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Clare Johnston – CEO & Founder
Clare graduated with a First Class Honours degree in Management Sciences from The University of Warwick.
Her early career was spent in Management Consulting, working in the Business Consulting team of Detica, an international technology consultancy, later acquired by BAE Systems. Clare worked on online projects including an ecommerce strategy review for a global insurance provider.
At an early stage in her career, Clare was offered the opportunity to co-manage a boutique executive search firm. In this role, Clare managed the team and led searches for a range of clients, from start-ups to global corporates across a broad range of functions.
Clare’s entrepreneurial instincts and passion to develop an unparalleled talent network led to the foundation of The Up Group in late 2007. The focus is on growth companies and teams in the dynamic sectors of online, digital, mobile and technology. The business has grown rapidly and is recognised as one of the leading boutique search firms for digital and technology expertise.
Clare has an extensive network across VC and PE firms, Senior Executives and Functional Leads as well as Entrepreneurs. She hosts regular sector events attracting some of Europe’s most exciting investors, entrepreneurs as well as executives from start-ups through to global corporates. She frequently sponsors and attends industry events including presenting the ‘VC Fund of the Year’ Award at the 2011 Investor Allstars Awards. In addition to being a regular sponsor of ProductTank and Product Camp, she is a Mentor at global start-up event, Seedcamp.
Stephanie De Wangen – Director
Stephanie graduated with a bachelors degree in Political Science from Trinity College in the US and has additional diplomas from Institut d’Etudes Politiques in Paris and Middlebury College in the US. Stephanie has dual American and French citizenship and is a native English, French and Spanish speaker and is proficient in Russian.
Stephanie’s early career was spent working for online companies, Excite, AOL and Amazon. At Excite, she managed large online sponsorship accounts throughout Europe. As Senior Business Development Manager for AOL Europe, she secured online partnerships with traditional and online companies. While with Amazon, Stephanie managed the UK Online Marketing Group and later assumed responsibility for the Online Account Management Team of Amazon UK, France, and Germany.
Stephanie’s search experience was gained with Korn/Ferry International where she was a Senior Associate in the European Global Technology Markets Practice. Based initially in the firm’s Moscow office, she worked on assignments in a variety of industries. She later relocated to the London office as a member of the Technology Practice, focused largely on the internet industry.
Stephanie then became a Director with CTPartners, a global executive search firm, as a member of the firm’s Technology, Media and Telecommunications Practice. She has worked with corporate as well as start-up clients, identifying leadership to fill CEO, CFO, COO, and other general management roles across the UK, Europe and USA.
Stephanie joined The Up Group as a Director in 2011. She leads Board and Senior Management team searches globally for our corporate clients.
Claire Hogg – Consultant
Claire graduated from the University of Cambridge with an Upper Second Class Honours degree in French & German which she speaks fluently.
She trained in Executive Search in a boutique firm focused on commercial high flyers in the consumer, retail and technology sectors. She predominantly worked with Blue Chip FTSE 250 clients and led searches across Marketing, Strategy, Operations and Business Development.
Claire joined The Up Group in 2009 and has worked with a broad range of clients across the Consumer, Media and Online sectors. Claire focuses on Business Development, Marketing, Strategy and General Management. She also works with a number of UK and European Venture Capital & Private Equity firms on both investment and portfolio roles.
Pete Alexander – Consultant
Pete has a BA Joint Honours in English & Philosophy from the University of Nottingham. After graduation, he established a start-up company in the online gaming industry.
He then spent five years working at Skillcapital, an executive search firm focused on the European private equity space. During Pete’s time with Skillcapital, he worked with a range of international and UK clients and placed executive and non-executive management into businesses across the leisure, FMCG, retail and eCommerce sectors.
Pete joined The Up Group in early 2011 to focus predominantly on our private equity, eCommerce and wider consumer clients.
Gemma Hale – Consultant
Gemma graduated with a First Class Honours degree in English from the University of Reading.
She joined The Up Group in 2008 and now specialises in product, technology and commercial roles. She has worked closely with a number of VC-backed portfolio companies through to corporates, developing extensive knowledge of the digital, online and technology sectors.
Gemma has co-hosted industry-wide events for product and technology talent and is an avid participant in digital networking events as well as being a keen reader of industry news.