About us

We put transformation front and center
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Who we are

We're Maven by name and Mavens by nature.
An authority in executive search and talent advisory transforming businesses for our partners worldwide.

In whichever territory we're working, partnership is paramount to us. It's an approach that's built our reputation as a trusted adviser to some of the world’s leading institutions across investment management, investment banking and global markets.

Our point of difference? The ability to bring brilliance to the table through exceptional research, outstanding talent and unparalleled insights.

Our background

We delivered Maven's first successful search in 2007. Since then, we've helped our clients elevate and evolve their businesses in all corners of the global financial landscape.


We've got every base covered. From international banking institutions and boutiques to fintech ventures and commodity trading houses.

Proven in the field

We've delivered over 800 executive searches across the Americas, EMEA and Asia-Pacific.

These range from whole-firm acquisitions, global team moves and multi-year divisional build-outs to targeted talent acquisitions across the seniority stack. We take pride in our delivery, in the detail and depth of our market analyses, and in the unrivalled breadth of our combined global network.

Diversity, Equity, Inclusion. It’s in our DNA.

At Maven a total commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion is at the core of who we are.

Every aspect of our search methodology upholds and promotes the highest standards of inclusivity and representation ensuring that each hiring process is anchored by a commitment to these values

 

Meet some of our team

Mavens who make things happen

Wendy Martin

Partner
Chichi Okafor

Associate
Esongkuo Elombi

Associate
Michael Hobson

Associate
Sheldon VanKooten

Executive Assistant
Charlie Steel

Partner
Rizwaan Ahmed

Partner
Will Hannaford

Managing Partner & CEO
Chinello Nwakwesi

Consultant
Angus Gorrie

Consultant
Ivy Panesar

Operations Manager
Gaurav Sethi

Managing Partner & Founder
Yasra Khurram

Associate
Mariam-Anna Al Chehimi

Associate
Tom Bradbeer

Principal
Lara Pysden

Consultant
James Rudofsky

Chief Operating Officer
Isa Blanco-Bush

Consultant
Charles Buchan

Consultant
Ellie Bartley

Associate
Charles Buchan

Charles Buchan

Consultant

Charles joined Maven in 2017 and is a key member of the Investment Management and Global Markets team, covering portfolio management, trading and sales roles on both the buy and sell side. He is a consultant and has successfully executed searches in the UK, Continental Europe, North America and Asia.

Charles studied Economics at City University London where he was also a member of the Rugby 1st XV. He’s also passionate about basketball and getting to Kitzbühel to ski as often as he is able to.

Chinello Nwakwesi

Chinello Nwakwesi

Consultant

Chinello joined Maven in 2020, with a primary focus on the Investment Banking space in both EMEA and the Americas. Prior to Maven, Chinello started her career at a boutique recruitment firm, successfully executing a wide variety of mandates across Financial Services and Law.

Originally from Toronto, Chinello earned her BA (Hons) in Law and Business at Carleton University in Canada before crossing the pond to study for the LLB at City University in London. Away from work, Chinello loves sport and can often be found hunkering down to watch the Big Game – whether it's basketball or gridiron.

Wendy Martin

Wendy Martin

Partner

Wendy joined Maven as a Partner in August 2021 from Caldwell Partners, where she was a member of the global Financial Services & Private Equity Practice. Prior to that, Wendy co-founded an executive search firm and ran the Equities Practice there. As well as being a keen runner, horse rider, cyclist and dog-walker, she boasts 20 years’ experience in executive search, conducting high level searches for a range of clients across Financial Services.

Wendy began her career broking UK equities to European clients for a major European Investment Bank and moved into executive search in 1998, setting up the Equities practice for a London boutique, before co-founding her own firm in 2013.

She read Modern Languages at the University of Bristol and speaks German and French, having fallen in love with France after spending a year living there in her 20s.

