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Our Stories

At Aquis Search, we have a host of fantastic stories to tell about the successes which are shared with employers and candidates. We reflect the industries we serve and take great pride in our people and the people we know. So we thought we would share some of the ‘stories’ behind some of the people who make Aquis who we are. See below for some of the messages we have already shared and during the course of 2019 as part of our ten year anniversary, we’ll be sharing some of the great stories and people behind Aquis Search.

We take a collaborative approach and are passionate about building lasting relationships. So if you would like to reach out to one of the teams who has shared their stories below then please feel free to get in touch.

Gareth's storyMorris' storyCiaran's storyAnsir's story
Miriam's storyBharisha's storySophie's storyGordon's story
Jessie's storyScott HarrisonSunny YungAndrew's story



Gareth Rees

Sharing ideas across a global team

Gareth, who is Managing Director of Aquis Search UK and heads the Finance & Accounting team globally, joined the team in 2010. Gareth loved striking interesting conversations and meeting new people, which is why he started in recruitment. As someone who has seen the organisation evolve from its start-up stage to the collaborative global business, it is today. He may have wanted to be a physiotherapist when he was younger, but he has found his calling at Aquis Search.

“I love that the organisation has grown so rapidly and that there are so many great colleagues (over 120 across the business) I can share ideas with. It is a driven organisation and we live the value of collaboration by working together as a unit across geographies and teams. Personal and professional development is key and James (CEO) is somebody I respect through his ability to adapt and grow as the business grows too.

Gareth has over fifteen years of search experience and has executed assignments in Europe, Asia and America.

Get in touch with Gareth to know more about working at Aquis Search or the job opportunities he and his team have today.

Morris Chan

Be transparent, truthful, collaborative and you can be a success in recruitment

An Associate Director with the Aquis Search In-house Legal recruitment team in Hong Kong, Morris has always aspired to be associated with the legal sector and is one member of the team who has seen Aquis Search grow through half of its lifetime in the last five years! 

“What I love about my job is it gives me the opportunity to work with leading legal and business professionals that allows me to hear their stories and career paths. It is rewarding to be able to provide my assistance in managing the recruitment process and witnessing successful end results in placing people into their dream role is fantastic.”
Morris loves that Aquis Search is made up of self-driven consultants who engage in healthy competition and are always striving to excel in their careers. “There is always an opportunity to collaborate with established consultants, giving me the opportunity to work with the best. I specifically admire the ability of our Managing Partner, Scott Harrison, to multitask whilst delivering top-quality work. It is something which is very crucial to succeed in this competitive field.”
“Integrity should be at the forefront of a successful career in the recruitment industry and I think it is our responsibility to be transparent and trusted with our candidates and clients.”

Morris partners with seasoned legal, business and resourcing professionals from international, regional and local institutions on the executions of legal mandates. Contact him to find out more about the opportunities with him.

Ciaran Foy

The Aquis Search brand has always been about the people and the team of consultants we have here are truly dynamic and results driven

Ciaran Foy, Associate Director with Aquis Search’s Legal Private Practice recruitment team had entertained aspirations of becoming a modern languages teacher when he was growing up in Ireland, but his career has taken quite a different course as he enjoyed a first career in law before transitioning into a successful career in legal recruitment at Aquis Search in Hong Kong. 

Ciaran has had the privilege of witnessing Aquis Search grow from its initial stages to a firm with an impressive global capability. The growth has been rapid and not without its challenges, but Aquis Search has always sustained its market-leading position. “The Aquis Search brand has always been about the people and the team of consultants we have here are truly dynamic and results driven. The drive/quality of every individual consultant is what collectively personifies the Aquis Search brand”

Someone who is himself disciplined and focused, Ciaran looks up to and respects these qualities in his colleague Miriam Leung, Director Legal Private Practice who joined Aquis Search in its infancy and who has achieved a formidable reputation within the market place. Ciaran ensures he acts with integrity in all his dealings and balances the inevitable commercial drivers within the recruitment industry with the interests of his clients and candidates alike. “Within the recruitment industry, it is crucial that there is unwavering trust between all parties involved and that can only occur when a business operates with integrity…this is essentially what underpins all successful relationships”.

Ciaran’s experience as a qualified lawyer for five years at a top US law firm has afforded him a true understanding of the legal recruitment market and uniquely positions him to offer commercial, consultative advice to both clients and candidate.  Please feel free to contact Ciaran to know more about the opportunities he and his team are working on within the legal private practice space.

