In 2014, Koya Leadership Partners had the pleasure of working with KIPP Austin to find the perfect candidate for their chief financial officer (CFO) position. We found and placed successful investment banker Anand Kesavan, who decided to trade his corporate gig for fulfilling work in the nonprofit sector after working one-on-one with Koya to ensure he was the perfect match for the job. A strong candidate with family ties to charter school work, Anand and KIPP Austin really were the perfect match. This was not the typical placement, however, as explained so eloquently in these recent articles in LearnVest and Forbes.
Prior to joining KIPP, Anand was on the fast track in the lucrative investment banking industry. He was making great strides and advancing his career at every turn. Through his wide skill-set and hard work, by his late-20s Anand was already working at the highest level of investment banking.
For Anand, there was still something missing. About 10 years in, he decided to take a break from investment banking to travel the world. During his travels he volunteered at a school in Guatemala. The experience was eye-opening and connected him to his roots in the non-profit sector, specifically education. His mother started a charter school in his hometown of Detroit, and his father worked for nonprofits his whole life. Whether in Detroit, Guatemala, or Austin, his connection to education never left him.
When Anand returned to the states he went back to his investment banking job. This time, his stay wasn’t as long. Anand ran into Koya’s Director of Executive Search Jackie Hanselmann Sergi at an event. The two originally met when Jackie recruited him to be part of a summer education fellowship program with Education Pioneers while he was in graduate school and stayed in touch through the years. When Jackie ran into Anand, she immediately thought he’d be the perfect fit for the KIPP Austin CFO search she had just launched for Koya Leadership Partners.
Taking the CFO position would mean a move across the country and a significant pay cut, but Anand felt like it could be a once in a lifetime chance to combine his skills and passion, and his unique blend ofdeep finance expertise, passion for education, and personal fit with the KIPP culture and mission was a perfect match with what KIPP Austin was seeking.
Through an extensive process of assessment and evaluation by Koya, Anand, and KIPP, it become clear that the fit was right, and Anand made the leap from investment banking to serving as the CFO at a charter school. He has been with KIPP Austin for a little over a year, and hasn’t looked back. “I made the decision for three reasons, I wanted to see projects through, I wanted a new challenge, and my heart was in education. I’m extremely pleased with my decision, I’m learning in this position every day, and doing it for a great cause,” said Anand.
Anand is the perfect example of the philosophy that drives everything we do at Koya Leadership Partners: The Right Person In the Right Place Can Change the World. We’re proud to have played a role in connecting Anand with KIPP because we know that together, they are making our world a better place.