Responding to COVID-19: insight, support and guidance

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.

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 over 20 years' recruitment expertise in public sector finance, Philippa has a wealth of experience in recruiting for professional and often complex finance roles both interim and permanent.  In leading the CIPFA Penna Practice, Philippa is passionate about the role that finance professionals play in delivering services to Local Government

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

Jonathon Sheppard – Senior Consultant

Jonathon Sheppard

Jonathon joined CIPFA-Penna in 2018, offering expertise, advice and guidance to candidates and clients in the interim market. 

Jonathon started his recruitment career in 2006, spending 12 years focussing on the permanent market assisting finance professionals with their next career move and partnering with a broad span of businesses to help them secure the most relevant talent for their finance teams.

He will now be focussing on building CIPFA-Penna’s Midlands operation, presence and reputation.

M: +44 (0)7739 985 330 | D: +44 (0)121 788 7986   

Mizan Rouf – Senior Consultant 

Mizan RoufMizan has worked in recruitment for almost 2 years. Prior to joining the CIPFA-Penna team Mizan worked in executive search and selection delivering successful appointments for clients recruiting at senior and board level. 

Before his career in recruitment Mizan spent 15 years working in local government across the North East and South Yorkshire within regeneration, inward investment and economic development roles. 

M: 07395 855007

Catherine Bush – Senior Associate Consultant, Local Government

Catherine BushCatherine has over 14 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. 

Catherine is now in her 3rd year working as a Senior Associate Consultant in the CIPFA-Penna team developing a strong network and recruiting senior level finance professionals into the Public Sector with a particular focus on local government finance.  

D +44 (0)20 3849 2620 | M +44 (0)7803 510 898 

Arron Seera - Consultant

Arron SerraArron joins the CIPFA-Penna team with over 5 years recruitment experience, primarily within Insurance, IT and Technical sectors. He has worked in Agency and MSP environments handling permanent and interim placements. His most recent experience involves working with a global MSP, facilitating blue chip organisations -tasked to lead national and international recruitment projects. 

Arron has successfully carried out contingent and retained recruitment campaigns and projects consisting of mid to exec level appointments within Insurance, IT and Technical sectors.  
His focus with CIPFA-Penna will be on interim senior Finance positions for clients and candidates in the Midlands and Home counties regions.  

                                   M: 07395855006 

Ruth Lane - Consultant

Ruth Lane

Ruth has been working in the recruitment industry for nearly 10 years, starting in compliance and then moving to become a finance recruitment consultant with Badenoch and Clark. She then moved to Penna over five years ago, working with Housing Associations and local authorities on senior level interim recruitment. She joined CIPFA-Penna in February 2020.

Ruth now supports local authorities and the wider public sector in placing senior level qualified finance interims into hard to fill roles or just to keep things going whilst the client finds the right permanent candidate. She believes that building relationships with clients and interims is vital to ensure the right interim is with the right client.

D: +44(0) 121 788 7987 | M +44(0) 7702 859 428

Az Ahmed – Finance Lead – Sourcing

Afzar Ahmed

Az Ahmed is the Finance Lead for Sourcing.  As Finance Lead his main drive is to ensure the successful delivery of end to end recruitment solutions for permanent appointments from £35,000 to £65,000. This involves project managing all stages of the recruitment process as well as identifying suitable talent.  He has 15 years experience working in recruitment industry at Penna and has worked in many areas from operations to finance through to most recently within the CIPFA Penna interim team where he was a Consultant for 5 years.

D: +44 (0)20 3849 2616 | M +44(0) 7717 810 481

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