Alex Gordon Shute

Ithaca Partners

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 and candidates. Her experience and skills in search span multiple sectors, but always in Corporate Affairs.

Before starting Ithaca Partners Alex worked for The Rose Partnership, Odgers Berndtson and Taylor Bennett.


  • Prior to her career in search, she worked as the Communications Director for FTSE 250-listed insurer Hiscox, and she was a Fast Streamer in the Foreign & Commonwealth Office. Alex graduated from Durham University.
  • Alex is a Meyler Campbell qualified coach and she mentors two female CEOs of charities. She is also on the committees of the Spitalfields Neighbourhood Planning Forum and the Spitalfields Society.
  • Alex is a passionate and engaged Londoner… she’s the Ithaca Partners in-house guru on which London restaurants, East End markets and recent theatre productions are worth a visit.
Alex Cole

Ithaca Centre

The Ithaca Centre for Corporate Affairs Leadership is established with you in mind. Everything we do is designed around the particular demands of being a corporate affairs leader.

Having been a corporate affairs director in three companies over two decades, I know that traditional executive development has much to offer – but can miss the mark in meeting our specific needs.

The world now expects more from companies and leaders. In this era of stakeholder capitalism, brilliant corporate affairs directors leading an expert, professional function are a source of real competitive advantage.

Great corporate affairs is so much more than communications operating at the intersection of purpose, character, narrative and trust. Holding that accountability can call on deep reserves, and having wider perspectives and a trusted peer group to draw on can make all the difference.

Our programme will give you new insights, tools and techniques to strengthen your impact in your business and beyond. It will help you in taking advantage of trends and opportunities, manage risk and earn trust.

We would love you to be part of this as we set the standard for the most exciting function in the world!

Laura Williams

Managing Director
Ithaca Partners

Laura joined Alex at Ithaca Partners very soon after the company was started, having known Alex since they worked together in Government.

Her primary role is ensuring the smooth running of Ithaca Partners as a business (leading on all financial, operational and management for both the Search business and The Centre for Corporate Affairs Leadership).

With more than 12 years of experience working with the senior corporate affairs community, she also occasionally provides extra capacity across Ithaca Partners for frontline Search, Consultancy and Leadership Development activities.


  • Laura’s earlier experience was at the Foreign & Commonwealth Office (where she met Alex), and at a children’s charity.
  • When Laura’s not metaphorically pounding the pavements for our clients, she’s an active and enthusiastic member of her local running club.
  • She’s particularly proud to have completed five marathons. Two London marathons (2011 for Great Ormond Street and 2013 for The Children’s Trust), Amsterdam marathon in 2015, Berlin marathon in a personal best time in 2017 and Paris in 2019 which she has vowed will be her last!
Seri Davies

Executive Search & Interim

Seri joined Ithaca Partners in 2020. As a Consultant, she leads permanent and interim searches for roles at the £120-£170k salary range, and/or where the reporting line is into a Corporate Affairs Director rather than the CEO.

Seri also leads Ithaca’s work to ensure we are always finding the best and most diverse talent that we can. She leads our relationships with the Black Comms Network and other representative organisations, as well as ensuring our search processes maximise our contribution to retaining ethnic talent in the industry, and that under-represented groups have flourishing careers in Corporate Affairs.


  • Seri has over ten years’ experience working in Corporate Affairs executive search and recruitment. Before joining Ithaca Partners, Seri worked for Taylor Bennett, Unicorn Jobs and Birchwood Knight.
  • Seri has a History degree from Royal Holloway, University of London and holds a CIPD award in Recruitment, Selection and Resourcing Talent.
  • In her spare time, she enjoys watching football (her son’s team as well as her beloved Arsenal), loves swimming and is known to partake in a quiz or two.
Maeve Thompson

Ithaca Centre

Maeve is Director of the Ithaca Centre leading our corporate affairs capability development and advisory services.


