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Paul Nolan – Group Managing Director

Paul spent 6 years as the Group HR Director for The English Football Association and Wembley Stadium, where he worked closely with the board, Chairman and Chief Executives to build leadership teams, handling every senior executive and non-executive appointment. Prior to this, Paul spent 13 years in consumer facing international businesses, including a position on the board of a division of a FTSE 250 business with a specific responsibility for acquiring and developing leadership talent.

As well as leading our sports practice and conducting all of our board level searches and chief executive and managing director mandates, Paul has conducted significant work in the betting & gaming industry, including several Executive board level searches at Ladbrokes plc and William Hill plc.

Paul sits on a number of boards, including the Advisory Board of the UCFB, which offers world-class degrees in the business of sport; the Advisory Board of the Thoroughbred Horseracing Industry MBA at Liverpool University and sits on the judging panels of the Leaders 40 Under 40 Awards and the Top 50 Most Influential Woman in Sport. Paul also sits on the the board of Positive Futures, a charity supporting hard to reach young people in North Liverpool.

Chad Biagini – Managing Director, North America

Chad brings 10+ years’ experience in Executive Search, representing a wide range of sports clients including Ultimate Fighting Championship, WWE, Special Olympics, and teams across Major League Baseball, National Hockey League, Major League Soccer, and the NFL. Throughout his career, Chad’s placed more than 200 senior executives across the industries of financial services, consumer products, technology, private equity, automotive, non-profit, media & entertainment, sports management, aerospace, and higher education.

Chad has also conducted extensive work in search in the non-profit sector in the US where he has worked with a significant number of the top 50 organizations in this sector including United Way Worldwide and Make-A-Wish America.

In 2005, Chad took a two-year sabbatical to volunteer full-time at the Los Angeles Dream Center, where he oversaw all production and creative for at-risk youth programs. Chad serves on the Board of Directors of Make-A-Wish Greater Los Angeles and on the National Board of Pet Partners in Bellevue, WA. He served on the Advisory Board of Positive Coaching Alliance in Phoenix, Arizona, from 2014-2016.

Emma Thomson – Operations Director

One of the original founders of Nolan Partners, Emma was previously Head of HR at AMV BBDO (the UK’s largest advertising agency). Emma’s career started in human resources in the aviation industry before moving into football. Emma spent four years at The Football Association becoming Senior HR Manager with responsibility for mid to senior level recruitment.

Emma looks after the operational running of Nolan Partners including finance, IT, marketing and HR.

Andy Taylor – Partner

Andy joined Nolan Partners in 2011 and brings over 15 years Executive Search experience and significant expertise in both the sports industry and entertainment. He commenced his career with PepsiCo in the UK, working in a variety of commercial roles. Andy has worked with several leading firms during his time in Executive Search, initially in the high tech and ‘dotcom’ industry in the late 90’s and has been working within the sport and entertainment industry for the past 10 years.

Globally experienced, Andy has worked across EMEA, Asia, Russia, Australia and North America. Andy has worked on mandates across various disciplines including chairman, CEO’s, commercial, finance, legal and elite performance. He has extensive experience working for organisations such as Manchester City FC, Liverpool FC, Oracle Racing, The America’s Cup, The NBA, Ladbrokes Plc and William Hill Plc.

Stewart King – Head of Performance

Stewart has managed executive search assignments for over 10 years. As the Head of Performance Practice for Nolan Partners, Stewart advises on and executes leadership appointments into the technical departments of world leading professional clubs and national associations. Typical search assignments Stewart will manage include Sporting Director/General Managers, High Performance Directors, Heads of Player Recruitment, Head Coaches, Academy Directors as well as senior professionals across sports science, medical, strength & conditioning and nutrition.

Stewart has invested significant time in building relationships with key individuals around the world and can comfortably present truly international shortlists. He has successfully delivered on assignments across Europe, North America, Middle East and Asia-Pacific. The time Stewart spends out in the field means he is able to provide accurate and real time benchmarking information/market analysis to clubs/franchises/governing bodies around the world.

Edward Marsden – Performance Consultant

Edward brings over 6 years’ experience in Executive Search, having joined Nolan Partners in 2011. He progressed to the role of Performance Consultant in 2017, responsible for supporting the Nolan Partners’ Performance Practice globally, providing clients with talent strategy and acquisition across elite performance, technical, sports medicine, science, talent identification and scouting, sports participation and administration.

