KatherineDirector in London
I joined Kekst CNC in 2016, having spent the early years of my professional life advising listed companies on market announcements and investor engagement. I also spent a few brief stints working in a professional services global strategy team and the 2016 US Democratic presidential campaign. All of these experiences opened my eyes to different ways of interacting and communicating with target audiences.
I chose Kekst CNC because it offered the most interesting and varied communications support to its clients and was actively seeking to grow its profile in the UK financial communications space. I have supported household brands navigating significant changes and financial headwinds, celebrated IPOs in Bucharest, Frankfurt, Lagos, London, and Riyadh, enjoyed client secondments in Milan, and have worked across time zones to complete mergers, acquisitions (friendly and hostile), and major divestments.
The technical nature of financial events and small circles of people that work within financial communications create a smokescreen and lead outsiders to believe you have to be a numbers whiz or spreadsheet guru to succeed. You certainly grow to love numbers and a detailed spreadsheet, but telling the financial story is as creative as reimagining a corporate vision or brand. Life is so interconnected that it has forced advisors and companies to reimagine how we communicate financial events and milestones.
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. We have to persuade and reassure investors, employees, regulators, corporate partners, and consumers with every announcement.
My confidence in the financial world has certainly grown. I relied heavily on a strong personal armour when I started, especially as a woman of colour. Flyaway comments in meetings, being overlooked or selected for optics -- it all undermined my confidence a lot. Fortunately, I have learned not to let others’ limited life experiences knock me. Rather than focus on being a minority in the professional circles I operate in, I use it to my advantage and as a means to encourage others like me to enter the room with confidence and leave the door open for others.
Kekst CNC has been supportive of things I am passionate about outside of work. I’ve been a school governor, mentor, and trustee, all with the view to give back and empower the people and communities I grew up in -- sharing what I have learned in the business world about the capital markets, wealth creation through investing, and home ownership with marginalised groups and community-based initiatives. It has been a great place to chase my personal goals and ambitions alongside my professional ones.
Insights from Katherine
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.
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.