Experts in building senior leadership teams

Our consultants, ranging from digital industry veterans to young high-flyers, share a passion for helping innovative businesses flourish, and an unwavering commitment to client service.

Clare Johnston - CEO & Founder     Clare is the Founder and CEO of The Up Group, and member of the Board. She is one of Europe’s most seasoned talent advisors in digital, and has helped to build the senior management teams and Boards of many of Europe’s most disruptive and transformational businesses.  Clare has an extensive global network and founded the Digital Masters series of events, regularly bringing together Europe’s most exciting investors, entrepreneurs as well as senior executives from high-growth start-ups through to listed global corporates.  Having self-funded and grown The Up Group from the ground up, Clare has received various industry awards and recognition including: EY Entrepreneur of the Year 2017 (Scaleup, London and South East); Investor Allstars Service Provider of the Year 2016; First Women Awards, Entrepreneur of the Year 2016; NatWest Everywoman Award 2015; Management Today’s ’35 Women Under 35’ 2012 and startup.co.uk‘s “Young Guns Class of 2012”.  Clare is a regular speaker in the European digital scene, having participated at WACL, Oxford University, Cass University, SLUSH, NOAH, Future Fifty events and presented at multiple Private Equity portfolio days. Clare is also an advisor to Keen Venture Partners.    Prior to founding The Up Group, Clare was a Management Consultant for Detica, an international technology consultancy, as well as being co-Managing Director of an executive search firm. She graduated with a First Class Honours degree in Management Sciences from The University of Warwick.

Clare Johnston - CEO & Founder

Clare is the Founder and CEO of The Up Group, and member of the Board. She is one of Europe’s most seasoned talent advisors in digital, and has helped to build the senior management teams and Boards of many of Europe’s most disruptive and transformational businesses.

Clare has an extensive global network and founded the Digital Masters series of events, regularly bringing together Europe’s most exciting investors, entrepreneurs as well as senior executives from high-growth start-ups through to listed global corporates.

Having self-funded and grown The Up Group from the ground up, Clare has received various industry awards and recognition including: EY Entrepreneur of the Year 2017 (Scaleup, London and South East); Investor Allstars Service Provider of the Year 2016; First Women Awards, Entrepreneur of the Year 2016; NatWest Everywoman Award 2015; Management Today’s ’35 Women Under 35’ 2012 and startup.co.uk‘s “Young Guns Class of 2012”.

Clare is a regular speaker in the European digital scene, having participated at WACL, Oxford University, Cass University, SLUSH, NOAH, Future Fifty events and presented at multiple Private Equity portfolio days. Clare is also an advisor to Keen Venture Partners.

Prior to founding The Up Group, Clare was a Management Consultant for Detica, an international technology consultancy, as well as being co-Managing Director of an executive search firm. She graduated with a First Class Honours degree in Management Sciences from The University of Warwick.

Ian Coyne - Chief Growth Officer     Ian is a Managing Director and Chief Growth Officer at The Up Group.  Ian is responsible for external and internal levers of growth. This includes ownership of events, content, partnerships, new products & services and strategic market activity. Ian has extensive experience in growth and transformation roles in professional services firms.  Prior to The Up Group, Ian grew and then ran the go-to-market capability at Russell Reynolds Associates, focusing on growing the brand through differentiated partnerships and content, and coverage of key accounts. During his time at KPMG, Ian held various roles covering technology, change management, people development, innovation and growth.  Ian graduated with a BSc in Computer Science from the University of Manchester. Ian holds a Diploma of Advanced Business Management from the University of Edinburgh and an MBA from ENPC School of International Management, Paris.

Ian Coyne - Chief Growth Officer

Ian is a Managing Director and Chief Growth Officer at The Up Group.

Ian is responsible for external and internal levers of growth. This includes ownership of events, content, partnerships, new products & services and strategic market activity. Ian has extensive experience in growth and transformation roles in professional services firms.

Prior to The Up Group, Ian grew and then ran the go-to-market capability at Russell Reynolds Associates, focusing on growing the brand through differentiated partnerships and content, and coverage of key accounts. During his time at KPMG, Ian held various roles covering technology, change management, people development, innovation and growth.

