View from the River

Team insight with Todd Heppenstall

Take a closer glimpse into the Saxton Bampfylde team with our regular View from the River team insight feature. The company’s London office is based next to the iconic Thames.

Todd Heppenstall is a Partner and Associate Consultant in our Arts and Culture practice. He joined the Saxton Bampfylde team in 2019 from an arts and acting background.

We are delighted to share a bit more personal and professional insight, passions and hot (quite literally) tips!



Past, Present and Future – can you give us a brief history of you and how you came to be at Saxton Bampfylde?
I’m originally from Sheffield and read English and Drama at Manchester before training as an actor at the Bristol Old Vic Theatre School. I then worked as an actor for about six years, as well as doing every other odd job under the sun as you would expect, including working for a fine art handlers doing gallery hangs and rehangs across London, which was amazing. But I had friends at Saxton Bampfylde who introduced me in as a temp; at that point, I had no idea what Executive Search was but I completely fell for it.

How do you see the Arts and Culture world evolving in a post-pandemic world?
I think the pandemic has had a fascinating effect across the arts, culture and creative industries, and this has been both good and bad. It has raised awareness around the dependence that the whole sector has on freelancers and the self-employed and has forced us to look seriously at how we care for, treat and employ these people and what structures are and should be in place around how we work with them. I think it has also taken the digital and online revolution and forced it under the noses of arts institutions and leaders, and a fantastic side-effect of this has been the opportunity to widen access to the arts across society. So, I hope to see a sector that values its freelancers much more, and in a perfect world, this would be reflected in the way we employ them, and one that capitalizes on the digital opportunities to broaden their horizons and audiences. And on top of this, I hope the sector continues with the resilience, bravery and dedication that has carried it through this incredibly testing time!

What would you do on a rainy afternoon in a city or place of your choice?
A lazy lunch in an off-the-beaten-track family restaurant somewhere in Umbria, Italy (Perugia maybe?) with my fiancé and two daughters. Perfect.

What is your true passion?
Performance and truth – those shows or films you see that speak to being human so brilliantly.

Can you share a hot tip?
The Dishoom cookbook. Spend a little cash further furnishing your spice rack and then work your way through page by page. You won’t be disappointed.

With the choice – pop on a podcast or bury your nose in a book? And please share any good recommendations!
At the moment, with kids aged 1 and 4, books are slightly harder to commit to! So for now, I will say a podcast – I love Tim Key’s poetry, and Alan Partridge’s ‘From The Oasthouse’ is a great recent one too.

Get in touch with Todd


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