I take ideas and I turn them into processes, systems and structures. I love engaging with the detail of how something will work in practice, and ensuring the business is always thinking ahead.

My remit at Kea is extremely broad as I am ultimately responsible for most aspects of finance, operations and people so it comes with a significant amount of variety. I find the challenge of overseeing the operations of a fast-growing business like Kea tremendously exciting. When I became COO, we were a team of 12 and we’re now a team of almost 30 so each year brings with it new opportunities to grow and develop which I find extremely satisfying.

What does it take to be successful?

Firstly, it’s important to have a growth mindset; we have big ambitions for our business and we are focused on growing the team to support that growth. Secondly, you have to want to make decisions that are ultimately for the benefit of the team, and care about how they are growing and developing. Thirdly, you have to enjoy the detail and want to be the person who clears obstacles from the path of the team. Finally, you have to be flexible, with a willing mindset to muck in and get involved.

I see the success of our business as being inextricably linked to the engagement and happiness of our team. This means having a team of people who are thriving in their roles, and who are finding fulfilment in what they do on a day-to-day basis while being supported by the right process and systems. It also means a group of people who want to work for one another, and who believe in doing well as a collective, as opposed to simply as an individual.

I always want to feel like I’m learning & developing; I studied part-time for a second degree in Law when I was a researcher at Kea, and I’m currently completing my WSET level 4 diploma in wine. Neither are of particular use in my day-to-day role, however that same enthusiasm for learning and development does influence my day-to-day at Kea.


How has your career developed at Kea?


I have the privilege of being one of the first people hired into the business back in 2011. At that time, the founders wanted someone who could support searches as a researcher but also manage the office day-to-day. As a result, while I progressed through the research team and ultimately became a consultant covering Private Equity and Hedge Funds, I never fully let go of the office management side either. I feel it gives me a unique perspective in my current role; I was in the shoes of the researchers and consultants, and so I understand their challenges in a way that if I had only ever worked in operations, I don’t think I would have.


What made you join?


I was hugely drawn firstly to the idea that it was possible to be successful in what is essentially a sales role but one that focused on quality over quantity. I was also really inspired by the founders of Kea; I joined in my early twenties when the founders were not much older than I was, and I loved their energy, enthusiasm and passion for what they were building.


Most of my week revolves around short-term decisions to help the team get certain things done, and long-term projects focused on improving the business.

I have weekly meetings with different parts of the business to check in on how things are going within finance, operations, marketing, HR and strategy, and plan for the upcoming month or quarter. I work with our CEO and Head of Search on strategic projects and initiatives. I typically spend a few hours each week negotiating and drafting our commercial terms for the searches we are running. I oversee hiring for the business and so will also usually be meeting several candidates during that week who are interviewing for roles within Kea.