Ewan Pearson, ACSI – Managing Director
Profile: Ewan co-founded GPB with Alastair Grant in 1993. He left medicine in 1985 to join Morgan Grenfell’s Corporate Finance team. He later joined the UK’s leading team on the Building Industry as a Director at County Nat West, and then moved to Banque Indosuez. He then spent 2 years working for an American consulting firm. He has now spent over 20 years with GPB. His specialities include advising fund raising, float and trade sale presentations and road shows; media advice for key media challenges, new business pitches for large public sector contracts and professional services firms.
Role: Ewan runs the firm but is also responsible both for advising clients and developing the firm’s client relationships with top management.
Clients include 3i, Allen & Overy, Barclays, Barings, BlueBay, BlackRock, CBPE, CVC, E&Y, Exponent PE, HSBC, Janus, JP Morgan, KPMG, Novo Nordisk, Permira, PwC, QinetiQ, Serco, Shire and RBS. He has advised witnesses to a Treasury Select Committee, worked on the London 2012 and 2017 bids, and over the years on several of the largest successful floatations on the stock market including Ashanti, BT, Eurotunnel, GUS South Africa, KPN Mobile and Telstra.
Qualifications: Ewan qualified as a doctor with BA, 2ndMB, BSc and MA Medical Sciences degrees from Jesus College, Cambridge and St Thomas’s Hospital, London. He is a visiting lecturer at LBS, IEDE and the Weidenfeld Scholarship program at Oxford University. He is an Associate member of the Chartered Investment and Securities Institute (CISI). Ewan is also a member of the Faculty at the School for CEOs, and speaks at their regular residential programme “The Vital Few” on the subject of “Giving the Killer Speech”.
Personal: Ewan was born in 1962 in Perthshire, Scotland. He supports the Union between the members of United Kingdom. In 1990 he married Christina, an Australian, and is sticking at 3 sons. He rowed in three Boat Races, and is a qualified rowing coach, coaching the Cambridge VIII and winning a Commonwealth Games Bronze Medal in 1986 (the first rowing medal for Scotland). He is now a Trustee of three rowing charities and Chairman of two of them, including CUBC. He has a costly passion for classic Jaguar cars.
Desmond Harney – Consultant, London
Profile: Des joined GPB in October 2018. He originally trained as a secondary school English and Drama teacher. He then pursued a career in commercial and general management in the Consumer Goods (FMCG) and business services sectors. This included roles at Diageo, Guinness, Heineken, Energizer, Warburtons, Associated British Foods (ABF), IGD and GS1. More recently he has worked in the interim management, consulting and advisory fields.
His specialisms include communication, sales, marketing, business development, category and general management. At Diageo, he progressed from the graduate trainee scheme to hold a variety of senior roles in both their UK and international divisions, at times heading up local commercial operations in Central Africa and the Caribbean.
At GPB Des works across all client sectors, particularly in Accounting, FMCG, Management Consulting, Private Equity and Tech. His clients include 3i, AlixPartners, AnaCap, Asper Investment Management, DeepCrawl, Digital+ Partners, Galapagos Conservation Trust, Hausfeld, IK Investment Partners, KPMG, Meridiam, Splat, Starmind and Street Child United. He is also a contributing faculty member of the Homerton Changemakers programme (University of Cambridge).
Qualifications: Des has an Honours degree from Homerton College, Cambridge. He also has a Diploma in Creative Writing from the Open University and an Advanced level qualification from the Wine & Spirits Educational Trust.
Personal: Des was born in London and still lives there, following his ex-pat globe-trotting around the tropics. He is married, with a son and a daughter who graduated in History & Law and in Drama, respectively. Always a fan of a wide range of sports, when conditions allow, Des remains an active and keen footballer – though not a very good one. In recent years he helped to establish (and continues to participate in) the community walking football section of his local club, Enfield Town FC. He also admits to having been a fan of Fulham FC for 45 years.
Shardai Goodridge – Office Manager and Executive Assistant, London
Qualifications: Shardai is currently studying for her LLM, Legal Practice Course (LPC) at the University of Law, Moorgate. She has a Graduate Diploma in Law (GDL) from the University of Law, and has a BA in English Language and Linguistics from the University of Westminster.
