to the Women in Finance Charter continue reading

To find out more about our Financial Services and Board Practices please contact Deborah Cooper on 020 7596 9535 or

The first 100 days and beyond..

A conversation between Deborah Cooper and Chris Stainton – 12th May 2016

The first days in a new role can be critical to the success of both the individual and the organisation. The Miles Partnership provides advice to placed candidates to help them make the best start. Deborah Cooper, Partner and Leader of the Financial Services  Practice has decades of experience in guiding candidates and clients through this crucial period, but has recently found herself as the new hire after joining us. Here she reflects on her time on this side of fence and how it would shape her advice in the future.

Having enjoyed  six months gardening leave Deborah returned to the fast pace of corporate life to join us, as we focus on our own ambitious growth agenda.  She was brought in to strengthen further our leadership team which has trebled in size through widening its proposition and attracting talent from our competitors.    Working alongside colleagues in the Board Practice and Financial Services she is executing our clearly defined strategy and has already secured several mandates. This is what she has learnt along the way and how might it shape the advice she offers to all those starting a new role.

The first few weeks:

Ensure you have a planned induction in place and if arranging one for others don’t underestimate the impact of going the extra mile to create a warm welcome for new employees.

Before you join an organisation, always understand the type of induction planned for you. Its true to say that the first three months in any role offers you the opportunity to build a positive impact; secure your place in the organisation and build a solid platform for on-going success.   Within The Miles Partnership, this was very well managed and on day one I had a schedule of meetings which varied from 1:1s to practice meetings as well as a guide of the TMP process and systems.  A very welcoming gesture was a reception drinks evening where the whole firm was invited and the majority were able to attend.

Your relationships count:

Invest time in getting to know all the team both as individuals and professionally.  Feeling an early sense of belonging makes a huge difference and  enables you understand where you focus your energies to undertake your role effectively.  Be visible and communicate your understanding of your role and focus on an on-going basis both to build trust and manage expectations..


It was enormously helpful understanding quickly ‘how do we do things around here’ which means  getting up to speed with processes and technology quickly.  In the first few weeks, it felt very similar to driving a new car – windscreen wipers going rather than the indicators!  In view of this, be kind to yourself in your first month, some tasks take a little longer.

Be strategic as well as focused on execution:

It worked well investing time up front to ensure clarity around about our business strategy and plans so that we could then ensure we were developing our relationships in a joined up manner and galvanising the team strengths and experiences.  Ensuring you’re aligned in what you’re doing and being transparent about your own focus/agenda creates allies as well as synergies.  Be prepared for some people taking more time than others to trust, personalities vary. Being consistent and being yourself pays off.

Top Tips:

  • Agree comprehensive induction plan with outcomes
  • Invest time in developing internal relationships at all levels and be visible
  • Develop short, medium and long term deliverables – add value and deliver against your remit
  • Don’t allow yourself to be distracted, establish boundaries and keep focused
  • Ensure its not all about work and you create time to have fun!

Changing boardroom dynamics: How boardroom makeup has changed since the turn of the century

28th April 2016

Slowly but surely boardrooms are becoming more diverse environments. Long gone are the days when boardrooms were confined to white, middle-class, middle-aged men, with ‘Oxbridge’ degrees and ‘Queen’s English’ accents. Today, boardrooms are more embracive of diversity, with women refreshingly playing an important role in board of directors’ meetings. But is enough being done to create truly diverse and equal boardrooms in Britain?

The Miles Partnership explores the changing boardroom dynamics and how boardroom makeup has evolved during the last two decades.

Putting women in the boardroom

In 2011, the Davies Review set a target to ensure that 25% of all FTSE 100 board positions are filled by women by 2015. Former trade minister Lord Davies of Abersoch called on company chairmen to announce their aims to “ensure that more talented and gifted women” are given the top jobs.

“Currently 18 FTSE 100 companies have no female directors at all and nearly half of all FTSE 250 companies do not have a woman in the board,” Lord Davies said in 2011, adding:

“Radical change is needed in the mind-set of the business community if we are to implement the scale of change that is needed.”

So has the Davies Review met its targets?