Ansir Mahmood

The collaboration between tenured consultants show the kind of heritage the Aquis Search brand has

One of the first members of the Aquis Search team when the business was formed, Ansir Mahmood, Director of our Legal In-house Financial Services recruitment has witnessed first-hand the transition of Aquis Search from start-up to a global leader. For someone who aspired to become a successful businessman growing up, Ansir appreciated the result-oriented nature of the recruitment industry and says “The entrepreneurial nature of the industry perpetually drives me as an individual whilst offering a sense of control over my actions and their outcomes.” A seasoned campaigner in recruitment, Ansir admires Aquis Search’s organised and structured approach managed efficiently by the experienced team heads, which he feels has enabled it to become the dynamic brand it is today.

“I take inspiration from co-founders James Hickman, Scott Harrison and Managing Director Gareth Rees who have been pivotal in helping Aquis Search reach the heights it has scaled today. It is a place where collaboration is key and there are enough people who have been with the business a long time, which shows just how much heritage it has.”

Ansir has an in-depth knowledge of the in-house legal sector in Hong Kong as well as experience placing lawyers at all levels across Asia. Contact him to find out more about the opportunities he and his team are working on.

Miriam Leung

Aquis Search provides a supportive and encouraging platform to help the consultants grow...

The success of a recruiter is generally measured by their key performance indicators like the number of people placed, the number of clients onboarded and their billings. However, there are certain intangible factors that truly distinguish a recruiter as an excellent consultant. Aquis Search Director Miriam Leung, who works in the legal private practice recruitment team, is one such consultant who feels that adopting a consultative approach with integrity is what defines a genuine recruitment consultant.

Changing jobs is a cautious move for most, as it not only impacts a candidate’s professional life but also their personal life. When a thought process with such ramification is shared with a recruitment consultant, it is their responsibility to provide professional, unbiased guidance which will help the candidate to make the best choice for their career. “Consulting with a candidate on making a career decision involves more than just the job itself.  It often requires a deep understanding of your candidate’s character, life situation as well as your client’s need. You often end up building a long term relationship with candidates and clients.” Referencing her enviable client base, Miriam said, “When it comes to building client relationship, it is absolutely instrumental to build a team that not only delivers in filling jobs but is also actively involved in shaping the future of the client’s business.  This is what motivates me to deliver my best.”

This approach can only be successful when the consultant has the right backing from their organisation. Aquis Search provides a supportive platform for consultants to operate with transparency, integrity and flexibility.  “The supportive, fast-paced environment with the opportunity to work with a proactive, dynamic and fun team of consultants is what I admire about Aquis Search.”

Miriam is inspired by Scott Harrison, one of the co-founders of the firm, for his self-driven nature and result focused approach to his work.

Click here to find out more about the roles Miriam is working on

Bharisha Mirpuri

The flexibility that Aquis Search grants is what helps us grow, not only professionally, but as an individual too.

Senior Consultant Bharisha Mirpuri has always been a people person, which is what she enjoys most about recruitment. “Each person is motivated by something, personally or professionally and it’s always fascinating to see what makes people tick!” Being a part of Aquis Search has further enriched Bharisha’s experience. With offices across the region, Aquis Search boasts a diverse workforce that believes in collaborative work. “I am genuinely glad to have my colleagues around me…the kind of compassion, support and friendship there is amongst us makes me feel like we are a family. I say family, because everyone here wants to see each other, and the organisation grow, which is commendable.”

Bharisha has seen the organisation evolve and transform into a place that nurtures individual’s skills and creates a platform to grow. “Each person has their strengths and weakness and they should be given the freedom to perform in the way they are most comfortable. This flexibility that Aquis Search grants is what helps us grow, not only professionally, but as individuals too.”

Talking about her source of inspiration within the firm, Bharisha not only admires co-founder James Hickman’s professionalism and leadership but also appreciates his tendency to heed the ideas and concerns of even the junior most employee. “For an organisation that has grown as much as Aquis Search, in the time it has, James has managed to retain his personalised touch as a leader which can be very motivating for the consultants.”

Bharisha specialises in recruiting lawyers of buy and sell side financial service institutions for a range of corporate governance and regulatory focused roles. Get in touch with her to find out the latest roles she is working on.

Sophie Chen

Aquis Search gets its personality from the diverse employees it hires…and that has been instrumental in its growth.

Sophie Chen, Associate Director, Legal and Compliance recruitment has always valued personal development and appreciated situations that pushed her to her limits. This is something that fascinated her about recruitment. The competitive nature of the industry and the constant opportunity to learn something new and grow instantly attracted her to become a recruitment consultant.

A tenured employee of Aquis Search, Sophie has seen the organisation expand from being a legal and compliance recruitment firm into a full-service house. She gives credit to Aquis Search’s ambitious approach along with the flexibility it offers its employees for the growth it has achieved. “Aquis Search gets its personality from the diverse and ambitious employees it hires. I am not surprised by the growth we have achieved as an organisation since everyone here is individually motivated and driven and has been instrumental in helping Aquis Search reach where it has reached today!”

