Our Team

We are a founder-led business, entrepreneurial in our approach.  We move fast and follow an agile, streamlined process. We are all experts in our field and work collaboratively to deliver the best value to our clients, and bring life-changing opportunities to our candidates.

John Watkins - Managing Partner

Over the last two decades, John has helped some of the world’s most successful startups build their senior finance leadership to accelerate growth.  

He started his career helping tech pioneers as leader of the CFO practice of a global search firm. It was then when he saw the opportunity to do things differently. Altima was born out that vision – an agile, entrepreneurial search firm, specifically designed to serve tech businesses at crucial stages of growth.

At Altima, John has led over 350 CFO searches for some of the highest profile VC-backed and private equity funded businesses in Europe. In his spare time, John plays rugby and cricket at competition level, with mixed results. That sits nicely alongside the slightly less competitive pastime of enjoying family life.

Rabia Elahi - Search Partner
Rabia leads the search team at Altima, driving the successful execution of all assignments.
Starting her career in a boutique, consumer specialist search firm, Rabia went on to work in the Consumer & Digital practices for two of the world's largest Executive Search Consultancies. At Altima, she builds on that experience to oversee a search process that is rigorous and focused, but also personable and human.

Over the last two years, Rabia has worked closely with John to deliver over 50 CFO searches for some of Europe’s most exciting scale-up businesses. Rabia has an MSc in Comparative Politics and a degree in Politics and History from the London School of Economics. When not working, she can be found baking for her friends, nieces and nephews, or exploring the world.
Mike Powell - Search Principal

Mike helps Altima find and attract the very best talent from around the world building long-lasting client relationships along the way. Before Altima, he worked for a digital and technology executive search firm, leading on a range board and non-exec searches in corporations and VC/PE portfolio companies across Europe.

Mike grew up in Germany, eventually returning to the UK to study International Business at Nottingham Business School, before completing his MSc in HR Management at Oxford Brookes University. In his spare time, he enjoys playing golf (albeit badly).


Scott supports the Altima team with research, analysis and insights on the European VC tech ecosystem. His work ranges from the study of industry trends to candidate market mapping for our clients.

Scott graduated from the University of Exeter with a BA in Human Geography. When not at Altima, Scott prides himself on being an exceptionally average footballer and skier.

Jordan Ali - Research Analyst
Jordan helps our team with research and market and candidate mapping. With a background in fintech recruitment and actuarial analysis, he ensures our searches are informed by current industry trends and insights. 
A former international middle-distance athlete, Jordan has now swapped the thrill of the competition for a far more stressful life as a Liverpool FC supporter.
Dan Griffin - Research Analyst
Dan uses his research experience to support searches, and build and maintain Altima’s knowledge of the European VC tech ecosystem. He helps us keep track of the latest developments, changes and CFO moves, making sure our searches are comprehensive, thorough and effectual.

Dan graduated from the University of Exeter with a BA in History and Philosophy. He worked as an English teacher in Japan before returning to the UK to complete an MA in Philosophy at King’s College London. In his spare time, Dan likes to travel, work on his foreign language skills and consume copious amounts of Netflix documentaries.
Emily de Sausmarez - Project Coordinator
Emily provides crucial support to our team, our clients and our candidates.  She works closely with our project leads to ensure all searches are delivered in an efficient, timely manner, and with the highest standards of quality.

Before joining Altima, Emily worked in an executive career advisory firm. She has a BSc in Anthropology and recently completed her CIPD in Human Resources Practice. Along with being a passionate traveller, Emily loves delving into a good book and experimenting with new culinary ideas.

Jack supports the Altima team in their continued drive for excellence.  He ensures every mandate is delivered as effectively and efficiently as possible. Prior to Altima Jacked worked with two boutique recruitment firms. 

Jack has a degree in Business Management and a Masters in Global Media and Communication. Curious about the world, he has lived in several countries, most recently Australia. Outside Altima, Jack is an avid reader of Politics, History and Current Affairs, and a long-suffering supporter of Liverpool FC. 

Michelle manages our daily operations at Altima. With over 20 years experience in business administration, she makes sure our business runs efficiently, in line with our objectives and our ambitions for growth. 
Michelle is a passionate advocate of children’s mental wellbeing. She also loves practicing yoga and walking her dog Buddy, a real-life teddy bear who is soon to become our office pet. 

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