Our people

It’s our remarkable team that makes the difference.

Smart. Pragmatic. Dedicated. International.

Our team has outstanding analytical skills, intellectual curiosity, a genuine desire to achieve the best for our clients and the ability to get things done.

Academic excellence and intellectual ability underpin our reputation for rigorous, data-driven work for our clients.

Our people are pragmatic, ensuring that your bespoke solutions are practical and actionable.

Partners, team members, senior advisors – everyone goes the extra mile to serve our clients.

We come from all over the world, a team with a genuine international outlook addressing your UK and global challenges.

Meet the partners

Rupert Barclay

Rupert Barclay

Managing Partner

Rupert’s strategic advisory career spans 30 years working in consulting and industry. He spent ten years at LEK Consulting, the last five as a partner, working on a variety of strategy and M&A assignments in various industries. He followed this with spells as head of strategy and M&A at two top 50 UK companies, Allied Domecq and Reuters. He specialises in corporate and business unit strategy in education and B2B business information. He has an MA in Classics from Cambridge, an MBA with Distinction from INSEAD and is a fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England & Wales.
Julie Mercer

Julie Mercer

Partner

Julie joined Cairneagle in April 2019 to lead the growth of our management consulting practice and the Higher Education sector. Julie was previously a partner at Deloitte where she set up and grew the education practice in the UK before becoming the industry leader for education globally. Her work spans the whole education system, and she brings over 20 years of experience of designing and delivering new operating models to improve service design and quality, reduce cost, improve productivity, open new markets and grow revenues in the UK and internationally. A qualified accountant, Julie trained with the National Audit Office and advised the C&AG and PAC on policy matters, including education. Julie graduated from the University of Bristol.
Arun Kanwar

Arun Kanwar

Partner

Arun joined Cairneagle in 2015. His strategy consulting and commercial due diligence experience includes both LEK Consulting and PwC, where he has worked across various industry sectors. In addition, he has spent over eight years in industry – at Tesco.com and Bright Horizons – where he had hands-on experience of formulating and delivering on growth and operational goals. At Bright Horizons, he headed up the UK mergers and acquisitions function when the business added over 100 childcare and education settings. Arun has an MChem in Chemistry from the University of Oxford.
Jorge Amirola

Jorge Amirola

Partner

Jorge focusses on the education and media/technology sectors. He’s worked in international schools across four continents and has 20 years of consulting and industry experience, including roles with AMR International. His strategic work includes M&A advisory assignments (in transactions ranging from £10m to £1bn+), strategic reviews, market entry, product development, pricing and due diligence. Jorge holds an MSc and PhD (Summa cum laude) in Engineering and an MBA from CEIBS (Shanghai) and London Business School.

Meet the team

Mary Curnock Cook

Mary Curnock Cook

Senior Advisor

Mary was chief executive of UCAS, the University Admissions service, for seven years. During that time, she drove the growth of UCAS’s data and analytics capabilities and the development of new revenues in media and advertising. She helps drive the growth of Cairneagle’s education practice in the higher education sector.
Sam lecacheur

Sam lecacheur

Senior Consultant

Sam joined Cairneagle in 2016. His strategy and commercial due diligence work is focused on the education sector in the UK and internationally. Before joining Cairneagle, Sam was Content Lead for a mobile e-learning company. Sam has a Masters in Physics from the University of Oxford.
Christoffer Fogtdal

Christoffer Fogtdal

Consultant

Chris joined Cairneagle full-time in 2018 after successfully completing an internship at the company in 2017 during his studies. Prior to Cairneagle, he interned as an analyst for a digital solutions consultancy. Chris has a BSc in Business Administration from the University of Bath.
Hugo Wilmot

Hugo Wilmot

Consultant

Hugo has a BSc in Chemistry from the University of Warwick after which he completed an internship as an analyst at the media group Acuris. Hugo joined Cairneagle fulltime following a successful internship in 2019
Sean Cornell

Sean Cornell

Senior Consultant

Sean holds a B. Comm (Economics and Finance) from University of Melbourne and is a Chartered Financial Analyst. He has been a Senior Associate, Financial Institutions Group at National Australia Bank and Vice President, Corporate Development at Tradeweb Markets LLC. Prior to joining Cairneagle, he founded and managed a new private 46-place nursery.
Rui Marques