A high-performing individual herself, Sophie values the flexibility Aquis Search offers and feels it’s the reason she is able to achieve her individual and team goals. “I like to do things a certain way and that might not be the conventional way…that’s where I feel the flexibility this firm offers becomes pivotal in creating an obstacle-free environment.

Sophie leads a team of senior consultants and works on mid-senior legal and compliance opportunities and has opportunities across the APAC region. Contact Sophie to have a confidential discussion.

Gordon Kwong

The firm’s tailored approach based on the sector it is catering to has been crucial in helping me find the right footing in the industry.

Each one of us wants to be in a profession where we are in complete control of achieving our own success …where there is a correlation between our efforts and a positive outcome. After all, not all professions guarantee it! Aquis Search Associate Director Gordon Kwong feels recruitment is one such sector that delivers. “I believe, in recruitment, relentless pursuit to succeed with integrity, can help a recruiter achieve the heights he/she is aspiring to reach.”

Gordon has first-hand witnessed Aquis Search’s meteoric rise both in terms of the number of offices and the employees it has hired in the last few years. He feels the commitment of the employees is what drives the Aquis Search brand and has helped the firm to diversify in terms of the areas it operates in. He feels Aquis Search has been able to identify the trends of all the new sectors it has forayed into. “I reckon the firm has done a great job of adjusting to the areas it has ventured into. Much like water taking shape of the bowl, Aquis Search has displayed flexibility in its approach depending on the sector it is catering to and that has been crucial in finding the right footing in the industry.”

Gordon looks up to Managing Director Gareth Rees, who set up the Aquis Search Finance & Accounting desk and bought him onboard. “Gareth works with integrity and has a strategic outlook toward every task at hand and has the right attitude to achieve the goals…it's essentially what you need to succeed as a recruiter.”

Gordon has extensive experience and knowledge of recruitment in financial services. Contact him to find out about the latest roles he is working in the financial services space.

Jessie Lam

Aquis Search has been an ‘enabler’ for consultants, helping them provide tailored advice to clients and candidates that helps them make a career or hiring decision

Changing jobs is a personal and consuming process for most. It is a move that job seekers deliberate on with their family, friends and confidants. When a candidate heeds advice from a recruitment consultant, the consultant makes a real and tangible impact on someone’s life. Senior Consultant Jessie Lam considers this to be the best part of being in the recruitment industry.

“A good recruitment consultant always adopts an unbiased consultative approach, keeping the bigger picture in mind for both clients and candidates. This is what puts them in a position to directly impact the lives of individuals and help organisations build successful teams...and I take pride in being a consultant they can trust!”

Being a part of an organisation that has grown exponentially over the last ten years, Jessie feels the core value of integrity she and Aquis Search share has been key in her and the firm’s growth.

“The line of work we are in and the growth we have achieved year-on-year requires one thing from us - staying true to ourselves and our stakeholder… this not only includes our clients and candidates but also our team.”

Another equally strong contributing factor that has enabled Aquis Search to scale the heights it has is its people. The diverse and collaborative workforce at Aquis Search has personified the firm.

“Aquis Search has been an ‘enabler’ for consultants to achieve their end goal, which is, to provide tailored advice to clients and candidates, that helps them make a decision. Meeting clients and candidates with our colleagues from other functions has enabled us to present an all-round solution to them. This truly demonstrates the collaborative approach that we are proud of!”

Jessie has actively worked with Gareth Rees who set up the finance & accounting desks in Hong Kong and London and has been her mentor in building her presence in the sector.  Jessie is responsible for the recruitment of junior to senior-level finance professionals in areas such as finance control & reporting, management reporting, regulatory reporting, product control & valuation, business analysis, change management, fund accounting and administration & tax across Hong Kong and Greater China. Contact her to find out the live roles she is working on.


Scott Harrison

Ours is a perpetually growing business. There is always something happening here…be it our team trying to advance the business and their careers in a new specialisation or our support team setting up new infrastructure to fortify our operations

Building lasting relationships and understanding what makes people ‘tick’ is an intuitive trait every recruitment professional should possess. In fact, the more natural you are at it, the less transactional is your relationship with your client or candidate. That relationship-based approach to business and the enjoyment Scott Harrison, Co-Founder of Aquis Search, had when he started out inevitably led to him setting up Aquis Search with Co-Founder James Hickman in 2009.

“I like the freedom to build relationships where I like across any business, that’s what recruitment consulting should be all about, knowing markets and knowing people”

Aquis Search was set up with the idea of bringing together like-minded people to achieve one common goal – build a reputed business that provides an entrepreneurial environment for its employees, enabling them to collaboratively service clients and candidates with integrity. These core values have helped evolve the scope and volume of Aquis Search’s business, infrastructure and regional presence.

