Kelly Manthey succeeds J Schwan as CEO of Kin + Carta

25 July 2022 3 min. read
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Kin + Carta has appointed Kelly Manthey as chief executive officer, effective August 1, 2022. She is based in the digital transformation consultancy’s US headquarters in Chicago.

Manthey succeeds J Schwan, who has led Kin + Carta since 2018. Schwan and Manthey joined the firm in 2015 when predecessor firm St. Ives bought Schwan’s digital agency Solstice.

St. Ives was Britain’s largest printing company, but as the industry cratered in the 21st century the firm pivoted to marketing via series of acquisitions (and divestment of its core printing businesses). In 2018, under Schwan’s leadership, St. Ives combined its legacy agency acquisitions and rebranded as Kin + Carta under the now-standard “digital transformation consultancy” format.

Kelly Manthey succeeds J Schwan as CEO of Kin + Carta

During Schwan’s tenure, Kin + Carta more than doubled its market capitalization and became the first certified B Corporation on the London Stock Exchange. The firm, which has more than 2,000 people across Europe and the Americas, has a growth outlook of 49% for FY22.

“Kin + Carta is unrecognizable from 2018 when J took over as CEO, a period that delivered total shareholder return (TSR) of 115%. With sterling support from Kelly and Chris among others, J has been the architect of this transformation, and on behalf of the Board, I would like to thank him for his dedication and contribution,” said John Kerr, chairman of Kin + Carta.

Schwan will stay on as an advisor for six months to aid in the executive transition.

“I'm incredibly proud to have played a role in building Kin + Carta and I'm delighted to be handing leadership to Kelly who has been central to our progress,” Schwan said.

Manthey brings 25 years of digital transformation experience to the role. She will use her operational expertise to scale the firm as it enters a new ambitious growth phase, according to a press release from Kin + Carta.

Manthey most recently led the firm’s Americas region, growing headcount from 400 to 1,100 and expanding its share of overall revenue to 70%.

Before that, she was CEO and chief strategy officer of Solstice. Earlier in her career, Manthey was a manager of marketing systems at pharma firm Bristol Myers Squibb and a consultant at Accenture.

Manthey has a bachelor’s degree in management information systems from Kent State University.

"The Board is delighted to appoint Kelly Manthey as J's successor,” Kerr said. “Kelly has been alongside J since 2006, including the evolution of Kin + Carta as Group Chief Executive for the Americas since August 2018. During that time, Kelly has been instrumental in profitably scaling the Americas business, including organic revenue growth of over 110% in addition to four acquisitions in the world's largest and fastest paced digital transformation market.”

Kin + Carta delivers services in strategy and innovation, digital products and experiences, cloud and platforms, and data and AI. The firm works with clients across agriculture, financial services, industrials, insurance, private equity, public sector, retail, and healthcare.

“I am honored to lead the next chapter of Kin + Carta's growth story as we scale globally, building on strong foundations, with an excellent leadership group, bound by a commitment to using business as a force for good,” Manthey said.