Call +44 (0) 203 994 8190

Talent TodayBeyond TomorrowBeyond Expectations


Competing in a 24-7 technology-led world has forced businesses to adapt. New markets and functionalities need a new way of thinking. Expertise outside traditional talent pools remains untapped.

Clark Smith is a boutique executive search firm with a unique specialisation across many sectors. Clark Smith breaks down the barriers of traditional industries using a cognitive approach and extensive network. Clark Smith finds people who are aligned to the ambitions and drivers of your business, who understand what the future will bring and deliver beyond expectations.

The team offers numerous years of experience across a range of industries, functional areas and geographies. Clark Smith provides premium value through our unique perspective, fully accountable and transparent working methods.

About Us

Clark Smith is a boutique executive search firm with a unique specialisation across innovative sectors. Clark Smith provides a comprehensive service encompassing executive search, assessment and consulting services.

Businesses rely on Clark Smith to:

  • develop and change through the talent they hire;
  • adapt to business objectives by understanding how other industries and businesses operate;
  • ensure a long-term hire by selecting a person that has real drive to deliver goals of the business.


Finding people today for tomorrow

Today’s world has moved on from database search and simply advertising. Clark Smith takes the time to fully understand your business, align stakeholders and possess the networks and attraction skills to deliver. Our ability to succeed is based on the following:

  • Cognitive approach: Clark Smith factors in time to understand the values, culture, ambitions and drivers of your business in order to effect change in its development.
  • Unique perspective: We break down barriers of traditional talent pools, consolidating widespread networks of forward-thinking people who understand what the future will bring;
  • Proactive headhunting: Clark Smith’s team is constantly connecting to people, building extensive networks of talent through smart referrals and recommendations. We pride ourselves on having the ability to deliver talent that can solve your business challenges. We get to know those candidates you may not know already but you need to know

The Clark Smith research team provides a rigorous and robust research process in order to identify the very best talent. A unique approach to high performance search and a powerful process-driven delivery campaign is central to gaining a successful, repeatable and consistent result.


“It’s about forward-thinking people”

Clark Smith has extensive international experience working with a range of high-growth, venture capital and private equity-backed companies.

James Highett-Smith, Managing Director

As one of the top senior search consultants and business leaders in the search sector, James has ultimate responsibility for leading the global growth of Clark Smith across multiple sectors and functional disciplines. James brings outstanding levels of energy, integrity and high-level consulting skills to every search for every client and candidate.

Possessing numerous years’ experience across a variety of industries and functional specialities, James has led a number of highly complex searches within dynamic environments, successfully solving his clients’ talent issues. James is known for his ability to provide creative solutions for talent identification and acquisition, and is constantly challenging the status quo of what other search firms bring to search.



  • In my search for a new employer I’ve experienced the good, bad and the ugly in the world of talent management and head-hunters – in fact I’d learned to steer clear.

    That said, James is a class apart from his peers. Open, honest, hard working and clear about the needs of his clients and as such he spent several hours gaining insight into me, my background, experience and capability. With this diligence he was able to match me to the perfect role and company.

    I highly recommend James to any employer looking for talent or someone to lead their search.

    Marketing Director – Global Private Equity backed Technology Business


  • We recently began working with James and his team to identify key talent within the Product and Sales space. We’ve been very demanding with our requirements, expectations and deadlines and James and the team have delivered over and above our expectations. They have successfully sourced and now placed a fantastic candidate against one of our hardest to fill positions within 4 weeks (a role that had been open for 6 months). I would highly recommend James and his team.

    His knowledge within the Acquiring space, and the industry, along with his excellent network has bought exceptional results to our business, a fantastic partnership for our talent acquisition.

    Head of Talent Acquisition – High-Growth Global Payments Business


  • Working with James was a pleasure as he was thorough, attentive and passionate throughout. His knowledge of the job space was exceptional and provided invaluable insight as he gets to know you as an individual – matching you not just to the right role, but to the right company culture as well – finding a great fit for client and company alike.

    I would highly recommend James to anyone.

    Business Manager – Banking


  • James is excellent at working out the requirements for a particular role. He is highly effective at ensuring that before a potential candidate meets a potential employer that the person will fit not just the role but also the company culture.

    I would highly recommend anyone looking to recruit in the Cash Management, Transaction Banking or Cards space to speak to James.

    Senior Sales Director – Transaction Banking


  • James operates a heads above others I have worked with, always aiming to exceed expectations without necessarily setting the bar low.

    VP Global Marketing – Leading eCommerce Business:


  • I have been working with James for the first time and I have been hugely impressed with his drive, passion and attention to detail. ‘Customer service’ is easy to say but is more rarely delivered; James is a highly skilled communicator and develops strong relationships which clearly underpin his success.

    I would very highly recommend James to both Corporates looking for high quality candidates and also to those of you looking for a potential way to forward your career in a difficult market.

    Regional Sales Director – Banking


  • I have worked with James both as a candidate and a client.

    As a candidate, I felt valued and supported by James, in my search for a new role. I was given sound advice as to the market conditions and the opportunities that were available, ultimately leading to me obtaining a role that was to my exact specifications.

    As a client I found James and his colleagues took the time to understand my specific requirements and the type of candidate I needed for the role. They provided only CV’s that matched the Job spec. I found the right candidate without having to decipher numerous irrelevant CV’s or waste time on irrelevant interviews.

