- CEO/President (private company, USA)
- Interim CEO (listed company, South Africa)
- Executive Board Member (listed industrial holding company, SA)
- Independent coach, advisor and consultant to executives (since 1990)
- Worked on two continents in multiple sectors (from Advertising to Wealth Management)
James facilitating a team effectiveness session. (Note: champagne is not served at all his sessions.)
James with Dr Wally Johnson as guests on Richmond’s PBS station “PERSPECTIVE” with host Barbara Berlin. (James took over Dr Wally’s WCVE Public Radio show in 2006 until it ended in 2016)
James began his career in 1979 as an economist reporting to a board of directors comprising CEOs and civil servants. He has continued to work as an advisor to senior executives ever since.
In 1990 he co-founded a niche strategy and executive effectiveness consulting firm in Cape Town, South Africa. Noteworthy assignments have included (a) the successful rescue of a clothing chain with 185 stores in 5 countries, (b) a stint as interim CEO, and (c) appointment as an Executive Director to the Board of Directors (for 4 years) of an industrial holding company listed on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange.
During his career of more than 30 years, James has advised executives in industries including: advertising and branding; housing construction; information technology; medical; municipal and county services; merchant shipping; non-profit; oil; professional services; retail; and wealth management.
He has been directly involved in diversification strategies, the integration of acquisitions, start-ups, the sale of business units and corporate turnarounds from bankruptcy.
James arrived in the USA in 2002. Many of his USA clients are classified as small, medium and non-profit. However, two of his clients can be described as big: he provided long-term executive and leadership coaching services to senior managers and vice presidents within a major firm operating in the financial services industry, and completed assignments for a Fortune 200 company based in Richmond.
Between 2006-2016 James could be heard on regional public radio stations in the mid-Virginia area presenting his “Nonsense at Work” commentary. He can still be heard, seven days a week, in the Chicago area.
In June 2019 James retired from the role of CEO of a 30+ year old wealth management firm. He was initially appointed to coach the founder into retirement. This role morphed into the role of CEO, for 5 years, while coaching the next generation of leaders.