Cow Corner

The Founders

Every business was started by a person (or persons). They are always special, mostly brilliant, often infuriating, and always our friends. Here are some of them.   

  • Andrew Bone
    Founder & CEO

    Andrew founded Dayshape with a long term friend Alastair. After working as a Chartered accountant for the early part of his career, he decided that the professional services industry needed help solving the pain of resource management.

    Founder & CEO @ Dayshape

    Andrew Bone

    Andrew graduated with a First-class degree in Computer Science from St Andrews University. This led to his first job as a software engineer. It was there he met Dayshape co-founder, Alastair Andrew. Bone went on to train as a Chartered Accountant, working with PwC and RBS. Alastair went back into academia to pursue a PhD in combinatorial optimisation, an area with applications in artificial intelligence and machine learning.

    Andrew and Alasdair remained friends. Over a pint in 2013, Andrew convinced Alasdair to launch a start-up focused on taking AI and optimisation techniques from academia, and wrapping them in a product which would allow people in the real world to benefit. Professional services was a sector Andrew knew well, including first-hand familiarity with the pain of “resource management”.

    Together, and with a growing team of PhDs and software engineers, they built what is now known as Dayshape.

  • Chris Kemp
    Founder & CEO

    Chris Kemp set up the company 14 years ago, when he was just 25. Today, Ingenuity has a team of nearly 150, all working to match world-famous brands with marketing agencies.

    Founder & CEO @ Ingenuity

    Chris Kemp

    What I’ve learnt: Chris Kemp, CEO at Ingenuity

    Chris Kemp set up the company 14 years ago, when he was just 25. Today, Ingenuity has a team of nearly 150, all working to match world-famous brands with marketing agencies.

    Ingenuity offers seven new business services – namely lead generation, agency recommendations, content, PR, brand partnerships, events and insight. Chris has led the organisation since its inception, creating a positive work culture and helping achieve bigger and better things for Ingenuity.

    Which single daily habit or practice could you not do without?

    Seeing my girls in the morning. I love to start my day by making sure I have some quality time with them before I jump on the Northern line.

    What’s been your luckiest break?

    Being at the right place at the right time. Before Ingenuity, I was working for a new business agency and due to their mismanagement, it went under. I was able to use this to my advantage.

    I had a close relationship with the clients there and they trusted me. Off the back of this I was able to take a business out of administration and create Ingenuity, taking many of my clients with me and strengthening my contact base. Basically, timing is everything, but also spotting the opportunity and not being afraid to take the risk is key.

    What’s your best failure

    Trying to set up a PR business that wasn’t close enough to the core of Ingenuity. It was a separate arm to the business entirely, sitting under the brand of Acuity. It felt very much like two separate teams, so in 2018 we rebranded Acuity and changed the focus and management to Ingenuity PR. This was a great step for the whole of the business, as we created an integrated offering for our clients and also improved our culture as a whole.

    What is the best investment you’ve ever made, either financial or time?

    People. The best investments, and those that I would never ever regret, are the team members I employ.

    At Ingenuity, we hire a lot of junior members who stay and grow with the business. Many of our team leaders joined the company when it was still in its early stages. For example, our Managing Partner, Duncan Wood, has been part of the team since 2009.

    I pride myself that people don’t just come and go, they work their way up through the business. I want to give others the opportunity I had, in order to stay and progress through the company.

  • Jonathan Gauton

    I founded Outset in 2002 with the goal of delivering HR and Legal services better than the leading law firms which I had worked in for all my life.

    Founder @ Outset

    Jonathan Gauton

    Whilst working as a senior partner in a leading law firm, I had the belief that HR and legal services could be delivered using a different and better approach. Fed up with stuffy suits and hierarchy, unknown legal fees and unnecessary legal jargon, I founded Outset in 2002. We created a range of services to meet the needs of modern businesses, putting clients at the very center. For the past 20 years we’ve been challenging the status quo of the traditional professional services industry.

    In 2022 I decided that a partner was needed to take the business to the next stage of its growth story. I got to know Cow Corner over the course of two years, it was clear that they understood my business and vision and brought the necessary skills in scaling a business to help us get there. I continue to be involved with the business as a shareholder and Chairman, and I’m very excited to see where we can take Outset.

  • Pat Aylmer
    The Learning People

    I founded The Learning People in 2010 to provide Career ready education for people wanting to change their lives

    Founder @ The Learning People

    Pat Aylmer

    I came to the UK 15 years ago with an Australian corporate, and identified that there was a real market opportunity to provide online learning courses to help people to obtain IT and Project Management qualifications that allowed them to change their career and ultimately improve their lives. I felt I had the confidence to take a risk on this opportunity and founded the Learning People in 2010 to provide “career ready education”. From there it grew, allowing us to start trading in Australia and New Zealand in 2018. The process of supporting people to back themselves and change their lives has been enormously rewarding, along with developing my own team many of whom have worked and grown with the business right from the start. Partnering with Cow Corner has allowed my family to return to Australia where I still support the business

  • Keith Relf
    Pembroke Financial Services

    I founded Pembroke in 1993, after working for several of the larger life offices and two local Financial Advisory practices. I wanted to provide exceptional financial advice to clients.

    Founder @ Pembroke Financial Services

    Keith Relf

    I founded Pembroke in 1993, after working for several of the larger life offices and two local Financial Advisory practices. I wanted to be able to provide exceptional financial advice to clients and have the ability to take the long-term view and treat all clients, no matter how much they had, with equal care. Over twenty-five years I grew the business organically from a one-man band to 10 Independent Financial Advisers with the associated support team. In 2018 we started exploring options, as we knew we needed a partner to help us unlock the next phase of growth.

    After meeting a number of potential partners, in 2019 we partnered with Cow Corner. We were confident they would continue to put the client at the heart of the business, and that they understood the sector and how to continue the growth trajectory. Partnering with Cow Corner has enabled me to slowly step away from the business and I officially retired on my 65th birthday in April 2023, after four years working with Cow Corner. I continue to be a shareholder in the business and enjoy catching up on the businesses progress with the Pembroke and Cow Corner teams.

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