2015 figures indicate the UK’s leading companies have made “enormous progress” in gender diversity and have doubled the amount of female boardroom members.

In March 2015, Lord Davies announced that women, at the time, accounted for 23.5% of FTSE 100 board members, a 11% rise from 2011.

If we were to backpedal a decade or so, having a quarter of a boardroom made up of women would have been deemed nigh impossible, so the fact companies are actively seeking more female leaders can be hailed as a positive step in boardroom gender equality!

A positive impact of business performance

The benefits of having a more gender-diverse boardroom have been well reported. For example, a French study that analysed the makeup of boardrooms in relation to performance of the French CAC40-listed companies between 2008 and 2012, revealed that boardrooms which comprise of females have a positive and significant impact of economic performance and that gender diversity, “reduces corporate inefficiencies and enables firms to come closer to their optimal performance.”

Separate studies have proven that organisations which have more women in their boardrooms experience greater financial performance.

Ethnic diversity

So it seems inroads have certainly been made in terms of gender diversity in the makeup of boardrooms in recent years, but what about ethnic diversity?

The 2010 General Election was regarded as being historic for the representation of ethnic minorities. This was principally due to the fact the Conservatives, for the first time ever, staged a bid for a Parliamentary increase in the number of MPs from ethnic minorities.

However, a similar push for ethnic minority representation cannot be related to the boardroom dynamics of many British companies. Whilst there are greater levels of ethnic diversity amongst boardroom directors in UK organisations than there was say 20 years ago, efforts to diversify the ethnic makeup of company directors seem to be falling.

According to the ‘Green park Leadership 10,000: Spring 2015’ report, which analysed the profiles of 100,000 executives from Britain’s top companies, there has been a decline in the number of non-white leaders.

Referring to what has been cited as a “diversity deficit” that is “extremely disappointing”, the Green park report stated:

“The research shows that there are still no senior East Asian or Chinese heritage Executive Directors on any Main Board in the FTSE 100, and in fact fewer than 60 people of East Asian or Chinese heritage in the entire 10,000 in the study.”

The findings of the report distinctly contrast to the former business secretary Vince Cable’s campaign to ensure all companies operating in Britain recruit at least one non-white director before 2020.

Whilst major inroads have certainly been made in changing boardroom dynamics and bringing greater diversity into the recruiting of company directors, there is still a long way to do in the quest for boardroom equality, particularly in terms of ethnic diversity.

As Denise Wilson from the Lord Davies Women on Board Steering Group told Radio 4’s Today Programme when asked about getting women into executive roles in Britain’s top companies:

“We always recognised this was going to be the toughest nut to crack.”

If you require any advice, information or assistance in executive and board level search, contact The Miles Partnership, aimed at recruiting the highest level of talent and to provide leadership consulting designed to help your business excel.

Qualities of a CEO: The essential attributes that can help lead your company to success

28th April 2016

Business leaders face a challenging environment, as do the organisations recruiting them. Quality leaders possess strong skills and capabilities and exploit their attributes to develop a business and ensure it remains competitive. With the variety of attributes and skills among candidates today, in a fiercely contested market, The Miles Partnership explores the widely considered qualities to look for in a CEO that can put your business on the road to prosperity.

A successful CEO doesn’t merely require knowing his or her job description, but is required to know how to measure their success, conduct themselves to retain their success and avoid the pitfalls of the job that almost inevitably raise their head. If a CEO manages such high demands, the benefits they bring to a business are second to none.

The story of Ixia’ recent history makes the perfect case in point of how choosing the right CEO for your business can make such a positive impact on performance and results, and even turn a company’s ailing fortunes around.

Before the appointment of current CEO Bethany Meyer, Ixia was reported as making an $18 million loss in Q1 of 2014. In his article for, Rob Enderle highlights the positive impact Bethany Meyer made after her arrival at Ixia:

“They just announced financial results and in a market where both IBM and HP have seen revenue declines, Ixia is growing strongly.”

CEO reputation influences company reputation

In a recent survey of 1700 executives worldwide (below CEO level), research conducted by public relations firm, Weber Shandwick’, found that:

“Half of executives expect that CEO reputation will matter even more to corporate reputation in the next few years.”

