• Welcome

    As a specialist executive search firm, we seek out the very best Corporate Affairs and Investor Relations professionals

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“Timetable worked well”
“Process was run very efficiently”

“Muscular brief”
“Transparency of process”

“The most enjoyable search in the last couple of years”.



Ithaca Partners was founded by Alex Gordon Shute in 2008 to seek out senior, talented Corporate Affairs and Investor Relations Directors for organisations across the full spectrum of the economy.

We’ve worked with many market-leading clients, including British Airways, Deutsche Bank, KPMG, the John Lewis Partnership, PayPal, Rolls-Royce, Network Rail, Sony, Unilever and Virgin Media.

The roles we fill are important and our clients need first-class people to fill them. Finding exceptional people takes hard work, determination and flair, and we pride ourselves on our ability to provide an outstanding service.

We are passionately committed to rigorous methods – ‘99% perspiration, 1% inspiration’ – determination and hard work combined with knowing our markets inside out results in great outcomes for clients and candidates.

Our approach gets excellent results. The norm for major search firms is that just 45% of candidates remain in their roles for 18 months after placement (according to The Economist 2014). We’re pleased to say that our comparable figure is 95%. With such strong results, it’s no wonder that since we opened for business, every single assignment has come to us on referral.


What'sIn A Name?

The island of Ithaca was Odysseus’s home in ancient Greece, which he left to fight the Trojan Wars; his journey home then took him on an adventure of epic proportions. This journey inspired our name because both organisations and individuals often describe themselves as being on journeys, and understanding the twists and turns of those journeys and where they might land, is central to what we do.

What's in a name?


As you set out for Ithaka
Hope your road is a long one,
Full of adventure, full of discovery…

Keep Ithaka always in your mind.
Arriving there is what you're destined for.
But don't hurry the journey at all.
Better if it lasts for years.
So you're old by the time you reach the island.
Wealthy with all you've gained on the way.
Not expecting Ithaka to make you rich.

Ithaka gave you the marvellous journey.
Without her you wouldn't have set out.
She has nothing left to give you now.

And if you find her poor, Ithaka won't have fooled you.
Wise as you will have become, so full of experience,
You'll have understood by then what these Ithakas mean.


Our core service is providing executive search for clients that need to find exceptional Corporate Affairs and Investor Relations Directors. We spend 100% of our time doing exactly and only that, so we really understand what organisations need from those roles – and can find just the right people to fill them.


Corporate Affairs search

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Ensuring your organisation has a first-class Corporate Affairs Director has never been more important. Today’s stakeholders play a more integral role than ever before in an organisation’s success, and stakeholders’ expectations and opinions can often be critical in how an organisation sets its direction.


That’s why companies need an individual that is able to anticipate and respond to the fast-changing moods and behaviours of stakeholders, as well as lead those moods and behaviours when possible. Companies also need excellent judgement, a steady nerve and very strong leadership skills in these crucial roles.


Investor Relations search

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Finding exceptional Investor Relations Directors is another key area of strength for us. Investor Relations is an increasingly important discipline for listed companies as analysts and investors become ever-hungrier for information.


We understand that the strongest candidates for these roles are those who have excellent communication skills, as well as core numeracy and technical skills. The contacts and sector or company-specific knowledge can often be learned… the communication and numeracy components of success cannot.



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The best executive searches start with getting under the skin of how an organisation works – and how a new hire will fit in and be successful. The leadership team, culture and market conditions are all elements that need to be understood for the search to deliver its most inspired results.

Every search we do is underpinned by:

  • A labour-intensive, thorough base of research and market mapping
  • Mining of source and contact information
  • Interviewing, reference taking and assessment
  • Accurate, ‘warts and all’ report writing
  • Help choosing the right candidate and negotiating for them to join your organisation


As we go through the process, our ability to handle delicate matters diplomatically and provide thoughtful, pragmatic advice is something that makes us stand out.


Finally, we commit to weekly reporting (at a minimum) because we know how irritating it is to feel that your search firm has disappeared into a ‘black hole’ for the duration of a project. And if any problems arise, we will tell you about them promptly – although the hard work we put in means they seldom do.



We’re a tight-knit team of people, bound by a commitment to doing things brilliantly. Our approach is all about hard work, intelligent problem-solving and striving for exceptional performance.

Alex Gordon Shute

Alex founded Ithaca Partners in 2008 because she had lost faith in the search profession’s collective drive to excel, and felt that she needed to ‘put her money where her mouth was’ by starting her own firm to show how well search could deliver for clients. Her experience and skills span multiple markets, and she has an extensive background in executive search, having worked for The Rose Partnership, Odgers Berndtson and Taylor Bennett, among others. She has also worked as the Communications Director for FTSE 250-listed insurer Hiscox, and as a Fast Streamer in the Foreign & Commonwealth Office at the start of her career.

Claire Mathews

Claire joined Ithaca Partners in 2010 to provide much-needed administrative support across the business, and her role soon grew to Office Manager and PA to Alex. Claire really enjoys being part of the team, whether she is meeting clients, working with candidates or organising company events. Her experience and skills stretch across multiple sectors, including key roles in a children’s charity (where she met Laura).

laura w
Laura Williams

Laura joined the team later in 2008 and leads the senior research phase of any major search we undertake, as well as being the first point of contact for new candidates. In addition to assessing every candidate, she works closely with clients to ensure we come up with just the right shortlist. Her experience and skills were honed at the Foreign & Commonwealth Office (where she met Alex), and later at a children’s charity.




It’s no wonder that since Ithaca Partners opened its doors, every single assignment we have undertaken has come to us on referral.


We are very proud of the organisations we have worked with.


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Anna Whitlam People is Australasia’s leader in retained executive search, organisational design and talent management expressly for the disciplines of corporate affairs, communications and marketing. AWP is headquartered in Melbourne and operates across Australia, New Zealand and Asia. Ithaca Partners in Europe and AWP work in collaboration to deliver on global assignments that also cover EMEA and the USA.



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Ithaca Partners Ltd
York House
First Floor, 74-82 Queen Victoria Street
London EC4N 4SJ
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