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First Flight was set up in 2006 by Chris Spencer-Phillips as a specialist Non-Executive Director resource, to meet a need driven by several factors:

  • Government-led reviews (such as Cadbury and Higgs Reports) set out enhanced standards of good practise for UK Company Boards
  • Traditional City & West End Search firms charge £40-50k to handle a Non Exec project - prohibitive for all except the very largest companies
  • An increasing number of people selling their businesses - giving them time, experience and funds to get involved in the right business opportunity as Non Execs and to “give something back”
  • Enhanced access to business funding as a result of more experienced and credible Boards

At First Flight Non-Executive Directors we are different...

  • Sensible 'fixed cost' fees. We typically charge less than half the level of fees charged by “City” recruitment firms. We try to avoid linking our fees to NED remuneration, so our clients know  exactly what fees will be charged, and there is no incentive to “bid up” the price of our Non Exec candidates
  • A strong view that “less is more”. We do not believe that Non execs with multiple roles can be as effective for their Boards and companies. We prefer to recommend proven Non execs who have the time and bandwidth to be more fully engaged in your business
  • A wide range of skills and experience. Our candidates are all highly-experienced Executives with specialist skills that can be brought to bear on Boards. Increasingly Boards are demanding that their non execs are able to bring skills and expertise, perhaps lacking, in the current Executive team

Our database is one of the largest Chairmen & Non-Executive Director database in the UK (currently 6,500 candidates, selected from 37,000 CVs). This is supported with discreet executive search and focused advertising to identify the most appropriate candidates for our clients. This means we can turn around projects rapidly, ensuring that our clients enjoy the benefits of a fast and specialised service with competitive fees.

First Flight offers respected Non Exec Learning workshops, designed to educate and prepare people to become more effective non-executive directors. For more information about our 1 day courses, please contact us.