“In an increasingly connected and transparent world, keeping a low profile is no longer an option for business leaders. CEOs have entered a golden age of opportunity in which to tell their company story and join the conversation. This new era is marked by the recognition that CEO engagement is particularly critical to corporate reputation and is facilitated by high demand for content to help grow the business.”

The study also found that 49 percent of those surveyed, concluded that CEO reputation correlates directly to that of the company’s reputation and is placed fourth highest among the categories listed in the full report.

 ‘Putting Personality before CV’

The Virgin logo is instantly recognisable and the brand is globally respected.  A true UK commercial success story. Its charismatic owner – Sir Richard Branson –  in an interview with Dan Schwabel for Forbes, puts emphasis on the importance of personality when selecting a leader:

“I’m quite involved in hiring for leadership and I look to hire my weaknesses. Personality before CV. A person who has multiple degrees in your field isn’t always better than someone with broad experience and a wonderful personality,” said Branson.

‘Out of chaos, comes order’

The best CEOs are able to ‘see round corners’ and identify trends early in order to stay ahead in a rapidly evolving and competitive landscape. Effective CEOs have an agility in decision making, and are not afraid to experiment and try new things. They have a tolerance for ambiguity and are able to work towards uncertain goals with unclear outcomes.

Neitche, the respected German philosopher of the mid-to-late 1800s, spoke of how the best leaders are able to bring ‘order out of chaos’, a sentiment that has seem to have caught the attention of many modern day interviewing panels.

It is a sentiment that is certainly upheld by Justin Menkes, a leading expert in the field of executive assessment. In his article for Harvard Business Review, Menkes writes the three traits every CEO needs as being, realistic optimism, subversion to purpose, and finding order in chaos.

Three would also appear to be the magic number for successful CEO and entrepreneur Joel Trammel. In his article for Forbes, Trammel pinpoints the “three C’s” he believes are the essential qualities for effective CEOS as being – credibility, competency and a caring attitude.

As well as having an ability to focus on vision and communicate that vision to stakeholders, effective and successful CEOs are proficient in hiring strong management teams and supporting management’s decisions.

Above all, quality CEOs are able to empower those around them through clearly mapped out ethical and behavioural guidelines, proving that their own principles are consistent with the values of the business.

If you require any advice or assistance finding a top-quality CEO that can help take your business to greater heights, get in touch with The Miles Partnership.


14th April 2016

The Miles Partnership recently hosted a highly successful HR lunch at The Shard at which Echo Lu, until recently the Managing Director of Homebase spoke about her personal journey, from growing up in rural China, to forging a successful career in HR before ultimately a successful move into general management. She has almost 20 years’ experience in blue-chip companies covering a broad range of functions gained in the USA, UK and across Asia and has an excellent track record of growing businesses and leading teams in complex multi-cultural environments.

Having graduated from Fudan University in her native China with a degree in International Economy and Finance, Echo moved to the United States to study for a Masters in Industrial Relations and Human Resources at West Virginia University.

Her first permanent job came at US pharmaceutical company Bristol Myers-Squibb in 1997, where she spent seven years in a number of roles including Human Resources director for China.

In 2004 Lu was snapped up by Tesco, having been headhunted by The Miles Partnership, where she became Human Resources Director for Asia. Three years later she was placed in charge of the supermarket giant’s commercial buying for grocery in the UK, part of the CEO Development Programme.

By 2010, Echo was named as Tesco’s new Operations Director in East China, a £760m business, before becoming Chief Operations Officer for China the following year.

Echo was placed in charge of Tesco’s UK and Ireland property portfolio in 2012 in which she was responsible for a property portfolio worth over £17bn. Her final role with Tesco was Group Business Planning and Insight Director when she left the retailer in 2014

In March 2015, Echo was appointed as Managing Director of Homebase, taking over from Paul Loft.

She credits her success in terms of cross-functional moves due to her adaptability, self-awareness,  intellectual curiosity and desire to learn.

