Keon was born and raised in the UK and graduated with a First-Class honours degree in Business Management from The University of Surrey. He moved to Dubai in 2008 where he began his career in recruitment.
After a one year foray into the world of marketing with an internship at 3M I started my recruitment journey as a graduate and relocated to Dubai. I remained with this company for 7 years, establishing one of the top banking recruitment teams in the region at the time.
I then became one of the founding partners of Aventus in 2016 and now lead our financial services division, focused on; Banking, Risk, Investment Management as well as Finance, Advisory & Audit search.
I was initially drawn to recruitment by its meritocratic nature – a results-driven business where performance and success are quantifiable. Lately, my passion lies in team building, both internally and for clients. I relish delving into personality and character assessments and unraveling what makes each of us tick.
It has been fascinating to watch the development of the GCC over the past 15 years. The progression of the banking industry in the region from manual processes to pushing technology frontiers now as a global hub for financial services. Having recruited extensively in Saudi Arabia the development of change in the Kingdom has also been incredible.
The rapid growth of the KSA public sector and giga projects have completely altered the landscape from a talent perspective and Aventus have been fortunate enough to play a small but meaningful part with some of the talented individuals we have placed.
The recent surge of hedge funds, investment banks, and top-tier global financial services firms flocking to the region speaks volumes about the GCC's newfound status as a genuine global financial hub.
Personally, as someone who calls Dubai home, seeing this part of the world transform from a lesser known expat outpost to now being arguably the premier destination for living and working in globally has been incredible to see and be a part of.
What is your approach to recruitment / executive search?
My approach to recruitment is relationship focused and target orientated. If we commit to a client, follow through is key, ensuring we deliver for the clients who place their trust in us.
As a founder / partner my ethos prioritises ethics recognising the importance of trust and integrity which has to underpin everything we do as a business.
learning and development is also an area I can't emphasise enough. Its our duty to equip our consultants with the knowledge and tools needed for success, ensuring they are credible and best positioned to serve our clients. We are lucky to have a fantastic team!
One of my earliest success stories was navigating the challenges of being an FS head-hunter during the tumultuous year of 2008!
Since then, I have been fortunate to establish enduring partnerships with some of the leading names in banking and investment management. Recent triumphs have centered around some high profile C-level hires and spearheading transformation projects at the executive level. Perhaps the most fulfilling accomplishment, shared with the Aventus leadership, is successfully scaling the business to its current status, fostering a high-performance team and most importantly enjoying the journey we are all on together!
I was a school and county chess champion. More recently a keen golfer with slightly less success on the fairways!
Why Aventus? Our why initially was because we felt there was a gap for international-level quality recruiters who truly comprehend the intricacies of the region. With four partners who had been in the region for more than a decade each we felt we had something to build on. Since then we have put people first and been able to scale rapidly but are committed to preserving our values and the startup mentality that got us here.
Each person at Aventus has the trust and autonomy to build and run their desk as if it was their own business. Aventus, to me, epitomises a high-performance environment that still values a positive and healthy work-life balance. It's about creating an environment where success and enjoyment coexist internally and that should resonate with our clients and candidates too.