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

Other leaders

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 People 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. 

Ann Marie Costelloe

Chief Commercial Officer

After two decades working in advertising, Ann Marie joined The Gap Partnership in 2015 as its first head of brand and community. During her tenure she overhauled the brand, created online community The Negotiation Society, and invented The Negotiators, a virtual and scalable competition. Ann Marie was then promoted to Chief Strategy Officer with responsibility for setting the strategic direction of the business and ensuring initiatives at all levels were aligned with it. In September 2023, Ann Marie became Chief Commercial Officer. Her primary focus is now on driving revenue generation, business growth, and profitability. 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.

Pia Costea

Chief Operating Officer

Pia joined The Gap Partnership as Chief Operating Officer in September 2023 from Dentsu International, a global marketing holding company. In her time at Dentsu, Pia held leadership roles in operations, strategy and transformation in both EMEA and the global organization. Before that, Pia was at the forefront of some of the most challenging and disrupting times in the music industry, leading transformation and operations for EMI Music Publishing and Sony ATV. Pia’s mantra in business and life is progress not perfection. Originally from Spain, Pia has lived and worked in Denmark, The Netherlands, Germany and the UK. She recently relocated to London with her husband and daughters and is excited to settle in and enjoy life.

Billy Scanlan

Chief Financial Officer

Billy joined The Gap Partnership as Chief Financial Officer in January 2024, bringing senior finance experience from private equity-backed firms. In his previous role as CFO of The Marketing Practice he oversaw the acquisition of five businesses in 18 months, establishing market leadership in B2B marketing. Prior to that Billy contributed to growing and exiting ventures across industry sectors including retail and utilities. 

Originally from Scotland, Billy now resides in the south of England with his young family. His role as a father takes up most of his time these days, diverting attention from other interests such as rugby, distance running and cycling

Lance Ward

Managing Partner, Americas

Lance’s diverse background spans from working for consulting firms, such as McKinsey and Arthur Andersen, to owning and selling his own business. Prior to his current role, Lance led retail, specialty, and consulting practices for the Americas, working with numerous Fortune 500 organizations, delivering capability development and strategic planning. As senior partner, Lance is responsible for the development and execution of the Americas’ strategy. Lance enables the sales and delivery teams to partner with our clients to ensure success on their most strategic initiatives.

Emma Weare

Global Head of Brand and Marketing

Emma worked in advertising for two decades, creating strategy and campaigns for brands such as British Airways, Axe and Whitbread. She joined The Gap Partnership in 2015, initially to support a global rebrand, but then as the second member of the newly-formed marketing department. Emma now heads up brand and marketing globally, leading a specialist team with a broad remit that includes digital, social, content, events, product innovation, market research and thought leadership. Emma also works with social business Debate Mate, one of The Gap Partnership’s CSR partners. Outside of work, Emma enjoys swimming and yoga, and hanging out with her family, her dog and her friends.

Eelco Modderman

Managing Partner, APAC

Eelco joined The Gap Partnership in 2017 and now heads up our Asia Pacific region from our office in Tokyo. As a Dutchman living in Asia for over fifteen years, Eelco brings together the best of east and west, with a background is in big data analytics. He is passionate about sustainability, delivering with impact, and the personal growth of his team. Outside of work, Eelco lives with his wife and two children. They share a love for adventure and travel, exploring new places and cultures.

Graham Stimpson

Managing Partner, Excellence

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 mike nights.

Marc Wehrum

Managing Partner, EMEA

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.

Kevin Lecompte

Global Head of Enterprise Tools

Kevin has 30 years’ management consultancy experience across strategy development and advisory services in Big 5 and boutique Consultancies. He joined The Gap Partnership in 2012 leading the global consultancy division, responsible for the development of the negotiation culture program to deliver a step change to client businesses, delivering value-enhancing strategies and executing negotiations across the globe. As a Senior Partner he is now driving TGP’s Enterprise solutions and in his spare time, Kevin is helping out with the family farm and continuously trying to keep in touch with his three sons on the tennis court and golf course.

Paul Bradford

Global 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. 

Rob Bedwell

Global Head of Solutions

Rob joined the Gap Partnership in 2010. Prior to that, he designed flight simulators, worked for Dyson, and set up RS Components in Japan. Rob led a team of 55 expert advisors for UKTI, helping companies export to China, Japan, Iran, and the USA. At times of shortage, Rob sourced, priced, and negotiated over 100,000 electronic SKU's from around the world. Outside of work, Rob loves living in the fast lane, and has raced yachts in Japan, coming 3rd in the Race of Champions support program in 2008.

