Leadership consulting

Senior Directors Unit (SDU)

The Senior Directors Unit (SDU) is the London centre of the International Centre for Executive Options (ICEO), a boutique global practice from Lee Hecht Harrison Penna that provides exclusive, bespoke career advisory services for sitting and transitioning senior leaders.

Whether they are carefully planned or materialise suddenly, intentionally sought or uninvited, leadership departures are highly visible, both internally and externally. They represent significant risk to the reputation and brand of both the executive and the organisation and can create unwelcome challenges for future talent acquisition initiatives. Of course, the change will have profound impact on the executive and their family as well.

Your senior leaders have put in the hard work, made tough decisions, taken risks, challenged others to be their best, and sacrificed countless hours to drive your organisation’s success. So, when the time comes for their departures, how important is it to you that they leave with the respect and support they have earned?

The Senior Directors Unit (SDU) provides an unparalleled, boutique experience in which assessments, strategic advising, expert coaching, personal and leadership development, and our exclusive global connections are combined in a highly individualised offering to support the unique career pursuits of accomplished senior leaders. Our clients receive comprehensive support, resources and connections for all senior leader career options, including corporate leadership positions, private equity and venture capital roles, advisory work, starting or purchasing a business, alternative careers, board service, portfolio careers and active retirement.


SDU delivers an unequivocally superior experience. First, we meet our clients wherever they are in the career transition cycle. Then, we surround them with a dedicated, bespoke team of peer advisors, subject matter experts, mentors, alumni, industry specialists, friends of the business, and other resources as appropriate. At the centre of each personalised team is the SDU Advisor, a trusted partner who brings extensive experience in partnering with senior leaders as they explore and pursue their career options. Like our clients, our SDU Advisors are accomplished business leaders, board members, professional service firm partners and successful entrepreneurs.


We work with your leaders in 15 global senior executive centres, strategically located in New York, London, Paris, Frankfurt, Zurich, Toronto, São Paulo, Hong Kong, Sydney, Singapore, Chicago, Atlanta, Dallas, San Francisco and Rio de Janeiro. Our global ICEO centres are supplemented by on-demand access to Lee Hecht Harrison Penna offices in 71 countries - providing maximum mobility for local, national and global career pursuits.

Contact the Senior Directors Unit: 44 0207 933 8333

Our SDU leaders and advisors

Headshot for Frances Cook

Frances Cook

Director, Senior Directors Unit
Headshot for Frances Cook

Frances Cook

Director, Senior Directors Unit
+44 (0)7917 628 248 See Frances on LinkedIn
Frances has headed up the Senior Directors Unit since 2005. Prior to this she has held a number of senior roles, including that of Group International Director and Managing Director of Penna Sanders and Sidney, where she was also a plc Board member. Frances has held a number of non-executive roles outside the group in the financial, charitable and educational sector and is a frequent commentator on senior executive issues on radio, television and in national and specialist press. Her early career was spent in the retail and consumer goods sector in buying, marketing and general management roles.

Outside work she is a keen runner having completed numerous half marathons and marathons.
Headshot for Steve Osei-Mensah

Steve Osei-Mensah

Managing Consultant
Headshot for Steve Osei-Mensah

Steve Osei-Mensah

Managing Consultant
+44 (0)77332 02222 See Steve on LinkedIn
Steve has over 29 years experience at Partner level in consulting and in the Financial services industry and continues to consult with international companies in Banking and Insurance, Industrial products, Pharmaceutical, Life-sciences, Energy, and Consumer products industries. He advises international teams on strategy, risk management, compliance, operations, and growth issues.
Steve has a particular interest in emerging market entrepreneurial opportunities particularly in Africa and currently serves on the board of a small number of charitable and Non-Governmental Organizations. Steve is married with two daughters and is a qualified private pilot in UK, US and Kenya.

Our Senior Directors Unit services

Contact one of our Senior Directors Unit advisors to discuss how we can help you or a senior leader at your organisation.

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