MWA Introduces: Kieron Wright
Today, we are pleased to present Kieron Wright, Director of MWA. Kieron formed MWA in 2012, and has worked tirelessly to ensure the success of the company ever since.
Tell us about your journey to joining MWA
Recruitment was a world I stumbled into many moons ago! During my university degree, I competed in the National Triathlon squad; my immediate plan was to take the sport professional, but a major illness saw me out of the sport for a year – at which point, the sponsors I had accumulated walked away. With my world in a tailspin, I landed on an equally challenging goal – to take up an Officer’s Commission in the Royal Marines. After an eighteen-month selection period, involving a three-month expedition with Raleigh International in Chile, I arrived at The Commando Training Centre for fifteen months training. Sadly, I never made it to the end – a lower limb fracture left me with no option but to resign my commission.
What next? Enter, recruitment!
In 1999, I joined a local Leeds-based search and selection firm active in the IP profession. Although I had no idea what this world would offer, I had found my place. I spent thirteen good years helping to build the European IP Division, alongside growing and managing the research team. In 2012, I made the decision to set up on my own. Starting a company was a really tough decision, particularly when leaving behind a mentor who I respected. But when the decision was made, I didn’t look back. The early years saw me immerse myself in the business – working ludicrous hours, often into the early mornings. But I loved it! Twelve years on, we have made great progress. It has been one hell of a journey with many highs and quite a few challenges along the way (Brexit and the COVID pandemic to name but two!). I now have an incredible team who care a lot about the company and who do not just regard it as a job. We have crafted a wonderful, caring and supportive culture and I feel blessed that we operate in a profession with similar values. I never take it for granted.
Tell us a little about your role at MWA within the IP sector
My role has evolved over the years. Starting out, in the first five to eight years, it was making the business work – building the clients and establishing the processes. From the beginning, I was introduced to Louise Dale, who has worked by my side ever since and who has been instrumental in our success. Sophie Caygill joined me a few years later, a colleague and friend who I have known and worked with for over 20 years. This was the core of the team for many years. Ten years in operation, triggered the decision to grow beyond the core team and build the brand. The next significant hire was Rachel Atkins, who has helped elevate the firm to another level. Rachel has pushed me to go beyond my comfort zone, to expand, grow and try different things. We are still a small, niche boutique firm but we have added to the team each year. We are now eight in number – all providing an invaluable contribution to the business.
Today, I wear many hats – business owner, business developer, researcher, consultant to the assignments, career coach to candidates, and HR to a great team – often all in the same day!
What do you enjoy about the work you do?
Where do I start! Firstly, do not get me wrong – recruitment has some great highs but occasionally some incredible lows! But as this is not a therapy session, I will focus on the ups! When I say that I enjoy working with people in the IP profession, it is an understatement. I feel so privileged to work in a sector with wonderfully inspiring people at the cutting edge of innovation. We have built some great friendships over the years, and we have worked with great clients, who we value and respect highly.
Tell us one thing that people may not know about you
I am a Sailing Instructor and Race Coach! Not the big boat variety but dinghy sailing. I have been a sailor of small and large vessels for over twenty years, and I volunteer my services at two sailing clubs in Yorkshire, teaching children and adults how to sail and compete at club/open races. During the sailing season, I run a junior sailing club every week where we have more than twenty young people throwing themselves into the sport. It’s a great diversion from day-to-day life and hugely rewarding.
What is your top career advice to professionals in the intellectual property field?
We talk to lots of people every week and if I was to give one piece of advice, it would be to always keep one eye on the market. You do not need to be in an active, searching phase of your career to do this. However, being aware of the other opportunities out there, even when content in your current position, will ensure a holistic understanding of the career market Why is this important? When the time to consider your options arrives, you will know when an excellent opportunity comes along because you are able to better put the opportunity into context. Always be open to a conversation – you never know where it might lead.
What are your plans for the year ahead?
Continue doing what we do well and always iterate and improve where we can; continue supporting great clients in finding equally great talent. As well as guiding people on their career journeys and imparting over fifty years of collective knowledge working in this unique sector.
Louise Dale, Associate Director, shares her thoughts on Kieron’s work to create MWA:
‘I have known Kieron since the inception of MWA, over 12 years ago. He has always been passionate about providing a high quality service to both clients and candidates. He drives for excellence, never stops, and he continues to inspire and drive both myself and the team to excel. In an ever changing marketplace he strives to evolve MWA services to meet demand, staying relevant and ahead of the curve. A great listener, Kieron is always positive, encouraging and knowledgeable. He pushes himself to be the best, both professionally and in his personal life. A true leader.
Kieron is professional at all times, calm and forward thinking. It continues to be a pleasure to work alongside him as part of the MWA team and I am excited to explore new avenues and challenges with him going forward into the future.’