Sapphire Partners is a London-based executive search firm with an extensive, global network of senior relationships across a wide range of sectors and geographies.
Our unrivalled reputation for championing all strands of diversity is driven by a dual focus: helping our clients find the best candidates for each role and supporting our candidates in finding opportunities that best meet their experience, aspirations and values.
We understand the challenges of finding and attracting diverse candidates. Acting as partners to our clients, we help you successfully navigate the challenges of finding and attracting diverse candidates and work tirelessly in supporting you to secure the best candidate for each role. Our track record speaks for itself.
Diversity, equality and inclusion (DE&I) is at the heart of everything we do. We champion equity, empowering people to excel in their careers regardless of their visible or non-visible aspects of diversity including race, gender, gender identity or expression, ethnicity, disability, sexual orientation or socio-economic background to name a few.
These aspects, combined with cognitive diversity and differences in perspectives born of individual backgrounds, life and career journeys are, we believe, the keys to a successful organisation.
Seeing the world through diverse prisms leads to better ideas, greater innovation and smarter decision-making. This is what we specialise in delivering for our clients.
With the above in mind, if you require any accommodations throughout the recruitment process, please feel free to discuss with us in total confidence.
Trusted relationships rooted in honesty and transparency are at the heart of our business. They underpin the advice and support we give our clients and candidates.
It is often said that people are the most important asset of an organisation. We think they’re more than that - through their ideas, talents, aspirations and personalities they bring a business to life.
We partner with our clients and candidates to build long-term relationships and gain in-depth insight into their aims, objectives, hopes and dreams. When you work with us we’ll be by your side, advancing your interests, part of your team.
Driven by a collegiate culture, our experienced team strives for best-in-class service because quality matters to us. Your success is our success, whether you are a client or a candidate.
We believe that accessibility is a key component of diversity, equality and inclusion, and our website is designed with that in mind.
The site complies with Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.1, and as such has been designed for perceivability, operability and to be understandable for users. Our typefaces have been chosen for legibility, we have avoided using text on complex backgrounds and the copy and image information can be read out by screenreader software.
We have aimed for a structure that is clear and understandable, and although there are no fancy animations to catch the eye, it looks attractive and is easy to navigate. We consider feedback a gift, so if you detect an accessibility issue, do let us know so that we can make improvements.
Kate Grussing, the founder of Sapphire Partners, received a CBE in 2021 for her contribution to business.
Recent highlights include Sapphire’s work in helping shortlist the first ever female candidates for Governor of the Bank of England in over three centuries.
Sapphire Partners was an important contributor to the Gadhia Report on harnessing the talents of women in financial services and subsequently joined a round table hosted by HM Treasury and Virgin Money on how the report’s findings can be implemented.
Liz joined Sapphire Partners in 2020 and works across projects in areas including insurance, investment trusts and investment management, leading execution on executive and non-executive mandates. Previously, she has worked on placements across the UK, Asia and the US. She has focused on board-level appointments for Private Equity backed businesses in the healthcare and consumer sectors, as well as senior roles within financial services, primarily asset management.
Building in-depth experience of financial services and capital markets, Liz spent her earlier career on the sell side for a European investment bank. She holds a BA Honours in European languages from Bristol University.
Liz is originally from Greece and loves all things Mediterranean, especially the food! She is a fair-weather runner and a mum of three.
T: +44 (0)20 7292 9970
Charmaine has worked in executive search since 2017, covering industries including private equity, infrastructure and technology as well as Africa’s emerging markets.
Born and raised in South Africa, Charmaine spent the first half of her career working in recruitment for Africa’s large mining corporations as an executive assistant and in general office management. She has assisted in the start-up of new businesses and supported at CEO and Director levels. After moving to London in her early 20s she further trained with Hays Recruitment. She holds a CIPD qualification and is passionate about psychology, the arts, diversity and the recruitment and retention of women, especially women returning to work as professionals after a long career break.
You will often find Charmaine on a beach in St Ives, Cornwall with her family and two dogs. She enjoys long walks in the countryside and entertaining friends, cooking and trying out new recipes.
Her favourite quote is: “What you do makes a difference, and you have to decide what kind of difference you want to make,” spoken by Jane Goodall.
