What We Do Our Approach Services NEDC Ecosystem People Clients Charging Contact
What We Do Our Approach Services NEDC Ecosystem People Clients Charging Contact
Marianne Macdonald

Marianne Macdonald

Marianne Macdonald spent seven years in the non-executive practice of The Zygos Partnership which, prior to its 2018 sale to Russell Reynolds, was the UK’s leading board search firm in the non-executive space. It placed 60 – 90 non-executives and chairmen per annum onto the larger listed and private boards, including many in the FTSE 350. Her non-executive search experience spanned all sectors, including financial services, professional services, FMCG, aerospace and defence, industrial, retail and utilities, and boards ranging in scale from FTSE100 to FTSE small cap, including family businesses, mutuals and markets. She met many of the active UK NED population in this role.

Before joining The Zygos Partnership in 2010, Marianne had a distinguished career as a broadsheet journalist and latterly spent 10 years interviewing international leaders within the arts, media, politics and sports sectors for UK broadsheet newspapers and magazines including the Times, Telegraph, Observer, Guardian and Independent.

She has a First in English from New College, Oxford, a Diploma in Journalism from City University, and was a Guardian Student Journalist of the Year.

Alongside Non-executive Directorships Consulting, Marianne is an Ambassador for Nurole, a Board Advisor for the MBS Group and a former career advisor for BCKR, the organisation which works to help senior lawyers create a portfolio. She additionally has relationships with a very wide range of search firms, mentoring companies, non-executive development organisations, venture capitalists and board players. Non-executive Directorships Consulting was founded by Marianne in 2016.

Marianne Macdonald

James Miller

James Miller has over 10 years of non-executive board headhunting experience from Heidrick & Struggles, JCA Group and The Zygos Partnership, and a total of 19 years of search experience across various sectors and business environments. He focused on Chair and Non-executive Director assignments throughout his search career, primarily FTSE100, FTSE250 and FTSE small cap appointments, as well as advising internationally domiciled and private company boards. He has met many of the active UK NED and Chair population.

James has worked across a broad range of geographies and sectors, including financial services, industrial, consumer, retail, healthcare and life sciences, technology, professional services and aerospace and defence, and he has experience of building boards in a range of contexts, including working with private equity firms and key stakeholders in preparation for IPOs. Examples of his international board search work include advising companies headquartered in the Middle East, Africa and Asia which listed in London.

Following a brief investment banking career, James moved into search in 2001 and went on to spend seven years with The Willis Partnership, latterly as Head of Research, before joining Heidrick & Struggles. He has long-standing relationships with a wide range of headhunters and board members. He was Treasurer and a Committee Member of the Executive Research Association for 12 years.

James has a degree in Classics and Modern Languages from The Queen’s College, Oxford, where he was a choral exhibitioner.


Andreeca Fung

Andreeca is an Executive Assistant and helps to run and manage Non-executive Directorships Consulting.

She has more than 10 years' experience supporting C-suite executives, latterly at Centaur Media plc. She is skilled at project management and at working alongside senior individuals to make things happen in an unflappable manner.

Andreeca grew up in London and has a degree in Contemporary Applied Arts from the University of Hertfordshire.


Tim Burrage

Tim Burrage spent nearly thirty years in the recruitment industry, initially with Badenoch & Clark and Norman Broadbent before joining Spencer Stuart in 1993. Tim was a Partner and Leader of the European CFO practice at Spencer Stuart, based in London, as well as a member of the global management team and UK Boards practice. During his time there he was also Chairman of the firm’s Nominations Committee. Since retiring full-time from the recruitment sector, Tim has operated as an angel investor, executive coach, mentor and management consultant as well as an active board member for numerous not for profit bodies including Theatre & Arts Reading, where he is Deputy Chairman, and the Oxford Concerto Orchestra, where he is Treasurer. Tim also sits on the Corporate Partnerships board of Great Ormond Street Hospital Children’s Charity. He has an MA in Economics from St John’s College Cambridge and holds a Professional Certificate in Coaching from Henley Business School.

Simon Darling

Simon Darling has senior digital leadership experience across across general management, commercial, marketing, sales, product and advisory.

He is the former Chief Commercial Officer of the Trainline, the UK's fifth largest e-commerce service, appointed at the time of the KKR acquisition to transform marketing and other business functions.

He has also been VP Marketing of Skype, Marketing Director UK of eBay and the founder of two tech startups, one of which acquired by an AOL-backed company. He began his career at Unilever, where he was the group’s first Head of Internet.

Simon has been a member of the Digital Advisory Board of Thomas Cook Group plc and a member of the Digital Advisory Board of Innogy GmbH. He has a First in Economics from Cambridge University and is a prize winner and Passed Finalist with CIMA.

Christopher Roche

Christopher Roche is a multi award winning photographer and director whose photographs have been published and exhibited internationally. His directing work includes corporate films as well as commercials for most of the large advertising agencies. He has developed a speciality in photographing senior executives from business and industry. He also recently completed a five year project photographing disappearing faith traditions from around the world.