Rui Marques

Consultant

Rui has a MSc in International Management from ESADE Business School and a BSc degree in Business Administration from Católica Lisbon School of Business and Economics. Before joining the team, he worked as a Business Analyst for a Madrid-based consulting firm and interned at Merck SA, in Lisbon. Rui also had the chance to participate in an Exchange Program with City University of Hong Kong.
Ina Todorova

Ina Todorova

Consultant

Ina has a BA in Business Management and holds a Masters from the University of Cambridge. Prior to Cairneagle, she interned as a Management Consultant and a Global Strategy Analyst.
Vineet Naik

Vineet Naik

Consultant

Vineet joined Cairneagle in 2019 having previously worked in AI research and development in India. Vineet holds a BA in Mathematics from the University of Cambridge
Alfred Chambers

Alfred Chambers

Senior Consultant

Before joining Cairneagle in 2019, Alfred worked at the British manufacturing company JCB in a variety of roles spanning; sales, operations and strategy. He spent his last two years with JCB in India project managing the ramp-up of a new factory whilst simultaneously establishing India’s richest literary prize in the name of the company. Alfred has an Meng in Engineering Design from the University of Bristol.
Pierce Hickey

Pierce Hickey

Consultant

Pierce holds a Masters in Management from LSE and a BEng in Biomedical Engineering from Imperial College. Prior to joining Cairneagle he held internship positions at a digital skills training agency, two strategy consultancies, and also worked as a private tutor.
Peter Wang

Peter Wang

Consultant

Peter has a BEng in Electronics from University of Edinburgh and holds a Masters from University of Cambridge. Prior to Cairneagle, Peter interned as a Management consultant.
Christian Walstock

Christian Walstock

Senior Advisor

Christiaan is a seasoned international banker, formerly with ABN Amr, with a solid track record in corporate finance and private equity. Recently he has been supporting Cairneagle in advising private education companies on international and regional business development and their owners/shareholders on investments and acquisitions.
Karan Agawal

Karan Agawal

Senior Advisor

Karan has a BA in Economics from the University of Durham. Prior to joining Cairneagle, Karan undertook an industrial placement as a Private Client Tax Assistant at a leading professional services firm.
Ed Tranham

Ed Tranham

Senior Advisor

Ed is editor and publisher of The Assignment Report, the leading market intelligence report for the UK education industry. Since 1989 he has been actively involved in the setting up and development of a number of publishing and service companies within the sector, including Optimus Education (now part of Electric Word plc) and Cambridge Education Associates (now Cambridge Education).
Fergal Roche

Fergal Roche

Senior Advisor

Fergal is a former headmaster and former CEO of The Key, the fast-grown schools information business. He has worked with central government, unions, local government and other critical stakeholders to understand the needs of sector leaders in a highly complex environment. He has an in-depth understanding of the education landscape, including maintained, academy, independent and international sectors.

 

Angeliki Zacharaki

Angeliki Zacharaki

PA to Partners and Team Support

Angeliki has a BSc in Business Administration from the Athens University of Economic and Business. Prior to Cairneagle, she worked as a personal assistant and hotel receptionist.

Iain Watt

Iain Watt

Senior Advisor

In a career spanning more than 30 years, Iain has held senior international corporate roles in finance, strategy, marketing and general management in Deloitte, BP, Diageo, Philip Morris and AXA. Over the last eighteen years, having co-founded IGI, a network of communications consultancies, Iain has advised blue-chip organisations on marketing and communications strategy as well as governance and reputation. He brings a wide network of contacts internationally to Cairneagle.
Mark Pearson

Mark Pearson

Associate

Mark is a technology, media and telecommunications (TMT) industry expert with almost 20 years’ experience. He has expertise in fixed and mobile telecoms and TV. He has conducted a wide variety of assignments ranging from business unit strategy development through to cross-industry scenario planning and complex company valuations. He supports Cairneagle in TMT assignments.
Richard Walker

Richard Walker

Senior Advisor

.Richard spent 37 years in secondary education, 23 of them as a head. He founded Portland Place School in 1996, and prior to that, he was head of chemistry at St Paul’s Girls’ School, London and the founding principal of Abbey College. Richard is a Chartered Chemist (CChem), Chartered Scientist (CSci) and was appointed a Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry (FRSC) for his services to chemistry education. He brings to Cairneagle sound experience in the education sector and in its governance practices.

Patricia Sullivan

Patricia Sullivan

Office Manager

Patricia joined Cairneagle in 2019. Prior to joining she worked the office manager for an education consultancy in London and designed and managed the new dining service in the American Embassy in Latvia.

 

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