Our business

Our story

Founded in 1997 by negotiation guru, entrepreneur and author Steve Gates, The Gap Partnership is now the world's leading management consultancy specialising in negotiation.

Steve's first office may have been a humble garden shed, but he had an ambitious vision. He had identified a gap in the market for high quality negotiation solutions, and knew that his own passion and expertise for this life-changing commercial skill could fill that space. So Steve left his successful career in retail and set up The Gap Partnership. 

It was in those early days that Steve wrote what is still considered one of the most effective and intelligent behaviour change training programs in the world, The Complete Skilled Negotiator. We now deliver this program to more than 10,000 people across the world, every single year.

The Gap Partnership works with some of the world’s biggest companies, influencing their profitability and market value. From our offices across Europe, Asia Pacific, the Americas and South Africa, we provide personalised, blended negotiation solutions for each of our clients. Our people are as passionate about negotiation as Steve was when he started the company. And we are proud of our guarantee of quality, consistency and ROI.

We are a long way from the garden shed in which we began. But we have never deviated from our founder's vision: that negotiation has the power to change not just commercial outcomes and careers, but even lives.

Business vision

Our vision is to lead the world of negotiation. We want our clients to excel as a result of their partnership with us. To deliver that, we continue to learn, research and innovate to drive our unrivalled expertise in all aspects of negotiation. We harness technology to ensure we have the widest range of pioneering negotiation solutions available. We continue to find new ways to make this a great place to work for our talented people. And we build on the work we do with local communities to help young people realise their potential. 

Why The Gap Partnership?

Helping people reach their potential

Corporate social responsibility

Our purpose is to enable people to reach their potential. We work with global and local charities that give teenagers and young adults opportunities to realise their goals. Recently we partnered with a Mexican charity to provide scholarships for children who would otherwise have had to leave school. To find out more, watch our short film. We are proud of our bronze EcoVadis medal which recognises the work we do to improve our sustainability.

Executive Leadership Team

Leadership Team

Graham Botwright

Chief Executive Officer

Graham joined TGP as a founding partner in 2002. Since then he’s supported hundreds of clients from a broad range of sectors around the world on their most sensitive and complex negotiations. Graham has been central to our business through the development of the quality of our people, proposition and service. He is fascinated by the art of negotiation and the psychology of two parties attempting to grow a relationship while having differing, and sometimes opposing, interests. Graham lives in the UK and is married to Carmel. His hobbies are competitive backgammon, amateur photography and mountain biking.

Rachael Langley

Chief HR Officer

Rachael joined TGP in June 2013 to lead our people agenda and implement associated strategies that support our ambitious growth plans across EMEA, Asia and the Americas. Her love of traveling and developing teams has been a constant theme throughout her career and she has held a number of international roles for global organizations such as Avon Cosmetics, easyJet and E.ON. Of these, perhaps her favorite led her to live in the Philippines where she implemented a sales capability program across Asia Pacific. Now back in the UK, Rachael lives in St Albans where she enjoys spending weekends with her husband and son.

Steve Gates

Founder and Executive Chairman

Steve founded The Gap Partnership in 1997, and since then has built the business to become the world’s leading management consultancy specializing in negotiation. His understanding of negotiation process, strategy, tactics, behaviors and psychology has enabled his team to shape and mold the most effective negotiation solutions in the world. The author of The Negotiation Book and numerous articles on the subject of negotiation, Steve is passionate about sharing his knowledge and empowering negotiators the world over.In his spare time, Steve is a keen sailor and enjoys spending time at sea with his wife, family and friends. 

Hain MacKay-Cruise

Chief Operation Officer

Hain was drawn to negotiation through his experiences in Asia and the Middle East, where his fascination with the complexities of cross cultural negotiation and cultural impact on behavior was born. He joined The Gap Partnership in 2014 after executive positions in management consulting and communications technology. He has worked with international companies in China, government agencies in the Middle East, and managed restructures across Asia. Although a native of Australia, Hain has spent the past two decades living overseas. Currently adapting to life in New York, he's enjoying learning about US culture.

