Executive Search for Africa & Emerging Markets

Placements

Big 5 Search exists to find and attract the best functional leaders from a global and competitive talent pool for our Emerging Markets clients. It is not enough for us to secure specific expertise; we work closely with our clients to ensure that candidates have the right mindset, cultural fit and the adaptability necessary to succeed in their roles for the long term.

Governance

  • NED/IC, SSA agribusiness investment fund UK
  • NED, Sustainable forestry Ghana

Commercial

  • CCO, EM energy services Kenya
  • Chief Product Officer, Clean tech Cote d’Ivoire

Leadership

  • CEO, Agri processing & distribution across SSA Kenya
  • CEO, Social Enterprises portfolio across East Africa Kenya

Investment

  • Partner, SSA Smart Infrastructure/Hard Tech Fund UK
  • Africa Director, Forestry Fund Kenya

Finance

  • CFO, Off-grid energy & consumer finance Ghana
  • CFO, Agri production & distribution Egypt

People

  • HRD, Impact investor across East Africa Kenya
  • HRD, FMCG multinational across Africa Cote d’Ivoire

Technical

  • CTO, Fintech payments Nigeria
  • Project Director, Natural gas to power Rwanda
Countries in which the Big 5 team has placed candidates

Countries in which the Big 5 team has placed candidates

Our Team

James Adair

James Adair

Partner

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James Adair

Partner

James previously worked in commercial shipping as a chartering broker with HSBC and subsequently covering the OSV market in Africa with a specialist brokerage. He lived in Ghana when working as a GM for a shipping agency and later represented local owners in setting up a successful JV with Swire.

Following this he moved into Executive Search, working as a Consultant for an Africa focused boutique. During this time, he completed numerous C-level assignments with success in representing both operating companies and private equity firms.

William McCaw

William McCaw

Partner

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William McCaw

Partner

William began his career in search and, before joining Big 5 Search, headed the Private Equity teams at two leading international boutique search firms in London, Hong Kong and New York. He specialises in Emerging Markets Executive Search in Alternative Investments and represents clients in VC, Growth, Private Equity, Credit, Family Office, Impact Investing, Energy/ Infrastructure and Real Assets.

Will has completed multiple assignments from Partner to Associate level across North and Sub-Saharan Africa, Middle East and Asia, providing confidential advice on team composition, compensation, and competitor analysis.

David Kuwana

David Kuwana

Advisor

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David Kuwana

Advisor

David brings over thirty years of executive and HR leadership experience in multiple Emerging Markets. This includes country CEO roles with Standard Chartered as well as CEO roles with other banks and Fintech firms.

Earlier in his career David held senior HR roles with Anglo-American and Standard Chartered which saw him leading major transformation programmes in Africa and South East Asia. He is currently the Chairman of an African fintech business.

Ade Akin-Aina

Ade Akin-Aina

Advisor

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Ade Akin-Aina

Advisor

Ade is a London based, Canada educated technical recruiter with over twelve years of global experience that spans Canada, Silicon Valley, Western Europe and Africa - in particular Kenya, Nigeria, Uganda, Ghana, and South Africa.

Specialising in the critical technical searches needed to transform product and engineering teams, Ade has placed GMs, Product and Engineering leaders, as well as highly technical individual contributors. With a global network and strong technical acumen, she communicates effectively with both technical and non-technical leaders to identify the talent needed to grow businesses. Ade is a fluent French speaker.