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Times change, our purpose hasn’t: celebrating 25 years of Warren Partners

Warren Partners

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As Warren Partners marks its 25th anniversary, it’s a time to reflect on a journey defined by enduring values, visionary leadership and a commitment to excellence in executive search. Built from the humble beginnings of a box room office in a sleepy Cheshire town in 1999, founder Joëlle Warren created a company that stands as a beacon of ethical business practices, diversity and innovation in the recruitment industry.

Warren Partners’ story is also one of remarkable growth and adaptation. From its roots in – as Joëlle laughingly puts it – the “gritty north,” the firm has expanded its reach across the UK and beyond, with a mission to drive diversity to deliver positive and sustainable change.

“From day one, it was about treating people as we want to be treated,” she says, encapsulating the ethos that propelled Warren Partners from its inception. This philosophy of respect and integrity has guided the firm through changing times, while its purpose remained steadfast.

“Our clear purpose was always about building and supporting diverse boards and leadership teams,” Warren says, underscoring the firm’s evolution in fostering equity, diversity and inclusion. “And while this is rightfully front and centre of the agenda in today’s business world, I’m proud to say that it’s always been our guiding principle.”

And that inclusivity doesn’t just apply to finding the broad range of candidates that others cannot – it’s also about recognising the support and dedication of the entire Warren Partners team. A pivotal moment in the firm’s history was the transition to employee ownership in 2019, a move that Joëlle Warren describes as “a fantastic galvanising force for the business which signaled a huge commitment to our team.” It not only acknowledged the collective effort behind the company’s success but also ensured that its foundational values continued to thrive.

“Celebrating 25 years at Warren Partners reaffirms our unwavering commitment to purpose-led leadership and diversity,” says Kirsty Dougan, MD, Warren Partners. “Our journey, guided by integrity and innovation, showcases how deeply our values are embedded in our work. Here’s to continuing our legacy of making a significant, positive impact in the executive search industry.”

That impact can be seen in the myriad ways in which Warren Partners helps others. From free mentoring sessions to charity work and several more formal organisational commitments such as its Board Fellowship Programme, that connects FTSE 250 boards with high potential ethnic minority talent, or its work with Progress Together which focuses on advancing socio-economic diversity at the highest levels of business. The company has also been consistently recognised by FTSE Women Leaders in its annual report for its work in helping Britain’s biggest companies enhance their Board-level gender diversity.

Looking to the future, Warren Partners is committed to furthering its impact, guided by a vision for greater diversity and purpose-led leadership in the business world. The firm’s dedication to its values, combined with a forward-looking strategy, promises continued success and innovation.

In celebrating 25 years, Warren Partners not only commemorates its past but also looks ahead with optimism and determination. “Times change, our purpose hasn’t,” the overarching theme of the anniversary, perfectly captures the essence of Warren Partners’ journey – a testament to enduring values in a changing world.

Warren Partners remains dedicated to shaping the future of executive search, driven by a commitment to diversity, integrity and excellence. Here’s to the next 25 years of making a difference in the world of business.


We’ve put together something special – a short video featuring our founder, Joëlle Warren, reflecting on our journey, the lessons we’ve learned and the values that continue to guide us. It’s a story of dedication, vision and the unchanging purpose that has driven us from day one.



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