T: +44 (0)7989 489 528
Sam joined Sapphire Partners in 2020 and works closely with clients and candidates through the lifecycle of both executive and non-executive searches. Since joining Sapphire, some of the projects she has handled have been for clients in insurance, including the Lloyd’s market, asset management, private banking and non-profit or social finance sectors. Sam has also ventured outside financial services and worked on mandates in broader manufacturing sectors for FTSE boards.
Prior to joining Sapphire, Sam has spent more than 20 years in financial services executive search and recruitment. Since moving to London from Cape Town in 1998, she has worked for international organisations including Robert Walters, Whitehead Mann and the specialist boutique firms The Rose Partnership and RAH Partners
Sam attended the University of Cape Town and graduated with a BSc in Economics and Industrial and Organisational Psychology. She remains fascinated with psychology and feels privileged that her career in search has allowed her to understand people and their motivations, both professionally and personally. In her spare time, she enjoys the outdoors, visiting bookshops and watching movies with her husband and three children.
T: +44 (0)207292 9977
Jodie joined Sapphire Partners in 2011. She conducts desk and external research across a wide range of sectors with a focus on financial services. Before joining Sapphire, she was operations assistant at Clear Channel where she worked with the legal and sales departments and was involved in customer service, event management and public relations. Prior to that she worked at the SLGB Knowledge School.
Jodie has a passion for being in the sunshine, experiencing different cultures, travelling, cooking and loves the process of researching new recipes and testing them out.
One of her favourite quotes is: “Always be a first-rate version of yourself, instead of a second-rate version of someone else” by Judy Garland.
T: +44 (0)20 7292 9975
Kate founded Sapphire Partners in 2005 when she realised there was an appetite for greater diversity in leadership and board roles, a need underserved by mainstream search firms. She is recognised as a senior leader in human capital and thought leader in diversity, inclusion and equality. Kate runs the firm hands-on, leading searches and identifying exceptional candidates. She received a CBE for services to business in 2022.
Having worked in corporate finance with JP Morgan and Morgan Stanley, Kate gained her MBA and became a strategy consultant at McKinsey in London and New York. She has built up an enviable network of women executives across the UK and abroad, and is an inspiring mentor, coach and sponsor, having received numerous awards for her work promoting best practice in recruitment and promoting diversity at board and senior leadership level.
Kate is on the board of the Chartered Management Institute and chairs its Remuneration Committee. She is on the Advisory Board for Rare Recruitment, the Business Leadership Committee of Wellesley College and the European Advisory Board of the Tuck School at Dartmouth College. She is a Trustee of the London Institute of Imagination, and for 17 years served as Trustee for the Prader-Willi Syndrome Association.
Formally and informally, Kate continues to mentor a wide range of young talent with a focus on black and ethnic minorities. Her secret passions include theatre, galleries, foodie haunts and chocolate, especially. She has four children, including one with special needs, and a patient husband. Originally from the US, she has worked in the UK for over 30 years.
T: +44 (0)20 7292 9971
Julie joined Sapphire Partners in 2021 and carries out research for executive and non-executive senior leadership roles in social finance and asset and wealth management, as well leveraging her prior knowledge across various industries beyond financial services. She has a wealth of experience in executive search having worked with leading international companies on senior-level projects across large blue-chip multinationals, small, founder and owner-led businesses, private equity-backed companies and non-profit organisations.
Julie’s knowledge across the industrial, retail, consumer and luxury, media and technology sectors brings particular expertise in delivering cross-border searches for group and divisional chief executive, non-executive and senior executive roles.
Previously, Julie has worked for Peridot Partners and Eric Salmon & Partners, where she led the London-based research team. She began her career as a researcher and then a consultant with major international executive search companies GKR, Whitehead Mann/Korn Ferry.
Julie enjoys all forms of the arts, travels and reads widely and has a particular passion for culinary adventures.
T: +44 (0)20 7292 9970
Executive Assistant and Office Manager
Lisa joined Sapphire Partners in 2017 and plays a key role supporting the Managing Director and the team. Her experience in executive search goes back to 2007, and since then she has worked in the recruitment industry supporting at Chairman, CEO, COO, VP and Director levels. Previously, Lisa worked for boutique search companies in pharmaceuticals and bioscience, building on her experience in quality, regulatory affairs and HR in those sectors.