James Rudofsky

James Rudofsky

Chief Operating Officer

James joined Maven’s London office as  Chief Operating Officer and is responsible for the day-to-day operations of the US, EMEA and APAC entities. Prior to this, James worked at UBS Investment Bank where he latterly managed the EMEA Investment Banking Recruitment team and Global Markets Recruitment team. In these roles he worked closely with the senior leadership of the business as well as on projects across Diversity & Inclusion and assisting in the launch of the apprenticeship program in the UK. 

In 2004, James graduated with an honour’s degree in Business Studies before working at global executive search firms focussing on the financial markets. 

James’s work has taken him across the world, including working in the Middle East and the US.  

Sheldon VanKooten

Sheldon VanKooten

Executive Assistant

Sheldon joined Maven’s New York office as an Executive Assistant to founder, Gaurav Sethi. Previously he worked at one of the SHREK firms, where he supported the Global Head of Investment Management. He has over a decade of experience in this field.  

Sheldon earned his BA in Public Relations at the University of Northern Iowa - where he is originally from - before moving to New York.  

Outside of the office, Sheldon is a passionate cook, experimenting with new recipes and creating home-made vegan food.  

Yasra Khurram

Yasra Khurram

Associate

Having joined Maven’s London office as an Associate, Yasra works across investment banking assignments in both EMEA and the Americas.  

Yasra thrives on the unique working culture of Maven. The close collaboration with colleagues and the trust and empowerment to work flexibly and autonomously makes for fun work weeks and interesting challenges every day.  

Yasra studied at King’s College London, where she graduated with a First-Class BSc in Psychology. Sport is a lifelong passion for Yasra, with her time at King’s College including plenty of sport, netball, and karate practice which continues to this day. 

Mariam-Anna Al Chehimi

Mariam-Anna Al Chehimi

Associate

Mariam joined Maven in 2022 and works across the Investment Banking and Global Markets practices, covering both the Americas and EMEA. She enjoys the consultative and relationship-driven approach that Maven emphasises towards candidates and clients. 

Mariam attained a first-class BA in International Relations at King’s College London, before deciding to undertake an MA in Middle Eastern Studies with Arabic at the University of Edinburgh. Following on from this, she spent 6 months volunteering with Syrian and Palestinian refugees in the Beqaa Valley, Lebanon.

Angus Gorrie

Angus Gorrie

Consultant

Having reluctantly dropped his childhood ambition to play centre half for Arsenal, Angus joined Maven in 2018. Since then, he's been focused primarily on Investment Banking, but has also spent time in Private Equity and Quantitative Finance across Europe, Asia and the Americas. He has also been involved in an overhaul of Maven's data management as well as a full refresh of its branding. Pre-Maven, Angus worked in contract recruitment in Birmingham.

An enthusiastic techie and budding chef with a penchant for holidays in the Hamptons, Angus obtained a BSc (Hons) degree in Marketing from Aston University.

Isa Blanco-Bush

Isa Blanco-Bush

Consultant

Isa joined Maven in 2018 and has worked on a variety of senior executive level assignments across Global Markets, Investment Management and Investment Banking. She now spends most of her time working on some of the firm’s highest profile strategic projects across Investment Management and Investment Banking with particular specialisms in Private Credit, M&A and Capital Markets. Although based in London, Isa splits her time between the Americas and EMEA.

Isa earned a Bachelor's degree in History, Literature and Cultures of the Americas from The University of Warwick – having decided it was for her when, aged just 11, she made a tour of its campus with her brother. Proficient in Spanish, Isa loves UFC, NBA and always likes to wow an audience with her mum's legendary carrot cake recipe.

Ivy Panesar

Ivy Panesar

Operations Manager

Ivy joined Maven in January 2019 as assistant to Gaurav Sethi and Will Hannaford, with the added mandate of streamlining global operational processes. Prior to joining Maven, she was Executive Assistant at a global executive search firm, driving the European Women’s Employee Resource Group initiative, and being named Financial Services EA of the Year. Ivy has also spearheaded operations at a renowned media agency, and was a studio manager at a leading digital design studio.

