Challis & Company is a boutique integrated strategic leadership consultancy
We offer services in board search, executive search, board reviews and leadership assessment & development. Our clients include the Chairs, Boards & CEOs of some of the world’s and Australia’s best-known 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 ASX-listed corporates, top-tier strategy consulting firms, global executive search firms and specialist organisational psychology consultancies.
Operating out of our offices in Sydney and Melbourne 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:
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.
Our team brings years of experience in Executive search, Board search, Management assessments, Board reviews & Leadership consulting.
Darren has worked as a search consultant on many successful assignments to find chairs, NEDs, CEOs, country managers and functional leaders across a range of industries. He has also led many board reviews and management assessments.
Before founding Challis & Company, Darren worked as a consultant with Egon Zehnder.
Darren was born and grew up in Sydney. He worked through his high school and university studies as a technology journalist writing over 300 articles for mainstream magazines and newspapers. He graduated with a Bachelor of Arts (majoring in Government & Public Administration) and Bachelor of Laws with First Class Honours from The University of Sydney, and a Graduate Diploma of Legal Practice from the University of Technology Sydney. On admission as a solicitor, he worked as a corporate and finance lawyer with MinterEllison, focused on M&A and infrastructure assets such as airports and telecommunications networks.
Darren then completed a full-time Master of Business Administration degree at the Australian Graduate School of Management (then a joint venture between UNSW Sydney & The University of Sydney), completed on exchange to the Kellogg Graduate School of Management at Northwestern University. He then worked as a Consultant and Project Leader at The Boston Consulting Group, leading a number of strategy projects for Australian and global clients. Darren then joined Fairfax Media [ASX:FXJ], initially as Director, Commercial Strategy and subsequently as Group Head, New Media Development. During his time at Fairfax Media, he led the company’s digital M&A process, leading to some well-regarded acquisitions including RSVP, Stayz & Trade Me, plus an investment in carsales.com. He also served on the Board of an ASX-listed investment.
Over the years, Darren has also served on a number of commercial and community boards. He is currently a Non-Executive Director of Hayes Theatre Co, a Sydney-based not-for-profit musical theatre company. Darren has twice been elected to the University Council at UNSW Sydney, its governing body, where he also served on the University’s Finance Committee, Planning Committee and as a Governor of its Alumni Association. He is a Member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.
Hannah leads Challis & Company's Leadership consulting practice including services in assessment, on-boarding, development and succession.
Hannah spent nine years working as a Managing Consultant in the Sydney and Chicago offices of SHL, 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.
She joined Macquarie Group [ASX:MQG] in 2004 and left there in 2015 as Global Head of Talent. Over 11 years, she 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. She reported to Macquarie’s Global Head of Human Resources.
Hannah is a Registered Psychologist, with a practice areas endorsement for Organisational Psychology; a Member of the Australian Psychological Society, College of Organisational Psychologists, and the American Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology. She is also a Graduate Member (with merit) of the Australian Institute of Company Directors, a Fellow of the Australian HR Institute and a certified HR practitioner.
She holds a Bachelor of Arts (Research) with Honours in Psychology and a Masters in Applied Psychology with Honours from UNSW Sydney.
Hannah is the Chair of The Shalom Institute at UNSW Sydney and a Trustee Governor of JCA, and sits on the Advisory Committee for Organisational Psychology Programs at Macquarie University. She is a former Non-Executive Director of the Australian Psychological Society.
Helen 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.
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 an Executive 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.
Challis & Company acknowledges the traditional owners of the land (their ancestors and elders) on which our offices are located: the Gadigal people of the Eora Nation & the Wurundjeri people of the Kulin Nation; we are committed to reconciliation through helping our clients identify Indigenous Australian non-executive directors and executives.