About Ridgeway Partners

The culture of Ridgeway Partners is collegiate. Our partners work with clients on assignments from start to finish. The partner and team you see at the pitch are the ones who will do the work.

We have the access, experience, and judgement to find you the best people for your business.

Each search is bespoke. We take the time to understand you first. We go through the exacting process needed to fill the role. We aim to surprise you with the quality and range of our candidates. We work quickly and we reference thoroughly.

In our executive work, we have few 'off-limits' restrictions, which means we can approach more people than the bigger firms. In our board work, we do not have too many mandates running at the same time. You are not competing to find the best candidate with our other clients.

We have a strong track record on diversity. We are one of a handful of firms accredited under the Women on Boards code, and one of only three firms to have both the FTSE 350 and smaller company kitemarks.

Every assignment matters to us and after every one, we ask you to rate our work.

Areas of Expertise

board appointments

We work with FTSE 350 companies, family offices and charities on both advisory board and main board work.

We help pre-IPO companies recruit non executive directors to achieve successful flotations; we help large and small companies introduce women onto their boards; we work with companies that need to internationalise their boards.

We put together advisory boards that help our clients build relationships with new customers or transform their business digitally.

A private equity client said: "Ridgeway Partners is a 'go to' firm for this kind of assignment."

Another said: "The creativity was better than other firms – interesting names were put forward and lots of them. We were spoilt for choice."

assessment and succession planning

Chairs need to plan for the future. Who is going to run the company when the team moves on or retires?

We look at the strengths of an existing team. We work out what skills are needed and find the people with them. We help implement the changes when the time is right.

Case Studies

Finding the first Chief Financial Officer for a body new to the private sector
executive search
The Role

A former government body that had moved into the private sector needed a new chief financial officer. They had used another search firm and failed to find one. We were well known by the new senior team at the client. They trusted us to do what was a difficult assignment.

What Was Needed

The salary was less than the market rate so candidates had to be attracted by the mission of the business more than the compensation.

The Solution

The previous firm had suggested casting the net wide. We suggested a rifle shot approach and this was the key to solving the problem. We spent time working out what the successful candidate might look like by understanding the ethics of the business and who it would appeal to.

Regulatory approval was then needed but the appointment was made. We were awarded the Head of Strategy assignment subsequently.

Helping a retail client get up to digital speed
executive search
The Role

A leading retailer asked us to source a digital director. They chose us because we understood the language of retail and the key issues in a way that other headhunters did not.

The client thought our pitch document was insightful, imaginative and persuasive. It brought new ideas to the table and was not just a list of previous assignments done.

What Was Needed

We provided creative ideas on whom to approach that were not just pulled out of the database. We knew the up and coming people as well as the established names. The client commented that he felt we enjoyed the assignment.

The Solution

A clear front runner emerged so the task was to keep the candidate motivated and to remind the client to be in touch with that candidate at every stage.

The successful candidate started the new role four months after the start of the search.

Encouraging a FTSE 350 to look further afield for its new non executive director
board appointments
The Role

Our client, an engineering and machinery business, is the European market leader in its sector. The Board wanted to add a non executive director. It wanted expertise on how to manage businesses across several European countries and business cultures.

What Was Needed

Location was flexible and candidates did not need prior main board or non executive director experience. The client's preference was for a chief executive, business unit head or commercial director from another service company, but we persuaded them to look at functional heads in supply chain, procurement and IT as well.

The Solution

The successful candidate was a female German national living in Munich. She was in a supply chain and procurement leadership role at a DAX company, one of the largest engineering groups in Europe. It was her first UK board and non executive role.

Helping a European board reflect its market
board appointments
The Role

Our client, a support services business, derives most of its revenues from Northern Europe. They were looking for a very specific type of non executive director. Its clients, staff and investors are based largely in Scandinavia and the Board was keen to reflect that in its make up.

What Was Needed

We were asked to find a non executive director who had run a multi-country services, outsourcing or process manufacturing business, and who came from Scandinavia. Candidates ideally needed to have experience of serving on a listed company board, but could be based anywhere in Europe.

