Our Team

Headland with Coastal Views

Our people are experienced and of the highest quality.  What binds us together as a team is our commitment to delivering for our clients.  We are very proud of what we do and how we do it.

Below are profiles of our key people.  We also have a well established associate network who share our values and add to our capacity.  

Mike Phillips

”We take our work seriously and take personal pride in what we do – this is appreciated by our clients and allows us to develop successful long term relationships.”

Mike is Director and Founder of Pentir Talent Solutions. Previously, he was Director of two Executive Search businesses. He has worked with top teams, appointing to national and regional leadership roles across central government, local government, education and health in England and Wales.

He has led on a number of Chief Executive, Director of Finance, Principal/Headteacher and school/academy leadership roles as well as national, regional and local government appointments.

Mike worked for PricewaterhouseCoopers, formally Price Waterhouse for ten years where he helped develop capacity for the consulting arm in the HR, IT and Public Sector fields. He then went on to specialise in executive search. His early career was with BP having graduated from Imperial College. Mike is a Member at Alec Reed Academy, an all-through Single Academy Trust.

Maureen Nicholas Profile Photo

Maureen Nicholas

“I enjoy providing advice which enables clients to solve challenging people issues. Appointing to critical roles, perceived to be difficult to fill, gives me a real sense of pride and achievement.”

Maureen has worked as an HR consultant for over twenty years and has been part of the Pentir team for twelve of these. Her work has predominately focused on working with executives across a range of sectors. This includes recruiting individuals to senior leadership roles and providing strategic HR advice to Boards and executive teams.

Maureen is a member of the CIPD, the Career Development Institute and the BPS and is a level A and Intermediate Level B Psychometric Assessor. She also holds an MA in Personnel and Development, a BA in Human Resources and Employment Law, and a Postgraduate Certificate in Career Counselling and Career Management.

Anita Denton

I enjoy working with candidates, often over a considerable period of time, as they consider their next career move and supporting them in finding the right organisational fit

Anita has spent the past 20 years in executive recruitment across both the public and private sector supporting Executives and Non Executives into their new roles. She has worked for Pentir since 2011 and has led our research capability throughout this time.

Anita is a Member of the British Psychological Society (BPS) and has a BSc in Applied Psychology, an MSc in Organisational Psychology and is a BPS Level A and Intermediate Level B Psychometric Assessor.

Kathy August Pentir Profile

Dame Kathy August

I am passionate about developing leadership capacity within organisations and improving governance, communication and decision making. My work at Pentir involves providing expert advice and being part of bespoke client solutions that make a real difference.”  

Kathy has an exceptional track record of senior leadership in education. Her experience of headship is complemented by her work as a Director of Education in two local authorities and a period as a Senior Education Advisor at the DfE’s Standards and Effectiveness Unit.

Kathy was Principal at one of the first thirteen academies – Manchester Academy in Moss Side. Its performance was transformed and it was consistently judged an outstanding school under her leadership. She was appointed a National Leader of Education and then went on to become Deputy Chief Executive and Acting Chief Executive at United Learning. Kathy received a DBE in the 2014 New Year’s Honours List for services to Education.

Her book, “The Making of Manchester Academy: With Principal” was published by Cambridge Associates in 2023. She is Founder and Co-Chair of the “Teach Cancer a Lesson” campaign. She chairs the Greater Manchester’s Education Committee for “Violence Refunction”, is a Board member of a number of organisations and works on organisational development and as an expert assessor/advisor at Pentir.

Louise Soden

My interest is in supporting clients to secure and grow capacity. Organisations can only flourish when they have sufficient leadership capacity and I enjoy being part of the careful and considered work of the Pentir team in identifying, assessing and securing the right people for key roles”

With experience as a DfE advisor and an HMI and Director in Ofsted, Louise has a wide variety of expertise. She was Ofsted’s Regional Director for the East and West Midlands and a National Director for local authorities, having previously been an Education Advisor within the Academies Group of the Department for Education for five years. This included being accredited as a SIP/National Challenge Adviser. In addition to this she undertook a range of consultancy work both in the UK and overseas.

This range of leadership experience brings with it a confidence and authority to stimulate improvement whatever the setting. Promoting strategies for school improvement has been central to her work and their implementation has brought about demonstrable improvement and impact. A particular focus has been working with schools facing multiple challenges and securing rapid improvement.

She began her career as an English Teacher and progressed to Deputy Headship in Wiltshire before becoming an Assistant Director and Deputy Director at Portsmouth and Richmond-upon-Thomas local authorities.

Phillip Gill Profile Photo

Phillip Gill

“I enjoy working with teams and individuals to improve their insights, effectiveness and capability to meet their needs and the needs of all their stakeholders.”

Philip is an associate consultant of Pentir Talent Solutions. He worked for Brown & Root in the oil & gas industry for 5 years where he helped with the resourcing and OD aspects of HR in relation to multi-million pound contracts. He then went on to work as an HR Director in the NHS before becoming an independent consultant in 1995. He holds a degree in organisational behaviour and an MBA from Lancaster University and completed the Internal Consultant development programme with PricewaterhouseCoopers.

 His projects include working with senior leadership teams on improving organisational effectiveness across, central government, health, local government, financial services, manufacturing and trade unions He has developed capability across a diverse range of organisations from the Department of Health, NHS Digital, various NHS Trusts to pension funds, venture capital organisations, trade unions and charities. He is an accredited Executive & Team coach and is also a qualified psychometric assessor (Levels A and B).

Maggi Warren Profile Photo

Maggi Warren

“I love the variety of the work I do and the sense of pride and achievement I feel when each successful assignment is completed. The team spirit and support within our organisation is second to none and makes each working day a real pleasure.”

Maggi’s career commenced in Glasgow as a trainee Auditor with Thomson McLintock & Co – Chartered Accountants. At the age of 21 she moved to England and after raising a family, Maggi returned to work as a part time secretary with Lloyds Bank PLC. Within 18 months she was working full time as Head of Customer Services. In 1997, Maggi joined PricewaterhouseCoopers’s executive search and selection team as PA to one of the senior partners. Prior to joining Pentir, her career was split between working for the Business Link organisation as a Project Manager and in executive recruitment.

Maggi has supported Pentir Talent Solutions since 2008 as Head of Support and PA to Mike Phillips. In addition to this, her main areas of responsibility include finance, accounts, interim management and PA support. Maggi is a qualified psychometric test administrator.

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Further Information

Should you have any queries or would like a confidential conversation, please contact Pentir, our advising consultants.