Edward joined in 2011 as a Researcher. To date he has worked on mandates covering a number of global sports and sporting organisations including football, rugby, cricket, Formula One, horse racing, sports marketing agencies, venues, universities and sporting centres of excellence in the UK, Europe, North and South America, and Asia. These mandates have covered high profile roles ranging from board level non-executive directors, chairman and chief executives, to sporting and technical directors,  managing directors, senior management and recruitment & performance analysis roles.

Graham Boone – Associate

Graham brings eight years of experience working with all levels of team, league and university leadership. Prior to joining Nolan Partners in 2017, Graham served as the Director of Basketball Operations and a National Basketball Players Association Player Agent for Tandem Sports + Entertainment, where he worked on behalf of NBA stars including Tim Duncan, Jeremy Lin, Grant Hill, Ray Allen and Thaddeus Young, among others. During his time as an agent, Graham oversaw more than $350M in negotiated player salaries, completed more than 40 free agent deals and helped sign more than 25 players to the company’s roster.

At Nolan Partners, Graham specialises in executing searches in General Management, Senior Strategy, Salary Cap Administration, Senior Legal Counsel, Sports Science, Talent Identification/Scouting, CEO, COO, CFO, CRO and CMO positions. Graham attended the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill where he was a Morehead-Cain Scholar and a recruited debater for the US National Debate Team.

Mandi Lockley – Executive Assistant

Mandi joined Nolan Partners in 2012 and has over eleven years’ experience within the sports industry, including seven years at sports marketing agency Octagon, delivering sponsorship activation for corporate partners of international football tournaments, European athletics, Rugby Union and Formula One. She has also previously worked within broadcast media and as a board level PA/EA within the technology and retail financial services sectors.

Eve Bonniface – Head of Research

Eve has 15 years’ experience in Executive Search gained working for a number of Executive Search consultancies in London, most latterly as Head of Research at Howgate Sable LLP. She is an established Research Consultant, with a track record recruiting senior and board level executives across a broad range of industry sectors including sport, leisure, retail, travel, entertainment, property, engineering, manufacturing, transport, media and advertising. At Nolan Partners she has led the research team’s international searches for football, motorsport, horseracing and betting and gaming clients.

Joe French – Senior Researcher

Joe joined Nolan Partners in 2017, having spent three years working in Executive Search & Recruitment, focusing on Executive & Non-Executive searches across the consumer sector in the UK and EMEA. Joe graduated from Loughborough University, where he studied Sports & Exercise Science and led a successful swimming career.  Joe focuses predominantly on Corporate Sports, with mandates spanning Rights Holders, Sporting Clubs, Governing Bodies, Professional Leagues, Venues, Sponsors and Corporate Organisations.

Rob Marks – Senior Researcher

Rob joined Nolan Partners after successfully completing an internship with the Company whilst at University where he gained a First in Business Management. Rob has carried out research for a number of UK and international roles at senior management and board level within football, motorsports, rugby, horse racing, cricket and media & entertainment.

Dr Rowan Bradford – Associate Director and Occupational Psychologist

Dr Rowan Bradford is a respected business psychologist with 20 years of wide-ranging, cross-sector experience in senior level executive assessment and development. After completing a degree in Psychology at the University of Birmingham, she completed a PHD in Occupational Psychology, focusing on what helps people to learn at work. Since then, she has worked as a training and development consultant and as a business psychologist specialising in executive assessment and development. She has a special interest in what makes leaders succeed and ‘derail’ in top jobs and has consulted internationally in a wide range of sectors including engineering, telecoms, retail, leisure, betting, pharmaceuticals and financial services.

“The international search brought candidates from the US, Switzerland, Singapore and UK. I’ve been delighted with their partnership approach, results and tenacity in helping us secure an outstanding individual for the post.”

Chris Buckley

“The LMA would also like to thank their specialist recruitment firm Nolan Partners for finding us such a first class candidate. Their knowledge and understanding of the football business proved to be invaluable.”

Howard Wilkinson

“I appointed Nolan Partners to assist on a challenging mandate to hire a Director of CRM to lead our teams across Gibraltar and Israel. Not only did we hire someone with the perfect skill set, they really understood the company and department culture to attract the right person, which was critical. I would have no hesitation in recommending them.”

Colin Cole-Johnson

“Their ability to identify and attract people to a relatively unknown business provided us with shortlisted candidates from ‘A’ list strategy houses, rights holders, technology companies and broadcasters. We have since engaged Nolan Partners on another C-level mandate and look forward to maintaining our long term partnership.”

Chris Buckley

“As a truly international business we are delighted with our hire – a German national who was working for an Italian company, living in the UK and now happily relocated to Gibraltar. Their ability to excite potential candidates was first class and I would have no hesitation in recommending them.”

Henry Birch
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