John Ainley

Chairman, Partner, Advisor & Coach


John’s deep experience of working at the very top of global companies, combined with his extensive coaching skills and experience, have made him a highly sought after executive coach for CEOs, boards and leadership teams.

John’ s 30 year commercial career encompasses numerous C-suite roles across engineering, retail and financial services, as well as seats on the executive committees of WH Smith PLC, Norwich Union PLC and Aviva PLC. Additionally John has sat on boards at INSEAD business school and CIPD, the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development, and has acted as a Non Executive Director for several companies in the healthcare and finance industries.

The depth and breadth of his experience, have given John a deep-rooted understanding of the commercial context in which leaders operate, a clear grasp of the responsibilities they shoulder and crucially the gravitas, to command their respect.

John’s coaching style is always perceptive, insightful and plain speaking yet mindful and is appreciated in an environment where often objective and honest opinion are scarce – one of the reasons why his client relationships are deep and enduring.

Above all, John helps leaders to grow, stretch their vision and push their boundaries. He is greatly skilled at enabling individuals and leadership teams craft strategies that deliver change and real business results with agility, pace resilience and consistency.



Fellow of the Institute of Coaching, McClean/Harvard Medical School

Certified Business Coach from the Worldwide Association of Business Coaches

Graduate of the Meyer Campbell Mastered Coach programme

“John combines the most valuable attributes of a coach and mentor. He has a great combination of unflappable common sense, practical business experience and thoughtful insight, all delivered with a welcome sense of humour. John's advice and support to me has been a great asset. I highly recommend him to any senior leader seeking mentoring, coaching or support”

TSE 50 CEO Insurance

"John understands the dynamics of the relationship between a plc. CEO and Chair, he provided great insight, counsel & wisdom to me. John is very commercial, he is a highly valued advisor to the most senior leaders"

FTSE 50 Chair

"He is adept at working with senior leaders to help them achieve outstanding results. He is great fun to work with and is very collaborative. He is a great listener and provides wise counsel, challenge & support"

Australian CEO, Banking

"John has a deep understanding of how people and organisations work. He combines high quality and honest feedback with an ability to see many perspectives, I have personally benefitted hugely from his wisdom, challenge & support"

FTSE 50 & PE CEO, Engineering

" Working with John is an intellectual pleasure, a mind stretching exercise, a fulfilling encounter for which I will remain indebted for a very long time"

INSEAD Professor

"He is an advisor, guide, challenger and thought partner. He helped me to see a different and more effective way of working with my CEO, one that has become very productive. thank you John"

Global FTSE 30 HRD, Insurance