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 Lewis – Practice Director, Executive Interim

Anthony Lewis

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.

M: +44 (0)7500 060813
D: +44 (0)20 3849 2614

Philippa Watkins – Associate Director, Local Government 

Philippa is the associate director at CIPFA-Penna working across the public sector with a particular focus on local government. With 20 years' recruitment expertise, 13 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.

D: +44 (0)20 3849 2703
M: +44 (0)7710 098510

Jonathon Sheppard – Senior Consultant

Jonathon SheppardJonathon joins the CIPFA-Penna team with over 12 years’ experience of recruiting exclusively for finance professionals and accountants. Most recently supporting a FTSE-listed utilities business in strengthening its large finance team, Jonathon’s expertise lies chiefly in partnering businesses across a wide range of sectors as a service-focussed specialist finance recruiter – helping set up and establish three Midlands-based start-up recruitment firms in his career to-date. 

Jonathon has carried out numerous end-to-end contingent and retained campaigns, permanent and interim, at levels ranging from Accounts Assistant right through to finance director, and everything in between. His focus will be on interim opportunities for clients and candidates in the Midlands region.

T: +44 (0)7739 985330
E: +44 (0)121 788 7986   

Azfar Ahmed – Consultant 

Afzar Ahmed

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.

D: +44 (0)20 3849 2616

Catherine Bush – Associate Consultant

Catherine Bush

Catherine has over 11 years' experience working in recruitment at Penna and has a proven track record of exceeding performance expectations while always remaining client and candidate focused and continually providing excellent customer service. 

She has spent the last 18 months as part of the Executive HR Practice developing a strong network recruiting senior level interim managers across both the public and private sectors. Having now joined CIPFA-Penna as its associate consultant, Catherine will have a particular focus on local government finance.

D: +44 (0)20 3849 2620

Haben Solomon – Consultant 

Haben Solomon
Haben Solomon joins CIPFA Penna from the Penna Sourcing team. He has a good knowledge of local authority recruitment experience, he has worked on mass campaigns within public sector. He has managed recruitment campaigns from conception to completion. He is AAT-qualified with a Prince 2 accreditation. Haben's previous experienced was gained working for Capita Business Services within their accounting function for over eight years before moving into executive recruitment at Hudson. Haben is responsible for placing qualified finance professionals in a variety of positions from management accountants through to assistant directors of finance.

D:+44 (0)20 3849 2654
M +44 (0)7920 501905

What they say about CIPFA-Penna

"CIPFA Penna Team Philippa Watkins and Anthony Lewis 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