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20 November 2019

Coulter Partners opens Brussels office and makes six strategic appointments

Global Life Sciences search specialist, Coulter Partners is pleased to announce the opening of a new office in the Belgian capital and six key appointments. Penny Sadler strengthens the company’s rapidly growing Medtech expertise as Client Partner in Brussels, while Dr Nanna Soni (PhD DIC) is appointed Director in London to the R&D centre of expertise. The Paris office expands with the appointments of Nicolas Leray as Executive Director and Mélanie Blanchard as Senior Consultant. Gwen Gioia joins as Senior Consultant in Short Hills, New Jersey and Heike Haertling is appointed Senior Consultant in Frankfurt.

“We are delighted to welcome more exceptional colleagues to the team, as we continue to build our Medtech and R&D capabilities and deepen our geographic presence across Europe,” comments Chief Operating Officer, Joe Coulter.

Penny Sadler, Client Partner

Penny will head the Belgium office for Coulter Partners and draws on 26 years’ global search experience working with emerging and established companies across Life Sciences, that included 15 years with Spencer Stuart and 7 years with Korn Ferry. A lead on C-suite and senior international executive search, Penny brings specialist knowledge in medical devices, diagnostics and government affairs, as well as substantial expertise in Benelux pharmaceuticals and biotech. With a recent focus on EMEA and on general management, R&D, government affairs, sales and marketing roles, Penny joins Coulter Partners from a Talent Management consultancy, where she was responsible for building the Medtech executive search practice. She holds a BA in French and German from Durham University and speaks fluent English, French, German and Dutch.

Dr Nanna Soni (PhD DIC), Director

Nanna will be responsible for senior level global executive search across the spectrum of Life Sciences, with special emphasis on scientific and R&D roles. Nanna draws on nearly 20 years’ extensive experience of R&D leadership, organisational development and change management roles in global Pharmaceutical and Biotech companies, that included over 14 years within Novozymes R&D. Nanna holds a PhD in Biology from Imperial College of Science Technology and Medicine, London and a MSc in Experimental Cell Biology from the University of Southern Denmark. A Danish national, Nanna speaks fluent English and conversational Swedish.

Nicolas Leray, Executive Director

Nicolas joins the Paris office to focus on C-level and senior international executive search across all scientific, commercial and technical functions in Life Sciences, with an emphasis on general management roles. Nicolas draws on a substantial track record gained over 14 years in executive search, partnering with leading niche players as well as large cap corporations within Life Sciences. Most recently Managing Director, France for a leading European Life Science talent consultancy, Nicolas brings additional expertise gained across the Cosmetics and Luxury Goods sectors. He holds an MA in Social Law and MSc in Human Resources from the University of Toulouse and speaks English and French fluently.

Mélanie Blanchard, Senior Consultant

Mélanie also joins in Paris with a focus on senior global executive search across a broad range of scientific, technical and commercial roles for pharmaceutical, biotechnology and medical technology companies. Mélanie draws on over 15 years’ executive search experience for leading international search firms, with an emphasis on senior director and general management roles. A French national with fluent English, Mélanie holds an MSc in Human Resources from CELSA Paris-Sorbonne and an MSc in Management Science from Université Paris Dauphine.

Gwen Gioia, Senior Consultant

Gwen joins in the US and is responsible for C-suite and senior global executive search assignments across the spectrum of scientific and commercial roles for pharmaceutical, biotechnology, healthcare and medical technology companies. With over 20 years’ international executive search experience gained with Korn Ferry and in Talent Acquisition for the Life Sciences, Consumer Healthcare, Nutraceuticals and Technology sectors across the USA, EMEA and LATAM, Gwen brings an extens­­­ive track record of strategic talent consulting for some of the world’s most innovative organizations in the public and private sectors. She holds an MA in Industrial Organizational Psychology from West Chester University, Pennsylvania and a dual BA in Psychology and Interdisciplinary Social Sciences with a minor in Business from the State University of New York, Buffalo, NY.

Heike Haertling, Senior Consultant

Heike joins the Frankfurt team to focus on C-suite and senior global executive search assignments across all functions for pharmaceutical, biotechnology and medical technology companies. She draws on 6 years’ executive search experience for the Life Sciences, Chemical and FMCG sectors with leading international search firms and most recently with Korn Ferry, in addition to experience in HR management. A German national with fluent English, she holds a Master’s in Sports Science and Sociology from Darmstadt University of Technology, and an MSc in Management from the University of Bath.


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