Insights

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Lucy Thompson

Lucy is a Senior Consultant at Hawthorn, supporting clients in financial communications, tech, and corporate PR. 

Prior to joining Hawthorn, Lucy worked at a London-based strategic advisory firm. There she advised leaders in both business and government facing complex reputation, policy and communication challenges. 

She is experienced at working with clients on all aspects of strategic communications, delivering high-profile events for the UK government, campaigns and narratives for multinationals, and speeches for global leaders. 

In her spare time, Lucy enjoys painting, travelling and playing football for her local South London team.

Ahmad Aboushagor

Ahmad Aboushagor is a Senior Consultant at Hawthorn experienced in managing UK and global corporate communications programmes for technology, media and professional services businesses across EMEA, the US and APAC. He provides strategic communications and reputational counsel to clients across verticals including b2b technology, fintech, greentech and venture capital as well as the luxury and legal sectors.

Ahmad joined Hawthorn in 2023 with over five years of experience most recently at global marketing and communications consultancy Allison. He has advised both listed and private businesses at all levels of scale on narrative development and media strategy, corporate profile-raising, and thought leadership programmes measured against business and communications goals. His former clients include the likes of Palo Alto Networks, IHG Hotels & Resorts, the Mozilla Corporation and Dow Jones.

Ahmad holds a degree in History from the University of York, winning a scholarship during his time there to study courses abroad in Global Enterprise Management and East Asian Relations at the Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK). When not in the office, Ahmad is an avid traveller with a deep interest in history and the arts.

Tilly Roylance

Tilly is a Senior Consultant at Hawthorn, focused on delivering a range of creative, strategic campaigns for influential global businesses across technology, media and education.

Prior to Hawthorn, Tilly advised authors on digital marketing strategy at a UK-based publishing company and interned at a popular London radio station. She holds a Master’s degree in International Peace and Security from King’s College London and a Bachelor’s degree in English Literature and Philosophy from Cardiff University.

Inside and outside of the business, Tilly follows stories around geopolitics, culture and technology closely. She’s a dedicated member of her local running club and enjoys hot holidays, water sports and being in the outdoors.

Tabitha Steemson

Tabitha is a Senior Consultant at Hawthorn, supporting clients in financial communications and corporate PR. She is experienced at working with clients on all aspects of strategic communications, from building campaigns to proactive media relations, having worked across a range of sectors in the B2B space.

Prior to joining Hawthorn Tabitha worked with legal sector clients and conducted a high-profile PR campaign with the team of former Prime Minister Gordon Brown.

In her spare time, Tabitha enjoys singing, doing the New York Times crossword, and supporting Arsenal Football Club.

Simon Woods

Simon Woods manages Hawthorn’s investor relations and financial communications function across a number of sectors, including energy and industrials, agriculture, technology, retail and financial services.

Simon has vast experience advising companies through a range of financial events and special situations, including navigating the financial calendar, handling M&As, IPOs, secondary fundraises, and responding to litigation cases and crises. Given his significant exposure to carbon-intensive industries, he has taken a great interest in helping businesses define their sustainability values and develop reporting programmes that aim to position his clients as ESG leaders in their fields.

Over the course of his career, Simon has advised over 70 companies globally across the London market as well as international markets such as the Oslo Børs, New York Stock Exchange and Toronto Stock Exchange. These companies span blue chip corporations to smaller growth businesses.

Simon has trained with the Chartered Institute of Securities and Investments, taking on the Level 3 Corporate Finance Certificate.

Outside of work, Simon dedicates much of his time to his local rugby club, where he acts as Honorary Secretary and plays a key role in the Club’s 1XV team.

James Raftery

James Raftery is a Senior Consultant in Hawthorn’s International strategic communications team.

James advises corporate and individual clients on geopolitical strategic communications challenges, working with clients based in the Middle East, Europe, North America and further afield.

Before joining Hawthorn James worked as a freelance political analyst and researcher, advising the foreign ministry of a high-profile Middle Eastern government. James holds a BA in Philosophy, Politics and Economics from Oxford, and an MA in Middle Eastern Studies from King’s College London, where his research focussed on political Islam and the political role of clerics in Saudi Arabia.

In his free time James enjoys cycling, cooking, reading and supporting Portsmouth FC.

James Cowling

James Cowling is a Senior Consultant in the Political Advisory team.

He’s worked with several blue-chip companies to deliver political engagement campaigns, with a focus on financial services and tech sectors.

Before working in advocacy, James worked as a Parliamentary Researcher to a Secretary of State and former Pensions Minister Guy Opperman. He graduated from the University of Newcastle with an BSc Hons in Pharmacology, and an MSc in Management at Durham University.

James is the founder of Next Gen Tories, a Conservative campaign group calling for the party to tackle the policy priorities of the under 45s and is on the Conservative candidates list. He runs a community chess club in Greenwich in his spare time.

Graham Kelly

Graham advises a range of clients on their media relations and strategic communications. He has worked with household names including international news brands, FTSE-listed companies and a national sporting governing body to manage their reputations through crises.

Graham joined Hawthorn after successfully completing the internship programme. He graduated from Corpus Christi College Oxford with a degree in Philosophy, Politics & Economics, specialising in Government & Politics in Britain and America.

Away from the office, Graham is a keen long-distance runner and takes an interest all forms of music, performing a marathon DJ set at Hawthorn’s 10th anniversary party.

Daniel Thomas

Dan Thomas is a Senior Consultant at Hawthorn, focused on advising financial services, energy and technology companies.

Dan has experience in advising leading institutions on corporate and financial communications, major transactions and issues management. He currently works with a range of global and pan-European alternative investment managers across asset classes, including private equity and real estate debt.

Dan graduated from the London School of Economics with a degree in History.

Outside of work, he enjoys travelling and following Arsenal F.C.

Emily Fraser

Emily has nearly 10 years’ experience creating and leading integrated, digital strategies that go beyond the initial brief. Emily enjoys working with teams of strategic, innovative thinkers, and knows how a powerful digital and integrated strategies and techniques can transform a business to reach their communication goals. Prior to joining Hawthorn, Emily worked as Programme Delivery and Digital Account Director at integrated agency Aspectus Group, delivering integrated solutions for clients in the financial services, capital markets, technology and energy and industrials industries, working with clients such as Rimac Energy, Munich Re, McKinsey & Co., Meritsoft, ACA Foreside, Aquaterra Energy, Moody’s Analytics and TR Property Investment Trust.