Borough Market – Managing Director

The UK’s most renowned and best loved food market approached Penna to help it find its next Managing Director -an exceptional talent who could combine commercial growth and maintain its absolute commitment to the market’s community values and passion for food and produce of the highest quality

This was not a role for the faint-hearted, requiring a complex range of skills and experience with the personal qualities and presence to engage with a complex range of stakeholders from market stall holders to royalty and senior politicians.

An unincorporated Trust meant that the Trustees were personally liable for the charities legacy and any debt, and were torn between securing genuine commercial operational grip whilst maintaining a leadership style that lived and breathed the vibrancy and creative spirit of the market.

From the start the Penna team understood the importance of demonstrating a clear understanding the market, its challenges, and the qualities that make it so special. We spent time in the market, engaged with the stallholders and took photographs of the market in action. We analysed the business plan and 10 year strategy and developed a workshop for the Trustees using the backdrop of the photographs taken of the market and placing options for key priorities and the competencies required on a traditional market stall. This “bonding” session delivered results with a clear and agreed profile for the role and a creative recruitment process to engage a diverse range of leadership talent.

The recruitment campaign was visually creative, with rigorous assessment and effective stakeholder engagement built in. The final candidate pool comprised local government and not-for-profit CEOs, and leaders blue chip international businesses.

Our consultants supported the Selection Committee at the final interview reflecting back their original conclusions of what was required. This proved invaluable as the Trustees were initially divided on their preferred candidate but eventually came to a strong consensus in the knowledge that they had seen a genuine choice of appointable candidates.

Julie Towers

M: 07764 791736

T: 0207 332 7846


Roger Russell

M: 0203 829 9765

T: 07710 701570