Our Team



The senior management has over 40 years of combined Executive Search and Recruitment experience in both regional and International markets

Our consultants deliver customized yet comprehensive talent solutions to our clients ranging from a single key hire to an entire team build up, leveraging our solid knowledge and relationships in vertical markets along with support from our dedicated in-house research team of sector specialists.

Derek Dorman

Chief Executive Officer 

Derek Dorman is recognised as an expert on the regional banking and finance recruitment market in the GCC. He has been living and working in the region since 2006 and has successfully launched financial search firms in Bahrain, Dubai, Singapore and Hong Kong. Derek started his career as a private banker before making the transition in 1996 to a career in recruitment.

Derek worked in London and Dublin with some of the biggest international names in the executive search business before he moved to the region in 2005.

He has successfully filled hundreds of mandates from director level to CEO and holds deep relationships at board level with institutions across the region and beyond.

Kary Cheng


Kary's expertise is in delivering mid – senior level searches in the legal space across in-house clients. She also focuses on Nationalisation projects, helping and advising Financial Institutions, Government, Semi-Government Entities as well as some large Private Conglomerates in their national recruitment drive.

Kary started her career in Hong Kong and in late 2013, she moved to UAE to gain regional market exposure. Having successfully expanded her client base to include leading regional institutions as well as international firms, Kary has quickly become a frontrunner in her field and now has a strong network of contacts at senior level across the GCC and wider MENA market in this space. With her thorough grounding in the search methodology and advanced sales skills she is seen as a trusted advisor to senior legal professionals & GCC nationals when they are looking to hire or considering a potential move.

Kary is trilingual in English, Cantonese and Mandarin.

Jay Pathak

Director – Technology Practice

Jay is responsible for Madison Pearl’s Technology practice, Jay focuses on recruiting for major banks, blue chip clients, SMEs and start-ups across multiple industries. Jay has helped his Middle East clients secure talent for major IT transformation projects helping them drive their competitive advantage across the sectors of Fintech, Blockchain, Cloud, Big Data, Cyber Security, and Digital.

Jay brings over two decades of industry experience and combines technology domain expertise having worked as an Infrastructure Project Manager for a leading UK Blue Chip prior to branching into Technology Recruitment & Search. Jay is originally from the UK, however has spent the last 10 years based in Dubai covering technology mandates across the Middle East. Jay graduated with a Bachelor (Hons) Degree in Computer Information Systems from Goldsmiths, University of London and has been professionally trained in headhunting and competency based interviewing techniques.

Paul Gallagher

Director, Hong Kong Office

Paul is responsible for our business in Hong Kong and mainland China. Paul holds over 10 years of recruitment experience on senior appointments across Europe and Asia. Starting his career in investment banking, he moved into recruiting for finance professionals in Dublin in 2007. Having had a successful stint in recruiting in London, he took an opportunity to move to Hong Kong in 2010 to headhunt senior finance professionals in top tier investment and corporate banks. For the past 8 years, Paul has placed senior finance professionals in financial institutions across Asia Pacific. He has also diversified his knowledge of other functions placing legal counsels and Human resources directors and has trained teams of researchers to successfully map out niche talent markets. Paul has developed a huge network of connections and deep relationships with senior qualified professionals in C Suite positions across Hong Kong and China.

Neha Bhardwaj

Associate Director, Head of Banking Research

Neha is the Head of Banking Research at Madison Pearl, she leads the in-house research function, training and developing the internal research team as well as managing key client relationships across the MENA region while successfully placing senior executives in the banking & financial services sector. With over 9 years’ experience in Recruitment & Executive Search industry, she has built a solid career in delivering senior level mandates, talent mapping & compensation benchmarking exercises as well as writing high-level strategic reports on Candidates, Country & Industry, advising clients on the sector and market movements.

