Soho Square Portfolio Company Oliver James Further Strengthens Board with Chairman and Ned Appointments

Oliver James

5th January 2023

Soho Square Capital LLP (“Soho Square”), an investment firm focused on serving the financing needs of established and growing UK and European SMEs, is pleased to announce that its portfolio company Oliver James, the rapidly growing international recruitment and consulting specialist, has strengthened its Board of Directors with the appointment of Andy McRae as Non-Executive Chairman and Alex Smith as Non-Executive Director.

Andy McRae is a highly experienced Board Director with a 40+ years track record of driving profitable growth and shareholder value through owning and operating people-businesses and as a serial successful chairman and Non-Executive Director for multiple organisations. Andy’s previous roles have included CEO of Coutts Consulting, Managing Director of Hays and Chairman of Red Commerce, SR Group and Phaidon, and he has experience across listed and private companies, including those with private equity backing.


Alex Smith has over a decade of C-level experience at SThree, where as CFO he oversaw 2021 revenue of £1.3bn; NFI £355m. As a senior business leader and Board advisor, Alex brings thirty years of executive PLC experience across business services, leisure and retail. He will work closely with Oliver James’ core operations teams across Finance, Compliance, Payroll and Legal where he will bring his experience in delivering long term value across the projects and developments that are core to the growth aspirations of the business. 


Oliver Castle, Co-CEO of Oliver James, commented:

“We are delighted that two executives of such high calibre have joined Oliver James. Andy McRae and Alex Smith will help us take the professionalism and governance of Oliver James to the next level.  They are incredibly well-respected and I’m looking forward to our teams benefiting from their wealth of knowledge and expertise.”


David Steel, Director at Soho Square, said:

“We are delighted with the progress Oliver James is making since our investment a year ago.  Andy and Alex will bring a further level of gravitas and expertise to the board and will help oversee the company’s ambitious growth plans in the years ahead.”


Oliver James was founded in Manchester by Oliver Castle and James Rogers in 2002 and is now a multi-award-winning recruitment and consulting specialist with 14 offices globally, focusing on both permanent and contract recruitment in specialist verticals. Since its inception, Oliver James has experienced tremendous organic growth which has been driven by its sophisticated tech-enabled operating model, knowledge of specialist markets, and focus on staff development and retention.



For further information


David Steel                                                 

+44 (0)7775 996133


If you would like to discuss future investment opportunities, please contact:

James Smallridge

+44 (0)79714 75582



Kepler Communications

Charlotte Balbirnie                                     Caroline Villiers

+44 (0)7989 528421                                  +44 (0)7808 585184             


About Soho Square Capital

Soho Square Capital is an investment firm focused on providing flexible capital solutions, typically in the form of senior or preferred capital with minority equity stakes, to established and growing UK and European SMEs. Headquartered in London, the firm is led by a highly experienced team that has been investing together for over 15 years, through many economic cycles and have the expertise and flexibility to invest up to £40 million in any given transaction, across the capital structure, from senior debt to equity. The team works closely with business owners and management teams to structure innovative, bespoke financing solutions and offer enhanced portfolio company support.


About Oliver James:

With a worldwide presence, Oliver James specialises in recruitment and consulting services and has grown organically, with 900 employees now operating out of 14 offices across the UK, Europe, Asia-Pacific, and the U.S., with a turnover of £312 million. To discover more, visit: