About Aspire Executive Search

Aspire has assisted in the executive appointments of great leaders who have gone on to have a significant and measurable impact on business performance, both in New Zealand companies and overseas. We’re admired for our meticulous and insightful approach to understanding our clients’ needs; and we’re passionate about the difference great leaders can make to an organisation. We’re proud of our reputation, our relationships, and the difference we make to enable both businesses and leaders to grow. Our returning clients are testament to our exceptional service.

Scott Duncan 

Managing Director

Scott has 15 years’ experience in the executive search industry, working with c-suite and boards across a range of recruitment environments and market verticals. Scott is recognised for the depth of research and strategic acumen he applies to executive search. He has a passion for technology and innovation and is respected in the industry for his technical, functional and leadership insight in this regard. 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, 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 with these most critical appointments is a responsibility that I take very seriously. It’s a privilege to partner with our clients, and to feel part of their team on these key engagements.”

Katherine Gillespie 


Katherine is an experienced human resources professional with a decade’s worth of experience in executive search.  Katherine was a key contributor to the global growth and expansion of Leathwaite, a London headquartered executive search firm managing the appointment of executives within  the support, enablement and control functions of some of the world’s largest financial services institutions. Katherine has deep financial services domain expertise, and remains highly networked across London, Zurich and Hong Kong. Katherine holds a Bachelor of Commerce degree from the University of Canterbury.


Sandra Gilliam 


A senior human resources executive, Sandra commenced her career in executive search where amongst her clients were law firms, publicly listed companies, and various public sector and educational entities. She has held senior roles in law firms Russell McVeagh, Mallesons Stephen Jaques, and Dentons Kensington Swan where she sat on the Admissions Committee for solicitor promotions to Special Counsel level and on the Partner Admissions Committee (non-voting member). She has advised Boards and Chief Executives of law firms on Partner succession and retirement issues, Chief Executive appointments and lateral hires up to Partner level at both Russell McVeagh and Dentons Kensington Swan. Sandra holds post-graduate degrees in economics and art history and has completed the requirements for a Bachelor of Laws degree from the University of Auckland.

Philippa Curtis 


Philippa has a career in executive search spanning more than 10 years’ having worked for the world’s largest executive search firm, to consulting to some of New Zealand’s most reputable search consultancies. Philippa’s experience encompasses a broad range of c-suite and senior leadership appointments across a diverse range of industry sectors such as technology, financial services, industrial, FMCG and all of government. Philippa holds a Bachelor of Commerce degree from the University of Otago.