Lesley Kennedy

[ Lesley Kennedy ]
Chief Executive - Group

Lesley Kennedy

Lesley is Group Chief Executive, Director and a major shareholder of Maven International Ltd. Since embarking on an ambitious growth and diversification strategy in 2010, Lesley has expanded Maven’s footprint from being a solely New Zealand-based strategy and implementation consultancy to operating in multiple international markets including the Middle East (Oman and the United Arab Emirates), the Pacific, Australia and Mexico.

Lesley’s leadership has driven Maven’s focus on delivering pragmatic results-orientated solutions for clients, harnessing New Zealand capability with an innovation mind-set and an international currency in “can-do”.

Widely regarded for her expertise on doing business in the Middle East, having led Maven’s successful expansion into the region, Lesley is also a leading proponent of collaboration and partnering for a competitive edge. She was integral to the development of commercialisation model and successful approach to exporting NZ government intellectual property.

This has resulted in Maven priming several multi-party multi-year contracts in partnership with leading New Zealand public sector agencies to deliver on projects including ground water management, marine management and DNA profiling and testing among others.

With over 20 years’ experience in business management and information technology, Lesley has held senior roles in large multinational organisations such as IBM, as well as establishing and operating two of her own businesses. Her areas of expertise include consortia planning and management, governance, exporting professional services and premium products, business strategy, contract negotiation, organisational transformation and innovation.

A regular speaker on doing business in the Middle East, customer experience and how New Zealand can compete from the edge of the world, Lesley is driven by ensuring Maven makes a positive impact wherever it’s operating. She is utterly pragmatic when it comes to presenting New Zealand’s commercial credentials to the world and has proven that New Zealand can compete and win globally by creating partnerships with others, combining skills, knowledge, and operational expertise from a range of industries.

Maven is a winner of the IBM Kenexa Best Workplaces Award – New Zealand’s leading employee engagement survey - and has secured a top-10 placing every year it has entered the competition (10 at last count).

Lesley is a member of the Institute of Directors and the New Zealand Middle East Business Council.