Who we are


JULIET TAYLOR / Chief Executive
Head of Public Policy and Influencing & Chair of the Board Practice

Juliet has worked in the field of leadership and board search since 2003. She previously held roles in the private office of The Rt Hon John Denham MP and the Media and PR Team of a major national charity. Juliet has a strong interest in leadership and board development and has written extensively about it. Her specialism is board building. She has worked with numerous chairs, non-executive directors, trustees and chief executives to create high-performing teams, holding exceptionally longstanding client relationships. Juliet enjoys bringing leaders and opinion formers together for debate and is committed to supporting women who want to access boards. She is studying to become a board level coach and mentor and holds a BA in English and Politics (The Queen’s University, Belfast) and an MA from the University of London.


0203 971 0832



Graham’s early career was in the British Army where he served for nine years with tours in Germany, The Falkland Islands and Northern Ireland. He subsequently joined PricewaterhouseCoopers’ Executive Search Practice, rising to become Director of its regional search business in the UK. In 2002, he formed GatenbySanderson which went on to become one of the UK’s leading search firms. As its Managing Partner, he developed it from a blank page start up to a team of 95 before selling it in late 2014. Graham has a wide range of business interests from agricultural to commercial, retail and residential property. He is the Chair of a Not-for-Profit historic rally company, Rally the Globe Ltd. He has always maintained a strong interest in people focused service companies, both from an investment and mentoring perspective, and gives support, guidance and strategic direction to the Starfish Board.


0203 971 0831


Head of Social Sector & Socially Responsible Business

Katy has specialised in board and executive leadership recruitment for over 14 years, working with a broad range of clients. She has a strong track record and ongoing interest in supporting the transition of leadership talent between sectors and leads our work with chief executives and the development of their executive teams. She has worked with many leaders to help them develop outstanding, diverse boards and, throughout her career, has built many enduring partnerships with organisations and individuals. She continues to be motivated by the diversity of the organisations she works with and by the positive impact their leaders can have on society. Katy previously held senior development roles at UCL, the Specialist Schools and Academies Trust and the British Museum. She holds a degree in Philosophy and Sociology from the University of Bristol.


0203 971 0833


Head of Interim Talent

Catherine brings 14 years’ experience in leadership recruitment with particular expertise in securing interim executive leaders for clients across a broad range of sectors and disciplines at board level. For the past four years she has specialised in recruiting for the Not for Profit Sector, securing roles for some of the leading interim Chief Executives from across the voluntary, public and private sectors. Catherine prides herself on her authentic and pragmatic approach to search, believing that the best results occur when you work in true partnership – interim leaders and managers are often required at times of crisis or change, and the context of the role can often be a critical factor in the shortlisting process. She has a strong interest in changing trends in leadership and leads our analysis in this space, including the rise of millennial leaders. Before moving into the search industry, she worked in the private sector for Patientline and Corus UK. She holds a degree in Sociology and Social Policy from Cardiff University.


0203 971 0834


ROB STIRK / Finance Director

Rob has been a qualified Chartered Accountant for 18 years working in a variety of businesses across different sectors, including pharmaceuticals and logistics. With a Law and Business Studies degree from the University of Birmingham, for the past 10 years he has been a Financial Controller in the recruitment sector. In addition to dealing with all things financial, Rob’s expertise extends to IT, Legal and HR. He has a post graduate diploma in Legal Practice from The College of Law York and has been an ACA qualified Chartered Accountant since Sept 2000.


0113 246 4262


JULIET BROWN / Partner, Social Sector, Social Business and Sustainability

Juliet has worked within leadership and career development for almost twenty years. With a particular focus on board and executive level appointments across the not for profit and faith sector, she brings a history of success in placing senior leaders into UK charities, large and small. Having begun her own career in the charity sector, social impact has always been at her core. Over the last two decades, Juliet has developed an extensive, trusted network and has established a reputation for honesty and integrity, built on empathy, judgement and a genuine commitment to the long term success of her clients and candidates.  She is particularly interested in how leaders build organisational resilience through strengthening their senior teams and how this translates to the heart of the charities’ work; delivering social value to the people they exist to serve. Juliet began her career as a fundraiser and headed teams for two national disability charities before joining the University of Leeds, where she led fundraising campaigns, developed and managed Chair and Chief Executive networks, and client-managed a suite of leadership and organisational development programmes across the NHS.


