Careers

Katherine

Director in London
"Often the assumption that financial communications are more complicated is not true. The messaging just revolves around the numbers, which I prefer: There’s less room for wild interpretation or misrepresentation of the facts. Instead, it’s about taking the numbers and helping companies tell their story in a way that anyone – especially the people who are impacted by any form of financial transaction and event – can digest."

My journey to Kekst CNC was probably a longer one than most. It starts in 2016: I had agreed to work on the US Democratic Party’s presidential campaign and was just about to hit the campaign trail when I was approached by a recruitment agency working with Kekst CNC. After a long courtship, I decided that out of all the firms I’d met with, Kekst CNC was the most interesting and the best fit for me.

But, in a way, my journey began long before that.

After completing my Master’s degree at Cambridge University, I went to work for a boutique equity advisory firm in London. I had no idea then what equity advisory entailed or even meant. Eventually, however, I learned about the capital markets and how to help large companies engage and communicate their investment story with shareholders efficiently and effectively. I learned a lot about the power of communicating complicated corporate updates simply and transparently.

Given my background, my focus at Kekst CNC is on financial communication mandates for my clients. The notion that financial communications is more complicated is not true: It’s all about taking the numbers, understanding the rationale of a deal or change in company structure/focus, and helping companies tell that story in a way that everyone can understand.

Being a woman of colour in the financial space has been challenging at times, and has required a sort of personal armour on my part. Often when I come into a meeting room, the assumption is usually that I’m there in a supporting or assistant role, rather than a leader. But I’ve learned to not let this overshadow my abilities and to not let throwaway remarks get to me.

Rather than focus on being a minority in most professional situations I am in, I have come to see my place in financial comms as something that can help open doors for others. I try to encourage women and people of colour to enter with confidence and to make sure that whatever room we enter, we leave the door open for the next person like us to enter.

Besides work, I spend a lot of time supporting the people and communities I grew up in understand how the financial system works and how to think about wealth creation, particularly investing, understanding mortgages and saving wisely. As a Black Londoner, I know how important it is to begin creating the generational wealth we are unlikely to inherit. Too often, we find ourselves priced out of the communities we live in and excluded from benefiting from the development of neighbourhoods we grew up in, especially once they are deemed “more desirable”.

I’ve learned so much at Kekst CNC, but the lesson I most value is to always ask questions. It’s so important to ask questions and challenge even our most senior members. In the business world, we get so accustomed to using jargon, without thinking about what it actually means. When you question what’s being said and ask individuals to explain what they mean, you’re better able to provide support and advice as a consultant and get down to the heart of a client or what a company is trying to convey, especially in financial comms.


Insights from Katherine

A link to a page
Blog

Why GameStop Only Reinforces The Need For Investor Relations to Digitalize Fast

Investor relations (IR) professionals have discussed the idea of digital IR for as long as we can remember. In the dot com bubble, this meant monitoring investor chat rooms. In the early noughties that meant the IR website got an overhaul. In the 2010s, that meant a focus on webcasting and video content. There has been little real change to the cadence of communications or conventional investor targeting, media monitoring and engagement programs.

A link to a page
Blog

FTSE 100 Financial Reporting During the COVID-19 Pandemic

COVID-19 has spread across the world, leading to unprecedented lockdowns and an unpredictable business environment for companies everywhere. This paper provides an analysis of FTSE 100 COVID-19 inancial reporting between the start of 2020 and 3 April and highlights the uncertainty facing UK-listed companies and the investment community as we move into uncharted waters.