Executive search and selection case studies

Assignment successes

Hanover Fox brings its search consulting expertise to a broad range of clients, resulting in successful senior executive and board appointments.

Here are a few examples of recent assignments:

Slicker Recycling

Chief Operating Officer

When Slicker Recycling, the market leader in waste oil recycling, needed to fill the newly created role of Chief Operating Officer to help manage rapid expansion, Managing Director, Mark Olpin, immediately turned to Hanover Fox.

“Not only was it a senior role, but I also wanted options from outside our immediate industry. I knew that Hanover Fox had that kind of reach and that they would take care of the whole process.

“They met with me and the shareholder and took a detailed brief so they could both sell the organisation to prospective candidates, as well as the role. It was not a straightforward COO type function; it was partly operations, but partly an MD support-type role. Hanover Fox understood that we would need someone who could flex between the both.

“I left them to manage the candidate recruitment through an advertisement in the Telegraph and other executive search methods. They then presented eight candidates with summaries that included a useful steer on things to consider.

Slicker Recycling logo

“We interviewed four, and three of them could have done the job well. We are really pleased with the appointment we have made, which did end up from outside our own network. I would definitely recommend Hanover Fox.”

Mark Olpin – Managing Director


Chief Operating Officer

When Richard Hampton, Managing Director of OMSCO, (Organic Milk Suppliers Cooperative) created the new role of Chief Operating Officer, he went straight to Hanover Fox.

“For a senior position like this I didn’t want to limit us to people looking for a job. I wanted to approach people in work. We needed a very particular cultural fit too; I wanted someone with intellectual curiosity and a self-start attitude who could thrive in a new role within a relatively unstructured business.”

From a pre-vetted longlist provided by Hanover Fox with candidate summaries, Richard chose seven people for initial interview at Hanover Fox’s offices in Bristol. He then invited four back for a second round. 

Richard says:

“The research Hanover Fox did with candidates at the outset ensured I only saw very capable people and I am really pleased with the appointment. 

“When you are a £100m organisation with just 20 people, individuals and relationships are critical. You get a higher quality from Hanover Fox and that’s worth paying for. I would recommend them and I have already briefed them on another appointment.”

“For me, using Hanover Fox is like having a personal shopper instead of going to a supermarket. They are a class apart when it comes to personalisation. They take a lot of hassle out of it. They were excellent throughout."

Richard Hampton – Managing Director

Royal Astronomical Society

Executive Director

The role of Executive Director at the Royal Astronomical Society requires a particular skillset, balancing the learned society’s scientific aims with commercial, publishing and operational imperatives.

Nigel Berman, the Society’s treasurer who oversaw this crucial appointment, considered a number of Executive Search firms before appointing Hanover Fox.

“Hanover Fox’s experience with a wide range of appointments from other academic institutions to city livery companies gave us confidence they were the right people for us.

After an initial brief, I took a very light touch. They came back with a long-list of 12 names, each accompanied by insightful candidate reports. We interviewed six candidates and Hanover Fox then helped us to narrow the field to three for a second interview. 

In the end I was confident each of those three could have done an excellent job. It then came down to a matter of style and the direction in which they might lead the Society."

RAS logo

“Hanover Fox gave us an invaluable outside perspective in honing our choices, as well as providing the resources, expertise and reach to attract candidates we simply couldn't have done on our own. They were open and engaging and I would certainly recommend them.”

Nigel Berman – Treasurer

The Draper’s Company

Assistant Clerk (Membership)

We appointed Phil de Glanville from Hanover Fox to recruit a new position of Assistant Clerk (Membership) at the Drapers Company in the New Year. We were immediately impressed with the speed with which Phil captured the essence of what we sought, both in terms of the role and the type of person to fill it. Having quickly constructed a draft assignment brief it was immeasurably helpful to collaboratively fine tune it ready for broadcast. Such early two-way communication typified the open, instructive and progressive exchanges that occurred throughout the process. 

The acid test of course was the quality of candidates presented. Our assignment brief was deliberately specific, acting as a good filter of prospective candidates. Phil produced an excellent and varied longlist in person for us to subsequently draw down to a shortlist for interview, again in person. The candidate briefs were particularly incisive, formed from his personal interview of each individual. Importantly, each one proved to an accurate portrayal of the candidates we subsequently interviewed so his due diligence was spot on. More than that, he took enormous care to find out about each individual, nurturing them – and us – through the process. At each stage he encouraged us to discuss progress, which sensibly lead to us slightly adapting the role to better fit the qualities of the two candidates taken forward to final interview.

I could not recommend him more highly for anyone thinking of using Hanover Fox for a recruitment. In fact, we are already in discussion about another position we may need to fill.

"Phil was enormously supportive, enquiring and thoroughly engaged in the recruitment process such that we have ended up with a better qualified candidate than we thought we might get."

Richard Winstanley, Clerk

Hartpury College

Director of HR and Residential Services

Hartpury College and University Centre, one of the UK’s leading land-based and sports educational establishments, needed to recruit a new Chief Operating Officer (COO). 

Having advertised the position themselves, the College were unsure about the quality of candidates they had attracted and so reached out to Hanover Fox to supplement their applicants with an executive search process. 

Lesley Worsfold, Director of HR and Residential Services, says it was important to ensure they had a strong field.

“We are in an important period as we are looking to move towards University status. The COO role is vital to the College’s future 

“Hanover Fox came in to ensure they understood the role, the culture and the changing scope. They then searched their networks and produced a pre-assessed long list. Together we reduced this down to six candidates for an Assessment Centre process.

“As an educational establishment, the Board of Governors has to make senior appointments. Hanover Fox’s Candidate Summary Reports were invaluable in giving them an independent expert view and really helpful in providing focus for each interview."

"I would definitely recommend Hanover Fox. We were under a tight time pressure. They were professional, responsive, open and transparent. They delivered on the timeframe. I think Hanover Fox are a very professional firm who always find good quality and I would most certainly recommend them.”

Lesley Worsfold, Director of HR and Residential Services

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