James Lea

Managing Director, Asia Pacific

James originates from Lancashire in the UK. He attended Stonyhurst College and later studied for a Hospitality HND at Thames Valley University (now the University of West London). Upon graduation he was enrolled onto the bespoke management training course at the Landmark London hotel. After a number of years, James relocated to Australia, where he became Corporate Events Sales Manager for the Shangri-La Hotel Sydney. He moved into recruitment in 2007 at Hudson Global Resources, handling appointments in the Accounting and Finance space, before moving to Hostec and opening their London office. Immediately prior to joining Society, James worked for Portfolio International, part of the PSD Group. James was the first Regional Director of our North American business, setting up our presence in New York. After two and a half years, he relocated to London to be the first point of contact for Society’s private sector client base across all sectors. In February 2021, James moved to Auckland to be the first Managing Director of our Asia-Pacific business, developing our work across all sectors. His personal search track record includes placing the CEO/Secretaries of the Athenaeum Club, the Lansdowne Club, the Hong Kong Club, and the Oriental Club. He has also completed multiple appointments for the likes of RMIT University, Peninsula Hotels, InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG),,,, and Expedia.

Business chemistry profile: DRIVER (‘RED BLUE’) Myers Briggs type indicator: ESFJ (‘The PROTAGONIST’)


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