2020. The Year of Africa.

Coinciding with the downturn in UK business during the early stages of the Covid pandemic, Benchmark has seen an exponential growth in opportunities in Africa. Searches that would be difficult to deliver with face to face meetings and extensive travel have been made easier with the rise of the Zoom interview and a general acceptance of the globalization of Search.

The year began with the successful placement of Lloyd Manhivi from South Africa who was recruited as ESG Director in Ethiopia for the manufacturing arm of Blue Bird Holdings , themselves based in Mauritius!

Throughout 2020 Benchmark has worked in Nigeria starting with a Head of Risk and Compliance for a leading [top 5] bank, and since then has found a COO for a rapidly growing restaurant chain Quality Foods Africa. Ongoing work with Yum in South Africa, in partnership with GCC, included several Board level roles in Development, Supply Chain and Innovation. Distance has been no object with our response times described as ‘best ever’ and a ‘delight to work with’. Addis Glass, a leading manufacturer of jars and bottles in Africa’s fastest growing economy, Ethiopia with its 100 million population is close to finalising searches for a GM and safety Director.

In Uk the year started with the recruitment of Linda Pomeroy from Astra Zeneca as CEO of Ancon Technologies, a leading innovator based in Canterbury, Kent, specialising in ground breaking nano-molecular technology. This was a first for Benchmark with a candidate, a CEO at that, starting work without having met any of the Board face to face.

In the hard hit restaurant sector our strong relationship with Burger King UK has led to 2 more searches both completed in record time for this vibrant brand. Looking to the future, Benchmark has also been retained on the PSL for Deloitte and PWC.

What could have been a terrible year has been rescued by strong relationships, geographical spread and technical innovation. But underpinning it all has been dependable and rapid delivery and outstanding value.