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At Altima, we put people first. We are an entrepreneurial, founder-led business and trusted relationships are vital to our success. We are agile, proactive, dedicated and open. Analytical rigour underpins all our decisions and we always aim to deliver the best results for our clients, and our candidates.

John Watkins
Managing Partner

Over the last two decades, John has helped some of the world’s most successful startups build their senior finance leadership to accelerate growth.

He started his career helping tech pioneers as leader of the CFO practice of a global search firm. It was then when he saw the opportunity to do things differently. Altima was born out that vision – an agile, entrepreneurial search firm, specifically designed to serve tech businesses at crucial stages of growth.

At Altima, John has led over 350 CFO searches for some of the highest profile VC-backed and private equity funded businesses in Europe. In his spare time, John plays rugby and cricket at competition level, with mixed results. That sits nicely alongside the slightly less competitive pastime of enjoying family life.

Rabia Elahi
Search Partner - Consumer & FinTech

Rabia leads the search team at Altima, driving the successful execution of all assignments.

Starting her career in a boutique, consumer specialist search firm, Rabia went on to work in the Consumer & Digital practices for two of the world's largest Executive Search Consultancies. At Altima, she builds on that experience to oversee a search process that is rigorous and focused, but also personable and human.

Over the last two years, Rabia has worked closely with John to deliver over 50 CFO searches for some of Europe’s most exciting scale-up businesses. Rabia has an MSc in Comparative Politics and a degree in Politics and History from the London School of Economics. When not working, she can be found baking for her friends, nieces and nephews, or exploring the world.

John Watkins
Managing Partner

Over the last two decades, John has helped some of the world’s most successful startups build their senior finance leadership to accelerate growth.

He started his career helping tech pioneers as leader of the CFO practice of a global search firm. It was then when he saw the opportunity to do things differently. Altima was born out that vision – an agile, entrepreneurial search firm, specifically designed to serve tech businesses at crucial stages of growth.

At Altima, John has led over 350 CFO searches for some of the highest profile VC-backed and private equity funded businesses in Europe. In his spare time, John plays rugby and cricket at competition level, with mixed results. That sits nicely alongside the slightly less competitive pastime of enjoying family life.

Rabia Elahi
Search Partner - Consumer & FinTech

Rabia leads the search team at Altima, driving the successful execution of all assignments.

Starting her career in a boutique, consumer specialist search firm, Rabia went on to work in the Consumer & Digital practices for two of the world's largest Executive Search Consultancies. At Altima, she builds on that experience to oversee a search process that is rigorous and focused, but also personable and human.

Over the last two years, Rabia has worked closely with John to deliver over 50 CFO searches for some of Europe’s most exciting scale-up businesses. Rabia has an MSc in Comparative Politics and a degree in Politics and History from the London School of Economics. When not working, she can be found baking for her friends, nieces and nephews, or exploring the world.

Mike Powell
Senior Search Principal - Software

Mike helps Altima find and attract the very best talent from around the world building long-lasting client relationships along the way. Before Altima, he worked for a digital and technology executive search firm, leading on a range of board and non-exec searches in corporations and VC/PE portfolio companies across Europe.

Mike grew up in Germany, eventually returning to the UK to study International Business at Nottingham Business School, before completing his MSc in HR Management at Oxford Brookes University. In his spare time, he enjoys playing golf (albeit badly).

Rebecca El-Shanawany
Research Principal - Consumer & FinTech

Rebecca is a Research Principal focused on supporting Altima’s clients in the Consumer/FinTech sector to hire best in class CFOs to drive their future growth and success. She previously headed up the research team for a financial services boutique search firm following an earlier career with one of the leading global search firms, where she worked across the CFO and Financial Services practices, with a particular focus on investment banking and FinTech.

Rebecca holds an MA (Cantab) in Oriental Studies; Japanese with Chinese, from Cambridge University and, when not in the office, can usually be found practising BJJ, judo or yoga.  

Scott Mason
Senior Research Associate - Consumer & FinTech

Scott supports the Altima team with research, analysis and insights on the European VC tech ecosystem. His work ranges from the study of industry trends to candidate market mapping for our clients.

Scott graduated from the University of Exeter with a BA in Human Geography. When not at Altima, Scott prides himself on being an exceptionally average footballer and skier.

