We are delighted to introduce Wayne Bruce, Consultant and Partner in the Healthcare practice group. Wayne joins us from Ccentric – the healthcare specialist search firm he founded and ran for 20 years in Australia, Asia and UK. A hugely experienced search consultant, Wayne has been finding and nurturing talented leaders across the healthcare space for over three decades. Wayne brings a wealth of insight to the team and the opportunity to focus on certain areas to enhance the talent pool for healthcare organisations in the UK and beyond.
Can you share an overview of your background and career to date?
My career has been almost exclusively in the healthcare space. I am Australian and have worked in Australia most of my life, incorporating increasing amounts of work in Asia and the UK over the last twenty years. I started my career working in the healthcare space in government and public sector-run organisations. In 1992 I moved into the world of Executive Search with Lyncroft Consulting in Australia. It was there I really found my vocation and passion for Search and worked hard to develop key areas for the business as I progressed and eventually led the business. Healthcare became one of the key specialisms that we really grew at the firm.
In the early 2000s, I left Lyncroft and set up my own business Ccentric with a core focus on healthcare, as this was an area that I thought was still underserviced in the Executive Search space in Australia and beyond. It was also at this point that clients were gravitating more regularly to niche market specialists and this provided a really strong opportunity. We focused on key areas such as private healthcare, public hospitals, private equity backed healthcare and university-based healthcare. We operated in Australia, Asia and the UK and I was travelling a lot at this point too. Three years ago we chose to sell the business and I worked as CEO for an agreed period of time which concluded earlier this year. Now I am living in London and am delighted to have joined Saxton Bampfylde.
What attracted you to Saxton Bampfylde and the UK?
I had met Aidan Kennedy through his role as Chair of Saxton Bampfylde’s Global group, Panorama, and I was really taken by the firm. Its values’ led approach and particularly its specialisms in healthcare and that connection to higher education, not for profit and government were very complementary to everything I had embedded and encouraged in my career previously. It is a well-established company with longevity, a very strong brand and reputation and a quality focus.
In our industry the conception of finding good leaders is simple; the implementation is the hard part. You can do this by the type of people you hire to do this job. The idea that you find great people, hire reward and care for them makes sense if you want to keep them and bring value to your business and your clients. I saw this same attitude, approach and values in the company I founded in Saxton Bampfylde. It is a great company and I love it so far.
What areas of healthcare will you be focusing on and how does this align with your previous experience?
Saxton Bampfylde is already well-established in the NHS and Higher Education spaces in healthcare, so the areas I am going to focus more specifically on reflect my experience including: private equity- backed healthcare companies’ corporatised medical groups; care sector including community care; and private hospitals. This is where my focus will be initially and allow me to bolster the existing team experience.
What in your view are the key priorities for leaders in the health and care sector over the next 2-4 years?
The co-operation and interaction between private and public healthcare systems. This was very interesting during Covid and meant that certain countries could deal better with the surge in patient needs. That will need to be considered much more closely over coming years.
The other big trend in health is digitisation and data and the increase of electronic records to help determine and analyse the best way to treat illness disease. This will lead to massive improvements in healthcare.
How do you identify a good leader?
With any leader in healthcare there is a dual loyalty – primarily to the profession and the patients and then to the organisation. Healthcare can’t work in a command and control structure- there is a real need to earn respect and make observations through compelling evidence.
Leaders must have good emotional intelligence, know how to deal with people, build trust and work collaboratively.
What have you been most proud of in your professional career to date?
When I was at Lyncroft I led the bid to win the contract for Executive recruitment for the Sydney Olympic Games in 2000. It was a big deal for our business and provided us with some amazing opportunity. We were able to use the Olympic rings on all our stationery and advertising and we got tickets to attend the opening ceremony and lots of other events. It was so exciting and a truly amazing experience.
I am also very proud of founding Ccentric and helping it become the market leader in healthcare Executive Search in Australia and building and retaining a great staff team. It is still going twenty years later and I am delighted about that.
How do you spend your time outside of work?
My wife Claire and I have a really keen interest in walking and I am also an enthusiastic amateur photographer. We are fortunate to live very close to Kensington Gardens and have some beautiful walks and photo opportunities round there. We also have three children – two of whom live in Australia and our son who lives and works here in London, which is great to have a chance to be close to him.