Anne's Full Biography

 

Globally recognised authority, entrepreneur, TV doyenne, author, and philanthropist, Anne McKevitt has an outstanding reputation and is sought internationally as a foremost expert and brand building partner.

As one of the world's most renowned business entrepreneurs who's portfolio includes ventures in media, retail, publishing and health & fitness, she was awarded Leading Women Entrepreneur of the World. Anne has founded and headed up many ventures during the last two decades. One such business sold with a retail value of $975 million. In every area and genre of her career, Anne has consistently achieved industry leader status.

Anne grew up in the far north of Scotland in the most remote and isolated town on the British mainland. She left school at age 15 without waiting for any qualifications and moved to London. Since then she has proven that with tenacity, courage, unblinking focus and vision you can come from nothing and end up somewhere great. Her remarkable journey, from being completely penniless to truly wealthy, and from a government council house to The White House shows the grit and determination of a life without compromise.

Anne divides her time between Sydney, Los Angeles, New York and London where her business divisions work on multiple endeavours for her own ventures and client led projects. Her personal ventures are currently in the TV production genre, health & wellness sector, property development and the IT industry. Moreover, Anne continues to consult and guide a select group of exceptional individuals, several of whom are Oscar, Emmy and Grammy award winners seeking to grow brands around their identities.

REPUTATION AND ACHIEVEMENT HIGHLIGHTS

Anne’s reputation and achievement highlights include:

  • Member of President Bill Clinton's, Clinton Global Initiative
  • Received Leading Women Entrepreneur of the World™ award
  • Member of the Women's Leadership Board at Harvard
  • Recognized by The International Herald Tribune as a World
    Class Entrepreneur
  • Named by Time Magazine as "one of Four International
    Business Leaders to Watch"
  • Ranked #30 in the UK's Sunday Times "500 Most Powerful
    Britons"
  • Forbes Magazine stated; "at the head of the pack ...
    Anne McKevitt"
  • Achieved New York Times bestseller status

LIFE STARTS AT 15

Arriving in London to start a new life at 15 years of age, Anne wanted to work in fashion. She walked in off the street and asked for a job at John Frieda—the top hair salon in the UK. She saw this as a direct route into that world. Within a week she had a job working directly alongside John Frieda himself and headed out on her first photoshoot with the photography legend David Bailey.

After eleven months of personal training with John Frieda and shortly after her sixteenth birthday Anne qualified as a stylist. She had already clocked up working with most of the world's elite fashion photographers, and for every glossy magazine in the UK, US and Germany including Elle, Harpers & Queen, Vogue, Company and Cosmopolitan.

Many photoshoots featured fledgling young models who would go on to become the superstars of that era—Naomi Campbell, Yasmin Le Bon, Linda Evangelista and Brook Shields. When Anne wasn't working on magazines shoots, she was styling hair at London and Paris catwalk shows and for music videos for the likes of Spandau Ballet, Foreigner and Culture Club. By the time she hit 18, Anne’s clientele was almost entirely made up of A-list celebrities and she was named in the national press as one of the top 4 hairstylists in the UK.

ACCIDENT THAT CHANGED EVERYTHING

Sitting in the passenger seat of a stationery car, Anne's life changed forever in 1986 when another vehicle hit her car at 70mph. Told she may never walk again, she was totally bedridden for almost a year, the first four months of which Anne didn't speak. Thanks to former clients Paul and Linda McCartney, who stepped in and found and funded alternative treatments for her, Anne was back on her feet after 18 months, literally rebuilding her life one step at a time through recuperation, rehabilitation, and iron will determination.

STARTING UP IN BUSINESS

Unable to return to her work in fashion due to her spinal injuries, at age 23 Anne sought a new way to be creative. With "lots of courage, a big dream, and a massive dose of naivete" she started her first business, a property development company. She started it with only £5,000—borrowed from her MasterCard®. In less than one year she had turned it into a multi-million pound business, with a team of forty tradesmen working non-stop. Soon she was refurbishing and developing hundreds of West London homes and made record prices per square foot for every property she sold.

