Our Team

Mark Ashcroft - Seqel Partners Team


Mark Ashcroft, Partner


Mark Ashcroft is a widely respected Executive Search professional with 14 years of experience in the executive recruitment sector. Before cofounding SEQEL, Mark spent eight years with Korn/Ferry Futurestep, most recently leading the company’s Executive Search practice in New Zealand. Previously he ran Korn/Ferry Futurestep’s Australian Technology and Professional Services Practice during four years in Sydney.


Mark’s early career was spent with Lion Nathan, gaining functional and line management experience in Retail, Operations, Marketing and Trade Marketing as part of Lion’s Graduate Development Scheme, before a period with Sheffield Consulting Group. He has assisted numerous organisations ranging from “blue chip” corporates to start up companies with the appointment of senior executives. Mark has particular expertise in the Information Technology, Retail, Consumer Marketing, Industrial Services and Professional Services sectors. Additionally Mark has completed a number of major assessment and confidential research/benchmarking projects for clients in Australia and New Zealand.




Office +64 9 358 7408

Mobile +64 27 229 9824

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James Sleigh - Seqel Partners Team


James Sleigh, Partner


James Sleigh is an internationally experienced Executive Search and Assessment professional.  Prior to joining SEQEL in July 2016, James spent four years with the global search firm, Egon Zehnder, based in Sydney.  James has extensive experience in senior executive appointments, including Chief Executive and Managing Directors, and Board engagements across a range of sectors including Agriculture, Consumer, Energy, FMCG, Health, Industrial, Not-for-Profit, Telecommunications and Technology, and Private Equity.  James led the ANZ Healthcare Practice, and also focused on functional leadership roles in finance, marketing and sales, human resources, operations, procurement and supply chain across multiple industries.


Before joining the Executive Search Industry, James gained considerable executive experience from leading global organisations.  His early career was spent with BHP Steel, working across a number of roles in Australia and New Zealand.  Following the completion of his MBA, James joined the global Pharmaceutical organisation, Eli Lilly & Company.  Over a twelve year period James moved through the organisation into senior roles including General Manager of New Zealand, Six Sigma Champion for Emerging Markets based in the US, and Chief Marketing Officer for Australian and New Zealand.  In 2011 & 2012 James spent time in the Australian Medical Device Industry, working as a Marketing Director with Johnson & Johnson Medical and Resmed.


James earned a Bachelor of Economics (Honors) from Monash University and an MBA from Melbourne Business School, Melbourne University.



Office +64 9 358 7415
Mobile +64 21 868652

Don Jaine - Seqel Partners


Don Jaine, Partner


Don is a well known Executive Search and Management Consultancy professional with more than 15 years experience in the sector. Don is a former commercial law Partner with both Simpson Grierson and Chapman Tripp, and originally a Partner of Patent Attorney firm Baldwins with a focus on Information Technology, Intellectual Property, and Brand Marketing.


Don moved into the Executive Search profession in 1995, leveraging his consultative business skills of corporate law into the Executive Search sector. He has helped identify and appoint hard-to-find leaders in sectors as diverse as Agribusiness, Distribution, Healthcare, Manufacturing, Services, Technology, Transportation and Utilities. Don established the New Zealand business of Swann Group in late 1999, before cofounding SEQEL. Don is also a Director of several private companies and community organisations. Importantly, Don has established a reputation in New Zealand for achieving outstanding results in Succession interventions for successful privately owned New Zealand businesses.




Office +64 9 358 7407

Mobile +64 27 479 5035

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Gary Dick - Seqel Partners


Gary Dick, Chairman


Gary Dick is one of New Zealand’s most experienced and successful executive search practitioners. Up until his retirement in 2013, he was a Partner at Heidrick & Struggles New Zealand. Gary co-founded Heidrick New Zealand in 2007 after the successful sale of Renton James to the leading NYSE listed global search firm. Gary has a 25+ year track record of facilitating some of New Zealand’s most significant Chief Executive, Senior Executive and Board appointment roles.


Mobile +64 21 833 711

Cilla Carter - Seqel Partners Team


Cilla Carter, Senior Associate


Cilla joined SEQEL in 2013 as an Associate. She has enjoyed more than 10 years in Executive Search, the last 6 as an Associate at Heidrick & Struggles. Cilla has participated in senior executive searches across a wide range of industries including consumer products, agriculture, technology, telecommunications, financial services, public sector and retail. Her earlier background includes experience in the professional services, technology and insurance sectors.



Office +64 9 358 7406

Mobile +64 21 328 153

Lauren Higgs - Seqel Partners


Lauren Higgs, Senior Associate


Lauren joined SEQEL in June 2015. She was previously with Heidrick & Struggles in Auckland for over seven years as an Associate and was an active member of the Financial Services, Industrial, Life Sciences and Consumer practices across New Zealand. She has worked on numerous global, high profile searches for both publicly listed and privately held organisations. Prior to joining Heidrick & Struggles, Lauren spent time with Westpac and SKYCITY Entertainment Group, both in New Zealand. She has previously worked in the United Kingdom with various financial institutions including Credit Suisse and Goldman Sachs.



Office +64 9 282 4858

Mobile +64 21 833 755

Maya Mitchell


Dr Maya Mitchell, Associate


Maya joined SEQEL in 2017. She previously had a high profile legal career, both in private practice and academia. She has varied legal experience including experience in software licencing, distribution agreements, negotiating complex commercial lease arrangements, advising on employment relations and corporate governance matters. Alongside her other activities, Maya has lectured extensively at the University of Würzburg in Germany, the University of Auckland and Auckland University of Technology on topics including International Commercial Contracts, the Law of Torts and Legal Method. She is a Barrister and Solicitor of the High Court of New Zealand.

Maya holds a range of qualifications including a Bachelor of Laws (Honours) from the University of Auckland, a Master of Laws in German Law from the University of Würzburg in Germany, and a first class Doctorate in Law from the University of Cologne in Germany where she specialised in Private International Law.



Office +64 9 557 5632
Mobile +64 21 999 510



Tanny Leung, Associate


Tanny joined SEQEL in 2018.  She has more than 17 years in Executive Search, with leading global firms Egon Zehnder and Korn Ferry based in Hong Kong. Tanny spent 15 years with Egon Zehnder, initially as a Research Associate in the Consumer Practice for Greater China and Asia Pacific, before being promoted to Co-Head of Research for Hong Kong across all sectors. Tanny spent a further 2 years with Korn Ferry as a Senior Associate in the Consumer and Retail Practice. Prior to her career in executive search, Tanny held several research oriented roles with Dun & Bradstreet Hong Kong. Tanny spent her high school years in Seattle, Washington, and graduated from University of Auckland with a Bachelor degree in Statistics.



Office +64 9 358 7411
Mobile +64 21 0255 1110

Sue Marsh - Seqel Partners


Sue Marsh, Associate


As an Associate at SEQEL, Sue focuses on project administration and candidate research. Sue has been with SEQEL since the establishment of the firm and has worked in the executive search and recruitment industries for a number of years. Her early career was spent as a journalist.



Office +64 9 358 7409

Julie Kippenberger


Julie Kippenberger, Associate


Julie Kippenberger joined Seqel Partners in 2017. As an Associate, Julie focuses on project administration, candidate research and care, and administration. Julie has a Bachelor of Commerce and Administration from Victoria University of Wellington. Prior to joining Seqel Partners, Julie had an earlier career in recruitment, and sales and marketing in the Telecommunications sector. Julie also has experience in Project and Event Management in the not for profit sector.



Office +64 9 557 5566