The Solution

We focused our research on blue chip manufacturing and services companies, with operations in Northern Europe. The successful candidate was a female Finnish national who had run regional business units in chemicals and metals businesses. She had sat on the boards of three listed companies in Finland.

Seeing who might be future talent for a challenger bank
assessment and succession planning
The Role

An emerging retail bank asked us to identify future talent for its business. The analysis covered the main functional roles. The client wanted us to identify five to six possible future hires.

We were approached by the Chair, who we had a strong relationship with, but then convinced the HR team that Ridgeway Partners was the right firm for the work. They had a strong relationship with another search firm.

What Was Needed

We were asked to identify candidates initially without approaching them, but who we thought were a good cultural fit. The client recognised our efforts to 'get inside' the company's culture so that we could source the most likely people. We completed two non executive director assignments for them at the same time.

The Solution

The work was completed on time and to the brief and Ridgeway Partners was appointed to fill a head of risk role, which was a priority for the client.

Assessing the existing team for a finance client
assessment and succession planning
The Project

A leading credit house asked us to assess its senior team. We had previously done non executive director assignments for them. We pitched for the business against a leading international firm. The firm was conscious of its own image problems. We won the pitch because we understood the culture of the firm and the dilemmas it faced. This was more important than having done a lot of assessment work.

What Was Needed

We worked with an industrial psychologist, known to, but independent of us. The client liked how the assessments were planned and felt involved in that process.

The Solution

The senior team were interviewed and undertook psychometric assessments, conducted by the psychologist as well as our partner.

The project pointed to the potential successors. It both confirmed the client's instincts but also told them things they did not know about their people. Those assessed were also positive about the project and felt they benefited from it.

Making sure the internal candidate compares with the best in the market
assessment and succession planning
The Role

A leading fund manager needed to have an HR director in place quickly but with a proper process behind it.

What Was Needed

The client needed to assess two internal candidates against the external market and also ensure a rigorous procedure was in place to choose between them.

The Solution

We suggested that an outside firm was needed to do this properly and proposed interviewing and referencing both candidates, as well as benchmarking them externally.

The client felt we dropped everything to meet their tight deadline. Even the losing candidate thought the process was well executed and fair.

The client has big hiring plans and has suggested that we are involved in shaping those with them.

Latest News

Leadership in the Digital Age

Technology is “digitizing” the world around us. As Michael Baresich, Chief Information Officer at Ally Financial Group puts it: “Every company is either a technology company or a technology company in hiding.”

22 March 2016

Download our White Paper PDF : Leadership in the Digital Age

The enhanced voluntary code of conduct for executive search firms

The Department of Business, Industry and Skills launched an enhanced code of conduct for executive search firms in 2014. This measured how well the industry performed in the appointment of women to board roles.

Accreditation was based on the number of women appointed, and good practice.

Ridgeway Partners is one of three firms to be accredited in both the FTSE 350 category and for companies outside that group.

19 September 2014

Women in Finance Charter

We are a signatory to the Women in Finance Charter.

We have agreed to adhere to a target of at least 33% women at the combined partner and associate level at Ridgeway Partners.

Our ratio as at October 2016 is 47% women and 53% men. We are not setting higher targets therefore, but diversity and inclusion measures would become part of our annual incentive plan for partners if our minimum target of 33% was not achieved.

Peter Highland (Chief Operating Officer) and Charlie Clifton (Associate) are the executives responsible for monitoring this initiative.

Corporate Social Responsibility

Pro bono work

Greenhouse inspires young people from underprivileged areas in London by offering intensive sports programmes, delivered by trained coaches.

Corporate supporters include Prudential and Goldman Sachs, as well as The Royal Foundation of The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry.

Ridgeway Partners completed the search for a new chairman for Michael de Giorgio, the founder of Greenhouse.

Charity work

The Cardinal Hume Centre helps homeless young people and families in need of support. This includes giving them the training they need to find work.

Ridgeway Partners helps the Cardinal Hume Centre by offering interview training. Interviewees are also offered psychometric tests, and given feedback on how they come across.

The Centre commented "We have put many of our clients forward for interviews and the feedback has been excellent from both our clients and the team at Ridgeway. Our clients have really benefited from the whole interview process from the moment they enter the building through to the interview itself."