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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 – Partner, Global Head of Sport

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.

Andrew Moss – Partner, Global Head of Media & Entertainment

Andrew has worked in sport, media and entertainment for over 20 years.  Having trained and qualified as a lawyer with global magic circle firm Herbert Smith, Andrew moved in house to join The Football Association and worked on the financing of Wembley National Stadium as well as all the major broadcast, sponsorship and licensing deals.

Prior to joining Nolan Partners, Andrew was Chief Commercial Officer at Oliver & Ohlbaum (leading independent strategic / management consultancy).  Andrew was in charge of global business development and won / managed key strategic projects for clients in the sports, media and entertainment sectors with a focus on corporate finance, sports investment and broadcast media rights valuations.

Stewart King – Partner, Global 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.

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 was involved in 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.

Joe French – Associate

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.

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 – Research Consultant

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.

Dominic Craven – Researcher

Dom started at Nolan Partners early in 2017 having achieved First-Class honours in Sports Business Management from Leeds Beckett University. Dom has undertaken research on a number of commercial searches both domestically and internationally. These have been across a whole range of sports and associated businesses including football, cricket, horse racing, media and entertainment. Dom is a keen cricketer and enjoyed playing rugby union whilst at school.

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.

“Your broad based knowledge of the market place and your wide ranging network of contacts produced a range of excellent candidates for the SPL. We benefitted greatly from your skills and expertise. It was a pleasure to work with Nolan Partners.”

Lex Gold CBE

“The British Horseracing Authority engaged with Nolan Partners to help us find a new Chief Executive Officer and after conducting a search, Nolan Partners presented a strong long list of 11 candidates which was whittled down to a shortlist of four. The successful candidate was up against one of the highest quality Chief Executive fields I have ever come across, with a range of senior leaders from the UK business, consumer and leisure industries. One of the most difficult things was saying thank you but no to three of them. All were outstanding and the appointed Chief Executive was up against an incredibly competitive field.”

Steve Harman

“Paul Nolan, we find, is a consummate professional and we are currently using his organisation on more assignments and are very pleased with progress-to - date. We are very much enjoying working with him.”

Ralph Topping

“We believe they are the number one firm in sports recruitment and would recommend them to any sports organisation to handle their senior appointments.”

Paul Barber

“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
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