Ian graduated with a BSc in Computer Science from the University of Manchester. Ian holds a Diploma of Advanced Business Management from the University of Edinburgh and an MBA from ENPC School of International Management, Paris.

Jed Butcher - CFO   Jed is CFO of The Up Group, and member of the Board.  He joined the company in 2017 from Target Group, a Financial Services BPO and software house formally backed by Pollen Street Capital, where Jed was Corporate Development Director and most recently Finance Director.  Prior to this, Jed worked with mid-market businesses across a range of sectors as part of the Deloitte Corporate Finance team.  Jed is a Chartered Accountant and has a BSc in Accounting and Management from the Cardiff University Business School.

Jed Butcher - CFO

Jed is CFO of The Up Group, and member of the Board.

He joined the company in 2017 from Target Group, a Financial Services BPO and software house formally backed by Pollen Street Capital, where Jed was Corporate Development Director and most recently Finance Director.

Prior to this, Jed worked with mid-market businesses across a range of sectors as part of the Deloitte Corporate Finance team.

Jed is a Chartered Accountant and has a BSc in Accounting and Management from the Cardiff University Business School.

Pete Alexander - Director     Pete is a Director specialising in Product and Technology searches, with a focus on VC- and PE- backed growth companies.  After graduation, he and a colleague founded a start-up company in the online gaming industry. Despite initial success in attracting a number of strong industry partnerships, the business struggled to secure the funding required to scale and Pete moved to London to embark on a career in executive search with a company called Skillcapital.  Pete spent five years working for Skillcapital, which focused on placed board-level management into private equity-backed businesses across Europe. During his time with the company, Pete worked with a range of UK and international clients, placing executive and non-executive senior management into businesses across the consumer space, most notably within the leisure, FMCG, multi-channel retail and latterly eCommerce sectors.  He joined The Up Group as Consultant in March 2011, adding to a strong team of six people at that point in time. Since joining, Pete has worked with a range of clients from start-up and growth companies (RetailMeNot, Klarna, MOO.com, Mind Candy, DueDil, Just Eat, Skyscanner, Zipcar) through to international corporates (Facebook, Guardian Media Group, Electronic Arts). Today, he leads the majority of Up’s senior product and technology searches, but also retains an active interest in the venture capital and private equity space, working with a number of firms across the European market.  Pete has a BA Joint Honours in English & Philosophy from The University of Nottingham.

Pete Alexander - Director

Pete is a Director specialising in Product and Technology searches, with a focus on VC- and PE- backed growth companies.

After graduation, he and a colleague founded a start-up company in the online gaming industry. Despite initial success in attracting a number of strong industry partnerships, the business struggled to secure the funding required to scale and Pete moved to London to embark on a career in executive search with a company called Skillcapital.

Pete spent five years working for Skillcapital, which focused on placed board-level management into private equity-backed businesses across Europe. During his time with the company, Pete worked with a range of UK and international clients, placing executive and non-executive senior management into businesses across the consumer space, most notably within the leisure, FMCG, multi-channel retail and latterly eCommerce sectors.

He joined The Up Group as Consultant in March 2011, adding to a strong team of six people at that point in time. Since joining, Pete has worked with a range of clients from start-up and growth companies (RetailMeNot, Klarna, MOO.com, Mind Candy, DueDil, Just Eat, Skyscanner, Zipcar) through to international corporates (Facebook, Guardian Media Group, Electronic Arts). Today, he leads the majority of Up’s senior product and technology searches, but also retains an active interest in the venture capital and private equity space, working with a number of firms across the European market.

Pete has a BA Joint Honours in English & Philosophy from The University of Nottingham.

James Burrows - Director   James is a Director at The Up Group.  James spent the initial phases of his career working in multi-national ad agencies such as J. Walter-Thompson, Publicis and Y&R, fuelling his love of brands and business in general. It also spawned his passion for all things digital and technology.  In 2000, James left the offline advertising world to become co-founder and Chief Revenue Officer for Espotting Media, which in five years became Europe’s largest pay-per-click company with over 220 employees in eight countries across Europe, and delivering over 1 billion clicks per month to over 90,000 advertisers and media agency clients. Espotting raised over $18m in funding over the period to aggressively accelerate its growth – from seed and angel, through to VC – and eventually sold to a US-based competitor in 2005 for just under $200m.  Since then, James has either led or been part of the management team for a variety of both early stage and also more mature, PE-backed businesses, all of whom were going through rapid growth – in roles ranging from CEO and CCO, to Director of Business Development and SVP Client Development, with companies such as Research Now, High50, and Golog – both in Europe and USA.  James has received a number of awards in his career, including ‘Faces To Watch’ from Campaign Magazine, and also being listed in The Sunday Times’ ‘Top 40 Under 40’ in the UK Media & Advertising industry; but his proudest achievement is being a father to his two children, Petra and Josh.  James was educated at Harrow School, and gained a BA Hons in Marketing & Communications from Bristol.

