Non-Executive Director & Chairman Practice

At Norrie Johnston Recruitment (NJR), we know that appointing a quality Non-Executive Director (NED) or Chairman is one of the most valuable decisions a business can make – with phenomenal ROI potential!  But engaging the right people is key:  their expertise, insight and networks are invaluable to leaders of today and tomorrow.


The best Non-Executive Chairs can strengthen the business team by helping recruit the highest calibre of executive talent. They can help attract and retain exceptional Board NED’s, mentor the CEO, foster an energetic, can-do attitude for the Board and across the organisation, manage conflict and communicate with all stakeholders.

NJR can help strengthen your Board by finding a Non-Executive Chairman, NED or Senior Independent Director who will:

  • Contribute to the organisation’s strategy and impact the financial success of the company
  • Demonstrate exemplary ethical standards and guide good corporate governance
  • Understand the business and trading environment along with relevant regulatory and legal requirements of the business and risk mitigation
  • Objectively challenge the Executive and be a useful sounding board for the CEO and CFO

We’ve found that good Non-Executive Directors are typically:

  • Commercially astute, adept at ‘thinking outside the box’, with excellent financial acumen, gravitas and credibility
  • Have significant experience and demonstrable career success
  • Independent, interested and passionate
  • Ready to challenge – yet not cross – the executive line
  • Emotionally intelligent with strength of personality and charisma alongside integrity, authenticity and courage, unafraid to hold the Board to account when necessary

Our Non-Executives can support:

  • SMEs: raising external investment – SME boards typically include fewer NED’s so their breadth of experience will be greater and reflect gaps that might otherwise exist in the company.  They can help avoid common pitfalls during the investment process and provide credibility to investors by developing trust that is essential when securing funding.  They can also guide executive reporting to achieve the quality subsequently required.
  • For entrepreneurs: selling the business – whilst still running it – can be the ultimate career test, so having a NED with prior experience of the process, the challenges and stress points as well as a proven advisor network will not only increase the likelihood of success but also the value achieved.
  • Board refresh – Listed companies need to refresh boards and proactively plan succession.  We can help your company compete more effectively in today’s markets by addressing issues such as gender diversity, or help the company better align to its external stakeholders. Private Equity and privately owned businesses can also benefit from a Board refresh when considering new challenges and opportunities such as digital transformation and cyber security.

We have a proven track record:

  • Proven capability in attracting NED talent: we have a powerful NED network and are adept at identifying those potential NED’s who will enhance your Board
  • Supplied perfectly matched short-lists within weeks, reflecting diversity and other key requirements
  • NJR Directors with personal experience as Non-Executive Directors or Trustees who can provide expert guidance with your search

"I have had the pleasure of being 'hunted' by Daryl Stickland for a Non-Executive Chairman's role. Over the past 35 years I have been hunted on numerous occasions, and have also mandated search consultants on numerous occasions. Daryl has excelled! He is thorough, not only in understanding and explaining his brief, not only in ensuring he has depth of understanding of his candidates, but in exploring and scratching beneath the surface to establish the degree of FIT there may be between client and candidate. That all so easily elusive notion of 'chemistry’, he digs for in considerable depth."

John Dembitz, Non-Executive Chairman (former CEO and COO) HLBBshaw

Non-Executive Director & Chairman Practice Team

Daryl Stickland

Daryl Stickland

Director - NED Practice

Daryl established and led his first Non-Executive Practice in 2010 and has supported businesses to engage exceptional Non-Executives ever since. An advocate of the value of Non-Executives to companies, their leaders and investors as well as more broadly to UK Plc. Daryl has attended FT NED Club courses, been a Trustee and delivered content for the Institute of Directors. Daryl’s  appointments have helped create value for company owners and shareholders, raise investment and achieve exits, as well as bringing good governance. 

"We worked closely with Rex at NJR on a new and key, senior management position. He did a great job of turning round a strong short list in a tight time-frame, as well as quickly adapting to changing requirements. Rex was easy to contact and responsive throughout the process and I would definitely recommend working with NJR based on this experience. "

Maria Woodhams, HR Manager Toyota Financial Services (UK) plc

"NJR has supported IMI Critical Engineering with a number of senior interim roles spanning various locations across Europe and the UK."

NJR, Interim Management Experts
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"Rex at NJR did a fantastic job of turning round a comprehensive short list in a very tight time-frame, quickly sourcing a range of highly relevant and suitable candidates. They were also extremely responsive, helping to manage a smooth and efficient process; I would definitely recommend working with them based on my experience."

