Our Team


James Cooper

Tel: +44 (0) 203 865 1129

As a Director at Damhurst, James is responsible for leading a client’s assignment from beginning to end. He began his career broking at Alexander Forbes and Heath Lambert before moving into insurance executive search over a decade ago.

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Prior to Damhurst being founded in 2016, James was Head of London and Partner at Eliot Partnership. Throughout his head hunting career, he has worked on a number of senior leadership and board level assignments in London, New York, Bermuda, and more broadly across Continental Europe and the Middle East.

On a personal level …
James lives in Kent with his wife and three daughters. He is a Business Advisor and volunteer for Young Enterprise in the UK and a Committee Member of the City of London Club. When time permits, he also enjoys running, competing in charity obstacle races and country sports.

James Cooper - Mud Run - Insurance headhunter

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Olivia Collie

Tel: +44 (0) 203 865 1129

Olivia joined Damhurst in 2018 as a Consultant. She is responsible for working closely with clients and candidates to ensure the best possible result is achieved. Olivia has specialised in insurance executive search since leaving university in 2011. She has lived/worked in London, Singapore and the USA.
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Her application, care and passion for what she does has meant our clients have grown to value highly her guidance and support throughout the search cycle. Her track record includes executive and non-executive board appointments and senior key hires on both the infrastructure and product sides of the business. Clients have ranged from global re/insurers and Lloyd’s market carriers to London market wholesale brokers.

On a personal note …
Olivia lives in London with her husband, although hails from the Scottish Borders originally. Outside of work, she enjoys tennis, reading biographies, travelling and exploring far flung parts of the world.

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Pierre Fel

Tel: +39 388 2594807

Pierre joined Damhurst as a Director in 2019, establishing our first Continental European office. Having started his career in insurance, Pierre now has over 15 years insurance executive search experience, including a number of years covering the Asia Pacific Insurance sector for Heidrick & Struggles; and prior to this the European markets.

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Pierre is responsible for working with clients across the EMEA region from the first conversation through to completion of the assignment. He has a broad network, is trained in multiple assessment techniques and has an extensive track record of successful delivery for his clients.

Educated in the UK, Pierre went to University in Scotland and Taiwan. He is bilingual in French and English, but can also speak Italian, Spanish and Mandarin.

On a personal level …
Pierre lives in Italy with his wife and daughter. An equally creative and active family, they can often be found hiking through the mountains or participating in performing arts events around the world.

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Sophie Jackson

Tel: +44 (0) 203 865 4336

Sophie joined Damhurst in 2017 as Executive Research Assistant, providing day to day support to the team and our clients. After spending several years working in recruitment and property, Sophie’s career took a different direction when she moved abroad, living in Milan and Barcelona. During this time, she became a CELTA qualified English Teacher and freelance writer.

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On her return to the UK, Sophie worked in a support role to a successful figure in the world of advertising and facilitation. Sophie’s creativity, authenticity and passion enables Damhurst to deliver high quality work to our clients.

On a personal level …
Sophie’s love of travel, furniture restoration, a daughter at university, a cocker spaniel and pilot husband keep her on her toes!

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John Gillespie

Tel: +44 (0) 203 865 1129

John joined Damhurst in 2016 as a Consultant to the business and its clients. He leads and supports a number of the Non-Executive projects and related initiatives across the business. John has over 20 years experience headhunting for his clients in the London and Lloyd’s market.

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After qualifying as a Chartered Accountant, ICAEW (resigned 2017), John was Chairman and Managing Director of both Lloyd’s managing and names agencies for nineteen years. He moved into executive search in 1996 and in 1999 founded his own executive search business specialising in insurance.
His considerable experience combined with a strong and wide network within the insurance market, helps bring additional balance and stewardship to Damhurst & Co. He also provides valued counsel on a broad variety of business matters.

On a personal level …
When away from work one of John’s passions is striving for perfection with Truffle, his working Cocker spaniel. ……this is very much “work in progress”.

John Gillespie - Insurance Headhunter

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Jess Radford

Tel: +44 (0) 20 3865 1129

Jess joined Damhurst as a Researcher early in 2019. Professionally trained by the Institute of Leadership & Management at Quest, she has exceptional analysis and research skills. As a highly valuable member of the team, Jess delivers high quality, detailed and insightful data and intelligence to support the successful execution of client assignments.

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On a personal level …
Born and raised in Hong Kong before attending school in England, Jess has a keen passion for travelling and exploring new countries and cultures. An entrepreneur at heart, Jess has set up a number of on and offline enterprises over the years, some of which have been a great success.

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Our Partners

CNC 8298 Consulting Limited

A London and US based consulting practice that specialises in providing strategic advice and guidance to insurance and reinsurance businesses looking to grow and develop in the non-life markets. This relationship is highly useful to Damhurst’s clients and partners in providing greater insight and broader context to the insurance, reinsurance and ILS markets.

Emotion at Work

A London based consulting and advisory business that specialises in how to influence the culture of your organsation positively. Emotion at Work obtains its results through using executive coaching, team events, and many other learning opporunities. EaW works with clients of Damhurst in a number of different ways to enhance the executive search process.