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 People 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. 

Ann Marie Costelloe

Chief Commercial Officer

After two decades working in advertising, Ann Marie joined The Gap Partnership in 2015 as its first head of brand and community. During her tenure she overhauled the brand, created online community The Negotiation Society, and invented The Negotiators, a virtual and scalable competition. Ann Marie was then promoted to Chief Strategy Officer with responsibility for setting the strategic direction of the business and ensuring initiatives at all levels were aligned with it. In September 2023, Ann Marie became Chief Commercial Officer. Her primary focus is now on driving revenue generation, business growth, and profitability. 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.

Pia Costea

Chief Operating Officer

Pia joined The Gap Partnership as Chief Operating Officer in September 2023 from Dentsu International, a global marketing holding company. In her time at Dentsu, Pia held leadership roles in operations, strategy and transformation in both EMEA and the global organization. Before that, Pia was at the forefront of some of the most challenging and disrupting times in the music industry, leading transformation and operations for EMI Music Publishing and Sony ATV. Pia’s mantra in business and life is progress not perfection. Originally from Spain, Pia has lived and worked in Denmark, The Netherlands, Germany and the UK. She recently relocated to London with her husband and daughters and is excited to settle in and enjoy life.

Billy Scanlan

Chief Financial Officer

Billy joined The Gap Partnership as Chief Financial Officer in January 2024, bringing senior finance experience from private equity-backed firms. In his previous role as CFO of The Marketing Practice he oversaw the acquisition of five businesses in 18 months, establishing market leadership in B2B marketing. Prior to that Billy contributed to growing and exiting ventures across industry sectors including retail and utilities. 

Originally from Scotland, Billy now resides in the south of England with his young family. His role as a father takes up most of his time these days, diverting attention from other interests such as rugby, distance running and cycling

Lance Ward

Managing Partner, Americas

Lance’s diverse background spans from working for consulting firms, such as McKinsey and Arthur Andersen, to owning and selling his own business. Prior to his current role, Lance led retail, specialty, and consulting practices for the Americas, working with numerous Fortune 500 organizations, delivering capability development and strategic planning. As senior partner, Lance is responsible for the development and execution of the Americas’ strategy. Lance enables the sales and delivery teams to partner with our clients to ensure success on their most strategic initiatives.

Emma Weare

Global Head of Brand and Marketing

Emma worked in advertising for two decades, creating strategy and campaigns for brands such as British Airways, Axe and Whitbread. She joined The Gap Partnership in 2015, initially to support a global rebrand, but then as the second member of the newly-formed marketing department. Emma now heads up brand and marketing globally, leading a specialist team with a broad remit that includes digital, social, content, events, product innovation, market research and thought leadership. Emma also works with social business Debate Mate, one of The Gap Partnership’s CSR partners. Outside of work, Emma enjoys swimming and yoga, and hanging out with her family, her dog and her friends.

Eelco Modderman

Managing Partner, APAC

Eelco joined The Gap Partnership in 2017 and now heads up our Asia Pacific region from our office in Tokyo. As a Dutchman living in Asia for over fifteen years, Eelco brings together the best of east and west, with a background is in big data analytics. He is passionate about sustainability, delivering with impact, and the personal growth of his team. Outside of work, Eelco lives with his wife and two children. They share a love for adventure and travel, exploring new places and cultures.

Graham Stimpson

Managing Partner, Excellence

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 mike nights.

Marc Wehrum

Managing Partner, EMEA

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.

Kevin Lecompte

Global Head of Enterprise Tools

Kevin has 30 years’ management consultancy experience across strategy development and advisory services in Big 5 and boutique Consultancies. He joined The Gap Partnership in 2012 leading the global consultancy division, responsible for the development of the negotiation culture program to deliver a step change to client businesses, delivering value-enhancing strategies and executing negotiations across the globe. As a Senior Partner he is now driving TGP’s Enterprise solutions and in his spare time, Kevin is helping out with the family farm and continuously trying to keep in touch with his three sons on the tennis court and golf course.

Paul Bradford

Global 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. 

Rob Bedwell

Global Head of Solutions

Rob joined the Gap Partnership in 2010. Prior to that, he designed flight simulators, worked for Dyson, and set up RS Components in Japan. Rob led a team of 55 expert advisors for UKTI, helping companies export to China, Japan, Iran, and the USA. At times of shortage, Rob sourced, priced, and negotiated over 100,000 electronic SKU's from around the world. Outside of work, Rob loves living in the fast lane, and has raced yachts in Japan, coming 3rd in the Race of Champions support program in 2008.