Madeleine Richards shows how to accept challenges and win

20 under 40: Inspiring Leaders to Watch


To achieve excellence, one must demonstrate unwavering perseverance and an unquenchable passion for their goals. Aspioneer respects these individuals as leaders and values what they have done to advance business in a variety of areas. One such leader is Madeleine Richards. She has established herself in the current tough recruiting market because of her exceptional personality and healthy competitiveness. She has been with Nicoll Curtin since 2016 and is currently the Group Head of Corporate Governance. 

Madeleine demonstrated her compassion and desire to give back to the community by running her first marathon and raising more than £3,000 for Kidney Cancer Research. For her, this was a momentous occasion because her father had kidney cancer in 2021. Her propensity for giving predetermined tasks her all-out attention has helped her progress to the highest rank. She pushes herself to gauge her potential because of her competitive personality. She enjoys staying active and can’t sit around aimlessly without a task at hand.

For Madeleine, family comes first and has always served as a source of inspiration. She was surrounded by her hardworking parents at home from a young age, and they always pushed her to do her best. In her family, education has always been given the utmost priority and importance. She mentions that her father completed his degree when her siblings were young while working full-time. She and her siblings had perfect attendance records at school, and she can see how that has influenced her career. She also feels proud of her parent’s careers prior to their retirement. She is inspired by them and how they can work hard to achieve success and move up to senior roles. They taught her to be persistent and always desire to attain the next level in her career. “We have a running joke in our family about who is the most competitive. I bring this drive and determination to all aspects of my life,” highlights Madeleine.

Madeleine originally started at Nicoll Curtin as the Compliance and Customer Experience Leader. She talked about why she chose the company to begin the next stage of her career. The first was the interaction she had with her manager, which Madeleine thought was incredible. To this day, she still thinks that manager was great for her personal growth and learned a lot about management and professionalism. However, the company itself was another factor. “But I think the most important reason was the role and the potential growth,” adds Madeleine. “This has also been one of the main reasons I have stayed for six years.” She has been supported in her development and has created three brand-new roles within the business along the way. “A lot of this drive is from myself, but whenever I have wanted to step up, I have been encouraged.”

She received an award for Most Outstanding Contribution at the company’s annual awards evening in January 2023. “This was really special to me as it was nominated by leaders across the business,” says Madeleine. Her current role offers her an amazing opportunity to make some big changes that will positively impact the business and the lives of its customers. With her work on the company’s sustainability strategy, she hopes to spread positivity throughout the recruitment industry.

Madeleine Richards shows how to accept challenges and win
Madeleine Richards

A seasoned leader

Nicoll Curtin is a global company with 25 years of experience connecting outstanding talent with industry-leading companies within the verticals of technology and change. It has offices in London, Berlin, Belgrade, Zürich, Dublin, and Singapore. It works with customers to understand their aspirations and how they can help achieve them. It envisions being its clients’ No1 supplier of choice. The company wants to help people and businesses overcome the obstacles in fintech and alter the landscape. It offers assistance to businesses, enabling them to choose wisely and quickly when it comes to hiring. It is similarly dedicated to supporting the candidates, assisting them in finding the perfect position, and providing continuous support.

Unfortunately, the perception of recruitment companies is not always positive. However, Madeleine is genuinely passionate about every aspect of this equation and believes in the value the company can bring. In today’s fast-evolving technology sector, making the right staffing decisions and securing the perfect talent is crucial for businesses, whether they are startups or established financial institutions. “And that’s precisely what we excel at,” she adds. She is also thrilled to have clients who want to work with candidates from diverse backgrounds. This has led Madeleine and her team to create processes where they send all their clients a range of profiles from underrepresented backgrounds. “I am also thrilled to have clients that want to work with candidates from diverse backgrounds,” mentions Madeleine.

"For a sustainability strategy to be successful, it needs to be genuine."

Keeping up with the technological developments

Technology has transformed businesses in ways one can only imagine. Madeleine believes that, in the next 3 years, technology is going to be a game changer for the recruitment market. She states that in the recruiting industry, one needs to work smart. She is already beginning to recognize the tools that will improve the company’s workflow. She believes that while technology can eliminate monotonous chores and free up human workers to focus on their strengths, the human element of recruitment will never be completely replaced. She is pleased to see that more companies are talking about ESG, and she believes this is going to become more and more important for building successful businesses in the future. Clients are looking at how their D&I and Carbon Footprint impact the world, and potential employees are interested in CSR initiatives or wellbeing packages.

Madeleine feels excited about developing the company’s sustainability strategy across all the offices. She considers it vital for business strategies to promote the long-term well-being of the environment and society. “But these must support the businesses profit and growth,” she mentions. “For a sustainability strategy to be successful, it needs to be genuine.” The company has offices across the world, which brings challenges but also opportunities to make a positive impact. In particular, she envisions working with organizations that help people from underrepresented backgrounds get into technology. She is narrowing it down to investigating the company’s CSR. Although Nicoll Curtin is already operating in a way that supports sustainability, she firmly believes that she and her team can do more. She highlights their attempt as a team to positively support sustainability and her company strategy. “This is why I am excited!” exclaims Madeleine.