Passionate about efficiency, wellbeing and organisation, as well as being a mum, Ivy is Maven's only staff member to know the location of every stationery item in the office. She completed A-Levels in Adelaide – and gained a top 20 hit in the Australian singles charts – before relocating to the UK in 2000.

Charlie Steel

Charlie Steel

Partner

Charlie joined Maven as a Partner in May 2022 to lead the firm’s EMEA Investment Banking and Private Equity practice.

Prior to joining Maven, Charlie spent seven years at The Omerta Group, where he was a Director responsible for senior level executive search across M&A and Capital Markets, as well as VC, Growth and Private Equity. Before this, Charlie spent his early career with CTPartners, and eg.1, a boutique search firm.

In his pre-parenthood days Charlie played AFL for Great Britain, now he is most content watching Glasgow Rangers with his family and friends, or practicing the art of patience on the golf course. Charlie has also served on the board of Spark Inside, a charity that is pioneering the use of professional coaching in prisons to promote rehabilitation and reduce reoffending.

Esongkuo Elombi

Esongkuo Elombi

Associate

Esongkuo joined Maven in 2022 and works across the Quant, Technology & Data practice, covering both the Americas and EMEA.

Esongkuo thrives in the data-driven approach at Maven and enjoys building candidate and client relationships in the industry. He graduated with a BA from Cambridge and has an MSc in Political Economy from the LSE.

Sports and music are lifelong passions for Esongkuo and when he’s not playing football or songwriting, he spends his time travelling and hanging out with friends. 

Ellie Bartley

Ellie Bartley

Associate

Having joined Maven in London, Ellie works across the investment banking and global Markets practices, covering both the Americas and EMEA.   

She enjoys the consultative and data-driven approach that Maven takes to building candidate and client relationships. Whilst studying History at the University of Oxford, Ellie took on the role of Women’s Officer, which involved organising and hosting events to celebrate and advance discussions on gender equality. 

Away from work, Ellie enjoys playing netball and participating in local park runs. 

Will Hannaford

Will Hannaford

Managing Partner & CEO

Will joined Maven in February 2019 to help to drive the next stage of its growth – from global specialist financial services executive search firm to multi-industry talent solutions provider. His energy and positive outlook owe as much to winning a past battle with cancer, as to his lifelong love of cycling.

Will co-manages the firm with Gaurav globally and his personal areas of expertise span Global Markets, Investment Management, Investment Banking and Technology. Prior to joining Maven, he was a Partner and Global COO at Hogarth Davies Lloyd for 12 years, having started his career in a multinational recruitment company.

A craft beer aficionado and diehard Liverpool fan, Will studied Maths and Philosophy at King’s College London.

Chichi Okafor

Chichi Okafor

Associate

Originally from Canada, Chichi joined the London office at Maven as an Associate working across our investment management, banking, and global markets practices.  

Chichi earned a first-class Bachelor of Law degree and a Master’s in Management from the University of Liverpool. 

Chichi is a fitness fanatic, breaking records in track and field before coaching teams at High School. When she’s not getting stuck into a good book, Chichi loves to discover new and interesting restaurants around London. 

Gaurav Sethi

Gaurav Sethi

Managing Partner & Founder

Gaurav founded Maven in 2007 with no sense whatsoever of the financial crisis to come. Since then, despite this lack of clairvoyance, he's driven the growth of a business that began with one small office in London into a global executive search firm with an established presence in London, New York and Hong Kong.

Gaurav has led searches across the Investment Banking, Investment Management and Global Markets businesses and now focuses on Maven's most senior mandates and relationships. Before founding Maven, he ran the Asia-Pacific practice for a large multi-national search firm.