Sarah Thompson, VP Finance, HR and Operations International LeapFrog Toys
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"NJR are an outstanding company to work with since they understand the need to deliver high quality people but also at speed and with unrivalled client service. What's more NJR have outstanding people who not only understand recruitment but who have fulfilled senior executive roles in all their key sectors on a global basis. So they can instantly understand a client's needs and its culture and use this to source top quality candidates who will be effective on a long term basis."

Rene Schuster, Former Group COO Veon and CEO Telefonica Germany

"Insurethebox is a market leader which needs to react with speed and agility to maintain its market position. To support this Insurethebox requires our business partners to be able to respond promptly with expertise, skill and well-rounded solutions. Rex at NJR has consistently met the brief set, and has delivered."

Andy Haynes, Joint Chief Executive InsureTheBox
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"Rex provided Diageo with a cost-effective, punctual and targeted approach which got the right result!"

Kevin Fairburn, Head of HR Western Europe Functions Diageo

"Rex comes highly recommended. Undertaking what proved challenging posts to fill, Rex got to grips with culture and fit very quickly. Very professional and an easy approach to work with. Most importantly Rex delivered on all of his assignments."

Justin Thomas, Managing Director Bon Bon Buddies Ltd

"Rex played a key role in running a successful talent pool campaign to identify, evaluate and appoint a number of senior finance roles at Legal & General. The assignment brief was challenging: timescales for delivery were tight and we had set a high quality bar for candidates' technical, as well as commercial skills standards. The brief was executed well and involved the delivery of rigorous assessment days. The days not only resulted in the selection of high quality recruits but also turned out to be a very effective and efficient use of the Legal & General senior management teams time."

Lee Dobson, Finance Director, Wealth Division (at time of project) Legal & General
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"Norrie’s firm always provides top quality candidates, often at short notice, in a very professional and client-focussed manner. He is a pleasure to work with."

Chris Rickard, Group Finance Director The Weir Group

"Rex is a hugely talented, proactive individual who takes time to understand his client's needs and provides a first class service."

Atul Sharma, Finance Director GSK Export

"Norrie is a consummate professional and a pleasure to do business with. He is affable, diligent and dependable. He operates well across sectors and brings a wealth of experience to any work situation. I recommend him without hesitation."

Alan McCarthy-Wyper, Director Balfour Beatty Rail

"Rex has assisted me as Group Head of Internal Audit at G4S Plc to place 3 senior roles during a 6 month period. Rex is a reliable Executive Recruiter who identified good quality candidates and made sure that they met the candidate profile before sending in their CVs."

Phil Summerton, Group Head of Internal Audit G4S Plc

"Rex assisted SEGA with recruitment campaigns. I found him to be honest, professional and helpful at all times. It was great dealing with him."

Ben Harrison, Head of HR SEGA Europe

"Norrie has always been very responsive and on two occasions has provided a very rapid and professional service to identify high-quality leaders for Westinghouse. He must have a huge network as he always manages to provide a short-list in a matter of days, of very high quality. I will continue to use Norrie for difficult positions when I need to move fast and guarantee quality."

Colin Brown, Engineering and Safety Director Invensys Rail

"Rex has worked on 2 commissions I have been involved with. On both occasions he has managed and conducted thorough searches with a particular diligence. This combined with highly developed levels of perception, an acute awareness and great people skills has led to being presented with proper runners for the top level posts involved. I wouldn't hesitate to recommend him and will use his services again."

James Sprint, Group CEO Alternative Flooring and Wilton Carpet Factory

"I just wanted to say thank you for your input, support and advice during our first interim appointment. The advice pre-Christmas was excellent, your first candidate was spot-on and of course, we are excited now at having our interim join our team. You've helped to make this process very straight-forward and uncomplicated and I will have no hesitation in recommending your services to others in the future. Thanks again."

Mark Wynn, Managing Director Avonline Plc

"We have used NJR on more than one occasion and have been impressed by their ability to find excellent candidates both quickly and cost-effectively. We particularly like the fact that throughout the process we have the personal attention of one of NJR's Directors who knows and understands our business and it's culture."

Mark Cockburn, Managing Director Cambridge Economic Policy Associates

"NJR's SME service took the brief quickly and provided the experience, calibre and personality of candidates we were looking for."

Catherine Senda, Managing Director Curtin&Co
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"NJR have been outstanding. They truly went the extra mile to assemble a shortlist at short notice, working weekends to interview candidates speedily and arrange meetings on a Sunday. The resultant shortlist was of exceptional quality, any one of the five would have been appointable into the role. I would use NJR again without hesitation."

Stuart Brocklehurst, Chief Executive Applegate Marketplace Ltd