Kevin has been a Pilotlighter for nine years and is currently working on his fifth project. He is also a committee member for Big Lottery Fund England.
What is your greatest professional achievement?
I successfully restructured a troubled public hedge fund in the wake of the collapse of Lehman Brothers.
What does success mean to you?
Getting to the point where you no longer just think and act for your own personal interests and needs. It is so important to not lose your soul as you progress in your career and to always be aware of others, especially those less fortunate than you.
Who’s most influenced you in your career and why?
It has to be my Mum. She worked incredibly hard to bring up four boys on her own.
Why did you become a Pilotlighter?
I have always had a strong urge to give back. In my twenties I worked abroad on a number of aid projects. When I returned to the UK and began my career in finance, I was a passive donor to various charities for many years. But something was missing and I wanted to get back to applying my experience and skills to a charitable cause. Pilotlight offered a structured way that I could do this and it fits well with my career and private life without becoming all consuming.
What keeps you working with us?
A moral imperative to help address some of society’s pressing issues. Pilotlight offers the chance to support inspirational charities, and is a great forum to learn about, and develop myself.
Tell us one thing you’ve learnt through working with us.
So much potential can be unlocked by the confidence that a trusted sounding board can provide. I am mindful of this in my day job as Partner in a social impact private equity fund, where I deal with many inspiring entrepreneurs.
What’s been your biggest challenge?
Maintaining the discipline of distance and mentoring rather than looking to “do” and get involved directly. Pilotlight’s expert Project Managers are great at managing the meetings so that we strike the right balance.
What’s been your biggest surprise?
The ignorance of those outside the charity sector of the exceptional quality of the people working in it.
Has working with charities inspired you in anyway?
Yes, in many ways. However, the one that really strikes me is the incredible strength and generosity of people who go through an ordeal and not only come through it, but set up a charity to help others that face it.
Has being a Pilotlighter influenced you in any other area of your life?
It has had a huge impact in both my career and my philanthropic journey. As mentioned above, I now run a fund that invests in companies looking to have a social impact, and I have gone on to a number of trustee roles, most notably as a committee member for Big Lottery Fund England.
Describe the Pilotlight Effect.
Humbling, enlightening and rewarding.
What have you learnt from Pilotlight that you could apply in your day job or business?
A better balance between the use of my mouth and ears.
What one question would you ask the next Pilotlighter who does a profile?
How far will you go on your philanthropic journey?