The Gregynog Trust

Executive Search

The Gregynog Trust

Chief Executive Officer

Executive Search

Wales a country with a rich cultural heritage, stunning landscapes, and a unique identity, has held a special place in my heart and affections since my time as an undergraduate at University College Cardiff reading Economics.

In 2016, I was afforded the great privilege of being invited by the University of Wales to lead the search to appoint a Chair designate for a new charitable Trust, The Gregynog Trust, which was being established to conserve, preserve and promote Gregynog Hall, a Grade II listed mansion set in formal Grade I listed gardens within an extensive landscape setting and estate extending to 750 acres, at the very heart of rural mid-Wales. A search which resulted in the appointment of Carole-Anne Davies, Chief Executive of the Design Commission for Wales, who at the time was a serving Trustee at the National Museum of Wales.

One of Wales’s premier country estates, Gregynog is most well known as the former home of renowned art collectors, public benefactors, and sisters Gwendoline and Margaret Davies. The hall and estate, including agricultural land, woodland, National Nature Reserve, and Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI), offer a welcoming setting for everyone to stay, discover, experience, and be inspired by the enjoyment of creativity, nature, and the arts.

Fast forward to 2023, it was a pleasure to be invited to visit Gregynog for the first time, work with Carole-Anne again and lead the search to appoint a CEO.

“Philip took the time to listen carefully to us and understand our needs, subsequently honing in on the calibre and skills we needed to see in potential candidates. As a result, we had a strong field from which to select. 

Constant communication and attention to detail kept us informed and helped guide us when it came to decision time. Our experience with Philip was very positive. He met all our expectations, leading to not one but three successful appointments.

Philip comes highly recommended.”


— Carole-Anne Davies, Chair, The Gregynog Trust

Like many other organisations, The Gregynog Trust has not been without its challenges in recent years, and much more progress needs to be made to create a successful, inclusive, and forward-looking cultural business. However, with big ambitions, new brand and communications work underway, and a key role in Business Development, Events, and Marketing having been appointed, time was of the essence to address the senior executive role and appoint a CEO to bring clear and effective leadership and management to the team. A talented, dynamic, and imaginative individual able to display strong strategic leadership and management skills and who would relish the opportunity to build on Gregynog’s history and importance in Wales’s social, political, and cultural life.

The search resulted in the appointment of an Interim CEO, David Chell,  in August 2023, who was quickly able to make an impact and place Gregynog on a more sustainable footing, galvanising and motivating the team and providing the organisational leadership which Gregynog urgently needed. This appointment proved to be so successful that he was confirmed into the permanent post in December 2023.

Gregynog Trust, Non Executive Directors

Following the success of this campaign The Hiring Dept. were subsequently invited to appoint two non-executive directors to the board of Gregynog Enterprises Ltd, a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Gregynog Trust, which plays a major role in trading and income-generating activities for the Trust.

For further information on The Hiring Dept’s work and success within the heritage space please contact Philip Nelson via email on

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