  • Maeve was previously Director of External Affairs at Demos, responsible for the organisation’s public profile and communications activities.
  • Maeve previously worked in senior leadership and communications roles at national charities Grandparents Plus and the Canal & River Trust, as well as in the private sector.
  • Maeve has a BA in Chinese Studies from the University of Manchester and an MSc in International Politics from the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London.
Lucinda Armitage

Executive Search & Interim

Lucinda joined Ithaca Partners’ as a consultant having known the business since it started and Alex for longer. She works on search assignments with Alex and also on interim appointments.
Lucinda is the first point of contact for most candidates – having initial conversations with them and working closely to make sure we’re discussing roles which will suit and interest them.


  • Having begun her career in publishing Lucinda moved into executive search in 1997, initially for Armstrong International where she concentrated on corporate finance appointments.
  • Lucinda moved to Redwood Search in 2002, and later to Aretai Consulting, focussing on search and interim appointments for senior HR executives.
  • She has an English degree from Bristol University and an MA from QMW, London.
  • Outside work Lucinda is an avid theatre goer and an enthusiastic cyclist and triathlete, competing in Olympic and half-Ironman distance races. She is also a qualified acupuncturist.
Caroline Crown
Caroline joined Ithaca Partners in 2015. She is Executive Assistant to Alex and the Ithaca Partners’ Office Manager. During searches, she is responsible for all aspects of interview scheduling.


  • Before joining Ithaca Partners, Caroline worked at the CIPD, where she held several PA roles working with the research, policy and external affairs teams.
  • Caroline has also worked in publishing and her early career includes bilingual support roles at Eurotunnel and Schroders. She also has extensive experience in copy checking, which is drawn into use when she edits Ithaca Partners candidate reports before they go to clients.
  • In Caroline’s spare time she enjoys theatre and dance productions and Choi Kwang-Do martial arts to keep fit.
Helen Keane

Executive Assistant
Ithaca Centre

Helen project manages our executive development programmes and supports our marketing and thought leadership activities. She has several years’ experience in both start up and global FTSE 100 companies, and across multiple industries, including manufacturing, financial services, renewable energy and insurance.


  • Helen has a degree in Psychology and a masters in Health Psychology.
  • In her spare time, Helen enjoys long walks, live gigs, craft gin and travel.
Edwina Tite

Edwina provides administrative support to both the Ithaca Centre for Corporate Affairs Leadership team and the Executive Search team.


  • Edwina has a wealth of PA experience working across a range of industries including Executive Search, Financial Services, and Publishing.
  • Edwina grew up in New Zealand and in her spare time enjoys spending time with her family, long dog walks, travel, and supporting the All Blacks!
Sarah Larvor

Consulting Associate

Sarah recently joined Ithaca Partners as a consulting associate to support the Capability Development business. An experienced and trusted senior corporate affairs leader and advisor, Sarah has known Alex and Ithaca for many years. She was so impressed with the client experience that she was delighted when the opportunity came along to join the team.


  • Sarah began her career in communications and brand strategy with Royal Mail, which ignited her interest in the interplay between stakeholder engagement, corporate reputation and trust. Her in-house career took her into strategic communication leadership roles in FTSE50 companies in the financial services and energy sectors.
  • Sarah also has extensive public and private sector consulting experience, advising clients on reputation strategy, capability development, M&A and organisational development programmes across a range of industries and sectors.
  • Outside work, Sarah is a keen amateur goldsmith and is delighted to see London’s arts scene finally reopening.
Maxine Taylor
Maxine has operated as Corporate Affairs Director at Board level across a variety of organisations ranging from financial services, pharmaceuticals and consultancy to academia and leading health charities. She has also worked for the Cabinet Office on policy and in Private Office. She has led many teams both large and small and is passionate about building and developing people and putting trust and reputation at the centre of leadership thinking.

Her experience spans all the corporate affairs disciplines as well as branding and marketing.

Many coaches lack the technical expertise to be truly effective. Not so Maxine. With thirty-five years of corporate affairs’ leadership experience, she is well-placed to act as wise counsel no matter how complex the problem at hand.


  • Maxine has an MA from Clare College, Cambridge in Modern Languages and Social/Political Sciences. She qualified as a business coach in 2016 with Meyler Campbell and through Ithaca, has worked with a wide range of corporate affairs specialists.
Jennifer Powell

Jennifer is a communications strategist, with deep expertise in culture, change, inclusion and employee engagement. She is a Meyler-Campbell qualified coach of both executives and executive teams.