Thomas Neubauer

Chief Operating Officer

Thomas has been with The Gap Partnership since 2011. He joined to lead the Central, Eastern Europe & Russia/CIS business before moving to New York in 2014 to head up the Americas business. As COO, Thomas is passionate about growing international business and has extensive experience negotiating within a broad range of sectors as well as managing clients and teams across the globe. Prior to joining The Gap Partnership, he was Managing Director for Swedish IBX Group and European Director of Sales with Capgemini Consulting. Thomas enjoys spending quality time with his family and friends and is a passionate sportsman.

Chris Atkins

Chief Negotiation Officer

Chris has been with The Gap Partnership since 2010, bringing with him over 25 years of cross-functional experience and general management at MD and CEO level across a range of sectors and regions. Chris now leads The Gap Partnership's global consulting practice, having served as managing partner for the Asia Pacific Office, and head of global clients. He specializes in cross-cultural negotiation, applying his experience of a decade working in Asia. Chris lives in Oxfordshire with his wife Sarah and whichever of their three grown-up sons has decided to join them at any given moment. 

Nigel Wolfin

Chief Financial Officer

Nigel has been The Gap Partnership’s Chief Financial Officer since March 2008, overseeing the set-up and broader finance, legal, tax and treasury activities of the group. With the company’s strong adviser network, Nigel guides the Board’s consideration of the optimum structure to support continued global growth. Prior to joining the company. Nigel spent eight years as Head of Finance and company secretary of Pinewood Shepperton plc, and before that held roles within the audit and consultancy practices of PwC. Married to Jessica, Nigel attempts, with varying degrees of success, to maintain an influence on the lives of his son and daughter. 

 

Ann Marie Costelloe

Head of Brand and Community

After nearly two decades working in advertising where she headed up brand strategy, comms and activation for global client accounts such as Britvic, Ann Marie joined The Gap Partnership as its first head of brand and community in 2015. Since then she’s overhauled the brand, spearheaded innovation and created our digital community of negotiators, The Negotiation Society. Outside of work Ann Marie is kept busy ferrying around her three sporty children, and perfecting the art of the ultimate home-poured gin and tonic.

Lance Ward

Business Unit Leader, Americas Consulting

Lance’s diverse background that spans from working for consulting firms such as McKinsey and Arthur Andersen to owning and selling his own business, enables him lead our consulting organization for the Americas.  Together with a team of consultants he partners with our clients to ensure success on their most strategic initiatives.  Prior to his current role at The Gap Partnership, Lance led both the Retail and Specialty Markets practices for the Americas where his teams worked with numerous Fortune 500 organizations delivering capability development and strategic planning for a wide range of negotiation related initiatives. 

John Higgs

Business Unit Leader, Asia

As Head of Asia for The Gap Partnership based in Singapore, John advises clients across all sectors on their strategic commercial negotiations, with a specific focus on FMCG. He leads a team of consultants across the region with offices in Singapore, Hong Kong and Shanghai. Prior to joining The Gap Partnership, John’s diverse career has covered the military, financial services and risk consulting, with global experience including three years spent establishing and leading a consulting business in Pakistan.

David Goodsell

Head of Finance

David joined The Gap Partnership as Head of Finance in April 2019, after 20 years in finance roles for some of the world’s leading financial and professional services companies, including Ernst & Young, Deutsche Bank, UBS, Barclays and State Street. David oversees finance operations, forecasting and budgeting whilst acting as lead finance business partner for the executive leadership team and leadership forum. Outside the office David is a huge sports fan and coaches each week at his children’s rugby club.

Graham Stimpson

Managing Partner of Development Solutions

Graham spent two decades working in the world of consumer goods, where he led sales teams and partnered with Europe’s leading grocery retailers and food service providers. He first encountered The Gap Partnership as a client and delegate on The Complete Skilled Negotiator, and now heads up our global sales proposition. A love of live music across many genres keeps him busy and a birthday present of guitar lessons from his wife means he can now often be heard trying to perform in open mic nights.

