• Challis & Company is an integrated strategic leadership consultancy

    We work with Chairs, Boards, CEOs and senior executives in listed corporations, mid-sized companies, professional service firms, private equity firms, start-ups and not-for-profits. Our consultants bring to bear a range of complementary backgrounds including years working with leading corporates, top-tier strategy consulting firms, global executive search firms and specialist organisational psychology consultancies.



    Operating out of our offices in Sydney Australia, Challis & Company focuses on working with you to help you understand whether your organisation has the required capabilities today to execute tomorrow’s strategy.



    We do this, by asking four key questions:

    Executive search Australia
  • Our services

    With a broad set of leadership consulting capabilities, Challis & Company has an outstanding track record in helping our clients in identifying, assessing, attracting and developing the best senior executive & non-executive talent.

    Board search Australia, board reviews Australia, Leadership assessment Australia, Leadership development Australia; Board governance reviews Australia
  • Our industry practices

    Challis & Company's consultants have extensive experience completing successful executive and board searches, and undertaking consulting, across a number of sectors.

    Consumer, FMCG,
    Retail & Luxury

    Education, Arts, Sports &

    Financial services, Banking & Insurance

    Life sciences, Healthcare & Pharmaceuticals

    Industrial, Building products & Property

    Media, Entertainment, Digital & Big data

    Private equity & Venture capital

    Professional services

    Technology & Telecommunications

  • Roles and functions

    Challis & Company covers a number of roles and functions, including the following.


    Non-Executive Directors (NEDs)

     Chief Executive Officers (CEOs)

    Country Managers


    Chief Financial Officers (CFOs)

    Chief Digital Officers (CDOs)

    Chief Information Officers (CIOs)

    Chief Marketing Officers (CMOs) 

    Chief Operating Officers (COOs)

    Chief Product Officers (CPOs) 

    General Counsels (GCs)

    General Managers (GMs)

    Human Resources Directors (HRDs)

    Heads of Innovation


    Heads of Procurement

    Heads of Sales 

  • Clients

    Challis & Company's executive search consultants have completed assignments for many leading organisations.


    New clients should email or call Darren Challis at or on

    +61 2 8039 2220.

    ASX-listed companies

    Multi-national corporations


    Private equity funds

    Professional service firms

    Government-owned corporations

    Venture capital funds

    Arts organisations & not-for-profits

    Universities, schools & educational institutions

    Industry & professional associations

  • Candidates

    Challis & Company is a retained search firm, and we are always interested in meeting successful senior executives and non-executive directors.


    Please submit your curriculum vitæ in accordance with our Privacy policy.

  • Our team

    Our team brings years of experience in Executive search, Board search, Management assessments, Board reviews & Leadership consulting.

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  • Darren Challis

    Darren is the Founder and Managing Director of Challis & Company.


    He has led many successful searches for non-executive directors, CEOs, country managers and other senior executives across a range of industries. He has also completed many management assessments and board reviews.


    Before founding Challis & Company, Darren worked for a number of years as a consultant with DH International—founding and building a nine-person practice in its first two years—and Egon Zehnder.


    Prior to his executive search career, Darren worked as a corporate and finance lawyer with Minter Ellison. He then worked as a Consultant and Project Leader at The Boston Consulting Group, leading a number of strategy projects for large Australian and global clients. Darren then joined Fairfax Media Limited [ASX: FXJ], initially as Director, Commercial Strategy and subsequently as Group Director, New Media Development. During his time at Fairfax, he led the company’s digital M&A process, leading to several successful acquisitions including Trade Me, RSVP and Stayz. Darren also served as a non-executive director on the board of a venture capital-backed ASX-listed company.


    Darren holds a Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Laws with First Class Honours from The University of Sydney. He also graduated with a full-time MBA from the Australian Graduate School of Management (UNSW Sydney and The University of Sydney), completed on exchange to the Kellogg Graduate School of Management at Northwestern University. He is a Member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and the International CEO Forum.

    Over the years, Darren has also served on a number of community boards. He has twice been elected to the University Council at UNSW Sydney, its governing body, where he also served on the Finance and Planning Committees, and as a Governor of the Alumni Association.

