Claire Davies takes up top role at Helios as founders step down

19 July 2018 4 min. read
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The aviation consulting wing of Egis has appointed a new CEO, following the stepping down of its long term leadership team. Claire Davis has been promoted from her previous role of Director to the top job, following six years of service with the firm.

Aviation consultancy Helios was founded 22 years ago by its long-standing leaders, Managing Director Nick McFarlane and Chairman Dr Mike Shorthouse. Helios delivers management consultancy, strategy, investment and technical advice across the globe. The duo have been at the helm ever since, although five years after the firm’s acquisition by professional services group Egis – an international group offering engineering, project structuring and operations services, with 13,600 employees and a turnover of €1 billion in 2017 – they have decided to step down and take up active consulting roles involved in projects across Helios and the wider Egis Aviation business instead.

In a joint statement McFarlane and Shorthouse said, “Having founded Helios in 1996, and lived and breathed it ever since, in some sense it feels like the end of an era. However, it is also the start of an exciting new period under the direction of a fantastic new leadership team, who are focused on delivering value for clients and stakeholders and supporting employees. We have been privileged to work alongside such inspiring people and look forward to stepping back from our day-to-day management roles to focus on consulting on major projects. We wish the team the very best in their new roles.”

Adam Parkinson, James Hanson, Al Corner, Nick McFarlane, Cédric Barbier, Claire Davies, Mike Shorthose

Following the news of their departure from the head of the consultancy, Egis Aviation Executive Director Cédric Barbier appointed Helios Director, Dr Claire Davies, as CEO of Helios. Like Shorthouse and McFarlane, Davies will continue to deliver consultancy work for clients in her new role. She will be supported by a new management team built around the existing directors (Al Corner, Adam Parkinson, James Hanson, Ben Stanley and Mark Scott), all of whom will be responsible for key roles in the recently re-structured Egis Aviation Business Unit.

Following the completion of her PhD in Analytical Chemistry from the University of Bristol in 2005, Claire Davies has spent 13 years in the consulting industry, spending seven years with Curtis + Cartwright consulting before joining Helios in 2012. As well as leading Helios' long-standing work on the Single European Sky with the Industry Consultation Board on behalf of the European Commission, she has also worked to advise air navigation service clients globally on governance and strategy. In recent years Davies combined her consultancy work with a significant contribution to company management, becoming a Director in 2017.

Speaking on her latest promotion, Claire Davies, CEO, said, “Over the past two decades Nick and Mike’s vision and leadership have grown Helios from a small aviation consultancy, into an industry thought-leader at the heart of Egis’ global aviation business unit. I am delighted to have the opportunity to continue their great work and look forward to leading Helios with the same enthusiasm, care and commitment to delivering high quality consultancy for our clients. This will be achieved in partnership with our strong team of Directors, and world-class consultancy staff.”

Cédric Barbier meanwhile praised the outgoing leadership team, before commending their successor, stating, “I’d like to thank Nick and Mike for their excellent leadership over the years and welcome them to their new consultancy roles where they will remain actively involved in our projects and integral members of the consultancy team. I’d also like to congratulate Claire on her new position as CEO of Helios, I have no doubt that she will bring her dedication and talent to the role, championing Helios’ continued growth in the future.”

Related: Garyth Lofthouse and Huw Ross join aviation consulting firm Helios.