Demand drives new appointments at Scotland’s first employee-owned executive search specialist as it prepares for big 2024

05/02/2024
Left to Right: Jamie Livingston, Mark Lewis, Sophie Randles, Hazel Wynn, Derek Lauder, and Ali Shaw (Photo: Elaine Livingstone)

A RECRUITMENT specialist that became the first company of its kind in Scotland to enter employee ownership last year has announced a series of senior promotions and new appointments as it targets further growth in 2024. 

The appointments follow a strong end to 2023 for Scottish headquartered executive search firm Livingston James, which alongside sister company Rutherford Cross, a specialist in senior finance recruitment, became owned by its employees in January last year. 

The new hires take headcount up to 26 across the group, with plans to add more positions later in the year. 

Standouts amongst the senior promotions include Mark Lewis, Managing Director at Rutherford Cross, who takes on Group Chief Operations Officer responsibilities. Sophie Randles, Director at Livingston James, also steps up into a Group Commercial Director role, in addition to her focus on private equity, renewables and professional services. 

Director Ali Shaw steps up to P&L and team leadership roles at Livingston James; Francesca Christophersen takes on Head of Operations duties for the group; and Rachel Sim and Harry Thomson have moved into new roles focusing on key technology appointments and research support respectively.

At Rutherford Cross, Director Hazel Wynn adds professional services and specialist finance to her portfolio, now leading all of the permanent recruitment teams in Rutherford Cross across Scotland; Will Dodds is promoted to Manager and takes on leadership of the Rutherford Cross team in Edinburgh and the east; Jonny Donnelly is promoted to Manager and takes on leadership of the Rutherford Cross team in Glasgow and the west; and Harry Young is promoted to Manager and tasked with developing business in new territories in Scotland. 

New hires include Fraser Burnett, Euan Bodie, Ally Deas, Claudia Prat and Noortje Teeuwen to Rutherford Cross, and Rachael Birkett and Fern Robertson to Group support across their Edinburgh and Glasgow offices.

Livingston James and Rutherford Cross, which operate across Scotland from offices in Glasgow and Edinburgh, have worked with hundreds of public and private sector clients, from family businesses right up to major national and international organisations including Bute Energy, Emtelle, Gallagher, the Scottish Football Association, Weir Group, and Heineken. The firm also works extensively with not-for-profit organisations, government agencies, and private equity backed businesses. 

Livingston James Group was responsible for more than 330 hires in 2023 – more than 70% of which were permanent roles. The firm added more than 50 new clients to its roster last year, and remains on target to record 10% growth YOY.  

The personnel boost has been funded by Livingston James Group’s performance in 2023, which saw it report net fee income of around £4 million on turnover in the region of £6m.

Livingston James expects further growth in the private equity, technology, and family business sectors in 2024, while continued high demand for accountancy and senior finance professionals is driving further success at Rutherford Cross. 

Jamie Livingston, Livingston James Group’s co-founder and CEO, said the new promotions and hires have primed the business for further growth in the 12 months ahead. 

He said: “We enjoyed a very strong end to 2023 and that demand has continued into the start of the year. These new appointments put the group in an ideal position to continue that momentum and drive further growth and success as the year progresses. 

“Employee ownership means we all have a stake, so we care more, and everybody takes on a greater level of responsibility for the business’s success. It also means we have to take greater responsibility for ensuring opportunities for progression and long-term careers are open. 

“These promotions and new hires are very much born out of that ethos. We are lucky to have a huge amount of talent in our ranks and these promotions reward the contribution, ability, potential, and passion these team members have.”

“It’s been an evolution rather than a revolution. We already had a strong, positive, and constructive workplace culture, and employee ownership has enabled that to reach another level. Addressing the practical challenges of implementing employee ownership has provided insight that has led to positive changes, not least in how we seek and receive external feedback, which in turn has helped us refine and improve our service. There is also greater empowerment and accountability across the group, and this round of promotions reflects that.”

He added: “There are challenges in certain parts of the market, but we believe the bold approach we have taken in growing our team sets us apart from the competition and enables us to deliver the best people for our clients. We have never taken a transactional approach, we all care about the success of appointments and have a model built on ensuring that success. That’s what makes the difference when the market is less buoyant.”

Under Livingston James Group’s employee ownership model, the firm offers a profit share scheme – over and above regular salaries and bonuses – which is shared equally among colleagues provided they have worked for the company for longer than a year.

For more information on Livingston James visit livingstonjames.com, and to find out more about Rutherford Cross visit rutherfordcross.com

The latest stories

Perthshire-based holiday park secures multi-million finance package
New holiday coach business launched with experienced travel industry leaders
Q-Park introduces EV Charging to Edinburgh
Housebuilder starts work on final phase of £60m, 165-home Penicuik development