Personal: Shardai was born and raised in London, with a Caribbean family background. Shardai enjoys travelling the world and is a food enthusiast!
Hasnaê Kerach – Associate Consultant, Amsterdam
Profile: Hasnaê joined GPB in October 2018. Hasnae joins us from News Corporation; before that she worked in Client Account Management for Immediate Media, and for a variety of British and Dutch firms.
Qualifications: Hasnaê has an MA in Marketing from the London Metropolitan Business School, and a BA in European Studies from The Hague University of Applied Sciences. Hasnaê is a Change Management Practitioner (Accredited by APMG), and a Prince 2 Practitioner (Accredited by Axelos).
Personal: Hasnaê lives in London, but was born in Morocco, before growing up in The Netherlands.
Richard Keith – Associate Consultant, Tokyo
Profile: Richard joined GPB in October 2014. In May 2018, he moved to an Associate Consultant position, so that he could study for a PhD, and take on a variety of roles in the acting profession. Richard has worked with clients such as AlixPartners, BlackRock, BlueBay Asset Management, Campbell Lutyens, Exponent Private Equity, Ferring Pharmaceuticals, HSBC, IK Investment Partners, Immediate Media, KPMG, Meridiam Infrastructure (Paris), Mid Europa Partners, RBS, Sanne Group and TPG Capital. He has worked with Not for Profits such as The Big Issue Foundation and Spark Inside, and has taught at educational institutions such as Cambridge University (summer school) and on the University of East London MBA course
Richard originally trained as an actor in the National Youth Theatre and at the acclaimed Webber Douglas Academy of Dramatic Art, whose alumni include Julian Fellowes, Sir Anthony Sher and Hugh Bonneville. He has performed in the West End, at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, at Shakespeare’s Globe, and in the USA and Germany. In addition, he has directed a number of productions in London.
He taught Voice and Speech (including articulation, Received Pronunciation and phonetics) for several years both privately and at drama schools in London.
Subsequently, as a mature student, Richard read English for a BA degree at the University of Cambridge from 2009−2012. Following this, he undertook an MA in Intercultural Communication for Business and Professions (2013-14) at Birkbeck College, University of London, where he achieved a Distinction in every module. His dissertation examined metaphor and frameworks of leadership in the political speeches of Alex Salmond MSP, who, until September 2014, was the First Minister of the Scottish parliament and leader of the Scottish National Party.
In 2012, Richard taught on a Cambridge University Summer School instructing Japanese undergraduate students in British & American Cultural Studies and in Presentation Skills. From 2012−2014 Richard was the Client Relations Manager at a London law firm where he was part of the team responsible for new business − the firm became one of the UK’s fastest growing private companies being listed on the Sunday Times Virgin Fast Track 100. He designed and led training for staff in speaking to potential clients, and he regularly wrote blogs and articles for external publication.
Richard grew up in England, Scotland, Singapore and Japan. An enthusiastic sportsman as a youth, he had county trials for rugby, swam in the Scottish Schools Championships and won a Bronze Medal at the Scottish Public Schools Fencing Competition. He remains a keen follower of the Scottish rugby team. He lives in London with his Japanese wife whom he married in 2012, and his son. He speaks some French, some Spanish and is attempting to improve his halting Japanese.
Alastair Grant – Associate Consultant, London
Profile: Alastair served in the Royal Marines, leaving at the age of 44 in the rank of Lieutenant Colonel. In his final posting he spent two years directing the studies of senior civil servants, police and other government officers in higher management skills. A key part of this was in communicating effectively.
Since then, he has developed and run individual coaching as well as group courses in presentation skills for upper and mid-level management.
Alastair co-founded GPB in 1993 with Ewan Pearson and retired from the firm in 2005, to became an Associate Consultant. He has worked extensively in Europe with Hewlett Packard, Airbus and Credit Agricole Indosuez including helping with significant events and personal development of key executives who have to persuade and inform in English. He is the author of the book “Presentation Perfect” which is now in its second edition.
Born in 1944, married, with two children, he enjoys a wide variety of outdoor activities including one Trans-Atlantic crossing by sail in a 26-foot boat.