Dan Griffin
Research Associate - Software

Dan uses his research experience to support searches, and build and maintain Altima’s knowledge of the European VC tech ecosystem. He helps us keep track of the latest developments, changes and CFO moves, making sure our searches are comprehensive, thorough and effectual.


Dan graduated from the University of Exeter with a BA in History and Philosophy. He worked as an English teacher in Japan before returning to the UK to complete an MA in Philosophy at King’s College London. In his spare time, Dan likes to travel, work on his foreign language skills and consume copious amounts of Netflix documentaries.

Eleanor Wride
Research Analyst - Consumer & FinTech

Eleanor is part of the Altima research team. She works to create candidate market maps and produce in depth analysis of the target industries and companies within the European VC tech ecosystem.

Eleanor studied Philosophy, Politics, and Economics at the University of Oxford, and spent a summer in Copenhagen studying international human rights law. She enjoys volunteering, seeing new places, and visiting old friends.

Zoey McQueen Stuart
Research Associate - Software

Zoey is a member of the Altima Software and SaaS team. She supports across the full life cycle of the executive search process to deliver meaningful research and insights. Her responsibilities include market mapping and analysis, and building trusted relationships with both clients and candidates alike.

Prior to Altima, Zoey began her search career at a global boutique search firm and she holds a BA in Politics & International Relations from the University of Exeter. During her studies, Zoey spent an exchange year at the College of William and Mary in the United States and she is passionate about international travel and becoming a better global citizen.

Isabella Fetherston
Research Associate - Software

Isabella is a Research Associate in the Software and SaaS team. Her responsibilities include delivering analysis, market mapping and developing her network within the VC tech ecosystem.

Before joining Altima, Isabella worked in the executive search team at a firm specialising in technology within European start-ups. She has a BSc in Geography from Loughborough University and loves learning about environmental sustainability.

John Watkins
Managing Partner

Over the last two decades, John has helped some of the world’s most successful startups build their senior finance leadership to accelerate growth.

He started his career helping tech pioneers as leader of the CFO practice of a global search firm. It was then when he saw the opportunity to do things differently. Altima was born out that vision – an agile, entrepreneurial search firm, specifically designed to serve tech businesses at crucial stages of growth.

At Altima, John has led over 350 CFO searches for some of the highest profile VC-backed and private equity funded businesses in Europe. In his spare time, John plays rugby and cricket at competition level, with mixed results. That sits nicely alongside the slightly less competitive pastime of enjoying family life.

Rabia Elahi
Search Partner - Consumer & FinTech

Rabia leads the search team at Altima, driving the successful execution of all assignments.

Starting her career in a boutique, consumer specialist search firm, Rabia went on to work in the Consumer & Digital practices for two of the world's largest Executive Search Consultancies. At Altima, she builds on that experience to oversee a search process that is rigorous and focused, but also personable and human.

Over the last two years, Rabia has worked closely with John to deliver over 50 CFO searches for some of Europe’s most exciting scale-up businesses. Rabia has an MSc in Comparative Politics and a degree in Politics and History from the London School of Economics. When not working, she can be found baking for her friends, nieces and nephews, or exploring the world.

Mike Powell
Senior Search Principal - Software

Mike helps Altima find and attract the very best talent from around the world building long-lasting client relationships along the way. Before Altima, he worked for a digital and technology executive search firm, leading on a range of board and non-exec searches in corporations and VC/PE portfolio companies across Europe.

Mike grew up in Germany, eventually returning to the UK to study International Business at Nottingham Business School, before completing his MSc in HR Management at Oxford Brookes University. In his spare time, he enjoys playing golf (albeit badly).

Rebecca El-Shanawany
Research Principal - Consumer & FinTech

Rebecca is a Research Principal focused on supporting Altima’s clients in the Consumer/FinTech sector to hire best in class CFOs to drive their future growth and success. She previously headed up the research team for a financial services boutique search firm following an earlier career with one of the leading global search firms, where she worked across the CFO and Financial Services practices, with a particular focus on investment banking and FinTech.

Rebecca holds an MA (Cantab) in Oriental Studies; Japanese with Chinese, from Cambridge University and, when not in the office, can usually be found practising BJJ, judo or yoga.  

Scott Mason
Senior Research Associate - Consumer & FinTech

Scott supports the Altima team with research, analysis and insights on the European VC tech ecosystem. His work ranges from the study of industry trends to candidate market mapping for our clients.

