Board and Executive Search



We have decades of experience and knowledge of search, executive coaching and mentoring. But our individual back stories are as diverse as those of the clients and candidates we work with. Everyone is different which is why our approach is highly personalised.

Isabel Bird

Founding Partner

+44 (0)20 7493 8688


Isabel has unrivalled experience of senior executive and board-level search, mentoring and executive coaching in media and consumer-facing companies. A pioneer in leadership consultancy and a champion for diversity, clients include leading FTSE, Fortune 500 and private equity companies. She is also co-founder of Bird & Co Board and Executive Mentoring. Graduating with distinction from the American University School of Business, she started her career at AT&T in general management before joining Kenton Corporation to market international retailers including Cartier and Georg Jensen. Moving to London in 1974, she managed the UK division of a US-based search firm before founding Bird & Co in 1981. Isabel is a member of the Royal Television Society and the Advisory Board of Venice Gateway. She is an MBTI Qualified Practitioner.

Peter Cabrera

Consultant

+44 (0)20 7493 8688


Peter advises clients in consumer-facing industries on senior executive and non-executive appointments, with particular focus on the marketing, customer and digital functions. He also has experience of Chief Executive and Chief Operating Officer roles. He has worked extensively with leading media agencies, independent production companies, established high street brands and emerging digital players. Previously, Peter worked in the consumer and retail practice at Odgers Berndtson and started his career as a research analyst at JCA Group. Peter has a BA in Philosophy and an MA in Aesthetics from the University of York.

Binta Patel

Business Development Manager

+44 (0)20 7493 8688


Binta is an experienced project manager with private and public sector experience both in the UK and internationally. She spent more than three years as business development manager for the British High Commission in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. She subsequently managed international events and communications at the Office of Fair Trading before joining a global executive search firm. She has a BSc in geography and geology from the University of Birmingham and a Masters in Management from Boston University.

Peter Benson

Group Finance and Operations Controller

+44 (0)20 7493 8688


Peter joined Bird & Co in 2010 and manages finance, HR, legal and facilities. He also runs these functions for Bird & Co Board and Executive Mentoring and The Coaching House.

Board & Executive Mentoring

Kathleen O'Donovan

Co-Founder

+44 (0)20 7493 8688


Kathleen draws on extensive experience of executive and non-executive responsibility on a global scale in multiple sectors. She has a deep understanding of boardrooms and their dynamic, with broad experience of financial strategy, M&A and restructuring. Trained as a chartered accountant, Kathleen was the youngest-ever CFO of a FTSE 100 company at the age of 34. Previous key roles: Deputy Chairman of Great Portland Estates, Non-executive Director of the Bank of England, Prudential plc, EMI plc and O2 plc; CFO of BTR plc/ Invensys plc; Partner at Ernst & Young. Current board roles: DS Smith (RemCo Chair); Trinity Mirror (Audit Chair); Invensys Pension Scheme (Audit Chair). Kathleen is also co-Chair of International Rescue Committee UK, a charity supporting conflict zone refugees.

Sarah Hurst

Managing Partner

+44 (0)20 7493 8688


Sarah is responsible for business development, managing client relationships and delivering and expanding all mentoring programmes. She previously spent five years at Korn/Ferry International, in the Madrid office, as a consultant and senior coaching manager. She has developed skills for talent identification and leadership development across multiple sectors from operational levels to board effectiveness. She spent her early career in London as a relocation specialist for John D Wood, the property company. She has a modern languages (French & Spanish) from the University of St Andrews. She is certified in key Lominger assessment tools for competency modelling, high potential identification, feedback facilitation and coaching.

Binta Patel

Business Development Manager

+44 (0)20 7493 8688


Binta is an experienced project manager with private and public sector experience both in the UK and internationally. She spent more than three years as business development manager for the British High Commission in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. She subsequently managed international events and communications at the Office of Fair Trading before joining a global executive search firm. She has a BSc in geography and geology from the University of Birmingham and a Masters in Management from Boston University.

The Coaching House

Isabel Bird

Founding Partner

+44 (0)20 7493 8688


Isabel has unrivalled experience of senior executive and board-level search, mentoring and executive coaching in media and consumer-facing companies. A pioneer in leadership consultancy and a champion for diversity, clients include leading FTSE, Fortune 500 and private equity companies. She is also co-founder of Bird & Co Board and Executive Mentoring. Graduating with distinction from the American University School of Business, she started her career at AT&T in general management before joining Kenton Corporation to market international retailers including Cartier and Georg Jensen. Moving to London in 1974, she managed the UK division of a US-based search firm before founding Bird & Co in 1981. Isabel is a member of the Royal Television Society and the Advisory Board of Venice Gateway. She is an MBTI Qualified Practitioner.

Theresa Hall

Executive Coach

+44 (0)20 7493 8688


Theresa leads the 360@180 programme. She brings more than 20 years’ experience of coaching senior executives within multinational organisations, professional services firms and consumer facing businesses. Prior to joining Bird & Co, Theresa was a Principal Consultant at Right Management and a Senior Account Manager with a leading IT company. Her clients have included Marks & Spencer, BDO Stoy Hayward, GSK, Johnson & Johnson, BBC, Logica, ITV and Colt. Theresa is trained in coaching and has a diploma in counselling and psychotherapy, plus stress management training. She is also a qualified MBTI practitioner and has worked as a volunteer for the Samaritans, St Dunstans and Youth Counselling Service.