Getting to know our CPO Beverley Brown
15 October 2020
Beverley Brown “The Connector”
Chief People Officer & Co-founder @ ELEMENTARYb
As part of our series in getting to know what motivates our founders to build Eb, we introduce our CPO Beverley Brown in this third chapter.
“Find what you enjoy and excel at it.
People and success will naturally be drawn to you”
Bev has built up a wealth of knowledge in her 30 plus years within the financial sector. She always saw herself becoming an entrepreneur she just didn’t know what direction she would go in! During her time within the banking and broking worlds it became apparent that the likes of Operations, IT, Risk & Compliance as well as other support areas were seen as a cost centre and this was her light bulb moment. Bev believed, and still does, that these areas should be classed as profit centres, being the enablers. She moved to the “dark side” as recruitment was known then, initially concentrating on the Emerging Markets sector. A few years later Bev left Emerging Markets Search and started something new, and the recruitment firm Nicoll Curtin was born. Covering both the search and contingency space within Investment Banking, she identified talent and excellence through both individuals and teams who could be moved around within the financial sector helping organisations to drive efficiency and profitability.
Realising she had found her passion, Bev then went on to expand her sector base from not only covering IB but also into the public sector, building a career showcasing talent and opportunities by helping people and organisations connect and foster beneficial relationships. These relationships have bought extensive business and personal value to her clients.
Over a twelve year period Bev grew Nicoll Curtin (along with a fabulous management team) from a group of three to around ninety, which became recognised and was ranked second in the Top 100 companies to work for, as well as expanding its remit to have offices in not only London but also Singapore and Zürich, then selling out in 2011. She says the key is “nurturing the career journeys, helping people grow to become the best that they can be and the people of the future.” It is a testament to the effectiveness of her ethos, that she has watched many people she has worked with blossom into certified industry leaders. “Clients and candidates remain firm friends still,” she muses.
And that is the heart of who Bev is: she is a connector, defining herself as a people person and a “gatherer of people” Bev brings individuals from different walks of life together and considers them extended family!
So what drew Bev to Eb? For her it was meeting a group of like-minded individuals who “want to create an organisation that strives to make a real difference for people, their business and also more importantly their community. The challenge of moulding a company with its people at its core, to building a world class team and delivering a platform to help mid-sized British businesses thrive – it doesn’t get better than that!” she says with a twinkle in her eyes.
Throughout her career Bev has seen the positive impact of opportunities created through connecting people. After successfully selling her recruitment business, Bev broadened her horizons and began consulting for various organisations. She also turned her attention back to her community through philanthropy and knowledge sharing. “We need to pass on this knowledge. Gen Z will need every bit of help they can get,” she asserts.
“Being an entrepreneur is a privilege,
being able to bring vision to fruition”
Recognising the importance of the mentors she has been lucky enough to have in her life, helping her with the direction of her career, Bev is now supporting other women through her voluntary work with Women in Banking & Finance. “You may be wanting to have a go at something and still need encouragement and some handholding” she says. And it is in this spirit she has taken on a new role starting a Female Entrepreneurs Community with WIBF. Bev has also helped create and organise Trailblazers, a yearly women focussed event in partnership with the NSPCC/Childline, looking at mental health and challenges that women face in various industries like Sport & Finance, their third event is due to be held in 2021. It is these initiatives of giving back and living equality that make for such a wonderful values fit with Eb, in helping to build the type of organisation we want to be.
When asked if she has any regrets looking back at her career, she answers: “Definitely no regrets as no route is the wrong one, you must always follow your passion – as they say life is not a dress rehearsal.”
When asked what she would have liked to have known when she started out, she replies laughing, “Just how long things take!”
Bev is a connector, a mentor and a friend. Something tells us that Bev has the staying power, as well as the people power to continue to make a positive impact on society as Eb grows.