Harri Jones

Global Operations of HR

Harri joined The Gap Partnership in 2016 and now heads up global HR operations from our New York office. After growing up in large corporates, Harri wanted a role where initiatives are implemented faster, there is more direct accountability, and clear results. She relishes working with the leaders of the business to ensure we have the right talent at the right place at the right time. Outside of work Harri enjoys traveling, socialising with her friends and planning her next adventure.

Richard Woodward

Business Unit Leader, UK & MEAN

Richard has over 25 years’ experience in the FMCG sector in negotiation, commercial strategy, category management and leadership, both directly and cross functionally. Richard currently leads The Gap Partnership’s UK and MEAN division, heading up a strong team across both our consulting and capability development divisions. Outside of work, when Richard isn’t sharing his time with his partner and their two girls, he’s most likely to be found in the cinema or putting in the miles as a keen road cyclist.

Michael Kamins

Business Unit Leader, North America

After years as a consultant and time with the United States Department of Defense, Mike joined The Gap Partnership. He has led the Americas consumer team to substantial growth, and helped build the Americas consulting practice. Mike’s passion is in creative thinking with the client in mind, and the people and behaviours aspect of negotiations. Despite specialising in collaborative negotiation, Mike is competitive in the sporting arena. Unfortunately, that competitive nature has not proven successful with his wife, young son and daughter, where he continues to be out-negotiated at every turn.

Sven Mermans

Business Unit Leader, Western Europe

Sven joined The Gap Partnership in April 2011, moving back to the UK after 15 years in sales and general management in the FMCG industry. Sven now heads up The Gap Partnership’s Western Europe business. He specialises in business transformation, helping organisations move from underperformance to profitable growth through the delivery of high impact negotiation training and consultancy. Fluent in English, Dutch, French, German and Spanish, Sven uses a diplomatic and collaborative style of negotiation to achieve success in partnership negotiations in challenging markets and territories.

Pyotr Sviridov

Business Unit Leader, Russia

Pyotr joined The Gap Partnership in 2012 and has since delivered negotiation solutions to a wide range of clients. Fluent in Russian, English and French, Pyotr offers a wealth of multicultural experience, having curated, managed and developed international businesses including those in Russia, the Ukraine, Kazakhstan, the Baltics and East European countries. He acquired a Blue Belt in Take Won Do Karate from the Ka Lee Institute in New York City. Pyotr continues to practice this in his spare time alongside other hobbies such as cycling. 

Michael Perlish

Business Unit Leader, LATAM

Michael is an experienced commercial executive with 22 years’ experience in negotiation, sales and strategic consultancy across six continents. Michael joined The Gap Partnership in 2012 and helps clients change their behavior to maximize deal profitability. As Executive Vice President, Michael currently leads a team focused on growing partnerships with clients across Latin America. He has traveled to over 60 countries and been based in Italy, Spain, and Belgium. Michael now currently lives in Charlotte, North Carolina with his wife.

Kevin Lecompte

Senior Partner, Head of Consulting & Technology Innovation (CTI)

Kevin has 30 years’ management consultancy experience across strategy development and advisory services. He joined The Gap Partnership in 2011 and as senior partner drives the innovation agenda, delivering value-enhancing strategies and executing negotiations across the globe. Responsible for developing the negotiation culture program to deliver a step change to client businesses, in his spare time, Kevin is hoping for a similar step change in his golf game whenever he has the chance for a round with one or a combination of his 3 sons.

Paul Bradford

Head of Knowledge

Paul has been a partner at The Gap Partnership since 2002. With a passion for the art and science of negotiation, he has overseen the development and quality of our products and services and led global capability for consulting. Currently head of knowledge, he has a focus on ensuring we stays at the forefront of negotiation. Paul lives with his wife and son in Berkshire. While a keen golfer, he admits he fails to achieve the same results on the green that he does in the negotiation room. 

