Building a Career in Venture Capital
31 October 2022
Kristy Webber is a Senior Manager in HFL's fund administration team. She has played a central role in building HFL's fund business over the last nine years and as the team has grown, so have her responsibilities and seniority in the firm.
Kristy, a Guernsey girl, went into the finance industry after A-levels and has gone on to have a very successful career on the island.
After leaving school, Kristy gained three years of fund administration experience, learning the industry's basics and getting an excellent grounding for her future career.
'Guernsey's finance industry is truly world-class. We might be a small island, but we certainly punch above our weight in the fund sector, and it's a brilliant place to build a career,' explains Kristy.
After three years, it was time for Kristy to spread her wings, and she took two years to travel, living and working in Australia for two years.
'I worked in a bar and had so much fun, but when I turned 23, I thought it was time to carry on building my career, and I headed back to Guernsey.'
Kristy switched direction, moving into a fiduciary role and undertaking her STEP qualification. She soon qualified as a Trust & Company Administrator and gained another seven years of experience before deciding it was time to move on.
'I knew someone who had been at HFL for several years, and she spoke very highly of the firm. So, I moved to HFL as a Trust Administrator in 2013 and was promoted quickly to Senior Administrator. That's typical of the firm; we promote people on merit rather than a rigid approach to the time spent in the role; that's one of the many reasons why HFL is such a great place to grow your career.'
Kristy took on a client portfolio that was using fund structures as a family wealth investment solution within its trust structure, and she became increasingly involved in the venture capital space. From starting with one or two funds, each of HFL's fund clients now have numerous structures, demonstrating the popularity of venture capital and the trust the clients have in HFL.
In 2015, HFL launched its first Guernsey Financial Services Commission-regulated fund. Kristy was responsible for setting up the structure and on-boarding investors, Since then, HFL has grown and grown! Kristy now oversees and manages over 30 high-profile venture capital investment funds.
'Many of our clients are high-profile venture capitalist firms; some ranked up there with the best in Europe. We're venture capital specialists, so it's great to participate in new enterprise and tech start-ups,' says Kristy.
'We have long-standing client relationships and also have direct contact with many of the portfolio companies. We sometimes see these companies grow from the seed stage, where we liaise with founders, to huge multi-million firms with advertising on TV, sports sponsorship and stock exchange listings; it's fascinating and exciting work.'
Having established the firm's venture capital fund offering, Kristy became one of HFL's 'go-to' specialists and started her securities and investment exams.
Eventually, she immersed herself 100% in the funds business and, over the years, has been promoted regularly; she rose to Senior Manager in early 2022 and intends to continue her career progression and add to her qualifications.
'We are a close team, relying on each for ideas, support and suggestions of how things can work better; there is always a lot of talk across the desks, people helping each other and learning. HFL is very open to making things easier or better for the staff and clients. Everyone brings ideas to the table.'
Kristy has a young family and is currently taking time out for maternity leave. She will return to the office in 2023 to continue growing the fund team and guiding more clients through setting up and running successful venture capital funds.
Kristy is positive about the support she's had. 'I've enjoyed taking time away from the office to focus on my children whilst also progressing my career. I'm excited to see what the future brings. HFL is focused on growth strategy, and I look forward to using the venture capital fund expertise I have developed to help more clients.'