Next came business #2 running simultaneously and working alongside business #1. The second business she started—doing interior design for clients who already had a property but wanted a "McKevitt refurbishment"—was just as successful. Anne knew she wanted to make the maximum money with the least amount of work, so she shot for the top. Within just a few years of arriving in London she had attracted a client list that reads like a who’s who, including: the Sultan of Brunei, Michael Caine, Dyan Cannon, Catherine Deneuve, Faye Dunaway, Sir Bob Geldof, the Queen Of Greece, the Duchess of Gloucester, Jerry Hall, Sir Elton John, Queen Noor of Jordan, Annie Lennox, Sophia Loren, Paul McCartney, Kate Moss, Joan Rivers, the Queen of Spain, Ringo Starr, Emma Thompson, Julie Walters, Raquel Welch, and Bill Wyman.

TELEVISION & BOOKS

In early 1994, Anne, as a sought after property developer and interior designer, caught the attention of TV producers looking for a host for a new lifestyle show. Because of her learn-on-the-job skills in property and her reputation for turning any property into a goldmine, Anne was asked by BBC TV producers to feature her work on national TV. Her one-off guest appearance on TV turned into an unexpected new career.

For the next decade, Anne became a prime time TV star and celebrity in the UK where she was viewed by an average 9 million people each week and many millions more in a further 22 countries. The UK media labelled her "Britain’s Martha Stewart" as she instigated a colour and contemporary style revolution that transformed the British nation's homes and gardens. Anne went on to launch her branded indoor and outdoor homeware product line sold through big box retailers, department stores and catalogues.

Anne wrote five bestselling and critically acclaimed interior design books which were sold in 16 countries. Her first book sold a staggering one million copies and broke new ground in the category of lifestyle books, making it the 20th bestselling overall book of that decade in the UK.

DESIGN AWARDS

Anne’s property development, design work, and projects received numerous awards, including:

  • Best Home in Scotland—UK National Home Builder design award sponsored by The Guardian newspaper
  • Best Home for the Future in the UK—UK National Home Builder design award sponsored by The Guardian newspaper
  • Best Interior Layout—What House award sponsored by
    The Sunday Times newspaper
  • Civic Trust Award 2001—Saltire Society
  • Housing Design Award 2000—Royal Incorporation of Architects in Scotland
  • Regeneration Achievement Award 2000—Supreme Award, Chartered Institute of Building, Scotland
  • Good Building Award 2000—Royal Town Planning Institute award for Planning Achievement 2000
  • Commendation for Planning Urban Renaissance
  • WH Smith Literary Award, nomination for book of the year

MEDIA PROFILE

Anne's work and interviews have appeared in hundreds of magazine publications in the UK and internationally, and she has been featured in thousands of newspaper articles from around the world including The New York Times, The Sunday Times, The Times, Sun Herald, Vive, Cape Argus, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, New York Post, New Yorker, San Francisco Chronicle, Boston Globe, USA Today, Vogue, Harpers & Queen, ELLE, Hello!, OK!, Good Housekeeping, House Beautiful, Home & Garden, Cosmopolitan, Marie Claire, She, Living etc, Forbes, Time, Ideal Home, Radio Times, TV Times, Your Garden, Company, Executive Magazine, Wealth Creator and Chief Executive.

MOVING ON

Having accomplished everything she had set out to do within the medium of design, she felt that it was time to move on. At the height of her fame and success, Anne decided it was time to map out the next chapter of her life, even though she was due to enter into a lucrative new global TV deal. Not one to do things in small measures she hung up her TV presenter hat and emigrated to a new country. Granted a "Distinguished Talent" visa by the Australian Government, Anne moved permanently to Sydney where she now bases herself.

BUILDING BRANDS

Known for her skill in building her own lifestyle brand, Anne became very sought after by large corporations to help grow their organisations. She has guided many well known global entities including Mercedes, IKEA, Royal Doulton, Peugeot, Ernst & Young, Wal*Mart, Deloitte, Waterford Crystal, Jeep, Bloomingdale's, Saks, Pottery Barn, Moet e Chandon, Freeman’s, Sainsbury's, Debenhams, Wedgwood, Marks & Spencer, Commonwealth Bank, Optus, AMP, Toyota, and Hewlett-Packard. Furthermore as a brand builder, she became a much requested event speaker, performing live at events with audiences of up to 25,000 people.

POLITICAL CIRCLES

Anne McKevitt's business and philanthropic reputation has taken her into global education and political circles. 2006 saw Anne being invited to join Harvard’s Women's Leadership Board at the John F. Kennedy School of Government. Several months later she was given the honoury post of Entrepreneur-at-Large for Brisbane Graduate School of Business at Queensland University. In 2007 she was invited to join President Bill Clinton's, Clinton Global Initiative.

