Partner, Financial Officers and Professional Services Practices
Richard Ashton specialises in executive and non-executive appointments with a particular specialism in finance. Having qualified as an ACA with KPMG, he has spent over a decade working with a variety of public, private and private equity-backed business across all industry sectors.
Having qualified as an ACA and worked in M&A at KPMG, I recognised that it was the people that made the deals work rather than necessarily the numbers (of course they help!). I went to speak to a selection of executive search firms, who made me realise that search was very similar to M&A – just without the numbers. Previously, I worked at Spencer Stuart and Blackwood.
My focus is on the recruitment of CFOs and Non-Executive Directors. More recently I have been supporting a broad spectrum of professional services organisations in the identification and attraction of senior individuals at a time when recruiting at Partner and Managing Director level has never been more competitive. In order to secure in-demand individuals, a search partner must offer access, rigour and lateral thinking.
I add value to businesses by being honest in my summary of each candidate – no candidate is perfect. As long as the key competencies in the role are agreed, I draw on my years of experience and careful judgement to ensure a real choice is available to the client.
My motivation is the variety – no search or mandate is the same. Meeting some fascinating business leaders and marrying individual career and client requirements is, in my view, very hard to do well. The judgement, understanding and patience required to make the task all the more complex and, therefore, interesting.
A job done well and leading to repeat business is what makes me tick. In many ways, a signed contract is only the start. The pat on the back should only really come at least 18 months after a placed candidate starts in the role and the company has asked Savannah to find others for their team or the wider business.
Why I like working at Savannah
I like working at Savannah because of the straightforward approach to business. Working with a bunch of self-motivated, like-minded people who are experts in their various fields ensures we are all upping our performance but without overt pressure. The free coffee and biscuits are also a big plus…