James Burrows - Director

James is a Director at The Up Group.

James spent the initial phases of his career working in multi-national ad agencies such as J. Walter-Thompson, Publicis and Y&R, fuelling his love of brands and business in general. It also spawned his passion for all things digital and technology.

In 2000, James left the offline advertising world to become co-founder and Chief Revenue Officer for Espotting Media, which in five years became Europe’s largest pay-per-click company with over 220 employees in eight countries across Europe, and delivering over 1 billion clicks per month to over 90,000 advertisers and media agency clients. Espotting raised over $18m in funding over the period to aggressively accelerate its growth – from seed and angel, through to VC – and eventually sold to a US-based competitor in 2005 for just under $200m.

Since then, James has either led or been part of the management team for a variety of both early stage and also more mature, PE-backed businesses, all of whom were going through rapid growth – in roles ranging from CEO and CCO, to Director of Business Development and SVP Client Development, with companies such as Research Now, High50, and Golog – both in Europe and USA.

James has received a number of awards in his career, including ‘Faces To Watch’ from Campaign Magazine, and also being listed in The Sunday Times’ ‘Top 40 Under 40’ in the UK Media & Advertising industry; but his proudest achievement is being a father to his two children, Petra and Josh.

James was educated at Harrow School, and gained a BA Hons in Marketing & Communications from Bristol.

Lydia Shepherd - Director   Lydia is a Director at The Up Group, working across all functions talent to disrupt and transform established businesses in the FTSE 100-250/Fortune 500.  Prior to joining The Up Group, Lydia spent two years building a recruitment start-up, growing and operationalising their UK business. During her tenure, Lydia supported a variety of predominantly retail/consumer-facing businesses both listed and PE-backed through their ongoing digital transformation.  Lydia spent the bulk of her early career at established executive search PLC Norman Broadbent where she led the firm's CIO practice, delivering senior technology leadership roles for companies including Bupa, Tesco, Asda, MoneySuperMarket, Mitie and Telefónica O2.  Alongside executive search, Lydia is involved in helping organisations create the most diverse, creative and high-performing technology teams. She has researched and written several white papers concerning gender balance within the technology sector.

Lydia Shepherd - Director

Lydia is a Director at The Up Group, working across all functions talent to disrupt and transform established businesses in the FTSE 100-250/Fortune 500.

Prior to joining The Up Group, Lydia spent two years building a recruitment start-up, growing and operationalising their UK business. During her tenure, Lydia supported a variety of predominantly retail/consumer-facing businesses both listed and PE-backed through their ongoing digital transformation.

Lydia spent the bulk of her early career at established executive search PLC Norman Broadbent where she led the firm's CIO practice, delivering senior technology leadership roles for companies including Bupa, Tesco, Asda, MoneySuperMarket, Mitie and Telefónica O2.

Alongside executive search, Lydia is involved in helping organisations create the most diverse, creative and high-performing technology teams. She has researched and written several white papers concerning gender balance within the technology sector.

Stephanie de Wangen - Director     Stephanie is a Director of The Up Group, and leads Board and Senior Management team searches globally for our corporate clients.  She graduated with a Bachelor degree in Political Science from Trinity College in the US and has additional diplomas from Institut d’Etudes Politiques in Paris and Middlebury College in the US. Stephanie has dual American and French citizenship, is a native English, French and Spanish speaker and is proficient in Russian.  Stephanie’s early career was spent working for online companies: Excite, AOL and Amazon. At Excite, she managed large online sponsorship accounts throughout Europe. As Senior Business Development Manager for AOL Europe, she secured online partnerships with traditional and online companies. While with Amazon, Stephanie managed the UK Online Marketing Group and later assumed responsibility for the Online Account Management Team of Amazon UK, France, and Germany.  Stephanie’s search experience was gained with Korn/Ferry International, where she was a Senior Associate in the European Global Technology Markets Practice. Based initially in the firms Moscow office, she worked on assignments in a variety of industries. She later relocated to the London office as a member of the Technology Practice, focused largely on the Internet industry.  Stephanie then became a Director with CT Partners, a global executive search firm, as a member of the firm’s Technology, Media and Telecommunications Practice. She has worked with corporate as well as start-up clients, identifying leadership to fill CEO, CFO, COO, and other general management roles across the UK, Europe and USA.