Dr. Branka Zei Pollermann – Associate and Founder of the Vox Institute, Geneva
Branka is a founding partner and Director of Vox Institute, founded in 1988, specialising in psycho-linguistic aspects of communication. Branka and her team have produced all the detailed and short voice and visual reports for GPB since 2001.
Vox clients include WHO, UNICEF, Hewlett Packard SA, Reuters SA, Levi Strauss (Geneva) SA, UBS, Credit Suisse, Chase Manhattan, Dresdner-Kleinwort-Benson, Coutts & Co and Geneva University Hospitals. In parallel, she has been conducting leading-edge research work since 1980, as researcher and psychologist with the University of Geneva and the Department of Psychiatry at Geneva University Hospitals.
Branka is author of numerous publications in speech communication and social psychology. Her academic credentials include a Doctorate in Psychology, university diplomas in general linguistics, English and Italian language and literature, as well as post-graduate studies in phonetics, philosophy and sociology.
GPB joined forces in 2011 with Vox to research into the connection between the voices of the speaker and the listener, which will be presented for peer group review at an InterSpeech conference and then published.
Tim Farish – Associate Consultant, Oslo
Tim joined GPB as a Consultant in 2005 and was appointed as Director in April 2010. He changed to become an Associate on 1st April 2012, and is now based in Oslo, Norway. He began his career in media at London Weekend Television before moving into advertising where he worked at Saatchi & Saatchi, BBH and Lowe’s. In 2000, he joined NetDecisions, Europe’s leading internet incubator, where he helped launch several start-ups including MadAboutWine.com. He set up a consultancy in 2002 and worked with The Metropolitan Police, Unilever and Prudential advising on coaching and communications.
Clients include: Barclays, BP, Clifford Chance, Disney, DFJ Esprit, Gresham, Institute of Practitioners of Advertising (IPA) & KPMG.
Specialities: Tim is particularly keen on fundraising, pitching, presentation and negotiation advice as well as helping teams and individuals create more impact when they persuade and influence.
Qualifications: Tim holds a BSc in Political Geography from Oxford Brookes as well as post-graduate qualifications from University of Surrey in Organisational & Behavioural Change. He is also a highly experienced facilitator and regular speaker at the Institute of Practitioners of Advertising (IPA).
Personal: Tim was born in London in 1967. He speaks fluent Spanish and is starting to learn Norwegian having recently married Tale, his Norwegian wife who is an opera singer. Hobbies include running, cycling, surfing and occasionally listening to his wife (sing).
Lynda Russell-Whitaker FRSA – Associate Consultant
Lynda joined GPB in October 2011. Since 2000 she has provided presentation and developmental coaching professionally to teams, as well as for team leaders and business owners on a 1-1 basis. Her specialities include advising on writing proposals, pitches, briefs and business plans (particularly the executive summary) as well as coaching for the delivery of a great presentation.
With over 20 years’ experience in marketing and training, Lynda was one of the pioneers of digital media in the UK and she created bespoke interactive (e-learning) training tools, training seminars and development programmes for media professionals in major companies across a variety of sectors.
Lynda sat on the Validation Panel that advised the University of Westminster on their revised MA in Hypermedia Studies in 2000. She has been a visiting lecturer at the Royal College of Art (RCA) and was a member of the original expert working group for the first MA in Interactive Media, which included the RCA, London College of Printing, Les Ateliers in Paris, The Mathematical School of the Balearic Islands and the University of Utrecht.
In addition to lecturing at the RCA, her clients have included The British Wool Marketing Board , Channel 4 Automotive, Chase Manhattan Bank, The Coca-Cola Company, Eleco plc , EMAP, Mondex, New Media Knowledge, Orange, Waitrose and Wired Sussex.
Lynda has learnt a great deal about voice production and visual presence during her 12 years of training as a classical singer. A British national, she speaks, reads and writes Greek well (having lived in Greece for three years) and French passably. Her basic Spanish is improving since she resumed salsa dancing, preferring the Cuban to the ‘LA’ style. Her other passion is singing, and she does so in all of these languages, as well as in Italian and German.
