our team

Scott Duncan - Director

Scott Duncan - Director

As Co-Founder and Director of Aspire Executive Search, Scott Duncan brings possesses a wealth of consulting experience, having worked across a range of recruitment environments and market verticals. 

Prior to establishing Aspire Executive Search, Scott worked for the world’s largest executive search firm, with national portfolio responsibilities that included the industrial, financial services, and technology and telecommunications sectors. During this time, Scott also spent time exclusively contracted to assist New Zealand’s largest organisation with their critical hire needs. A specialist in the appointment of senior executives, Scott holds a Bachelor of Commerce degree from the University of Auckland. 

“At the executive level, the impact individuals can have, either in a positive or negative fashion, can’t be understated. To be trusted by organisations and individuals under these most critical of circumstances is a responsibility that I take very seriously. It’s a privilege to partner with our clients on these engagements, and to feel part of their team on these critical appointments.”

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Josh Comrie - Managing Director

Josh Comrie - Managing Director

Josh Comrie is a business professional with almost 20 years of consulting experience across the New Zealand, UK and European markets. An Accountancy and Marketing graduate from the University of Auckland, Josh initially worked in sales and sales management whilst living in the United Kingdom, practising as an Accountant, Josh accidentally found his way into the recruitment industry. He subsequently progressed through various roles within one brand in the United Kingdom and two in New Zealand (the latter being via acquisition). In 2004, Josh began his entrepreneurial pursuits through establishing New Zealand's leading ICT recruitment brand Potentia, and then Aspire Executive Search. 

Josh is an active investor in other businesses and has six current technology holdings and a recent successful exit via trade sale. He holds strategic, advisory, and coaching and governance responsibilities within Aspire. 

"I'm passionate about building great businesses, both my own and those of the organisations we partner with. I'm an effective critical and solutions thinker and am able to introduce ideas and concepts previously unconsidered. I feel lucky to be surrounded by such a passionate and skilled group of people who genuinely enjoy each other’s company - and the impact they can have for others.”


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Vanessa Thomson - Operations Manager

Vanessa Thomson - Operations Manager

Vanessa brings an extensive background in administrative management and sales and marketing roles along with experience in the recruitment industry. After graduating from the University of Auckland in 2001 with a Bachelor of Arts degree she worked in human resources for a nationwide travel company before joining an executive search and pre-employment screening agency. Her career in the recruitment industry was further developed while working in the UK as a recruitment consultant providing crew for international cruise ships and super yachts. Upon returning home to NZ, Vanessa contracted to a well-respected education provider where she built upon her sales and marketing and management experience, a combination of skills that make her ideal for her position managing the operations at Aspire.

“My role is about ensuring we continue to build robust client and candidate relationships. I enjoy seeing a candidate succeed through the recruitment process from interview to placement, and achieving their goal of a ‘dream’ role. The Operations team is focused on ensuring the business runs smoothly and assisting the recruitment team with their activities. Our contribution as a team is imperative to the success of our business and aligned with the values of Aspire."

Peter de Valda - Personal Effectiveness Coach

Peter de Valda - Executive Development Coach

Peter de Valda specialises in enabling already capable senior executives to be even more effective in their new roles. A graduate of the University of Waikato [BMS, 1987] and the Australian Graduate School of Management, UNSW [MBA, 1996], he has also been trained and certified by a leading global coaching organisation.  Prior to commencing his coaching career in 2003, Peter worked in a number of international roles for one of New Zealand's market leaders. He understands what it takes to succeed in very competitive environments.

"My role for Aspire is to help you - and your team - to experience the satisfactions and rewards of success; more consistently, more confidently and more efficiently.  Every coaching series – and session - is tailored to your preferences so you may refine your own practices however you consider most appropriate. In my role as your coach, I am confident that you are the best judge of what will work best for you, so I don’t give advice. Instead, I introduce flexible, well-proven processes designed to enable you to enhance your achievements by generating, appreciating and applying your own insights. I focus on providing energising and effective sessions which deliver enduring benefit."