Meet the team

With over 20 years' experience, our team members have their own areas of expertise, niche markets and geographical areas. But they all share a professional, proactive and consultative approach that has earned us our reputation for quality.

We provide an informed, high-quality service, keeping fully up-to-date with the initiatives and developments that impact on our customers. We have the added advantage of being able to draw on the knowledge and expertise of our colleagues across the CIPFA community.

Anthony LewisAnthony Lewis – Practice Director, Executive Interim

A Practice Director within Penna's Local Government Executive Interim Practice, with a focus on providing senior level interims across all functions in local government. Anthony re-joined Penna in 2013 having initially worked within Penna's Career Services division. Upon graduating Anthony went to work for Michael Page specialising in temporary and permanent finance recruitment eventually setting up a bespoke legal finance division.

In Anthony's role at Penna he has supported authorities with senior appointments within adults and children's social care, organisational development and redesign, housing, environments and property. After just one year in the sector Anthony was voted one of the leading interim consultants across all sectors by an Institute of Interim Management Survey.

T: +44 (0)20 7332 7763
M +44 (0)7500 060813

Philippa Watkins – Finance Lead 

Philippa is the Finance Lead at CIPFA-Penna working  across the public sector with a particular focus on local government. With 18 years' recruitment expertise, 12 of those in public sector finance, Philippa has a wealth of experience in recruiting for professional and often complex finance roles both interim and permanent.  Philippa joined CIPFA-Penna from Hudson where for four years she was responsible for their local government finance business. Prior to Hudson, Philippa was a key member of the CIPFA Recruitment Services team for over seven years and worked very closely with Gill Kelly.

T: +44 (0)20 3829 9745

Afzar AhmedAzfar Ahmed – Consultant 

Azfar started his professional life in recruitment overseeing operations, then moving onto finance, as a financial analyst before joining the interim team in May 2015. Azfar, as part of the CIPFA Penna team, focuses on public finance in the local government arena. He supports authorities through placing qualified finance professionals in a variety of positions from management accountants through to finance managers through to assistant directors of finance.

T: +44 (0)20 7332 7818

James Ellis – Associate Consultant

James started his career with Boyden Global Executive Search working across a range of functions in the financial services industry.  After 2 years, James made the move from search to interim and joined the CIPFA Penna team in October 2016. Here he will focus on public finance within local governments. With a proactive approach, James will help authorities find the most suitable finance professionals to suit their individual needs. 

T: +44(0) 20 3751 3319

What they say about CIPFA-Penna

"CIPFA Penna Team Philippa Watkins and Anthony Hopkin recently recruited me to the Service Head Finance and Procurement at Tower Hamlets Council. The process was rigorous and I was kept fully informed by Philippa and Anthony about progress through the process and what I should expect at each stage. They also worked hard to fit the various components around my busy work schedule. Once I knew I had been successful they liaised with Tower Hamlets to progress the various administrative requirements promptly. I've now started and had several calls to see how things are going. I would highly recommend their services from both a recruiting and candidate perspective."

Neville Murton, Service Head of Finance, Tower Hamlets