Lynda is a licensed NLP Business Practitioner, a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts and Manufacture (RSA) and a long-standing member of the Musicians’ Union.
Carl-Magnus Schreiter – Associate Consultant
Carl joined GPB in April 2008 from Speak IT, a specialist in spoken communications. He has been a presentation and business development adviser for over 15 years, so has brought considerable experience to us. Previously he acquired senior management experience including the management of a chain of hotels.
Specialities: Presentation and business development coaching, 1-1 for partners and in groups for others. He is our chief presentation content developer, and has particular interest in rhetoric and its origins in Ancient Greece and Italy, which he is adding to GPB’s already burgeoning bank of expertise in this area.
Clients: In the UK, he has worked with firms such as Goodwille, KPMG, McGuire Woods, Microsoft, and Qinetiq. Outside the UK, and being Swedish, Carl can advise clients in the Scandi region. These include Brunswick, the IHM Business Schools, and Volvo.
Qualifications: He has an MA from the University of London, and is a member of the IIB. He speaks English, Swedish, Norwegian and French, has a French wife and two sons.
Personal: Carl was born in 1967, has a degree in wine-tasting, likes coffee and lives in West London. He claims he likes exercise, although sightings of this by his colleagues have been rare.
Tony Ngo – Associate Consultant, Connect Communications, Hong Kong
Tony Ngo is fluent in English, Cantonese and Mandarin, Tony’s lively, energetic and enthusiastic personality makes him a natural-born trainer who communicates effectively and has a passion to share his learning experiences with others.
With over 29 years of working experience, Tony specializes in communication skills; presentation, influencing, negotiation, consultative selling, dealing with difficult people and delivering excellent customer service. Other programmes include rehearsing for IPO roadshows and one-on-one executive coaching.
Educated in England, Tony returned to Asia in 1981 and since has a broad range of business experience in general management, sales, marketing, promotion and business development; working in the large fast-moving consumer goods segment in Greater China and throughout S.E. Asia.
Tony began his career in advertising, working on several blue chip accounts and won an annual Gold Award for one of his major clients. He then joined the wines & spirits industry and worked with United Distillers Asia and Groupe Camus S.A. respectively, in various senior management/director positions in the region. As Managing Director of Reemtsma Tobacco Taiwan (1998 – 2002) Tony led his team to spearhead strong growth by doubling its market share and business turnover and winning the international annual award of the group.
Tony and his colleagues at Connect Communications have worked alongside GPB on a number of client assignments including coaching presentation skills and voice coaching for Baring Asset Management in Hong Kong.
Klaus-Rainer Kirchhoff – Associate Consultant, Hamburg, Germany
Kirchhoff consultants have worked alongside GPB in several client assignments, including coaching presentation skills in German for our client Nov Nordisk, based in Denmark.
Klaus-Rainer Kirchhof is an Associate of GPB based in Hamburg, Germany. He is the founder and CEO of Kirchhoff Consult AG. He was formerly a lawyer, but since 1989 has been consultant in corporate communications, financial communications and corporate social responsibility. He has 15 years experience as management coach and has advised on 50 IPOs and more than 150 PR and IR mandates. He is a member of DVFA and NIRI, and has written numerous publications on financial communications and IPOs. He has long-standing experience in the life science industry (e.g. Altana, Bayer, Eppendorf, Medigene, Merck).
Jens Hecht, CFA – Associate Consultant, Hamburg, Germany
He is a member of the Board and Partner of Kirchhoff Consult AG.
He has a Business Studies, American professional degree, and was a Chartered Financial Analyst with more than 13 years’ experience in capital market transactions and in financial communications (>20 IPOs).
He has 4 years’ experience as an adviser at a Corporate Finance Boutique for IPOs and he is a member of CFA Institute and SECA.
Don Gough – Associate Consultant, Black Isle Communications, Sydney, Australia
Don Gough was Managing Director of Black Isle, our associate firm in Sydney. He has been an Associate of GPB since 2000, and has since then advised clients in Australia and more widely in Asia. He and his colleagues have worked alongside us on projects involving firms such as Barings, HSBC, Janus Capital and Telstra.