From her early career, Lisa has a love of all things medical. She enjoys giving back to the community and regularly volunteers at her local hospice on weekends. She enjoys cooking, walking and travelling when she can, experiencing different cultures.
Lisa was born and brought up in Hong Kong before coming to England to further her studies where she gained a City & Guilds in Hotel Management and an HND in Business Management. She is part CIPD qualified.
She’s inspired by two famous quotes. From Michelle Obama: “For me, becoming isn’t about arriving somewhere or achieving a certain aim. I see it instead as forward motion, a means of evolving, a way to reach continuously toward a better self. The journey doesn’t end.” And from Malala Yousafzai: “You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream.”
T: +44 (0)20 7292 9973
Proving her resilience, determination and ability to overcome obstacles, Bumni realised her long-time ambition of starting a new career in executive search when she joined Sapphire Partners in 2021. She is a key member of our team, planning search strategies and finding candidates that meet clients’ requirements.
Bunmi’s background is in competitive intelligence, industry research and insights, with over 15 years of experience in professional services, financial services, legal and blue-chip firms. Before joining Sapphire, she managed events for Aspire, a training company providing leadership events, research and executive coaching for senior female leaders. She holds a Postgraduate Diploma in Management Studies from London Metropolitan University.
She has mentored young girls from diverse backgrounds and believes glass ceilings are meant to be broken and concrete walls should be knocked down.
Outside work, Bunmi loves exercise, laughing out loud, dancing like no one’s watching and singing like no one’s listening. Her favourite quote is Oscar Wilde’s, “Be yourself; everyone else is already taken,” and her favourite poem is Still I Rise by Maya Angelou. Bumni’s guilty pleasure is watching True Lies starring Jamie Lee Curtis.
T: +44 (0)7862 324 266
Veronica joined Sapphire in 2020 and has worked in the executive search sector for over 20 years, her experience spanning the UK, Asia and Australia. She has a strong track record of assisting clients with their human capital needs, including non-executive and board-level appointments, searches for senior functional experts and highly confidential due diligence projects.
Her earlier career was spent in a series of increasingly senior marketing and product roles at what was then the world’s largest conference company, latterly as Marketing Director for Asia Pacific.
She has a BA Honours in English Literature from Cardiff University. Family, friends, the arts and travel are her passions outside of work.
T: +44 (0)20 7292 9974
Sally joined Sapphire Partners in 2010 and works on senior executive and non-executive searches across functional roles and sectors with a focus on financial services. She has an extensive background of over 25 years in executive search.
She has worked at Ridgeway Partners, Russell Reynolds Associates, Whitehead Mann and GKR, focusing primarily on international financial services and board level recruitment. Previously, she worked in London’s Olympic Bid team, London 2012 and at Wasserstein Perella and County NatWest. She brings broad geographic experience and a strong research emphasis to her searches.
Sally has a keen interest and strong track record in executive coaching and advising senior leaders on their career transitions. She has an MSc in Human Resource Management from the London School of Economics and Political Science.
Sally lives just a few minutes from the coast and has a great love of the sea. She also enjoys exploring new places, cookery, catching up with friends and beachcombing which are all frequently included in her travels!
T: +44 (0)20 7292 9978
During a career spanning over 30 years in organisational development and talent management, Caroline has worked with corporate, public and non-profit clients across a breadth of industries in the UK and across Europe. She has led a range of executive learning and development programmes focusing on inclusion, diversity and inter-cultural communication.
Joining Sapphire in 2015, Caroline’s executive and non-executive search work covers a variety of sectors – particularly financial services – across senior and board roles. Previously, she was a Senior Associate with Brook Graham Diversity Consultants (now part of Pinsent Masons) and led research projects at Cranfield School of Management, co-authoring key reports on corporate governance and diversity. She also led the Global Management MA Programme at the University of Buckinghamshire.
For a decade, Caroline was an external expert at the European Commission, coordinating teams in entrepreneurship programmes across 15 countries. She is an accredited provider of Myers-Briggs and Hogan psychometric assessments.
Caroline has a BSc in Anthropology from UCL and a MSc in Economics and Marketing. Fluent in Greek and French, Caroline loves exploring diverse cultures, cuisines, gardens, minimalist design, reading and dancing.
T: +44 (0)20 7292 9976