A View From Merle Hall, MD at Kinneir Dufort
Merle Hall is MD at Kinneir Dufort and has recently won International Director of the year at the IOD South West awards. Kinneir Dufort specialise in design and innovation across predominantly medical and consumer sectors and their smart, curious and incredible multidisciplinary team of 85, partner with businesses such as Coca Cola, Roche, Johnson & Johnson, GE and Unilever to deliver life changing innovations.
What did you want to be when you grew up?
I recently found a primary school newsletter from 1985 where a 9 year old me had proclaimed, “I want to be a newsreader when I grow up so I can tell everyone about the Air India plane crash”. A little sinister..
If you weren’t doing this job now, what would you be doing?
Curating an art collection I’d hope. Just hanging with the paintings..
Who do you most admire in business and why?
My business partner Craig. He’s thoughtful, patient, funny, visionary and he works too hard. We disagree sometimes, but I’d never want to do this without him.
What do you do when you’re not at work?
Hang out with my ace kids and husband Simon, see friends, explore our amazing city and beyond, all the normal stuff.
What’s your favourite ad campaign/TV programme of the year so far and why?
Handmaid’s Tale. Love the book, love the programme. (How rarely does that happen)?
What music are you listening to (on your phone/ipod)?
Liking letting Spotify Discover decide, it often throws a great curveball
What’s your tipple?
Dependent on location; sunsets demand cocktails and warm fires, red wine.
Tell us one highlight of your career so far
Completing the MBO (Management Buy Out) last summer enabling the third generation of Kinneir Dufort. A challenging yet rewarding process.
And one highlight of your life so far
Being a mum, it puts everything in perspective and teaches you to pick your battles.
Who would be your ideal dinner guest and why?
David Hockney. I visited his retrospective at the Tate last month, the man is a genius.
Apart from your phone, what’s the gadget you can’t live without?
My Piet Ein Eek Tube Audio mini speaker, enables “on the go” dancing opportunities.