    Financial Controller – Technology Business


  • James is an insightful and empathetic recruitment professional, and goes the extra mile to ensure that both the recruitment process and the transition into a new role are as smooth as possible for both recruiter and recruited.

    Ex-Consultant moving into Banking


  • James got me my current role. It was in a sector I wasn’t looking in, a sector that I didn’t have experience in, and he convinced me (and my employer) that it was a good fit. Three months in I am really happy. And so is my employer, I did have a few teething problems and James was hugely supportive and actively helped to bridge those gaps. A great guy and someone who is a pleasure to work with.

    Senior Manager – Banking


  • I have known James for many years and I highly recommend his professional recruitment services. His main attributes are finding the perfect match for the business and the individual by understanding the business, the personalities and role profile. James is very knowledgeable of positions at all levels across the business and is loyal, honest and a great business partner.
    I highly recommend James for all your recruitment needs.

    Business Head – Retail eCommerce


  • James is quite simply the best recruiter I have worked with. He knows his clients requirements in detail and positions the role honestly and accurately ensuring not to waste anyone’s time.

    Global eCommerce Business Development Manager


  • We hired James to recruit a sales leader in Central Europe. James did a fantastic job of finding several strong candidates. James is a pleasure to work with, highly competent, and gave us a great outcome. We plan on using James again in the future

    Executive Vice President – Automotive Technology


  • We engaged with Clark Smith and James to help us build a new management structure within our European business. Having previously worked with recruitment firms without great results, we found the approach of James and his team to be exemplary. Not only did they provide excellent, well qualified and great fitting candidates, but also helped us with market information, real time salary data and regular communication to ensure that we not only filled our positions but we hired the best talent in the market.

    James and the Clark Smith team were excellent, great to work with and delivered outstanding results in no time at all. Would highly recommend James and his team for your recruitment needs.

    VP Europe – Automotive Technology


  • James is in my opinion the most honest recruitment person I have ever dealt with. I had a very negative opinion of the recruitment industry as have been sold the “Dream” in the past for it to turn out to be a nightmare and nothing like I was lead to believe. So it was refreshing when James come along and helped me to find my perfect role in a company that really suited me and my career aspirations. James is a friendly, inspiring, honest man and I wold recommend him to anyone who is looking to better themselves in their careers

    Senior Client Relationship Manager – eCommerce


  • James and Clark Smith have been excellent to work with. They approached me with a highly relevant and different opportunity, demonstrating understanding of the workings of both a global start-up business and the Venture Capital investors. During a logistically challenging process with many moving parts, James was extremely supportive, nurturing and well informed throughout leading to a successful hire for both the company and myself as a candidate.

    Would have no hesitation is recommending James & his team to candidates looking for a new/different challenge and to businesses with global talent requirements that need solving.

    VP Global Product Management & Business Development – VC Backed Tech Start-Up


  • James is a pleasure to work with and have working for you to achieve your goals in finding the perfect working environment. His astuteness in understanding what type of person will fit to which company is one of his major assets. He is confidence inspiring and connects on a personal level to his clients which is a rare thing in the recruitment industry. Working with James was easy, stress-free, and ultimately extremely rewarding.

    VP Business Development – Cloud Voice Technology Business


  • I’ve known James for many years both as a client and as a candidate and have always found him to be highly responsive and pro-active. Since he founded Clark Smith, I’ve found his firm to embody these values which are rare amongst his peers. James secured me a great position with a fast growing challenger business through his extensive network, helping me through each step of the process, keeping me informed and with timely feedback to ensure a positive conclusion for all parties. Highly recommend James and his team at Clark Smith for all senior level recruitment.

    Group Finance Director – Challenger Bank/Hedge Fund


  • James at Clark Smith helped us with a challenging senior level search recently. We started the process without a clear picture of exactly what we needed to help our business as we continued to grow. James was extremely diligent, responsive and flexible in helping us to cover skillsets from different functional areas and backgrounds to help us to pinpoint what it was that our business was missing. Once we had a clear idea, James managed the process effortlessly leading to a successful hire with minimal fuss, quickly and efficiently.

    I have no hesitation in using James and his services again and would highly recommend him and Clark Smith.

    CEO – Challenger Bank/Hedge Fund


  • We have worked with James at CS as our exclusive head hunters and recruitment agency in both EMEA and the USA for over two years now and continue to work with him and his agency . They are simply one of the best I have ever worked with in over 30 years of sales and marketing recruitment . Efficient , professional and they understand the client ! No hesitation in recommending James and his team.

    Global Sales & Marketing Director – Banking Regulatory Technology


  • For the first time in my career i recently had cause to engage with a number of headhunters to help secure my next move. James truly set himself apart from all others. He invests in a deep understand of a candidate and also the dynamics of his customers, which he uses to benefit all parties through the hiring process. This seems particularly important in the modern world in order to navigate in-depth, lengthy hiring processes, particularly in high growth organisations that are constantly evolving. Somehow, very calmly, in the end James manages to ensure the best fit for the candidate and – i do believe – the best person for the client. It has been great working with you James

    Director, EMEA Business Development – Payments & Fraud Technology



James Highett-Smith, Managing Director


Clark Smith Limited. Registered company number: 08542550 Registered in England & Wales; Registered Office Address: Lynton House, 7-12 Tavistock Square, London, WC1H 9LT.