“I am proud of what we have achieved in the last decade. With the help of the consultants in our business, as well as the support staff who leverage our industry-leading technology and infrastructure, we have now become a truly global organisation that is hungry for excellence and growth.”

Scott and the management team strive to ensure that everybody in the business lives the organisation’s core values and have complete entrepreneurial autonomy and independence to manage their own desk. “Although I am a Co-Founder, I’m not the boss! There are many bosses here — I don’t treat Aquis Search folk as employees, everybody has their own business which they can grow their own way. The beauty of what we have achieved is having a collaborative team with different backgrounds and styles that manage to convene on one set of values.”

“Ours is a perpetually growing business. There is always something happening here, be it our team trying to advance the business and their careers in a new specialisation or our support team setting up new infrastructure to fortify our operations. I am inspired by everyone who has the same drive for excellence that James and I had when we set up the business.”

As someone who loves recruitment, Scott prefers to be hands-on particularly in keeping up with the latest trends. Evolving from senior level governance roles, Aquis Search now has a breadth of high profile, challenging assignments covering roles from niche fintech firms to global Chinese conglomerates.

Sunny Yung

The uncapped commission structure at Aquis Search ensures the hard work and persistence shown by consultants is proportionately rewarded

Meeting senior industry professionals, closing an open position and getting handsomely rewarded for his effort was everything Aquis Search Director, Sunny Yung wanted in his job. As a recent graduate, Sunny wanted what most young professionals want – the prospect of enough money to put his student years behind him! The recruitment industry presented him with the opportunity to earn a good salary based on the hard work he puts in, which is why he is absolutely thrilled to be here.

Aquis Search has been an ideal place for his aspirations as there is an uncapped commission structure which is a huge motivating factor for recruitment consultants like Sunny.

“My growth in Aquis Search is only limited by my own willingness to grow, be it in terms of seniority or in terms of the compensation I can get. The uncapped commission structure at Aquis Search ensures the hard work and persistence shown by consultants is proportionately rewarded.”

He also admires the professional environment in the firm where everyone gets the opportunity to run their own business the way they want.

“With the growth, Aquis Search has seen and the wider function coverage, there is also an increased opportunity for cross-selling which further assists consultants to tap into a variety of industries, thereby presenting them with the opportunity to learn more.”

As someone who has worked closely with Managing Partner Scott Harrison, Sunny has picked up a few business development tactics from him that has helped him build long term relationships with clients.

“I look up to Scott as he is someone who puts in 100%. There is a lot I have mirrored from him which has helped me better myself as a 360-degree recruiter.”

Sunny covers in-house legal and compliance roles at all levels, including corporate lawyers and IP counsels across various industries. Contact Sunny to find out about the latest jobs or a confidential chat about your next move.

Andrew Tsang

Our service capabilities can now offer more tailor-made approaches for our clients due to increasing team sizes, greater collaboration efforts and more specialists in each industry

As a 90’s kid, Associate Director Andrew Tsang was always fascinated by computers, as well as the transformation they bring in various fields like the finance sector. Recruiting in the finance industry has been a real joy for him as he works with professionals who are part of new and exciting fintech and cryptocurrency projects. Impacting the lives of professionals has been a treasured experience for him and he believes in the recruiters’ ability to get the best talent together and creating synergies between clients and candidates. “Knowing that we’re benefiting an individual and helping them reach a new career step - on a solid foundation of communication and trust - is deeply gratifying.”

Working with Aquis Search, Andrew admires the collaborative work culture of the firm and feels it’s not something that exists in all recruitment firms. “Aquis Search emphasises a lot on teamwork, which is unusual for a lot of recruitment firms; our finance function takes on a collaborative approach to serve clients to ensure they are receiving the highest quality of service and the best talent suited for their needs.”

Being an integral part of a growing team at Aquis Search, Andrew has witnessed first-hand the increased ability of the teams to adopt a tailored approach to deliver quality results to clients and candidates. “Aquis has rapidly expanded over the years, which means our service capabilities can now offer more tailor-made approaches for our clients due to increasing team sizes, greater collaboration efforts and more specialists in each industry.”

Andrew is part of the Finance Team at Aquis Search that is led by Gareth Rees who he considers to be a role model. “I look up to Gareth as he brings to the team a wealth of knowledge, network and strategic leadership skills which has led us to one of the most successful functions across the firm.”

As a person who believes in integrity in professional and personal life, Andrew feels that its one of the most important qualities that a recruiter should live by. “I believe that developing a solid foundation of trust and assurance with our clients and candidates means that we can deliver talent and service that benefits every party.”

Andrew has worked extensively with large, global institutions and has an extensive network of contacts across the APAC region in the finance industry. Contact him to find out about live roles in the finance sector.