Emma Kane has missed a trick. The 30-year-old, who has just been
hired as a board director at the Basham and Coyle Partnership, failed to
milk any coverage out of her last pregnancy, which resulted in a son 20
This is not as ridiculous as it sounds. After all, Kane is the woman who
managed to get the makeover of her garden into the Daily Mail and the
unscheduled unwrapping of a wraparound skirt into the Daily Telegraph.
’I really should have written something about the difficulties of being
pregnant and trying to look smart,’ she muses over tea at the Savoy.
Brian Basham and John Coyle set up their new financial PR business in
April and Kane is their first senior hiring. ’Emma is amazingly well
connected and knows more about the market, looking after small and
medium-sized companies and the people that invest in them than anyone
else,’ enthuses Coyle.
Kane’s City connections spring from her experience with ProShare,
formerly known as the Wider Share Ownership Movement, and as head of
investor services at ShareLink.
She began her career in PR ’by complete accident’ in 1988. Much to her
family’s horror, Kane had elected to take a diploma in jazz and was
determined to be a full time saxophonist when she moved to London from
Chichester. However, she soon found that she could not support an
enjoyable London lifestyle and joined Dewe Rogerson.
After six months on the advertising side of the agency, Kane switched to
capital markets. ’It was a fantastically exciting time,’ she says.
’And it was the chance to get involved in all sorts of things - from
international share offers to the ratification of the Maastricht Treaty
After four years with the agency, Roddy Dewe introduced her to Sir Peter
Thompson, president of ProShare and chairman of NFC, the privatised
freight and transport company, and most of the great and good of the
Square Mile through the WSOM. ’The City was going through an amazing
period of transformation and it was the opportunity to work with some of
the biggest names around,’ she says. Those included Troubleshooter Sir
John Harvey-Jones, ProShare chairman Sir Geoffrey Maddrell, and
Stanislas Yassukovich, chairman of EASDAQ, the pan-European stock
Kane helped to launch the scheme, which was designed to promote greater
share ownership among individuals, and later became head of its
marketing and communications.
Two and a half weeks after she joined transaction-only stockbroker
ShareLink in 1995, Kane’s boss David Jones called her and said there was
something he needed to discuss. ’That set the alarm bells off straight
away,’ she recalls. The company was to be taken over by the world’s
largest discount broker Charles Schwab of the US and Kane embarked on
another steep learning curve.
If 1995 had started with a challenge, it ended with what many would
consider a trial. Kane took on the Stock Exchange over the troubled
launch of the company’s Internet share dealing service, which was
Europe’s first. The original launch was pulled at the eleventh hour
because of a legal battle over the provision of real time data. ’We had
hundreds of journalists converge on Tower Bridge and we had to cancel
the whole thing,’ she says.
For the next six weeks she worked 18 hours a day and she loved it. ’It
was hard work, but it was worth it. At the end of it there was a
product, it did launch and it did work.’
Now Kane has decided to return to her agency roots, a decision helped by
the ebullient personalities of Basham and Coyle (’there is never going
to be a dull moment with those two’ she observes) and the offer of an
equity stake. Kane will focus on new business and the very many names in
her bulging contacts book can expect a call anytime from 22 September.
Given her drive, they should probably expect it very early in the
Account director, Dewe Rogerson 1992 Head of marketing and
Head of investor services, ShareLink
Director, Basham and Coyle Partnership