Coffee Break with Vested’s Binna Kim

The financial services specialist’s cofounder reflects on the hydra-like business of growing a company, attending to family and world domination.

“Challenging,” “educational” and an unparalleled desire to be “out and about enjoying a glass of wine with friends” are a few of the descriptors Binna Kim uses to define lockdown.

“Dialing into a video call, paying attention to the kids, running errands while remaining present for clients... being present is the biggest challenge right now in all that we’re doing,” Kim told PRWeek during a Coffee Break catchup. 

Kim’s ability to juggle multiple demands is part of what has made her, and Vested, so successful and is a key driver in her recognition as one of PRWeek’s annual 40 Under 40 next generation of PR excellence  a celebration of communications pros who demonstrate the talent, drive and leadership to steer the industry through its next generation of evolution and disruption.

As an integrated agency, Vested provides communications support as well as support across paid, owned, earned and shared media — a diversity that has significantly helped during these challenging times.  

“Having this kind of flexibility has helped us quite a bit in this environment,” said Kim. “We’ve been able to help our clients build communication centers for their staff and customers, develop email campaigns and think about visuals — all to help disseminate information about what’s happening right now.”

When asked to reflect on what it takes to make a leap of faith, leave a stable job and become an entrepreneur, “We definitely had our Jerry Maguire moment,” Kim laughed. 

“For anyone thinking about going out on their own, my advice is to have great partners. The other thing is that in the early stages, invest: in your people, infrastructure, talent and technology. That’s what allows you to rapidly grow, versus taking the dollars for yourself and putting them into your own pocket.”

Vested’s organic growth, as well as expansion from acquiring other firms, has been a critical part of what Kim calls its plan for “world domination.” 

“We are very focused on growth, diversification and scale,” said Kim. “We’re growing rapidly as a firm. Our endgame? We never built this to be a lifestyle business; we didn’t put our names on the door for a reason. Our plan is to continue investing and to continue growing as much as we can.”

Kim reflects on all of this and more in Coffee Break, a weekly 15-minute intermission in your working day to discover more about PR pros occupying interesting roles across the industry, live each Wednesday morning by 11:00am ET.

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