Kin + Carta, the London Stock Exchange-listed digital transformation consultancy with Northern bases in Manchester and Liverpool, has announced the retirement of CEO J Schwan at the end of the month.
He will be succeeded by Kelly Manthey, currently group chief executive of Kin + Carta Americas. The reshuffle will also see Chris Kutsor, Kin + Carta’s chief financial officer, take on the additional role of chief operating officer. The rest of the leadership group, consisting of chief strategy officer Richard Neish, and Europe group chief executive David Tuck, remains in place.
The moves are part of a succession strategy that sees the global consultancy build on its three-year transformation as the consultancy enters an ambitious growth phase which should see it growing both organically and through acquisition.
As chief of Kin + Carta’s Americas region, Manthey has been instrumental in building a business that now accounts for 70 per cent of Kin + Carta’s revenue, growing from 400 people when she was appointed as Americas Group Chief Executive to 1,100 today.
Her 25-year career in digital transformation also includes serving as CEO of Solstice, the agency founded by Schwan in 2001, and acquired by St Ives in 2015. Schwan took over as St Ives CEO in August 2018 and spearheaded its transformation into Kin + Carta, restructuring the legacy portfolio of businesses into a single firm with a common mission of “building a world that works better for everyone.”
Schwan more than doubled the market capitalisation of the company during his four-year tenure as CEO, returning over 115 per cent in total shareholder return and putting Kin + Carta’s performance in the top three per cent of the FTSE All Share. The company has posted an outlook of 49 per growth for FY22.
John Kerr, chairman, commented: “Kin + Carta is unrecognisable from 2018 when J took over as CEO, a period that delivered total shareholder return of 115 per cent. This next phase of Kin + Carta will be defined by continued growth and we are confident and excited that the profitable growth that Kelly has successfully executed in the Americas will be replicated at a global scale.”
The board proposes to appoint Manthey as CEO, and also to the Kin + Carta board, effective from 01 August 2022 when she will assume responsibility for the delivery of FY23. Schwan will continue in his current position until this date and will remain with Kin + Carta as a special adviser for six months thereafter to assist with the transition.