She was previously an Associate with Moorland Gray, managing the Banking and Financial Services research desk and leading a team of analysts to headhunt, shortlist and placing C-level candidates. Prior to her appointment with Moorland Gray in 2012, she worked in Heidrick & Struggles India office as a senior researcher where she spent nearly 4 years specialising in Financial Services sector undertaking executive search and consulting assignments. With her in-depth research skills and client focus she has been able to build an elaborate client fandom in some of the very demanding geographies and also earn “Employee of the Year” award at Heidrick's for Research in 2009.

Neha earned an MBA, Finance from Symbiosis Institute of Management Studies, India and Diploma in Financial Planning from International College of Financial Planning. She also holds a first-grade bachelor’s degree in Commerce from the University of Delhi, India.

Harriet Grant

Manager, Legal

Harriet Grant heads up the legal private practice division and carries a solid track record of placing lawyers internationally across the Middle East, London, New York and Singapore. After completing her law degree in 2012 in Nottingham, she started her career in legal recruitment before making the move to Dubai to focus on international placements and gain exposure on the ground.

Harriet works closely with the Managing Partners at the top tier global firms and assists with the growths of their teams in areas such as aviation, shipping, corporate, commercial, banking, finance, real estate, construction, litigation and intellectual property. Her portfolio of work has ranged from newly qualified associates up to lateral partner hires globally.

Sue Singh

Manager, Bahrain Office

Sue is a Senior Consultant with 360 Recruitment experience. Based out of our Bahrain office, Sue covers senior - C level international searches within the Banking and Finance sector and manages key client relationships across MENA.

Sue has an MBA with a specialization in Human Resource Management and started her career in Learning & Development. She then went on to specialize in Recruitment and has 7 years’ experience working with leading Search firms in the region. During her career, Sue has successfully completed multiple mandates on both retained and contingent basis. She also ran several projects and recruitment campaigns for international clients expanding their footprint in the region. Sue works as a trusted advisor to her clients advising on their recruitment process and market trends.

Damion Cubitt

Senior Consultant

Damion Cubitt is a Search Consultant at Madison Pearl. He has an extensive track record of placing senior bankers across the GCC and wider MENA region. Damion forms an integral part of the Banking and Finance Team, currently leading the Middle Office, Treasury and Asset Management desks.

Upon graduating in South Africa, Damion moved to Bahrain where he started his recruitment career as an Associate Consultant at a large regional firm where he focused on servicing Regional and International Law firms.

With strong focus and a result orientated approach, Damion moved to Dubai as a Consultant with Madison Pearl. At present, he runs a 360 desk, advising clients on how to approach their hiring process and provides talent to suit their specific needs.

Damion has proven expertise in attracting and winning business as well as managing and building client and candidate relationships. His key portfolio of clients ranges from Government Authorities, Sovereign Wealth Funds, Regional and International Banks, Investment Firms, Family Offices and other non-banking financial firms.

Lalit Mehta

Senior Consultant

Lalit has more than 12 years of work experience across various sectors, including more than 8 years in the executive search industry. He, currently, works as a Senior Consultant with Madison Pearl, executing senior management positions in Banking and Finance industry. Prior to this, he worked as a Head of Research, Page Executive with Michael Page and also as an Associate with premier search firms including Korn Ferry and Heidrick and Struggles, where he was responsible for handling the recruitment cycle by executing several senior management positions across industries in Middle East.

He holds his Bachelor’s in Commerce from Delhi University and has interests in music and sports.

Benedict Santos

Senior Consultant

Benedict Santos is a Senior Consultant within Madison Pearl’s Banking and Finance Team currently leading and managing the Private Equity, Investment Banking Advisory and Real Estate desk.

Raised and educated in Middle East, Benedict has lived in between Bahrain and Saudi Arabia for the past 18 years and has developed great knowledge and cultural understanding of the Middle East, enabling him to develop solid relationships with local candidates and clients alike.

He started his recruitment career in Bahrain as a Research Associate in 2012, with a major regional firm and was focused in servicing clients, local and international firms within the Asset Management and Private Equity space, across their front, middle and back office teams.