Nick Harvey

Business Unit Leader, ANZ

Nick joined the Gap Partnership in 2013 and aided by a strong team built the Australia and New Zealand’s business. He advises clients on their negotiation culture and key negotiations across a range of sectors including financial services, retail and consumer, resources, tech and telecoms, property and infrastructure. Nick is passionate about diversity and through his work with a change group, advocates with influential leaders to redefine men’s role in taking action on gender inequality.

Marc Wehrum

Business Unit Leader, DACH

Marc has over 20 years of experience in various sectors including FMCG, B2B and software development. He founded a dotcom company in the mid-90s, then joined a multinational in the early 2000s, where his career spanned 15 years, several countries, sales roles and European GM assignments. Marc joined The Gap Partnership in 2018 to head up DACH and Eastern Europe. He lives in rural Saarland with his wife, two kids and a cat, and enjoys skiing, cycling, and good food and wine.

Graham Botwright

Chief Executive Officer

Graham joined TGP as a founding partner in 2002. Since then he’s supported hundreds of clients from a broad range of sectors around the world on their most sensitive and complex negotiations. Graham has been central to our business through the development of the quality of our people, proposition and service. He is fascinated by the art of negotiation and the psychology of two parties attempting to grow a relationship while having differing, and sometimes opposing, interests. Graham lives in the UK and is married to Carmel. His hobbies are competitive backgammon, amateur photography and mountain biking.

Rachael Langley

Chief HR Officer

Rachael joined TGP in June 2013 to lead our people agenda and implement associated strategies that support our ambitious growth plans across EMEA, Asia and the Americas. Her love of traveling and developing teams has been a constant theme throughout her career and she has held a number of international roles for global organizations such as Avon Cosmetics, easyJet and E.ON. Of these, perhaps her favorite led her to live in the Philippines where she implemented a sales capability program across Asia Pacific. Now back in the UK, Rachael lives in St Albans where she enjoys spending weekends with her husband and son.

Steve Gates

Founder and Executive Chairman

Steve founded The Gap Partnership in 1997, and since then has built the business to become the world’s leading management consultancy specializing in negotiation. His understanding of negotiation process, strategy, tactics, behaviors and psychology has enabled his team to shape and mold the most effective negotiation solutions in the world. The author of The Negotiation Book and numerous articles on the subject of negotiation, Steve is passionate about sharing his knowledge and empowering negotiators the world over.In his spare time, Steve is a keen sailor and enjoys spending time at sea with his wife, family and friends. 

Hain MacKay-Cruise

Chief Operation Officer

Hain was drawn to negotiation through his experiences in Asia and the Middle East, where his fascination with the complexities of cross cultural negotiation and cultural impact on behavior was born. He joined The Gap Partnership in 2014 after executive positions in management consulting and communications technology. He has worked with international companies in China, government agencies in the Middle East, and managed restructures across Asia. Although a native of Australia, Hain has spent the past two decades living overseas. Currently adapting to life in New York, he's enjoying learning about US culture.

Thomas Neubauer

Chief Operating Officer

Thomas has been with The Gap Partnership since 2011. He joined to lead the Central, Eastern Europe & Russia/CIS business before moving to New York in 2014 to head up the Americas business. As COO, Thomas is passionate about growing international business and has extensive experience negotiating within a broad range of sectors as well as managing clients and teams across the globe. Prior to joining The Gap Partnership, he was Managing Director for Swedish IBX Group and European Director of Sales with Capgemini Consulting. Thomas enjoys spending quality time with his family and friends and is a passionate sportsman.

Chris Atkins

Chief Negotiation Officer

Chris has been with The Gap Partnership since 2010, bringing with him over 25 years of cross-functional experience and general management at MD and CEO level across a range of sectors and regions. Chris now leads The Gap Partnership's global consulting practice, having served as managing partner for the Asia Pacific Office, and head of global clients. He specializes in cross-cultural negotiation, applying his experience of a decade working in Asia. Chris lives in Oxfordshire with his wife Sarah and whichever of their three grown-up sons has decided to join them at any given moment. 

