An MBA qualification and a change in career direction have propelled a former recruitment professional into a senior management role at a Newcastle-based firm.

46-year-old Christian Rowe, from Jesmond, is flying high with bid and tender specialists Executive Compass. Christian is set to take on the role of managing director designate, with training and mentoring to fast-track his progress.

Christian joined the firm in 2016 as a bid writer, embarking on an 18-month ‘apprenticeship’ with mentoring from MD Neil Capstick. He quickly made his mark with valuable contributions to the direction and day-to-day running of the firm and joined the management team as client relationship director in November 2018.

Now studying for an MBA with Durham University, sponsored by the company and with core modules including leadership, finance and marketing, Christian is all set to assume greater responsibility to run day-to-day company operations and allow Neil to focus on other projects within the business.

“After many years of working in different fields and disciplines, I really feel I’ve found the right specialism,” says Christian. “I’m thrilled to be playing an integral part in the future of the firm and Neil’s succession planning and, all being well, the aim is to take over as MD of this exciting, high-growth business.

“I’m strategically involved in the core of the business now and it’s paying dividends. We’ve supported clients to win some lucrative and high-profile contracts in construction and logistics this year and achieved a record turnover in the process.

“The continuous learning route I’ve taken hasn’t been easy, but Neil’s help, guidance and experience, together with the MBA, has ensured everything has clicked into place.”

Executive Compass Managing Director Neil Capstick says: “Christian’s progress has been phenomenal. The leadership skills were already there, but he’s had to learn about an entirely new, and highly specialised, business along the way.

“From the outset, he rapidly demonstrated an affinity for bid and tender writing and excelled when working across our whole client base, operating in many highly varied industries. The MBA is also helping enormously with the grounding he will need to steer the company forward.”

A former pupil of St Cuthbert’s High School in Newcastle, Christian studied Economics and Public Policy at Leeds Metropolitan University, where he also met his wife Julie. He moved back to the North East after graduating, and landed a role with a national recruitment agency.

After being propelled into an account management role early into his career, he excelled in working with prestigious clients such as P&G. A series of promotions followed over the next 20 years, with notable highlights including an industry award for innovation in recruitment and promotion to director level at the firm, where he led a profitable business unit.

Christian has continued to go from strength to strength since moving to Executive Compass, where his vast knowledge of business organisation, process excellence and complex stakeholder management have enabled him to manage and create winning bids for clients throughout the whole of the UK.

Based in Newcastle with offices in London and Glasgow, Executive Compass now has a core team of 18 staff. It has just expanded its Hoults Yard offices by taking over an adjoining property and, via its graduate recruitment scheme, will be appointing four new staff members this autumn, all of whom have attained first-class degree qualifications.

Neil adds: “We see key advantages in graduate recruitment and retention. It keeps the team full of enthusiasm and energy; they are used to researching and writing, and are hungry to succeed. For our part, we provide a lot of support to ensure they have the right platform, professional training and mentoring to succeed.”

In the last 12 months, Executive Compass has helped companies and organisations secure more than £3.5 billion worth of public and private sector contracts. It provides bid management and bid writing services across the UK, Europe, the United States and Asia.  To find out more, call 0191 338 6975 or visit