Stephanie de Wangen - Director

Stephanie is a Director of The Up Group, and leads Board and Senior Management team searches globally for our corporate clients.

She graduated with a Bachelor degree in Political Science from Trinity College in the US and has additional diplomas from Institut d’Etudes Politiques in Paris and Middlebury College in the US. Stephanie has dual American and French citizenship, is a native English, French and Spanish speaker and is proficient in Russian.

Stephanie’s early career was spent working for online companies: Excite, AOL and Amazon. At Excite, she managed large online sponsorship accounts throughout Europe. As Senior Business Development Manager for AOL Europe, she secured online partnerships with traditional and online companies. While with Amazon, Stephanie managed the UK Online Marketing Group and later assumed responsibility for the Online Account Management Team of Amazon UK, France, and Germany.

Stephanie’s search experience was gained with Korn/Ferry International, where she was a Senior Associate in the European Global Technology Markets Practice. Based initially in the firms Moscow office, she worked on assignments in a variety of industries. She later relocated to the London office as a member of the Technology Practice, focused largely on the Internet industry.

Stephanie then became a Director with CT Partners, a global executive search firm, as a member of the firm’s Technology, Media and Telecommunications Practice. She has worked with corporate as well as start-up clients, identifying leadership to fill CEO, CFO, COO, and other general management roles across the UK, Europe and USA.

Anca Condrea - Director     Anca is a Director specialising in searches in the consumer and retail sectors, across all functions, in particular in the private equity ecosystem.  Previously, Anca has led the European consumer and retail practice of Heads, a boutique global executive search firm, with a focus on the luxury space, as well as customer-centricity and digital transformation for a range of private equity-backed and corporate clients.  Prior to her experience in executive search, Anca was a strategy consultant at Marakon in London. In the earlier stages of her career, Anca has held advisory and leadership roles in intellectual property law and innovation management, both in private practice and for one of the world’s largest suppliers of packaging solutions (Canada and France).  Anca holds a B. Eng. in Computer Engineering from McGill University and an MBA from INSEAD.

Anca Condrea - Director

Anca is a Director specialising in searches in the consumer and retail sectors, across all functions, in particular in the private equity ecosystem.

Previously, Anca has led the European consumer and retail practice of Heads, a boutique global executive search firm, with a focus on the luxury space, as well as customer-centricity and digital transformation for a range of private equity-backed and corporate clients.

Prior to her experience in executive search, Anca was a strategy consultant at Marakon in London. In the earlier stages of her career, Anca has held advisory and leadership roles in intellectual property law and innovation management, both in private practice and for one of the world’s largest suppliers of packaging solutions (Canada and France).

Anca holds a B. Eng. in Computer Engineering from McGill University and an MBA from INSEAD.

Sarah Noyce - Consultant   Sarah is a Consultant at The Up Group.  Sarah joined The Up Group in 2014, after graduating from Oxford University with a First Class Masters in French and European Enlightenment, after completing her BA in Modern Foreign Languages, also at Oxford University.  Sarah is fluent in German and French.

Sarah Noyce - Consultant

Sarah is a Consultant at The Up Group.

Sarah joined The Up Group in 2014, after graduating from Oxford University with a First Class Masters in French and European Enlightenment, after completing her BA in Modern Foreign Languages, also at Oxford University.

Sarah is fluent in German and French.