0203 971 0831


MARK CROWLEY / Principal

Since 2011, Mark has specialised in partnering with Social Sector organisations in the search and delivery of senior recruitment campaigns, with a particular focus on Finance disciplines. Prior to Starfish, he was brought in by a start-up recruitment firm to establish a new Social Sector practice and was an instrumental part of the business’ rapid growth, as well as its recognition nationally through industry awards. Mark has worked with a broad range of charitable organisations and has an extensive track record within the international development sector, however much of his more recent success has come from working with organisations in the social impact and social investment areas, who are using innovation to tackle global social issues.
Mark is extremely passionate about sector development and as part of his role has presented to industry leaders on the subject, as well as writing articles in various media channels.


0203 971 0831


YOMI JOHNSTON / Principal Consultant, Interim Talent

Yomi started her recruitment career in 2006 within the business psychology team of a well-known executive search firm, where she project managed C-suite psychometric assessments centres and assessment processes. She has supported Partners and Directors of recruitment practices in assessments centres and permanent searches; placing chief executives, executive directors and heads of services across Local authorities, Not for profit and Health. More recently, Yomi spent over five years, focussing exclusively on an interim executive recruitment talent practice within the public sector, (in particular Local Government) and focussed on building a strong delivery team across both the public and private sectors. She recently worked with a successful start-up recruitment firm, being responsible for talent sourcing and relationship building across the interim practice. Yomi studied at Birkbeck in Business management.


0203 971 0831


ZOE THOMPSON / Executive Research Associate

Zoe has worked in the field of executive recruitment since 2005 securing both permanent and interim executive leaders for clients across a broad range of sectors.  In the latter part of her career, she has specialised in candidate engagement and strengthening pools for some of the most challenging appointments. Previously she has led on the recruitment of numerous appointments including Chairs, NEDs, Chief Executive Officers and Directors. During her time with a leading national public sector consultancy, she project managed the internal assimilation process and external recruitment for the top 2 tiers of two new organisations (58 posts).  Zoe prides herself on her strong principles and strives to deliver high-quality results for every client; she has a demonstrable track record of building strong and long-lasting relationships with clients and candidates while adapting to the changing demands of her markets.  Earlier in her career, Zoe worked in senior finance and tax recruitment in the private sector and prior to moving into recruitment she completed a graduate training programme with Arthur Anderson specialising in tax and investment planning.  She holds a degree in Microbiology from Leeds University.


0203 971 0831


CHARLOTTE BASRAN / Assessment Associate

Charlotte is an Assessment and Development Specialist with experience of delivering insightful, pragmatic, best practice client solutions.  Previously an executive recruitment consultant, she has specialised in the assessment and development of leadership behaviours across senior managers for 15 years. 

Charlotte has a Masters degree in Occupational Psychology and is accredited in the full range of profiling tools, including NEO, OPQ, Wave, Strengthscope, FIRO-B and Hogan Development Series. Experienced in the design and delivery of bespoke assessment activities, she has managed many high stakes middle manager and executive level assessment and selection projects from end to end. 

Her previous clients include KPMG, Legal and General, Aldi, CMS Nabarro, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, Environment Agency, Ministry of Defence, Metropolitan Police, Landesbank, Adecco, Toyota Financial Services, Ofsted, Ofqual, the Press Recognition Panel, Ministry of Justice, Network Rail, Financial Ombudsman, IOSH, London Fire Brigade. 


0203 971 0831


KATIE NAPPER / Office Manager

Katie has over 16 years’ experience in customer service and office management varying from large multinational corporations to smaller, boutique companies. After spending nearly 9 years in Auckland, New Zealand, where she worked as an Assistant Product Manager at ANZ, Katie has been back in London for 5 years, 3 of which she was working as an Executive Assistant to the Leadership Team and Directors in a FST50 company. Katie has excellent relationship and organisational skills and thrives on ensuring high quality assistance and a smooth day at the office.

You might find Katie searching for her next European adventure, to discover new cultures and delicious food and wine!


