Walter James

About us

Who we are

At Walter James, we believe in a proactive and strategic approach to our work and are challenging the status quo of what has previously been a reactive industry. Customer experience is pivotal to our success and we create a bespoke service each time we undertake a new project that matches our client's and candidate's needs. We look to take the individual on a journey that further engages them at each stage of the process. 

At the heart of Walter James are our people and culture. A Walter James employee is passionate, knowledgeable and a trusted advisor in their specialist field. 

Part of the Recruitment Entrepreneur portfolio, Walter James has experienced phenomenal growth since its inception in early 2015, expanding geographically and in terms of service offering. In 2016, we acquired the historic life sciences search firm Euromedica, which now operates as the life sciences arm of Walter James. 

Our core values


Our consultants work hard to understand the specifications and cultural fit for each project. We are flexible and react quickly to our clients' changing needs.


Our 97% project completion rate speaks for itself. Our objective is to solve problems for our clients and deliver on our promises, taking full process ownership. 


We dedicate our time and resources to every project we work on and always act with our clients' best interest in mind. Loyalty breeds loyalty - 92% of our clients say they would work with us again. 


We find the balance between sharing our expertise and point of view whilst also listening to our clients. We believe that taking a step back and listening is key to finding the perfect fit long-term. 


A standard process yields standard results. We go above and beyond, offering fresh perspectives and creative problem-solving strategies. 


We're not afraid to challenge the status quo. We pride ourselves on our multicultural team and our reputation for finding and attracting diverse talent for niche and hard to fill roles.

James Absalom

CEO & Managing Partner

James is a commercial executive search leader with a focus on global strategic growth, and the value and performance of the Group. He personally manages mandates from VP level through to board across US, EMEA & APAC.

James has spent his entire career within global executive search and has developed an extensive network of talent within the life sciences, retail & consumer sectors worldwide. His network has specific experience of working within highly complex global organisations in senior leadership positions where change and transformation are required.

His functional areas of expertise include general management, commercial, finance, and supply chain.


Sarah de Corday-Long

Head of Leadership & Psychometric Assessments

Sarah de Corday-Long is a leadership consultant with over fifteen years’ experience working with senior level talent. Sarah’s experience includes: leadership assessment, succession planning, competency model design and implementation, performance management design, board effectiveness, team facilitation and leadership development.

She specialises in the assessment and development of executives and has been responsible for the design and delivery of large scale assessment projects. Sarah has also contributed to a piece of thought leadership on talent management within the FTSE 100.

Sarah has delivered work in several industry sectors, including: consumer, life sciences, telecoms, engineering, manufacturing, finance, professional services, retail and education. She also has experience of working in a number of countries across Europe, Africa and The Middle East.

Sarah received a BA (Hons) in Business Management from the University of Brighton, is BPS Level A & B trained and Lominger Certified. Instruments trained in: MBTI, OPQ, MQ, HDS, WAVE, Firo-B, Bioss LPA, CPP, Decisions Dynamics, Learning Agility, 360’s feedback tools and ability tests.


Specialist functions


Riko Arends

Group Commercial Director

Riko successfully navigates the European and Asian Life Science recruitment markets through securing an established network of contingent, permanent, and contract professionals. Equipped with expert knowledge working across a range of assignments, including MSP and senior retained appointments, Riko assists businesses with scaling their workforce at pace through a dedicated approach and customised recruitment solutions.

Adopting a leadership approach, Riko coaches and trains recruiters to ensure talent grows to achieve their own success and we very much welcome him to the team.


Phil Squires

Senior Consultant

Phil has worked with Walter James for over 6 years and leads the Global Technical Operations function, with a team focused on Quality, EHS, Manufacturing, Supply Chain & Procurement placements.

His approach and network are focused on executive talent across the Life Science industry, completing mandates ranging from Director to C-Suite level.

BSc Sports Science – Winchester University

Specialist functions

Supply Chain


Rob Smith

Senior Consultant

Robert specialises in senior level supply chain mandates from Director to Vice President across consumer goods. He has demonstrated a track record of partnering with global and regional organisations to deliver top talent across EMEA, APAC and US. His network has a focus on driving end to end supply chain solutions, innovation, transformation and customer collaboration.

Robert has spent most of his career in recruitment always with a focus on technical positions in supply chain and manufacturing. His core focus of expertise at Walter James include regional / global end to end supply chain, planning, customer service & logistics.

BA (Hons) Business Management – Cardiff Metropolitan University

Specialist functions

Supply Chain


James Boyes

Senior Consultant

James specialises in change and transformation recruitment within cross-functional, business services verticals for legal and professional services firms. James has extensive experience in working with global, international and regionally based businesses.

He is well-versed in building and developing resource solutions for change, transformation and project teams for legal firms and consultancies. He has been particularly successful in working with firms on how to strategise ‘captive’ capability and drive organic growth and change where possible, promoting retention.