Jennifer’s career has included change and internal comms, marketing and corporate affairs. She was Principal of the Change Implementation and Communications practice of Towers Perrin international management consultancy for nearly a decade, and previously worked on Change for Barclays, and HSBC and as Head of Communications at Xerox International, as well as public and third sector organisations.

Jennifer has led a number of deep organisation-wide insight initiatives to support organisations in becoming more inclusive workplaces.

David Oliver

David is an ICF accredited Executive Coach, and works with a number of C-suite clients across a range of sectors in the UK, North America and globally. He is also an accomplished teacher and facilitator in the leadership and learning space and regularly delivers programmes across organisations on topics as diverse as ‘Leading without authority’ to creating ‘Psychological safety’.

David has had a 25 year career in politics, consulting and business, having originally worked his way up from being the Press Office assistant for the Liberal Democrats. He then worked in Public & Corporate Affairs consulting for major international firms before being appointed as the Global Public Affairs Director for Cadbury plc in 2008. This was an incredibly turbulent time for the business and consumer brands in general. Following its beverages business demerger, Cadbury was subsequently acquired by Kraft Foods in a highly public hostile takeover. It then split into Mondelez International and Kraft Heinz. He worked in critical leadership team positions as part of multi-billion dollar business units, and in functional roles globally (London, Chicago) and regionally (Brussels, Zurich).

David studied Politics & History at the University of Manchester. He undertook his Executive Coach training at the Henley Business School’s prestigious Centre for Coaching. He continues to study towards an MSc and was recently awarded a Post-Graduate Certificate in Coaching for Behaviour Change. He also holds licenses to practise the psychometric systems of Hogan and Birkman.

Basil Towers

Trust/Reputation best practice

Basil has been advising on trust and reputation as assets that determine business value and conducting market-leading research with senior business and function leaders in the US, Asia, Europe and the Middle East, for 30 years.

Basil is now an expert resource for, and advisor to, Ithaca Partners with a particular focus on capability development for Boards, ExCos and senior leaders.


  • Founded Hesleden Partners in 2005 to help companies build reputation capabilities.
  • In 2014, Hesleden was acquired by Blue Rubicon (now Teneo), where Basil worked as a senior managing director, then a senior advisor, until 2019.
  • He is also a director of Gatehouse Advisory Partners. With the Oxford Centre for Corporate Reputation, he established the Corporate Affairs Academy, teaching at the Academy over the past nine years. He was an associate fellow at Saïd Business School for this period.
Alaric Mostyn

Organisational Design

Management and strategy consultants often sell Organisational Design services to major organisations but their big brand names guarantee a ‘one size fits all’ approach which seldom works for Corporate Affairs and IR. And when they intervene, do they really help the organisation to absorb their advice and new structures so that it becomes owned by the business? Rarely.

Alaric Mostyn has worked with Corporate Affairs functions for more than 35 years and is the global expert on how to help organisations work out what they need from the function, how to structure it best to get that, and how to measure whether that is what they are getting once the new structure is in place. There is no one better in the market.


  • Alaric has held senior consulting and corporate leadership roles at Oliver Wyman, PwC, Young & Rubicam, Wolff Olins and the BBC.
  • He founded and runs Stonecourt & Co, working with leadership teams to change their organisations for the better, with productive cultures and improved performance – including deep experience in how to make the most of corporate affairs.
  • Stonecourt is a long-term collaborator with Ithaca Partners.
Anna Hartropp
Anna specialises in Investor Relations search. As a previous in-house Investor Relations Officer herself, she understands the intricacies and challenges of investor relations roles and the industry’s issues.

Anna’s network, combined with her own in-house experience, has helped clients recruit the best talent in investor relations for both permanent and temporary contracts.


  • Anna has worked on bespoke search projects across the FTSE 100 and FTSE 250 as well as recruit new IR positions for small cap, AIM and newly listed companies.
  • In addition, she has worked with clients to fill ESG positions and IR & Communications/IR & Strategy roles, as well as to find talent for IR consultancies.