Latest news from Directorbank

26 June 2019

Directorbank team reaches the summit of Great Britain

Directorbank team climbs Ben Nevis –

On Thursday 20th June, 8:15am, Wave 1 of the Directorbank team set out to climb Ben Nevis, Britain’s highest mountain, via the Carn Mor Dearg Arête, to raise funds for Macmillan Cancer Support.
Visit our Just Giving page.

We started our adventure from a car park near Torlundy with bags of energy, enthusiasm … and a little apprehension. The North Face Trail gently guided us uphill through thick forest, our rucksacks bearing down on our shoulders stuffed to the brim with water, spare layers, waterproofs, blister packs and a plethora of sugary snacks.

Within the first hour, the unpredictable Scottish weather proved true to form as mist turned to drizzle and then to heavy rain. We downed our bags in search of waterproof gear. As we emerged into open moorland, the incredible cliffs, buttresses and gullies of majestic Ben Nevis lay ahead. We were full of admiration and determination.

Some of us quickly realised our kit wasn’t up to the required standard. With hours of walking ahead of us, Graham came to the rescue with spares. Lewis’s navy jacket was replaced with a heavy duty dayglow-orange number and a makeshift waterproof cape to protect his bag from a further soaking. There was no chance of losing him on the mountain!

Exposed to the elements, a biting wind picked up and rain turned to needles of icy sleet. We pushed on, fingers and toes numb to the cold, across the heather and boulder strewn landscape. As we climbed upwards on the long ascent to Carn Mor Dearg we were rewarded with stunning views back to Caol, Corpach and Lochs Linnhe and Eil. A humbling sight!

As the North Face of Ben Nevis drew closer, strangely we stumbled across a large group of Royal Marines and US Marines on a training mission, completely camouflaged against the rocky slopes. Travelling from the hotter climes of Colorado or Virginia, some looked thoroughly beaten by the less favourable elements. We followed them upwards into the corrie, precariously traversing the fast flowing Allt a Mhuilinn stream with the aid of our walking poles, its icy water filling our boots.

The CIC Hut (Britain’s highest mountain hut) provided some much needed respite. Locked from public use, we took shelter behind its thick stone walls, huddled alongside the Military. Shivering we added more layers, sipped hot tea and took on more calories than probably necessary. Graham came to the rescue again in the form of a Montane down jacket, it’s ‘lightweight without compromise’ tag living up to expectations.

According to Tim’s map reading we’d reached 680m and the North Face of Ben Nevis loomed over us rising some 700m to the summit, its sheer bulk grey and sinister against the dark cloud. The icy winds picked up and, wary of the probable 40mph gusts along the Carn Mor Dearg Arête, Graham made the decision to change tack and attempt Ben Nevis from a different approach. Alas, the challenge of the arête route wasn’t to be!

Tim did a stellar job of navigating us around the buttress of Carn Dearg to join the Mountain Path next to Lochan Meall an t-Suidhe. As our heart rates picked up and our body temperatures increased, we were rewarded with grand views up Glen Nevis. Our enthusiasm returned and there was laughter to be heard.

With Wave 2 of the Directorbank team slightly ahead of us, having taking the Mountain Path from Achintee on the east side of Glen Nevis, we ascended the remaining 700m up the stony west flank of Ben Nevis in a series of relentless zig zags.  It was straightforward, but strenuous going and we started to spread out as the incline took its toll. As we climbed, we passed a number of the Wave 2 group – led by Simon – on their descent. They looked cold to the core, but happy with their achievement.

Finally, after 20km of continuous uphill trekking, the Wave 1 group reached the summit of Ben Nevis at 3:45 pm with a huge sense of satisfaction and relief. With its rock strewn landscape, cloaked in icy mist, and a thick coating of snow along the top of the vertigo-inducing Tower Gully, this was no place to hang around. We embraced members of the Wave 2 group, took the obligatory team photos at the Trig Point, high fived, and began our descent together in the driving sleet, our Gore-Tex jackets and many base layers offering little protection from the glacial conditions. One could spend a small fortune for such microdermabrasion facial treatment!

The rocky path down was slow going and an absolute killer for the knees, but as the mist dissipated we were rewarded with breath-taking views. Lush green valleys, carpets of dense woodland and sparkling Lochs shadowed by the Highland’s majestic peaks and crags. A picture perfect Alpine scene.

Underfoot the terrain was slippery and the tally of falls and stumbles quickly rose. Serious concentration was required. Soon the Ben Nevis Inn was in sight, a welcome beacon of light and our finish line. Completely knackered, we flopped into comfy leather chairs and celebrated with a much deserved pint (or two) of Cairngorm Ale.