Specialities include; CIO, COO, Partner (non-legal), Transformation Directorship, Programme Leadership, Legal Project Management, Innovation & Legal Tech, Process Innovation & Improvement, Change Management, PMO, Project Managers and Business Analysts.

BA Industrial Design – Manchester University


Hervé De Klerck


Hervé’s expertise is in leading international mandates and strategic talent sourcing from Senior Manager to Executive Vice President level within supply chain; particularly focusing on manufacturing and technical operations across consumer, life sciences and chemicals.

Hervé has developed a strong network across this space, partnering with Heads and HRBP’s to ensure successful delivery of projects and specific mandates.

MSc Intercultural Communication with International Business - University of Surrey

Specialist functions

Supply Chain


Hayley Manning

Executive Assistant

Hayley has worked in executive search for over 10 years and has extensive experience in providing executive assistant support to CEOs and Board Members. In addition to supporting executive search, interim and market mapping assignments, she has also played a key role in Operations and HR.

Hayley works closely with CEO James Absalom at Walter James as his executive assistant. Additionally, she manages the company operations and the well-being of the office, supporting the senior leadership team.


Specialist functions


Nadia Tipa

Delivery Consultant

Nadia is a well-rounded Delivery Consultant with a track record of more than 9 years of experience in conducting and completing senior and C-level mandates across the Consumer & Life Sciences sectors across EMEA, Americas and Asia. She mainly focuses on Finance, Commercial and General Management roles.


Specialist functions


Matthew Cadwallen

Delivery Consultant - Euromedica

Educated to degree level in Biomedical Sciences, Matt has a passion for assisting growing biotechs and pharma companies with niche technical R&D and medical mandates up to Global Director level.


Specialist functions


Dominic Neal

Consultant - Euromedica

Dominic's expertise lies in conducting global mandates from (Senior) Director through to C-Suite, specifically focused on forging strong partnerships with Venture Capital and Private Equity backed SME organisations within the life science industry.


Specialist functions


Jess Carling


Jess specialises in the appointment of CFOs and CHROs. She has a strong Executive Search background and has worked with clients across a wide range of sectors, most recently specialising on senior functional hires across the travel, leisure and hospitality industry at The MBS Group. Jess’ track record encompasses CFO and finance leadership, CHRO, Operations, Risk & Regulation, Sales, Strategy, Transformation appointments on behalf of FTSE listed, family-owned and private equity backed clients.

BA (Hons) from the University of Nottingham


Anela Hasa


Anela is a Business and Legal Operations Consultant, having begun her career in Legal Transformation recruitment. She is a law graduate from the University of Strathclyde, giving her a competitive edge within a busy market.


Carys Bainbridge

Associate Consultant

Carys joined Walter James in 2020, working across both finance and business transformation. Prior to this, she worked predominantly in the digital sector at a boutique executive search firm, delivering searches across finance, professional services, industrials, and publishing sectors; as well as for private equity portfolio companies. Carys has a degree in Psychology from Cardiff University.


Specialist functions

Business Transformation



Annabel Weeden

Partner - Commercial Practice Co-Chair D&I Board

With extensive experience across the Consumer Sector, Annabel successfully places senior appointments across the FMCG & Retail, Consumer Durable, Luxury, Travel, Hospitality and Leisure markets.

As a trained Executive Coach, Annabel established her reputation in Executive Search through helping clients to find exceptional local and international talent by using her core understanding of her client’s business requirements, especially during periods of transformation. Annabel partners with each person in her network to support candidates in finding new opportunities in their careers. With a focus on long-term success in each and every appointment, Annabel integrates solutions to diverse hiring, inclusion initiatives, and purpose-driven cultures to her selection process.

Annabel’s early commercial career in FMCG allows her to truly understand what good looks like for her clients, whether they are privately-owned, PLCs or PE backed organisations. Additionally she has worked in both top-tier Search businesses and boutiques firms giving her an extensive FMCG network and strong reach across EMEA.

Annabel graduated from the University of Birmingham with a B.Com, Commerce with degree in French ; 2:1. During her degree studies, Annabel studied for a year at L’Ecole Supérieure de Commerce Bretagne, France. After graduation she began her career in PricewaterhouseCoopers before transitioning into commercial roles with Mars Chocolate in the UK and in EMEA.


WJ Portraits Aug 19 574 v2

Careers with us

Do you enjoy being at the forefront of the world of business? Are you passionate about change, shaping and evolving the leadership of some of the world’s most iconic brands? If yes, a career with Walter James could be for you.

Corporate Social Responsibility

As a company, we strive to give back to the environment and community that we're a part of. Our attitude toward CSR is integral to how we do business and how we treat the people who work for us, our clients and our candidates. 

How we give back

Diversity & Inclusion

At Walter James, we do more than pay lip service to the value of diversity. As an executive search firm, we promote diversity and inclusion through the candidates we place. We believe we have a responsibility to be at the forefront of inclusivity in business. 

Our commitment to diversity

Contact us

Get in touch to learn how we can add value to your business or career.