0203 971 0831


ZARA MALONE / Project Administrator

Zara has 7 years of experience in supporting projects and managing client portfolios across both national and international communities. Through academic studies, she has specialised in the relationship between society and governance, which along with international voluntary placements, has developed her passion for sustainable methods of stimulating positive change in society. She has vibrant relationship building skills and enjoys engaging in analytical and conceptual thinking, particularly in relation to innovative social development. Zara provides results driven project support and utilises a client focused consciousness to deliver an excellent service. Zara holds a first-class honours degree in Politics and International Relations.


0203 971 0831


EVA PERTAUB / Executive Assistant to CEO

Eva has over 10 years-experience within the recruitment sector, the last 6 years specifically being within Executive Search, having managed major client contracts within a variety of different public sector organisations. Eva has extensive experience with high-level clients and candidates and Executive Search processes.  She also prides herself on delivering high quality candidate care and client satisfaction. Before moving into Executive Search and recruitment, Eva gained a degree in Marketing and Public Relations at the London Metropolitan University.


0203 971 0831



We are building an advisory group to provide ideas, support and challenge to our team.


Liz is a Radio and TV Broadcaster and Producer; writer and author. She is a passionate people person and works with Boards and CEOs on improving governance, trust and culture, diversity, customer understanding and engagement, and employee engagement – raising the bar across the charity, public and private sectors. She coaches in communication and presentation skills and chairs national and international conferences. Liz is Chair of the Money Advice Liaison Group and the Fair by Design Campaign to tackle the poverty premium; non-executive Director of the Lending Standards Board; member of the Fundraising Regulator Standards Board, The Equity Release Council Standards Board and the Ofgem Consumer Progress Panel; a Financial Inclusion Commissioner, Ambassador for the Money Advice Trust and IPSE the organisation for freelancers and the self-employed.

Katherine Rake

From her days as an academic, through her spell in government, to being a charity Chief Executive, to setting up a national statutory body and being a Trustee, governor and advisor, Katherine has always been focused on social purpose. As Founder and Director of Lucent she works with public bodies, charities and foundations who want their good intent to translate into real change in the world around them. She supports boards and senior teams to see clearly, make connections and drive change. This work helps provide new insight and connections that build confidence and equip people with the tools and skills they need to tackle old issues in new ways.

Esther Foreman

Esther has spent 20 years working in the not for profit, social enterprise and business sectors, running award winning campaigns, supporting enterprise and building teams. She founded the Social Change Agency in 2013 with a desire to combine organising, technology, communications and social enterprise to create a leading non sector-specific agency to improve movement building across the world. In 1995, she was the youngest person in the UK to be diagnosed with MS and continues to champion for better services and research for the MS community. Esther is a 2011 Clore Social Fellow; 2012 Winston Churchill Fellow, and 2013 School for Social Entrepreneurs Fellow and was recently placed in the Top Women in Social Enterprise. She is a former trustee of Genesis Housing Association and The National MS Society, and currently serves on the Board of The House of St Barnabas.

Justine Powell

Justine brings extensive commercial experience and a passion to promote women to senior level and board positions. She is currently the Chief Operating Officer at Cinemarket, a digital film rights market. Prior to Cinemarket, Justine worked at the crossroads of media and technology for 25 years at a number of established organisations, including the BBC, CNBC, Hutchison Whampoa and Handelsblatt. She was a Trustee and Non-Executive Director of MedicAlert, a social enterprise, for six years. She has an MA from University College London (UCL), BA from the University of Bristol and was a scholarship student on the Advanced Management Programme at Oxford University’s Said Business School.

Wondering how we chose our name?

The starfish is a symbol of guidance, vigilance, inspiration, brilliance and intuition. For millennia it has represented safe travel over troubled waters, friendship to the impoverished and those in need, and been guardian to troubled seafarers. Through its powers of regeneration, the starfish is also an emblem of strength and longevity. In a social and leadership context, the starfish helps us think about the power of renewal through organisational change and shifting thought and attitudes.

Join our team

Starfish is a modern, forward-looking employer that invests in its team and is dedicated to becoming an employer of choice. Our clients rightly expect the highest standards of service from us and we are a professional, achievement-driven and engaged team. We offer an exceptional range of benefits as well as the chance to work with lovely people who are amongst the best in the industry.

To find out more please contact katy.giddens@starfishsearch.com