Claire Hogg - Director     Claire is a Director, focusing on Business Development, Marketing, Strategy and General Management roles.  She has worked with a broad range of clients across the Consumer, Media and Online sectors. She also works with a number of UK and European Venture Capital & Private Equity firms on both investment and portfolio roles.  She trained in Executive Search in a boutique firm focused on commercial high flyers in the consumer, retail and technology sectors. She predominantly worked with Blue Chip FTSE 250 clients and led searches across Marketing, Strategy, Operations and Business Development.  Claire graduated from the University of Cambridge with an Upper Second Class Honours degree in French and German, which she speaks fluently.

Claire Hogg - Director

Claire is a Director, focusing on Business Development, Marketing, Strategy and General Management roles.

She has worked with a broad range of clients across the Consumer, Media and Online sectors. She also works with a number of UK and European Venture Capital & Private Equity firms on both investment and portfolio roles.

She trained in Executive Search in a boutique firm focused on commercial high flyers in the consumer, retail and technology sectors. She predominantly worked with Blue Chip FTSE 250 clients and led searches across Marketing, Strategy, Operations and Business Development.

Claire graduated from the University of Cambridge with an Upper Second Class Honours degree in French and German, which she speaks fluently.

Andrew Duncan - Director   Andrew is a Director specialising in CxO and VP-level searches for high-growth internet, financial services, and B2B software companies in the Venture Capital and Private Equity ecosystems.  He trained in Executive Search with Kindred Partners, a boutique American firm focused on helping ambitious Founders and Boards to build and scale teams at early-stage and pre-IPO businesses in San Francisco and New York.  Prior to joining Kindred, Andrew worked in strategy consulting at Booz Allen Hamilton. He graduated  Phi Beta Kappa  with a BA and MA from the University of Virginia, where he was also an Echols Scholar.

Andrew Duncan - Director

Andrew is a Director specialising in CxO and VP-level searches for high-growth internet, financial services, and B2B software companies in the Venture Capital and Private Equity ecosystems.

He trained in Executive Search with Kindred Partners, a boutique American firm focused on helping ambitious Founders and Boards to build and scale teams at early-stage and pre-IPO businesses in San Francisco and New York.

Prior to joining Kindred, Andrew worked in strategy consulting at Booz Allen Hamilton. He graduated Phi Beta Kappa with a BA and MA from the University of Virginia, where he was also an Echols Scholar.

Danielle Ward - Consultant   Danielle is a Consultant at The Up group, working across executive and non-executive appointments.  Prior to Joining Up, Danielle spent 5 years at Holker Watkin, a boutique search firm specialised in headhunting top-tier strategic talent, where she was part of the Senior Team. There she worked with leading European PE funds and their portfolio companies as well as FTSE and global corporates to place strategy consulting alumni into strategic and operational leadership roles.  Danielle graduated from the University of St Andrews with an MA (Hons) in International Relations. She is a dual Canadian and British citizen.

Danielle Ward - Consultant

Danielle is a Consultant at The Up group, working across executive and non-executive appointments.

Prior to Joining Up, Danielle spent 5 years at Holker Watkin, a boutique search firm specialised in headhunting top-tier strategic talent, where she was part of the Senior Team. There she worked with leading European PE funds and their portfolio companies as well as FTSE and global corporates to place strategy consulting alumni into strategic and operational leadership roles.

Danielle graduated from the University of St Andrews with an MA (Hons) in International Relations. She is a dual Canadian and British citizen.

Arabella Reeves - Head of Engagement & Partnerships   Arabella is part of the Growth & Insight Team, and is responsible for the delivery of the annual Digital Masters programme of events, both in London and internationally.  Prior to joining The Up Group, Arabella worked for a catering company, providing bespoke private events. She has experience in co-ordinating staff, caterers, clients and customers at events including weddings, dinners, charity galas and corporate meetings.  Arabella graduated from the University of Leeds in 2013 with a First Class Honours BSc in Geography.

Arabella Reeves - Head of Engagement & Partnerships

Arabella is part of the Growth & Insight Team, and is responsible for the delivery of the annual Digital Masters programme of events, both in London and internationally.

Prior to joining The Up Group, Arabella worked for a catering company, providing bespoke private events. She has experience in co-ordinating staff, caterers, clients and customers at events including weddings, dinners, charity galas and corporate meetings.

Arabella graduated from the University of Leeds in 2013 with a First Class Honours BSc in Geography.

Liz Pryce - Head of Search Operations

Liz Pryce - Head of Search Operations