London Office 33 James’ Street

+44 (0) 20 7495 1234

Manchester Office 10 Mount Street
M2 5NT

+44 (0) 161 839 0064

Nick Irving


TELEPHONE: +44 (0)7894 586429


‘Nick’s extensive experience in HR and Executive Search, coupled with his relentless approach to finding the best talent means he is a trusted advisor for his clients and in both Retail and Aviation’.

Nick Irving


TELEPHONE: +44 (0)7894 586429


Starting his career on the graduate scheme for a global food company, Nick gained first-hand experience of operations management and supply chain, and an in-depth appreciation for how the business runs through working for a Board Director as a Project Manager. Regular interaction with the senior team was ultimately the catalyst for a move into recruitment, specifically executive search. During his time there, Nick also spent time working in the HR and Resourcing team, supporting the business in senior management assessment.

Building on his training and experience, following a successful five years in the retail industry Nick moved into a FTSE-listed recruitment business specialising in retail and HR appointments. Here, he set up a new business and was instrumental in the acquisition and development of major account wins with several leading brands. He progressed to Associate Director level before completing the natural progression into executive search by joining Howgate Sable as a Partner in 2011.

Since then, Nick has continued his work with many well-known retail and consumer businesses and has also established the Aviation practice which continues to grow and has become a well-known executive search provider in the global aviation market.

Nick’s relentless passion for matching the best-in-class candidates with the perfect opportunity has led to many outstanding results being achieved and he has represented several high-profile clients in the search for board-level appointments. He has a wealth of subject matter expertise in his chosen sectors and this means he is often called upon to advise on industry trends and developments. He is particularly interested in customer service, flight operations training and the commercial evolution of the aviation industry.

The EMI Practice at Howgate Sable really took the time to understand our situation and find exceptional candidates who could fulfil challenging international leadership assignments for a truly global company with a history that spans well over 200 years.

It was a first class experience and positive outcome on many levels.


Barry McDonnell – Director of Manufacturing at De La Rue International

I have worked with the Howgate Sable team on several occasions whilst hiring mission-critical executives. Partnership is the byword for this organisation – they act as an extension of my team and work hard to support me not only in the technical solution, but in the sense of a deep understanding of my specific requirements. Delivery is the key measure of our talent partners and Howgate Sable have always achieved what was asked of them.

Jesper Berg – SVP HR, ABB

I was headhunted by Howgate Sable for the CEO appointment at Welspun UK (Christy) Limited, a new product sector for me and one I would not have naturally considered.  It turned out to be the best career move I have ever made.  Since taking the role I have worked closely with Barry and his team to build a high-performance team, and this has been achieved through his taking the time to understand our industry sector and our company culture intimately.  I cannot recommend Howgate Sable highly enough for anyone wishing to make a career move or build a team.

Leigh Taylor – CEO, Welspun UK (Christy)

Having worked with Howgate Sable as a client and as a candidate I can confidently say their ability to deliver on complex searches is second to none. They not only have a detailed knowledge of the marketplace but also understand the importance of cultural fit. 

Bridget Lea – O2

I was particularly impressed with Howgate Sable’s knowledge and network in the aviation sector, the quality of the candidates provided at shortlist and the availability of Nick and the team to provide us with advice and guidance on candidates when required. Nick was particularly effective in understanding our needs as a Company and being flexible in adapting requirements and plans.

Paul Hutchings – Thomas Cook Group Airlines

I have recently worked with Nick from Howgate Sable to recruit a new Head of Aircraft Operations for Thomson Airways. I was particularly impressed by the wide-reaching search undertaken and the quality of the candidates put forward. The skills match to the brief was excellent and I am delighted with the individual we selected.

Dawn Wilson – Thomson Airways

From their initial call to me the Aviation practice team at Howgate Sable demonstrated a significant difference. Straightforward and to the point, the extent of their network and deep insight into the industry was immediately evident. The added value I have received as a candidate is tangible. An almost instant rapport quickly developed into a focused business relationship which is open, honest, respectful and above all trustworthy.

Carl Gissing