With strong search fundamentals and focus, Benedict rapidly progressed from a predominantly research-focused role to managing a book of key clients and expanding his coverage to servicing international investment banks with a focus on Investment Banking Coverage and Product/Business Lines.

His background in Market Research with a Global Research entity, prior to his recruitment experience, has enabled Benedict to develop into a unique search consultant with the ability to deliver on both retained and contingent projects.

Helen Opena


Helen is a Search Consultant at Madison Pearl specializing in Banking and Finance search across the GCC & MENA region.

She started her career in Human Resources and has more than 14 years of experience in the field. Prior to joining Madison Pearl, Helen was the Head of Research for a major recruitment firm. Helen has a strong track-record in delivery and has in-depth knowledge of Asset Management and Private Equity sectors along with a wide network of active and passive candidates. Helen specializes in mid to senior level placements and has a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology.

Hiba Abdulla


Hiba, a Search Consultant within Madison Pearl Banking and Finance Team covers the Asset Management, Private Banking and Treasury desk, delivering on mid to senior mandates, and providing exclusive market maps and search strategy reports for local and regional Financial Institutions.

She started her career as a research associate with one of the top international Banking and Finance recruitment firms, through the course of 3 years her role developed into a senior search consultant leading a team of researchers mainly focusing on Treasury and Investment Banking mandates across the GCC.

Being from the region and having lived between Jordan and UAE for the last 26 years, Hiba has a strong cultural ties and marketplace understanding of the Middle East. With her native Arabic speaking skills, she has managed to develop solid rapport with local and regional clients.

Hiba is a holder of a Bachelor’s in Business Administration from Princess Sumaya University of Technology, a part of the Royal Scientific Society. She has interests in Humanitarian Services, and was a member of the UNESCO and UNRWA initiatives in PSUT and a Member of the Model United Nations.

Maryam Saleh


Maryam is an experienced recruitment consultant with extensive experience in banking and finance.

Her degree in Banking & Finance combined with her strong experience working for major search firms in the GCC make Maryam a trusted advisor to banks and financial institutions when they are hiring for senior positions. She has a strong track record of delivery and is a specialist in retained executive search across the MENA region.

Adele Hart


Adele is an experienced HR professional with over 12 years’ executive search & consulting experience across South-Africa and the Middle East.

She has worked on numerous international and regional search engagements for C-level and divisional head roles. Prior to joining Madison Pearl, Adele was a senior Retained Search Consultant for a major recruitment firm. Her expertise includes full life cycle recruitment and advising clients on HR strategy and policies, reward management systems, staffing & selection, employee engagement, labor relations, contracts & remuneration as well as workforce diversity. Adele has a National Diploma in Human Resource Management & Recruitment.

Via Bondoc

Office Manager

Via is the Office Manager at Madison Pearl and has proven 11 years of experience in the UAE specializing in Administration. Her current role focuses on data administration, managing candidate Interviews as well as job portals, online applications, database management and corporate travel bookings, etc. Prior to Madison Pearl, Via previously worked in a dual role as an Office Manager and Researcher within a regional recruitment firm based in Dubai. She moved to the UAE in 2006 and worked for a leading investment company, managing the full administration function.

Having worked within a fast-paced recruitment environment for years she also possesses prior experience in sourcing and screening for junior - mid level positions in various industries including Financial Services, Banking, Insurance and Real Estate.

Via holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Science.

Lochana Gurunnanselage


Lochana is an Associate at Madison Pearl. Her current position focuses on assisting Consultants in sourcing and research mapping candidates for junior - senior level from the Legal, Banking and Finance sectors, job posting, database management and office administration.

She started her career as a Researcher at one of the top international recruitment firms through the course of 6 months, specializing in Sales & Marketing sectors.

Lochana holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Human Resource Management. She speaks English and Sinhalese.