“We were looking for a very rare combination of skills and experience in a Group Head of Reward. Lisa Gerhardt and Boyden were highly attentive and efficient in putting only their very best candidates forward whose skills and personality matched what we were looking for to fill the vacancy.  Thanks to their attention to detail and focus on our specific requirements we were able to recruit swiftly and are extremely satisfied with our chosen candidate.  I can highly recommend Lisa and Boyden.”

Audrey Clegg
Group Director of Leadership Development and HR Director
Wolseley Plc


"Simon, Thank you for finding a superb Group FC.  He is a real find and worth waiting for. There is a lot going on here and he is getting really good experience too. Couldn't be more pleased with the way he is doing."

FTSE 250 Retailer

Simon Bailey has worked with me on recruitment of three senior finance roles – a Group Tax Director, Finance Director of our largest Division and a Group Financial Controller.  He invested a significant amount of time up-front in ensuring that there was a good mutual understanding of the role specification and of the behaviour and experience that were important to us in filling these roles.  He did a very comprehensive job of keeping me up to date with the candidate list and its progress and his recommendations of who to take to the final selection were very well considered.   As can happen in these searches, when there was a set-back, he remained committed to a subsequent round of candidate selections.  I have been very happy with the job that Simon has done for us to date.”

FTSE 100 Company


Simon Bailey at Boyden is helping us search for the role of Director, Group Finance. Reporting to me, the role will combine the traditional financial controller role with functional leadership of a significant change programme, in which we will move from regional accounting to a global shared service centre while also implementing a business partnering model within the operating divisions. A global SAP project is implementing in parallel to these functional initiatives.

With Simon's help, we identified two pools of potential candidates - one whose next career moves would be into a FTSE Group CFO position and the other less experienced but very high-flying. Simon led the search and took us through the rationale from long list to short list. We interviewed five viable candidates and expect to be able to make a formal offer to one of the more senior candidates very shortly. The more junior candidates would have found the role a challenge but on Simon's advice we left the door open and are talking to them about a recently-created role in which they can make a very real difference as we develop the business partnering model within the divisions.

Simon helped us, not just by identifying candidates, but also in preparing how we might "sell" the attractions of the role to the different type of candidates, from job description and content through to helping us match the candidate's career desires with what we would need them to contribute to the role.”

   FTSE 100 Company


“We commissioned Boyden, with Simon Bailey as the lead consultant, to find us two Director level positions for our finance team. We have successfully secured two talented individuals and have every confidence that they will make a great contribution. As is often the case with a search it is as much about diligent research into a candidates skills and experience as it is about the candidates ‘chemistry’ with the hiring manager and organisation. Simon understood what we were looking for and quickly began to provide us with excellent candidates to select from. Simon also did an excellent job of keeping candidates well informed and ‘warm’ for us and managed us and our often uncooperative schedules to ensure we crossed the finish line. All in all it has been a good experience and bodes well for future assignments” 

Matt Huckin
Group HR Director
IMI plc

"If talent scouts or Headhunters had to have 360 reviews Cathy Holley would have an outstanding score. Cathy is a true talent scout. I have known and worked with Cathy for over a decade. She has consistently impressed me with her attention to detail, the ability to assess the cultural fit between an organisation and a potential candidate, judge what is required for the role within the team and for the company’s business cycle. Her industry peers, the companies and candidates she has worked with, consistently hold her in high esteem. For those of you who do not know her….……get busy. Cathy has the Xfactor."

Mittu Sridhara
Group CIO

"Cathy Holley has placed a significant number of key senior IT executives with us in recent years. She takes the time to really understand both our needs and the culture of our organisation in order to make sure that candidates are a great fit. When Cathy calls me, it's never a waste of time to listen."

Jonathan Mitchell
Director - Corporate Development
Rolls-Royce plc


"Cathy Holley is a consummate professional who I have turned to on a number of occasions' to fill critical director roles in my management team.
Cathy and her team have never disappointed in her approach, diligence, candidate selection and short listing.  If you want 'scary talent' to be in your team then I would recommend entrusting your future success to Cathy and the wider Boyden team".

Martin Wyke
Chief Technology and Information Officer
Virgin Media

"Cathy Holley is an incredibly focused and energetic headhunter whose absolute aim is to find the best person for the role and organisation.  She is relentless in her pursuit of talent.  Her experience and network ensure that she will understand what's required and find the best possible range of candidates.  She also openly and genuinely offers her advice and feedback in a spirit of honestly and benefit to the individual concerned. Cathy's tenacity and drive ensures she gets the people you need."

Nigel Lemmon
Managing Director Maintenance & Build
Rok plc

Having worked with Boyden many times, I recently partnered with Victoria Stead at Boyden to hire a senior level Supply Chain and Procurement Director.  Victoria took the time to fully understand our brief and our business whilst overlaying this with the available talent in the market.  She didn’t disappoint.  She is clearly passionate about search, she worked with real speed and flexibility and I was immensely impressed with her professionalism and responsiveness.  I would recommend Victoria to anyone who has a senior level role to hire.

Mark Blundell
Head of HR Operations


"Simon Bailey quickly grasped our requirements and the sensitivities surrounding the appointment. A filtered shortlist of four candidates was presented all of whom ticked the job specification boxes - as the client the only difficulty I had was in selecting one candidate from a very credible shortlist. Good communication and accessibility at all times - highly professional approach. "

Peter Rose
Hunting plc


"I have worked with Boyden on a number of occasions. I have found them to be professional, prompt and responsive. They have a great understanding of the market, and particular expertise when searching for functional heads. I have also recently finalised a project with Boyden where they conducted a search, but also helped determine the suitability of an internal candidate. The process was conducted without bias and with the sensitivity one would expect from a key search firm."

