Stephen Bampfylde Receives AESC’s Lifetime Achievement Award

This week at their Driving the Change conference for leaders in the executive search profession and their clients, the Association of Executive Search and Leadership Consultants (AESC) presented its Lifetime Achievement Award. Bestowed since 1982, it is the capstone award for the executive search and leadership consulting profession, honoring significant, career-long achievement while recognising the highest standards of work. Recipients have a long and distinguished career and outstanding reputations. This year, AESC has presented the Lifetime Achievement Award to Stephen Bampfylde, co-founder & Chair of Saxton Bampfylde.

A pioneer in the industry, Stephen has dedicated 35 years to evolving the profession. He co-founded Saxton Bampfylde with Anthony Saxton in 1986 with the mission of delivering a new approach to executive search and creating a unique working environment and culture. Today Saxton Bampfylde is an employee-owned firm with over 90 partners and remains true to its founding vision and mission.

In his nomination, colleagues commented on Stephen’s rigorous focus throughout his career on ethical standards as a cornerstone of the profession. He has been a strong advocate of the capacity for world-class executive search to do more than simply make appointments to senior roles, but to impart lasting, societal change. Stephen has been a leader in the drive for executive search firms to play a more significant role in advancing diversity goals. Stephen led the search which resulted in the appointment of Marjorie Scardino as CEO of Pearson in 1997, which was the first time a woman had held that role in a FTSE100 firm. Stephen has championed initiatives such as Saxton Bampfylde’s REACH programme in partnership with the UK government which provides mentoring and support for up-and-coming Civil Servants with disabilities. Stephen is also a Founding Partner of Panorama, the global community of 26 Executive Search and Leadership Advisory firms spanning over 40 countries, with over 400 search and leadership consultants.

Stephen Bampfylde said:

“I am humbled and thrilled to receive this award. It is a wonderful thing over 35 years to have built a successful business with my colleagues at Saxton Bampfylde in the UK and with our Panorama partners around the world. It is always good to have the approval and positive feedback of clients of course but nothing can compare to the judgement of one’s peers, who fully understand just what it is to work and be committed to this profession.

“Today we need the AESC more than ever. We need to keep alive the vision of executive search and leadership consulting as a significant profession to be undertaken in an ethical, values-driven, purposeful way.”

Karen Greenbaum, AESC President & CEO, said:

“We honor the exceptional achievements and contribution that that Stephen has brought to the industry. Through his commitment to excellence in the profession, our award embodies AESC’s purpose—dedicated to strengthening leadership worldwide.”

About AESC

Since 1959, AESC has set the quality standard for the executive search and leadership advisory profession. AESC Members represent 16,000+ trusted professionals in 1,200+ offices, spanning 70+ countries. AESC Members are recognized leaders of global executive search and leadership advisory solutions. They leverage their access and expertise to place more than 100,000 executives each year in board of directors and C-level positions for the world’s leading organizations of all types and sizes. Dedicated to strengthening leadership worldwide, AESC and its members share a deep commitment to the highest quality standards in executive search and leadership consulting—for the benefit of clients and the profession. We Shape. Connect. Educate. Learn more about us at For AESC’s career service for executive-level candidates, visit