Much of Anne’s philanthropic time has been spent working on the issues of poverty alleviation, global health, climate change and education with 52 past and present presidential and prime ministerial heads of state including:
President Bill Clinton
Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair
Former President of Ireland Mary Robinson
President of Columbia
President of Iceland
President of Ethiopia
President of Afghanistan
President of the Philippines
President of Argentina
Prime Minister of Turkey
President of the Dominican Republic

Anne’s additional humanitarian and climate associations has seen her work with:
The Honourable Al Gore
Sergey Brin—Co-founder of Google
Chad Hurley—Co-founder of YouTube
Steve Chen—Co-founder of YouTube
King Albert of Monaco
Carlos Slim Helu—Forbes recognised richest man in the world
Ted Turner—CNN founder
Rupert Murdoch—Founder of News Corp
Archbishop Desmond Tutu
Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber—Abu Dhabi
The Honorable Hank Paulson—former Treasury Secretary
Fareed Zakaria—Editor of Newsweek International
Angelina Jolie—Goodwill ambassador, UN refugee agency, and actor
H. Lee Scott—CEO, Walmart
Jane Goodall—Animal rights activist
Robert Zoellick—President of the World Bank
Michael Eisner—Former CEO, Disney
Theodore Roosevelt IV—Climate campaigner
Judy McGrath—CEO, MTV
Indra Nooyi—CEO, PepsiCo
J. Craig Venter—Genome sequencer

In 2007 Anne McKevitt was invited to The White House and Capitol Hill by the Bush Administration to take part in discussions and attend briefings on foreign policy, labour, legislative affairs, and climate change, and subsequently fulfilled a long held ambition to visit the Oval Office. In 2009 she met with President Barack Obama.

PIVOTAL YEAR OF CHANGE

2010 was a pivotal year of change for Anne in which she mapped out the next phase. The year became one of new pursuits and relinquishing, redefining and reviewing what was most important to her both personally and in business. With this in mind, Anne resized and refined her business portfolio and organizational involvement to a core select few existing and new ventures that enthused her and that could bring about the most positive change across the globe. It was also the year that saw her take her first 14,000 feet skydive.

SPREADING THE KNOWLEDGE

In 2011 Anne poured much of her year into focusing further on micro finance in the developing world through her own foundation. Additionally she set up a program to educate small business owners in the developed world. She also set up a partial scholarship program for small business owners to learn in groups from her direct. Inundated by interest, one tweet alone garnered over 3000 applications for her business program.

Anne's native Scotland recognised her as one of 50 Highland Heroes from the last 500 years—an honour of which she is extremely proud.

SKY'S THE LIMIT

2012 saw Anne heavily involved for the first time in the health & wellness industry, devising new TV show formats, books, DVDs, apparel, beauty and food product lines.

During this year, she was one of only 150 people from around the globe who were invited by NASA to witness the final launches of Space Shuttles Endeavour and Atlantis at the Kennedy Space Centre, Cape Canaveral. The behind the scenes experience at NASA for Anne included three days of private time with astronauts, technicians, scientists and NASA chiefs and was definitely one of her favourite lifetime experiences. To cap it off, it included a photo opportunity with Anne leaning against the NASA countdown clock—a childhood dream come true.

FAMILY NEEDS

Late 2012 and much of 2013 saw Anne shift a large proportion of her focus to family needs. She says; "I've had to put much of my world to one side. When terminal illness affects a loved one, it puts everything into perspective. Not only do you see the world in a different light, you get to view yourself in a different light too. I didn't know I had an ounce of Florence Nightingale in me, but circumstances showed me otherwise. Life has a way of revealing what you don't even know you possess."

During this time much of Anne's career focus on developing new opportunities was on pause although her output and her achievements were still significant—closing deals potentially worth hundreds of millions of dollars. Throughout this period she continued advising and negotiating deals for media, books, products, retail and ambassadorships on behalf of several Hollywood based clients.

PERSONAL PASSIONS

As a passionate vegetarian and vegan for over 42 years, a lifelong environmentalist and animal rights advocate, Anne continues to be decades ahead of the curve on topics now garnering global attention. Her personal pastimes include: photography, abstract painting, pottery, yoga, kayaking, year round sea swimming, surfing, body boarding, hiking, going to the movies and chilling out at the beach when she should be in the office.

She is a self-confessed brain neuroscience groupie and space science geek. Her most ambitious goal in the coming few years is to be the third women astronaut in the space tourist program where she would spend up to ten days on the International Space Station.


ANNE'S Q & A

 

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