Prior to the start of his professional life, Gaurav spent several years in academia, earning two Master’s degrees from the Universities of Edinburgh and Cambridge.

When not working, Gaurav can be found diving into a new hobby, which could be anything from golf to Mandarin – though he has now resolved to enjoy the latter vicariously through his children instead.

Rizwaan Ahmed

Rizwaan Ahmed

Partner

Since joining Maven in 2011 Rizwaan has played an important role in driving the firm's growth across investment banking, global markets and private equity. He now spends most of his time developing some of our key relationships across Investment Banking with a particular focus on the Americas and Europe.

Rizwaan holds a Bachelor's degree in Business Management & Economics from Queen Mary University of London. A one-time international cricketer and keen traveller, with a special affection for holidays in Antalya, he is a big sports fan, as well as a devoted father.

Tom Bradbeer

Tom Bradbeer

Principal

Tom joined Maven Search in February 2022 to further build and lead the Quantitative Development and Technology Markets business. Having secured the movements of some of the brightest and most influential technologists in the industry, Tom’s work is defined by true headhunting with absolute discretion.  

And with Maven continuing to demonstrate an excellent track record in the industry, he’s well placed and excited for the work ahead. With expertise in blockchain, digital assets, DeFi and more, suddenly spiking in demand, Tom brings his established technology network to Maven at a historic time in executive technology search.  

Prior to joining Maven, Tom built his career in executive search specialising in technology roles, where he demonstrated his ability in successfully delivering on global senior and lead technology searches for a variety of financial institutions including hedge funds, high-frequency trading firms, and investment banks. A keen sportsperson, having competed nationally at cricket and football, Tom devotes his weekends to lowering his golf handicap.  

Michael Hobson

Michael Hobson

Associate

Having joined Maven in 2022, Michael works in our Quant, Technology and Data practice, covering searches across EMEA and the Americas.

After studying Mathematics at Oxford, he enjoys the data-driven approach that Maven puts front and centre. Prior to moving into recruitment, Michael worked for a leading UK Chartered Accountants.

Michael is passionate about inclusion, and was LGBTQ rep for his college, organising and hosting multiple events to champion gender equality. When not at work, he spends his time swimming, practicing martial arts and trying his hand at amateur dramatics.

Lara Pysden

Lara Pysden

Consultant

Lara joined Maven as an Associate in 2019 and since then she has led and executed several senior searches for a variety of sectors across the Global Investment Banking business. She is now a key member of Maven’s Investment Banking business, leading searches with our biggest institutional clients.


Passionate about our planet and social equality, Lara also leads Sustainability and Social Impact at Maven, driving our commitment to sustainable business development as well as building our CSR initiatives. Pre-Maven, she was an independent consultant working across high profile awards shows and corporate functions.


Lara attained a first-class BA in Geography from The University of Oxford, where she rowed for the Oxford University Women’s Boat Club. Active across music, when she's not song writing, playing guitar or DJ'ing out of hours, Lara also spends her time supporting charities, including Awards for Young Musicians.

Our guiding principles

These are the guiding principles that underpin everything we do.

01

Diversity

We're diverse, inclusive and equitable. Differences are what make us strong and underpin brilliant results.

02

Integrity

Our principles come first. We take a long-term approach to building our business — the depth of our client relationships is testament to its success.

03

Affinity

Our partnerships thrive because we prioritise building meaningful relationships. We're wholly collaborative.

04

Knowledge

Our decades of experience have woven a vast global network. High quality information and timely market intelligence are behind everything we do.

05

Discretion

Dealing with sensitive information is at the core of our business — a responsibility we take very seriously. Our partners can be confident in complete confidentiality.

06

Ambition

Our passion is fuelled by our partners' success. We're committed to identifying transformational solutions for every project — driving and facilitating our mutual growth.

07

Precision

We're obsessive about detail — taking an intensely diligent approach to research. Our data analytics empowers strategic decision making.

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Because brilliant people transform your business.

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