  • Hannah Challis

    Hannah is an Executive Director at Challis & Company. She leads our Leadership consulting practice including services in assessment, on-boarding, development and succession.


    Most recently, Hannah was concurrently, the Global Head of Talent at Macquarie Group [ASX: MQG]. She joined Macquarie in 2004 and, over 11 years, built and led a global function of 25 in EMEA, North America, Asia and Australia covering recruitment assessment strategy; organisational development; talent management; learning & leadership development, and culture & engagement. In that role, she reported to Macquarie's Global Head of Human Resources.


    She also spent nine years working as a Managing Consultant in the Sydney and Chicago offices of SHL (now a part of Gartner [NYSE:IT]), a global leader in talent measurement. At SHL, Hannah ran senior-level assessment and development centres for executive recruitment, promotion, development and succession for clients in financial services, professional services, pharmaceuticals, health and government.


    Hannah is a Registered Psychologist; a Member of the Australian Psychological Society and College of Organisational Psychologists, and a Fellow of the Australian Human Resource Institute. She is also a Member of the Advisory Committee for Organisational Psychology Programs at Macquarie University. She holds a Bachelor of Arts with Honours and a Masters in Applied Psychology from UNSW Sydney, and is a Member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors. Hannah currently serves on the Board of The Shalom Institute at UNSW Sydney.

  • Helen Johnson

    Helen is a Principal in the Sydney office of Challis & Company.


    She has many years’ experience in executive search, with expertise across a wide range of industry sectors and roles. Most recently she worked for the executive search firm, DH International, (working with Darren Challis since 2012) prior to which she spent over six years with Korn Ferry [NYSE:KFY]. Earlier in her career, she spent three years working in Japan and, on her return to Sydney, worked for a Japanese energy company.


    Helen has been involved in a research and execution capacity on roles at board, CEO and general management level for organisations including those in the media, telecommunications, professional services, government, health, arts, education, industrial and consumer sectors.


    Helen holds a Bachelor of Arts (Asian Studies) from Australian National University.

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    +61 2 8039 2223

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  • Andrew Valentine

    Andrew is a Principal in the Sydney office of Challis & Company. He is engaged in all steps of the search process, including the screening and interviewing of candidates, search management, preparation of in-depth research reports, and final closing.


    Andrew’s experience as a search consultant focuses on financial services, and has included the appointment of senior executives at many corporations, international investment banks, independent financial advisory firms, private equity funds, strategic consulting firms and commercial banks. He has also been active in sourcing key senior corporate strategy and corporate development executives for a wide range of large ASX-listed corporations as well as Australian subsidiaries of multinational companies.


    Prior to working with Challis & Company, Andrew gained ten years’ consulting experience with CTPartners, DH International (working with Darren Challis since 2011) and the Melbourne office of a boutique Australian investment banking-focused executive recruiting firm. Before this, Andrew spent six years with Australia’s largest publicly traded human capital management firm. During this period, Andrew served in both consulting and management roles in Sydney, Melbourne and London.


    Andrew holds a Bachelor of Arts with majors in Psychology and Statistics from Macquarie University. He has also completed a Master of Business Administration (with distinction) at the Australian Graduate School of Management (AGSM), jointly awarded by UNSW Sydney and The University of Sydney.


    In addition to his responsibilities with Challis & Company, Andrew also serves as an Adjunct Faculty Instructor at the AGSM and is currently completing a PhD at UNSW Sydney. In recent years, he has been involved in teaching a management and leadership subject to MBA students. Other interests include a Board role as Executive Chairman of a small not-for-profit endowment fund that provides higher education scholarships to financially disadvantaged students in developing countries.

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  • Rebecca Meisner

    Rebecca is Challis & Company's Office Manager and Executive Assistant.


    She joined Challis & Company with over a decade's experience in Executive search as a Senior Researcher with other global firms, including working with Darren Challis since 2010.

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    +61 2 8039 2224

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  • News

  • Our sponsorships

    Challis & Company is proud of our sponsorships and pro bono clients.

    Executive recruiters Sydney

    Australia's national circus

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    An Australian contemporary dance company with a global reputation

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    Sydney's annual international film festival held over 12 days in June

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    Sydney's annual literary festival