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A Q&A session with Richard Simmonds

Bailey Montagu had the pleasure in catching up with our new Partner in Infrastructure and Construction, Richard Simmonds, to talk about his new position, executive search, how Infrastructure and Construction has evolved in recent years, and more.

When did you join Bailey Montagu?

I joined in September 2023.  Having spent most of my search career with Korn Ferry, it’s a refreshing change to get away from the corporate environment and into a firm that punches above its weight across its markets.

How long have you been working in executive search?

Having had careers in the Royal Navy and investment banking I have been working in executive search since 2005.   

What do you like most about working in executive search?

I get most satisfaction from partnering with a business that needs to make a step change in its leadership.  This can be at the strategic level or within a certain facet of the business.  Knowing that I have placed the very best available candidate and seeing them succeed in the role in the best part of the job.

Without sounding too trite, we also change people’s lives.  We have the opportunity to really accelerate their development and I take great pride in seeing candidates that I have worked with go on to have rich and fulfilling careers.

When did you become involved Infrastructure and Construction?

At the very start of my career in executive search.  Prior to joining Korn Ferry, I spent 3 years with a boutique firm specialising in the sector and have remained involved ever since.

How has Infrastructure and Construction evolved in recent years and have players in the sector had to revise their business models and approaches?

The biggest change over the past 18 years has been the consolidation of specialist firms as they have been acquired by larger, multi-disciplinary businesses moving into the UK.  At various times, we have seen huge growth in companies such as Jacobs, Arcadis and AECOM with the accompanying demise of myriad UK brands.

This evolution has had the effect of breaking down the old regional fiefdoms where partners ran their own office, managing a local budget.  Indeed, we are seeing that many international organizations, particularly the consultants, are restructuring sectorially rather than geographically.  The recent, COVID-driven, move to hybrid working has further hastened this move as location becomes less important,

What do you hope to bring to Bailey Montagu?

During my discussions with Bailey Montagu prior to joining, I was impressed by the firm’s passion for quality and attention to detail.  As a small firm, new clients and moreover a strong brand are very hard won and easy to lose.  I share this desire to bring excellent results to our clients and become their consultant-of-choice for executive search.



Finally, what do you like doing in your spare time?

Most of my time revolves around sport and the outdoors.  I still play a little cricket for a local team of a Sunday afternoon and am a keen rugby fan.  My son plays semi-professional rugby for Guernsey Raiders in English National League and so many of my weekends are spent watching their matches across the south of England.  I am also lucky to live near beautiful countryside so spend much of my spare time either walking or cycling in the local area.



Mark Channon

Mark is a commercially-minded and personable individual with background in specialist recruitment spanning over 20 years.