Nigel Wolfin

Chief Financial Officer

Nigel has been The Gap Partnership’s Chief Financial Officer since March 2008, overseeing the set-up and broader finance, legal, tax and treasury activities of the group. With the company’s strong adviser network, Nigel guides the Board’s consideration of the optimum structure to support continued global growth. Prior to joining the company. Nigel spent eight years as Head of Finance and company secretary of Pinewood Shepperton plc, and before that held roles within the audit and consultancy practices of PwC. Married to Jessica, Nigel attempts, with varying degrees of success, to maintain an influence on the lives of his son and daughter. 

 

Ann Marie Costelloe

Head of Brand and Community

After nearly two decades working in advertising where she headed up brand strategy, comms and activation for global client accounts such as Britvic, Ann Marie joined The Gap Partnership as its first head of brand and community in 2015. Since then she’s overhauled the brand, spearheaded innovation and created our digital community of negotiators, The Negotiation Society. Outside of work Ann Marie is kept busy ferrying around her three sporty children, and perfecting the art of the ultimate home-poured gin and tonic.

Lance Ward

Business Unit Leader, Americas Consulting

Lance’s diverse background that spans from working for consulting firms such as McKinsey and Arthur Andersen to owning and selling his own business, enables him lead our consulting organization for the Americas.  Together with a team of consultants he partners with our clients to ensure success on their most strategic initiatives.  Prior to his current role at The Gap Partnership, Lance led both the Retail and Specialty Markets practices for the Americas where his teams worked with numerous Fortune 500 organizations delivering capability development and strategic planning for a wide range of negotiation related initiatives. 

John Higgs

Business Unit Leader, Asia

As Head of Asia for The Gap Partnership based in Singapore, John advises clients across all sectors on their strategic commercial negotiations, with a specific focus on FMCG. He leads a team of consultants across the region with offices in Singapore, Hong Kong and Shanghai. Prior to joining The Gap Partnership, John’s diverse career has covered the military, financial services and risk consulting, with global experience including three years spent establishing and leading a consulting business in Pakistan.

David Goodsell

Head of Finance

David joined The Gap Partnership as Head of Finance in April 2019, after 20 years in finance roles for some of the world’s leading financial and professional services companies, including Ernst & Young, Deutsche Bank, UBS, Barclays and State Street. David oversees finance operations, forecasting and budgeting whilst acting as lead finance business partner for the executive leadership team and leadership forum. Outside the office David is a huge sports fan and coaches each week at his children’s rugby club.

Graham Stimpson

Managing Partner of Development Solutions

Graham spent two decades working in the world of consumer goods, where he led sales teams and partnered with Europe’s leading grocery retailers and food service providers. He first encountered The Gap Partnership as a client and delegate on The Complete Skilled Negotiator, and now heads up our global sales proposition. A love of live music across many genres keeps him busy and a birthday present of guitar lessons from his wife means he can now often be heard trying to perform in open mic nights.

Harri Jones

Global Operations of HR

Harri joined The Gap Partnership in 2016 and now heads up global HR operations from our New York office. After growing up in large corporates, Harri wanted a role where initiatives are implemented faster, there is more direct accountability, and clear results. She relishes working with the leaders of the business to ensure we have the right talent at the right place at the right time. Outside of work Harri enjoys traveling, socialising with her friends and planning her next adventure.

Richard Woodward

Business Unit Leader, UK & MEAN

Richard has over 25 years’ experience in the FMCG sector in negotiation, commercial strategy, category management and leadership, both directly and cross functionally. Richard currently leads The Gap Partnership’s UK and MEAN division, heading up a strong team across both our consulting and capability development divisions. Outside of work, when Richard isn’t sharing his time with his partner and their two girls, he’s most likely to be found in the cinema or putting in the miles as a keen road cyclist.

