One Year in VC
Lucy Kennard , Operations Manager at Concentric, gives some insight into her first year with us.
What made you decide you wanted to work in Venture Capital?
Before I worked for Concentric, I worked at a Leadership and Executive coaching company, Visible Leaders. I had loved my time there, all nine years of it, but I really needed a new challenge. Also, as an industry ‘coaching and consultancy’ was one that I had slightly fallen into, having graduated from University in the aftermath of the credit crunch. I wanted to do something a bit more tangible and as I have always been interested in business and finance, cutting my teeth in Venture Capital was something that appealed to me.
I liked the fact it was small – there were just five others when I joined but they were hiring and about to start raising for Fund 02. It was an exciting time!
What new skills have you learned in the last 12 months?
When I first started, I really knew nothing so probably added very little value at first. Without a background in financial services, I didn’t have any understanding about the different types of investment. I now have comprehensive understanding of Venture Capital, including all the technicalities behind making an investment. For example, documentation that need to be signed and the various Companies House, FATCA, HMRC reporting requirements.
On the marketing and investor relations side, I have also leant quite a lot of technical skills e.g. updating the website, using our CRM system (Affinity) and sending out newsletters via Mailchimp. When I did my first Mailchimp campaign, the formatting was a complete nightmare but as soon as I got the hang of it, I found them very satisfying.
What have you enjoyed the most in your time in the business?
I love the fact that it is a small team, it means you get so much more exposure and my role is also very varied. On one side I support the CFO with investments and fund management and on the other side I do a lot of marketing and investor relations. I essentially have an excellent birds-eye view of everything going on in the firm.
Most importantly I particularly like the team. Everyone is from different countries and walks of life and that’s what makes it interesting. There is a lot of office banter and it can be very entertaining.
How has Covid-19 impacted your role over the last 7/8 months?
Before COVID hit, Concentric were planning the raise of Fund 02, but when we got locked down the investment team were busy stabilising the portfolio, so this definitely pushed that back by a few months. But because of the role I do, apart from the fact that I was working from home, my day to day tasks didn’t really change that much. In fact, COVID was probably my busiest time as Mark, the CFO, and I were preparing the fund for its annual audit and carrying out FATCA and CRS reporting. Also, despite the pandemic, Concentric has raised over €60M in follow on capital, so it has definitely been a busy year.
It goes without saying that on the event side of things, there have been lots of last-minute changes. For example, we were hoping to run our Annual Investor day in person but as COVID took another turn for the worse we had to run it online.
As we head back into another national lockdown, it is important to not lose sight of the fact that whilst you can still be very productive working from home it is definitely not the same as being in a buzzy office, where you learn a lot simply from listening to the conversations around you. Also, although the commute from bed to desk, is less traumatic than the commute on the tube, it is a pretty monotonous routine.