Our Team

Mark Ashcroft - Seqel Partners Team


Mark Ashcroft

Partner & Board Member



Office +64 9 358 7408

Mobile +64 27 229 9824

Mark Ashcroft is a widely respected Executive Search professional with over 20 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.

Cilla Carter - Seqel Partners Team


Cilla Carter

Senior Associate



Office +64 9 358 7406

Mobile +64 21 328 153

Cilla joined the team at SEQEL in 2013 following 6 years at Heidrick & Struggles as an Associate in the Global Industrial Practice and Financial Officers Executive Search Practice. She has participated in a wide range of local and global executive searches, and gained broad industry sector expertise from her 10+ years in search. Cilla has demonstrated experience in “C-suite”, CEO and Non-Executive Director appointments within publicly listed, private and co-operative business models. Her earlier background includes experience in the professional services, technology and insurance sectors.

Gary Dick - Seqel Partners


Gary Dick

Advisor & Board Chair


Mobile +64 21 833 711

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.

Lauren Higgs - Seqel Partners


Lauren Higgs

Senior Associate



Office +64 9 282 4858

Mobile +64 21 833 755

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.

Don Jaine - Seqel Partners


Don Jaine

Advisor & Board Member


Mobile +64 274 795 035

Don is a well known Executive Search and Management Consultancy professional with more than 20 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 in 2008. In October 2018 Don retired as a Partner, and continues his association with SEQEL Partners as a Board Member and Advisor.

Don is 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.

Julie Kippenberger


Julie Kippenberger




Office +64 9 557 5566

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.

Maya Mitchell


Dr Maya Mitchell




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

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.

Sue Marsh - Seqel Partners


Sue Marsh




Office +64 9 358 7409

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.

Kirsty Simpson


Kirsty Simpson,

Partner & Board Member



Office +64 9 358 7407
Mobile +64 21 550 036

Kirsty Simpson is a specialist within the executive recruitment and search industry, having focused her career in this space for the last 15 years.

Prior to joining SEQEL in 2018, Kirsty spent nearly three years with Air New Zealand most recently managing their Talent Management practice and supporting the identification, assessment and development of their top employees and undertaking all global and local executive searches for the senior leadership team. Kirsty was instrumental in the establishment of a new Digital leadership team and undertook numerous key appointments across revenue, operations, human resources, marketing & customer and corporate services.

Kirsty spent almost 12 years with Emergent specialising in Executive Recruitment and Contracting and as a Director of two of their subsidiary companies. Kirsty’s early career was spent in professional services firms.

As a generalist, Kirsty has built reputation delivering outstanding senior executive and general management appointments in the digital, marketing, sales and human resources disciplines across Aviation, FMCG, Banking, Insurance, Health, Retail, Infrastructure, Manufacturing and Consumer Durable sectors.

James Sleigh - Seqel Partners Team


James Sleigh

Partner & Board Member



Office +64 9 358 7415
Mobile +64 21 868652

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.

Dion Andrews


Dion Andrews

Psychometric Assessment



Office +64 3 312 6070
+64 21 403 291

Dion holds a MSc in Psychology and Post Graduate Diploma in Industrial Organisational Psychology with the University of Canterbury. Dion initially operated as a registered psychologist for a number of years, during which time he continually refined his craft and collected numerous certifications with a range of reputable psychometric test publishers. In 2002 Dion founded Shadow Consulting Ltd with the intention of bringing high fidelity, ethical, nonpartisan assessment solutions to the market.

As trusted associates of SEQEL Partners since 2012, Dion and his team apply an ethical high-touch methodology, leveraging 25 years’ experience using best in class psychometric assessment tools delivering deep insights within the executive assessment and on-boarding process. The integration of insights delivered through the partnership of SEQEL Partners and Shadow Consulting provides clients a high fidelity understanding of individual candidates and their relative merits. Dion undertakes 1:1 candidate feedback sessions, ensuring quality discussion, insight and learning.