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Ivy House welcomes Natalie Benjamin as new CEO

A momentous day for Ivy House – we have a new CEO!

Natalie Benjamin joins us from EY where she has been a Partner since July 2022, and previously held a variety of senior roles at EY Lane4.

“I’ve worked in people and leadership development for nearly 20 years now. I have a particular passion for what makes people tick and what drives high performance over sustained periods of time,” says Natalie, who was born and raised in Cardiff and now lives in the Cotswolds with her husband and two children.

This passion for driving high performance makes sense when you understand that Natalie has a background in elite sports.

“Both inside and outside of sports, I’m interested in what it takes for somebody to perform in a certain context; how aware are they of themselves and their strengths, and how does that contribute towards their performance?”.

The move to Ivy House brings with it excitement for working for an agile and ambitious growing business. Natalie says “I’m drawn to working for a small company whose core purpose is to develop extraordinary leaders and change people’s lives. That’s why I do what I do.”

Ivy House Founder, Elke Edwards, described the search for a new CEO as “like getting divorced and marrying someone you’ve only just met.” Thankfully, Ivy House knew they’d found the right person in Natalie very early on in the process.

“I knew immediately she was right. Deep expertise, driven to achieve exceptional results, bright, direct, human, and funny. I could have talked to her for hours.”

Elke Edwards

Natalie joining the team also presents an exciting opportunity for Ivy House, as Elke highlights: “We now get to combine everything we know and create something incredible; it’s an amazing opportunity.”

Kate Lander has been the CEO of Ivy House since 2018, navigating the company through Brexit, COVID and rumblings of a recession — which we couldn’t be more thankful for. “I am probably most proud of how determined, agile and creative the team was during COVID-19,” reflects Kate. “It would have been easy to feel that we couldn’t do what we did virtually; instead, we saw the opportunity in that adversity, worked in ways we never worked before and even had a few laughs along the way (and a few tears!)”. Looking ahead to Ivy House’s future, Kate commented: “Natalie brings amazing leadership training expertise, hugely valuable experience from a successful business and the energy to take Ivy House to the next level. I’m looking forward to seeing how far Ivy House, and its amazing team, can grow and develop, as well as exploring new opportunities for this next phase of my career — and maybe time for a few more yoga classes!”.

We’re sad to bid Kate farewell and the team will be keeping in touch to hear about her exciting next steps.

Natalie has deep expertise in the leadership development world and has held a breadth of senior consultancy roles. She’s also worked with many CEOs and SLTs on team effectiveness but this will be her first CEO role. “I have appropriate nerves”, she says.

“I’m excited to grab hold of something new, learn new things, take on my first CEO role and put into practice so much that I’ve learned about senior leadership.”

Natalie Benjamin

A learning mindset has always been part of Natalie’s make-up, which is why she will be joining one of this year’s cohorts of The Master Programme to get an authentic experience and embrace the Ivy House learning. Fitting a demanding job around family life is a conscious choice, and Natalie is excited that the move to Ivy House will not only deepen her self-knowledge but also enhance her life.

This year, we encouraged everyone to be more gentle on themselves and scrap the heavy commitments that come with New Year’s resolutions. Instead, we asked Natalie what her three words were for 2024, to guide her focus and set her up for a great year ahead.

“Bold is my first word,” says Natalie. “I’ve always valued being bold and have chosen to take a leap into a new challenge.”

So far, we’re loving this.

Natalie goes on to explain why ‘understanding’ is important. “I want to deeply understand what we do at Ivy House, and gain more of an understanding of myself.”

And finally, we know Natalie has come to the right place with her third choice: fun. “You have to have fun and enjoy life. We can take the job seriously, but not take ourselves too seriously. And there is fun to be had doing this work, for sure.”

We are over the moon that Natalie has joined Ivy House and we look forward to becoming more bold, growing our business and of course, having fun.

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