Michael Kamins

Business Unit Leader, North America

After years as a consultant and time with the United States Department of Defense, Mike joined The Gap Partnership. He has led the Americas consumer team to substantial growth, and helped build the Americas consulting practice. Mike’s passion is in creative thinking with the client in mind, and the people and behaviours aspect of negotiations. Despite specialising in collaborative negotiation, Mike is competitive in the sporting arena. Unfortunately, that competitive nature has not proven successful with his wife, young son and daughter, where he continues to be out-negotiated at every turn.

Sven Mermans

Business Unit Leader, Western Europe

Sven joined The Gap Partnership in April 2011, moving back to the UK after 15 years in sales and general management in the FMCG industry. Sven now heads up The Gap Partnership’s Western Europe business. He specialises in business transformation, helping organisations move from underperformance to profitable growth through the delivery of high impact negotiation training and consultancy. Fluent in English, Dutch, French, German and Spanish, Sven uses a diplomatic and collaborative style of negotiation to achieve success in partnership negotiations in challenging markets and territories.

Pyotr Sviridov

Business Unit Leader, Russia

Pyotr joined The Gap Partnership in 2012 and has since delivered negotiation solutions to a wide range of clients. Fluent in Russian, English and French, Pyotr offers a wealth of multicultural experience, having curated, managed and developed international businesses including those in Russia, the Ukraine, Kazakhstan, the Baltics and East European countries. He acquired a Blue Belt in Take Won Do Karate from the Ka Lee Institute in New York City. Pyotr continues to practice this in his spare time alongside other hobbies such as cycling. 

Michael Perlish

Business Unit Leader, LATAM

Michael is an experienced commercial executive with 22 years’ experience in negotiation, sales and strategic consultancy across six continents. Michael joined The Gap Partnership in 2012 and helps clients change their behavior to maximize deal profitability. As Executive Vice President, Michael currently leads a team focused on growing partnerships with clients across Latin America. He has traveled to over 60 countries and been based in Italy, Spain, and Belgium. Michael now currently lives in Charlotte, North Carolina with his wife.

Kevin Lecompte

Senior Partner, Head of Consulting & Technology Innovation (CTI)

Kevin has 30 years’ management consultancy experience across strategy development and advisory services. He joined The Gap Partnership in 2011 and as senior partner drives the innovation agenda, delivering value-enhancing strategies and executing negotiations across the globe. Responsible for developing the negotiation culture program to deliver a step change to client businesses, in his spare time, Kevin is hoping for a similar step change in his golf game whenever he has the chance for a round with one or a combination of his 3 sons.

Paul Bradford

Head of Knowledge

Paul has been a partner at The Gap Partnership since 2002. With a passion for the art and science of negotiation, he has overseen the development and quality of our products and services and led global capability for consulting. Currently head of knowledge, he has a focus on ensuring we stays at the forefront of negotiation. Paul lives with his wife and son in Berkshire. While a keen golfer, he admits he fails to achieve the same results on the green that he does in the negotiation room. 

Nick Harvey

Business Unit Leader, ANZ

Nick joined the Gap Partnership in 2013 and aided by a strong team built the Australia and New Zealand’s business. He advises clients on their negotiation culture and key negotiations across a range of sectors including financial services, retail and consumer, resources, tech and telecoms, property and infrastructure. Nick is passionate about diversity and through his work with a change group, advocates with influential leaders to redefine men’s role in taking action on gender inequality.

Marc Wehrum

Business Unit Leader, DACH

Marc has over 20 years of experience in various sectors including FMCG, B2B and software development. He founded a dotcom company in the mid-90s, then joined a multinational in the early 2000s, where his career spanned 15 years, several countries, sales roles and European GM assignments. Marc joined The Gap Partnership in 2018 to head up DACH and Eastern Europe. He lives in rural Saarland with his wife, two kids and a cat, and enjoys skiing, cycling, and good food and wine.