Martin Filippides
Group HR Director
BBA Aviation plc


"Having recently worked for the first time with Simon Bailey at Boyden on an important Executive Search assignment, I have been immensely impressed with his professionalism and responsiveness – Simon listened well to our brief, took the time to understand our business and used this insight to match our needs with first class candidates, as a result of which we have successfully hired a first-class individual.  I would certainly recommend Simon and Boyden to anyone with a senior role to fill.”

Pat Kearney
Business Unit HR Director
Decorative Paints UK, Ireland, South Africa & Building Adhesives Europe


"The search was for a Director of Group finance who could succeed the Group Finance director. Simon Bailey rigorously challenged our thinking which enabled  the deliver of a very clear profile and brief. The short listed candidates were a superb fit and the whole process was managed with consummate professionalism. The individual has been in place for 9 months and is a superb hire"

a FTSE 250 HR Director


As Best Buy started its operations in the UK, there was a need to recruit for key positions in a relatively short time frame.  We partnered with Victoria Stead at Boyden to help us identify suitable candidates in the UK market.  Boyden was very successful in presenting quality candidates quickly and the process was executed with high professional standards.

Simon Post; Group Head, IT and CTO
 Carphone Warehouse Group (Best Buy)

"We partnered with Victoria Stead at Boyden to recruit for a senior level position which culminated in the appointment of an excellent candidate.
The search proved to be challenging for a number of reasons but Boyden remained totally committed to ensuring that we got the right outcome."

Helen Hardy; HR Director; Costa

"Cathy Holley did a really great job of understanding what made onetel tick and found candidates who really fit our culture, which was very different to the rest of the sector”

Ian El-Mokadem; Previously CEO;  onetel

“Whenever I have a really complex search I think Boyden. They are bright, focused, tenacious, challenging in getting the spec just right, very pointed in feedback, never afraid to disagree with me, and the outcome here is that we get the very best talent identified and committed. They are in my book under the section: very difficult, almost impossible, call Boyden”

Ben Bengougam; Former Group HR Director; DSGi

“Thanks to the quality of their listening skills, efficiency and speed, Boyden has positioned itself as a valuable partner within our organization. Boyden has become our partner of choice; not only for recruitment, but also as an advisor and sounding board. Lisa Gerhardt has many strong professional and personal qualities: Professional: speed, efficiency, commitment, knowledge of the market. Personal: sense of humour, charisma, presence and allure. The combination of all of these makes it very difficult for us to do without her!”

Yves Romestan; Director of Communications and Marketing
Alliance Healthcare

“What makes you folks special ?…Flexibility and not afraid of the ‘unconventional’ and situational circumstances adaptation, quick response, cultural awareness, non bureaucratic and uncomplicated to do business with, straight to point ”

Joerg Boder; Deputy Chief Executive
Alliance Healthcare

“recognised our urgency… bent the rules to deliver at pace… I can trust Boyden to pull out all the stops if things go wrong”

Michael Jones; Head of Resourcing
 Barclays UK Retail Banking

“The two board members who interviewed the shortlist said they’d never enjoyed three back-to-back interviews before. They sent their thanks for making a difficult task memorable, and a surprising pleasure. We can hire any of them and it wouldn’t be wrong”

Amanda Butler; HR Director, UniChem

“Boyden are highly professional… Their determined approach and commitment to deliver is evident throughout the engagement.  Most importantly of all their determination delivers results.”

Nick Skinner; HR Centrica

As a candidate I see the point of difference is the ability to pull out the richness of capabilities and values and the level of depth of the screening process, plus the care and attention.  You saw a match which wasn’t obvious.

Paul Adams; Candidate

"Cathy Holley and her office have been very responsive to our needs and I've found the process of recruiting through them efficient and painless!"

Eleanor Radbourne, Head of Resourcing & Deployment - Supply Chain & Operating Functions, Rolls-Royce

"Professional and effective are taken for granted by me with Boyden. They never disappoint.  Where they really triumph is that they work with such speed and flexibility when the customer or situation needs it. They're fun to work with too. And damn irritating after a vacation, for being so enthusiastic and travelling at mach one".

Peter Brickley, CIO, Centrica

“You are miles ahead in terms of your professional attitude, your responsiveness and your attention to detail.”

Peter Lickiss, former CTO, BBC (candidate)

“I have found your approach and energy impressive, ‘infectious’, and a welcome change from  your more ‘established’ peers.”

Peter Dew, former CIO BOC (client)

The team’s knowledge and contacts in the market are first rate. The team have been an absolute pleasure to work with.

Nick Skinner, Centrica HR (client)


Simon Bailey
(T): +44 0203 781 7483

John Burr
(T): +44 0203 781 7449

Katie Chevis
(T): +44 0203 781 7425

Tim Clouting
(T): +44 0203 781 7484

John Ellis
(T): +44 0 203 781 7425

Lisa Gerhardt
(T): +44 (0) 203 781 7456

Cathy Holley
(T): +44 0203 781 7433

Victoria Maxwell Davies
(T): +44 0203 781 7486

George Nice
(T): + 44 0203 781 7443

Phil Peters
(T): +44 0203 781 7463

James Twiston-Davies
(T): +44 (0) 203 781.7425

Karin Warwick-Thompson
(T): +44 (0) 203 781.7425