Looking back at her time as HR Director, she shared her thoughts with regard to things she wished she had known at the time. These included: developing impartial views of key talent, identifying key capability gaps before the CEO does and being stronger and more proactive in driving cultural change.

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18th February 2016

Annabel Parsons has put together a white paper on succession planning and the role of the Board based on The Miles Partnership’s extensive track record in providing Executive, Leadership and Board services. In this, we consulted many clients including CEOs and Chairmen, Board evaluation results and research data. Respecting confidentiality has meant that candid views have been offered and are recorded here.

The paper offers our thinking on the impact of business strategy and culture, the role of the Nominations committee, Board evaluation, pipeline, diversity and the role of the institutional investor. We give both observations and suggestions on solutions to each aspect.

In summary, we suggest the following specific remedies may deliver benefits in terms of improved succession planning and outcomes:

  • Enhancing the clarity, positioning and capability in the Talent functions
  • Ensuring Board composition includes strong HR capability
  • Clarifying the remit and focus of the Nominations Committee and ensuring that composition, process and reporting reflect this remit
  • Mandating reporting of people risk
  • Improving reporting and performance against specific metrics including remuneration, selection process impact and benchmarks on best practice
  • Further progress towards professionalizing Executive Search
  • Overall reinforcing of existing requirements and best in class selection process

We welcome feedback and comments, do download the white paper by filling in the form below.

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 The Miles Partnership appoints Zoe Campbell and Charlie Davies

20th January 2016

The Miles Partnership is pleased to announce the appointment of Zoe Campbell and Charlie Davies as Partners to strengthen The Miles Partnership’s market leading Insurance Practice.

Zoe Campbell brings a breadth and depth of insurance expertise having worked and fostered strong relationships within the sector.  Zoe has an extensive track record covering a range of Executive Management, class and functional placements across the ILS/Capital Markets, Reinsurance and Lloyd’s through to the Consumer Products arena encompassing General Insurance and Life Wealth and Pensions markets globally.  Zoe offers specialist knowledge coverage across actuarial, risk and regulation, underwriting and claims, as well as Board placements including CEOs, Chair and Non-Executive Directors.  Prior to her recent role with Eliot Partnership, Zoe worked with NED specialist Hanson Green and brings 14 years search experience.  She began her career as a legal journalist focusing on offshore financial markets and holds a MA in Newspaper Journalism and Copyright Law.

Charlie brings a wealth of long-standing relationships in the International Insurance marketplace as well as his detailed knowledge of the Re/ Insurance market and in particular Lloyd’s. Whilst much of his time has been spent in the underwriting and broking space, he has an extensive network at Board and Executive Committee level as well as key senior Specialty individuals.  Prior to joining The Miles Partnership, he supported Eliot Partnership in building its Executive search business in London, Europe, Singapore and USA. The predominance of Charlie’s career has been spent in the Insurance Market where he worked for over 35 years mainly as a senior Reinsurance Broker with Jenner Fenton Slade, and subsequently Aon Re, dealing with both LMX and Continental clients. In 2004 Charlie moved to Aon Risk Solutions to work in carrier management and latterly in Aon GRIP Solutions dealing with Lloyd’s Managing Agencies and their high level relationships with Aon.

Chris Stainton, Chief Executive, said “I am very excited to welcome Zoe and Charlie to the team to build on our traditionally strong specialist insurance practice and take it to the next level.  We already have strength and depth in Financial Services and we are now adding Zoe’s and Charlie’s considerable experience in insurance.  Their appointments will also further accelerate the growth we are seeing across the firm.  I know that they will add great value.”


To arrange a meeting with Zoe or Charlie please contact them on:

Zoe Campbell |

Charlie Davies |


Notes about the Miles Partnership

  • The Miles Partnership was founded in 1996 and celebrates its 20th year in 2016
  • The Miles Partnership is an executive and board level search, interim management and leadership consulting firm
  • The Miles Partnership has 20 Partners
  • The Miles Partnership has four different industrial specialisms (Financial Services, Industrial and Energy, Life Science, Media and Digital, Retail and Consumer) and two functionally focused practice groups (HR and CFO)