Scott graduated from the University of Exeter with a BA in Human Geography. When not at Altima, Scott prides himself on being an exceptionally average footballer and skier.

Dan Griffin
Research Associate - Software

Dan uses his research experience to support searches, and build and maintain Altima’s knowledge of the European VC tech ecosystem. He helps us keep track of the latest developments, changes and CFO moves, making sure our searches are comprehensive, thorough and effectual.


Dan graduated from the University of Exeter with a BA in History and Philosophy. He worked as an English teacher in Japan before returning to the UK to complete an MA in Philosophy at King’s College London. In his spare time, Dan likes to travel, work on his foreign language skills and consume copious amounts of Netflix documentaries.

Zoey McQueen Stuart
Research Associate - Software

Zoey is a member of the Altima Software and SaaS team. She supports across the full life cycle of the executive search process to deliver meaningful research and insights. Her responsibilities include market mapping and analysis, and building trusted relationships with both clients and candidates alike.

Prior to Altima, Zoey began her search career at a global boutique search firm and she holds a BA in Politics & International Relations from the University of Exeter. During her studies, Zoey spent an exchange year at the College of William and Mary in the United States and she is passionate about international travel and becoming a better global citizen.

Isabella Fetherston
Research Associate - Software

Isabella is a Research Associate in the Software and SaaS team. Her responsibilities include delivering analysis, market mapping and developing her network within the VC tech ecosystem.

Before joining Altima, Isabella worked in the executive search team at a firm specialising in technology within European start-ups. She has a BSc in Geography from Loughborough University and loves learning about environmental sustainability.

Lilly Drinkwater
Research Analyst - Consumer & FinTech

Lilly is a part of the consumer research team. She supports the team by producing market maps, news updates on companies within the VC tech ecosystem and analysis of it's implications.

She graduated with a BA (hons) in History and International Relations from King's College London, spending summers interning across the globe. Beyond Altima, she spends time trying to explore as much of the world as possible, partly (mostly) to escape British weather.

Rebecca Jones
Research Associate - Business Development

Rebecca helps our research team with strategic market mapping. She ensures our searches are informed and up to date with current industry trends and insights. Rebecca relocated from the sunny, seaside town of Brighton to the University of Edinburgh where she graduated with an MA in Psychology.

Outside Altima, she spends her time exploring London, visiting friends in tropical places and keeping up her mind-reading abilities.

Emily de Sausmarez
Operations Associate - HR, Operations & Project Coordination

Emily provides crucial support to our team, our clients and our candidates.  She works closely with our project leads to ensure all searches are delivered in an efficient, timely manner, and with the highest standards of quality.

Before joining Altima, Emily worked in an executive career advisory firm. She has a BSc in Anthropology and recently completed her CIPD in Human Resources Practice. Along with being a passionate traveller, Emily loves delving into a good book and experimenting with new culinary ideas.

Jack Brownsword
Operations Associate - Data & Project Coordination

Jack supports the Altima team in their continued drive for excellence.  He ensures every mandate is delivered as effectively and efficiently as possible. Prior to Altima Jacked worked with two boutique recruitment firms.

Jack has a degree in Business Management and a Masters in Global Media and Communication. Curious about the world, he has lived in several countries, most recently Australia. Outside Altima, Jack is an avid reader of Politics, History and Current Affairs, and a long-suffering supporter of Liverpool FC.

Peter Benson
Head of Finance

Peter leads the finance function on both a strategic and operational level, ensuring the team is fully supported on all finance aspects.

His experience includes working within small and medium sized, owner managed firms and he relishes being at the coal face of a business.

Outside of work Peter is committed to social justice and has played an active part in recent  major political campaigns . He is married with two children.

Michelle Wynne
Head of Business Operations

Michelle manages our daily operations at Altima. With over 20 years experience in business administration, she makes sure our business runs efficiently, in line with our objectives and our ambitions for growth.

Michelle is a passionate advocate of children’s mental wellbeing. She also loves practicing yoga and walking her dog Buddy, a real-life teddy bear who is soon to become our office pet.

Talk to us

If we can advise on your next career move, hiring a CFO or structuring a pre-IPO team, please get in touch.
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6 Bloomsbury Square, London, WC1A 2LP