David Tankel

David Tankel has spent almost 30 years as an executive remuneration consultant and has advised more than 100 Remuneration Committees of FTSE 100, FTSE 250, FTSE Small Cap and other organisations.These include British Airways, Cairn Energy, Dignity, easyJet, Marks and Spencer, Mitchells and Butlers, Oxford University Press, Network Rail, Severn Trent, Standard Life, Transport for London, William Hill, Wm Morrison and many others.

After practising as a barrister for four years, David joined New Bridge Street Consultants, which had recently been established by Clifford Chance. David became a Partner in 1992 and was Managing Partner/Senior Partner from 1997 to 2008 when the business was successfully sold to Hewitt Associates. During that time, New Bridge Street became the UK’s pre-eminent executive remuneration consultancy, advising more than 40% of FTSE 350 companies and a similar proportion of the Small Cap Index.

From 2011 to 2013 David additionally co-created and taught a half-day seminar on executive pay several times a year for INSEAD’s International Directors Programme.

Following the sale to Hewitt and then subsequently Aon David remained a Partner until September 2016. Since then he has used his business and professional experience to coach executives. He has a Professional Certificate in Coaching from Henley Business School and is studying for an MSc in Coaching and Behavioural Change. Drawing on his experience of remuneration committees and his interest in coaching, he has a particular focus in coaching and mentoring potential Remuneration Committee Chairs, as well as those in post.

David is a member of the Governance and Remuneration Committee of Walsall Housing Group.




Non-executive Directorships Advisory Directors

The following chairmen and non-executive directors are available to meet NEDC clients:

Michael Harper MSC, CCMI, FRAeS

Michael Harper spent his early career was with Vickers plc, where he was responsible for their Hydraulic and Nuclear Energy Business in Swindon, and latterly the defence industry supplier, BAJ Vickers. He joined Graviner Limited in 1984 and became involved in fire safety equipment for aircraft and military vehicles. Via a series of mergers and acquisitions he became responsible for the Kidde division of Williams Holdings plc, which supplied fire protection and fire safety equipment to a wide range of industries. Michael was Chief Executive of Kidde plc, a public company, from 2000 until 2005. He has since chaired BBA Aviation plc (2007 – 2014), Ricardo plc (2003 - 2014) and The Vitec Group plc (2004 – 2012). He has served on the boards of Catlin plc (2005 – 2010) where he chaired the Remuneration Committee, and QinetiQ plc, where he is currently Deputy Chairman and Remuneration Committee Chairman (2011 – date). He has been a member of the Aerospace Technology Institute Board since September 2014. Michael also serves as Governor of Tring Park School for the Performing Arts.

Wendy Barnes

Wendy J Barnes, a portfolio non-executive and an independent consultant in cyber security, has wide experience in the utilities, security and defence sectors. Formerly a Customer Services Director in United Utilities, Wendy has been a Director General in the Department of Energy and Climate Change, and a Non-executive Director in the Ministry of Defence, government security departments, Met Office and Ofwat.  She is currently a Non-executive Director at the National Crime Agency, OCS Group, BMT Group and Scottish Power Networks and a Director of Templar Executives. Wendy has chaired and been a member of several Audit and Remuneration Committees and has a particular focus on developing risk management and good governance, as well as helping organisations take on change in challenging environments. Wendy is also a Non-executive Director of Chester Cathedral Enterprise.

John Coghlan

John Coghlan is a chartered accountant who has a background in financial and general management across a variety of sectors. He is the former Chairman of Inchcape Shipping Services. Currently, John is a Non-executive Director and the Chair of the Audit Committee of Severn Trent plc, Associated British Ports Holdings plc and Clarion Housing Association. Previously, John was a Director of Exel plc for 11 years to 2006, where he was Deputy Chief Executive and Group Finance Director. Prior to Exel, John worked for Tomkins plc and Arthur Andersen for many years. Since 2006, John has been a Non-executive Director of various publicly quoted and private equity-owned companies.

Patrick de Smedt

Between 1983 and 2006, Patrick founded the Benelux subsidiaries, led the development of the Western European business and ultimately between 2003 and 2006 served as Chairman of Microsoft for Europe, Middle East and Africa. Patrick went on to work with early stage ventures, extending his experience of large, established multi-nationals. When Patrick left Microsoft at the end of 2006, the EMEA region generated revenues of $12 billion with a headcount of 12,000 employees.

He has a deep knowledge of international markets, technology and digital, and diverse industry sectors. Patrick chairs Bytes Technology Group plc, having helped to oversee its float onto the Main Market in December 2020, Emis Group plc and Divitias Holdco Ltd, and is the Senior Independent Director at PageGroup plc. Patrick was formerly Interim Chairman at KCOM Group plc and the SID at Anite plc and Morgan Sindall Group plc where he was also Chair of the Remuneration Committee. He was also a NED and Chair of the Remuneration Committee for Victrex plc and Anite plc.