Ellis & Co Case Study: Sherrington Associates

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Rob McKay was on his way to visit his parents in the Cheshire village of Broxton when the name for his new company came to him.

As he neared the family home, he caught sight of the road sign he had passed on countless occasions – Sherrington Lane – and from that day Sherrington Associates was born!

In the two years since Sherrington Associates was founded by Rob and wife Joanne, the business has gone from strength to strength.

The couple, supported by their growing team, provide clients across a wide range of sectors with executive search services.

Sherrington Associates has already recruited for a variety of roles ranging from mid-level to senior leadership positions including CEO, Managing Director and Commercial Director as well as project, operations, finance, sales and marketing managers. The firm also recruits for Chair and Non-Exec roles on company Boards.

The company has a particular expertise in recruiting within logistics and maritime, manufacturing and industrial, legal, business services and technology.

Rob, whose office is situated on the Chester Business Park, says: “We have just celebrated our second birthday and we could not be more pleased with how the business has developed since 2014. It has been a really positive two years.

“We are getting some terrific retained executive search assignments in the North West but are also delivering senior search assignments in Europe and as far away as Singapore and Hong Kong.”

Before deciding to go it alone, Rob worked extensively within the executive search industry, delivering numerous high profile assignments in the UK and overseas. Clients included the RNLI and the British Red Cross.

Meanwhile, Joanne had followed a very different career path, working as a teacher and ultimately becoming Assistant Head at Fazakerley High School in Liverpool.

Rob says: “The timing was perfect for the new business. I was ready to go it alone and Joanne was keen to go in a different career direction.

“We secured some high profile local clients very quickly, including Runcorn-based logistics provider Armitt Group where we recently recruited their new Commercial Director and Deeside-based scientific services provider ALcontrol Laboratories for whom we have recruited several key positions in their sales and technical management teams.

“Since these early assignments, we have gone from strength to strength winning some great work in our specialist sectors but also in other areas as well, including the charity and Third Sector.

“One of our main business objectives for the next 12 months is to further establish ourselves in Cheshire and Merseyside, helping businesses recruit at the mid to senior leadership level.

“We will be recruiting ourselves as well – I will soon be looking for an experienced consultant with their own network to join the Sherrington Associates team. We operate a model which combines in-house expertise and outsourced capabilities. For example, we work with a number of extremely experienced freelance researchers on some of our projects.”

Rob was introduced to Ellis & Co by a good friend who spoke highly of the work Robert Ellis and his team had done for his business.

Rob says: “Ellis & Co has been with us since the very start. I like their professionalism and old school values – they are always responsive, open and honest.

“My main point of contact is John Farrell and the firm provides us with services including accountancy, bookkeeping, VAT and taxation.

“With Robert’s support, we sat down at the start of our relationship and mapped out what we wanted the business to achieve. The Ellis & Co team have been genuinely interested in what we are trying to achieve and they have played an important part in the success we have enjoyed in our first couple of years.

“I have since referred Ellis & Co to a number of friends and family, including my father, who I felt would benefit from their excellent services.”


Pictured: Rob McKay, Sherrington Associates

Rob Mckay