Executive Search Voluntary Code of Conduct

Working to improve diversity in the boardrooms of British businesses and beyond

We are recognised in the Enhanced Code segment for our work with FTSE350 businesses.

FTSE 350 gender diversity statistics 2018

  • Half of the board searches we supported resulted in a female appointment
  • 49% of candidates we presented at the long-list stage were women.
  • Women with no prior FTSE 350 plc board experience represented 2/3 of every female appointment we supported.

Our initiatives to support and develop a diverse talent pipeline

We continue to support initiatives to help expand our knowledge of and exposure to aspiring board directors:

  • We provide training and development seminars for non-executives in conjunction with the Financial Times Non-Executive Directors’ Club. These events and programmes ensure we remain in touch with the ‘next generation’ of board members.
  • We sponsor the Next Generation NED Network, an initiative organised by Simmons & Simmons aimed at high-potential executives who are considering becoming non-executive directors.
  • Our sector and functional practices host events targeted at talented executives who have the potential to progress into executive and non-executive board roles.
  • We have created and run a mentoring programme to champion diverse future leaders for the procurement function. This is a multi-faceted, year-long programme aimed at mid-to-senior level career female professionals (mentees) and experienced CPOs (mentors).

NED Case study

The client

AIM-listed data/tech business, led by 40%-equity holding founder CEO

The brief

We were asked to identify individuals with strong strategic thought leadership on electronic trading software products and services, market connectivity and/or “Big Data” products. Strong preference was for a current or recently retired senior executive with US market insights.

The search strategy


  • Sector: capital markets, broker/dealer, exchange or ‘Big Data’ company (large or small).
  • Relevant functions: general management, strategic product development within software businesses. Leadership of product offerings to market within banking or an exchange.
  • Experience sought: an individual with strong strategic thought leadership on electronic trading software products and services, market connectivity and/or “Big Data” products.

The research and candidate identification was supported by sourcing across our extensive international network of contacts to test the level of insight, explore suitability, motivation and board style.

The successful candidate

Mirroring our client’s evolution, the successful female is the founding partner of an advisory and investment firm, focusing on growth and innovation. Her background is in tech leadership within the banking industry. Although an experienced NED, she had not held a UK board position previously.

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