Distance covered – 29km
Elevation gain – 1,480m
Trekking time – 9.5 hours
Number of stumbles – 21
Broken bones or other injuries – 0
Cases of failed kit – Many
Team members sharing Graham’s spare kit – 7

For all of us, our Ben Nevis adventure has been a great success. Challenging and particularly hard going at times, but hugely rewarding and a lot of fun. And a great chance to catch up with Directorbank colleagues from across the UK and Germany. For some of us, an entry on the bucket list has been ticked off, never to be repeated. For others, a reattempt of the Carn Mor Dearg Arête is planned for the near future … once the aches and pains have subsided … and the odd case of frostnip!

And the best news of all is we’ve successfully raised more than £2,500 (and climbing!) for Macmillan Cancer Support.  Our sincere thanks go to those who have sponsored us so far.
If you’d like to contribute to the fund pot, please visit our Just Giving page 

10 June 2019

Directorbank takes on Ben Nevis via the Carn Mor Dearg Arête

On 20th June 2019, the Directorbank team will take on Ben Nevis, Britain’s highest mountain, to raise funds for Macmillan Cancer Support, a charity that has supported several Directorbank employees in recent years.

Led by Graham Jones, our Managing Director and a seasoned climber, we aim to complete the challenging yet spectacular Carn Mor Dearg Arête route to the 1,345m high summit of Ben Nevis. The entire trek should take us around 10 hours.

Straddling the fine line between rambling and scrambling, the route incorporates a tough slog up the flank of Carn Mor Dearg, Scotland’s 8th highest munro, followed by a traverse along the narrow and exposed Carn Mor Dearg Arête which curves across the headwall of the Coire Leis and provides stunning views of Ben Nevis’s north face. A final section of strenuous scrambling will lead us up to the summit. We will then join the Mountain Path down Ben Nevis to the finish point.

Continuing our calendar of fundraising activity, Directorbank will donate £100 to Macmillan Cancer Support for every employee who reaches the summit.

Please help us raise funds by sponsoring us via our Just Giving page.

About Macmillan Cancer Support:

Right from the moment someone is diagnosed with cancer, Macmillan provides a constant source of support, guiding them every step of the way through their treatment and beyond. Not only do they provide medical help, but they assist with practical, emotional and financial support for patients, their families and carers, as well as pushing for better cancer care.


2 April 2019

Directorbank strengthens German practice

We are delighted to welcome Nina Halstrick to our Frankfurt office.

Nina is an experienced and well connected executive search specialist having held previous roles at Odgers Berndtson, Strametz & Partner and Korn Ferry. She will work alongside our Director Europe, Dorothea Kronenberghs, and support the team across all sectors.

Dorothea comments:
“Nina is a great asset to Directorbank and she has already become a much valued member of the Frankfurt team. Through her experience and connections, she will be instrumental in strengthening our German practice by further developing our candidate network and service offering to clients.”

Nina comments:
“With a strong candidate network and a growing client base, Directorbank has deserved respect in the executive search market. Its experienced team is hugely dedicated and I very much look forward to supporting them in developing the business further.”

Nina Halstrick
Consultant, Europe

26 March 2019

OMB100 – Fast growing owner-managed businesses in the North West

The fastest growing owner-managed companies in the North West region have now been revealed.

Part of the Insider Growth 100 series, the OMB100 covers the North West region and ranks companies by turnover growth over the last year. The Managing Director must be listed as a shareholder.

To view the full 2019 North West OMB100 league table, click here:

From professional services to construction, manufacturing to IT, engineering to retail, OMBs are the backbone of the North West business community. Insider’s OMB100 recognises those businesses that have achieved rapid growth and Directorbank is proud to be supporting this initiative alongside mid-market private equity investor LDC, investment management firm Brewin Dolphin, and law firm Gateley.

George Heppenstall, Directorbank’s Head of North West, comments:

“The OMB100 promotes the entrepreneurial capabilities and niche skill sets of some of the region’s most effective business leaders. Last year, almost 30% of Directorbank’s executive, non-executive and senior management placements were into Northern businesses, and a good number of these were North West-based. We look forward to supporting more regional businesses with Board and senior-level talent solutions in the future.”


About Directorbank:

Founded in 1998, Directorbank provides executive and non-executive search solutions for entrepreneurial growth companies across the SME market. With an exceptional talent network – developed over 20 years – and a knowledgeable, experienced team, we can demonstrate a strong track record of success covering all key sectors and roles from Chairmen, NEDs, CEOs and FDs to other critical directorships in Operations, Sales, Marketing, IT and HR.

Directorbank has also worked with more than 100 Private Equity houses, supporting them at both the pre-deal and portfolio stages of the investment cycle with a suite of recruitment solutions.

Should you like further information on our services, or a confidential discussion regarding a recruitment requirement, please contact:

George Heppenstall
Director and Head of North West 
0161 509 3508