About Adam Arnold – The Smarter CEO

Various business trips to London put me off the associated cost of living and I had second thoughts about reapplying to the London School of Economics. With offers still on the table from Warwick, York and Bath I had ‘easier’ alternatives and knew all three were highly valued by KPMG.

At the end of my 10 month placement with KPMG I was asked to act as ‘Campus Brand Manager’ for the University of Warwick, where I had been accepted to read Economics. Furthermore, the HR girls at KPMG hooked me up with an experience of a lifetime (for a golfer!): as corporate sponsors to the Ryder Cup they were able to secure me a marshalling job which had me looking after the likes of Monty, Garcia and Woods for a whole week at the Belfry.

Adam Arnold as a student

Time wasn’t on my side and I had to watch the final round of play from the Students Union at the University of Warwick – stood in an almighty registration queue. Not long after I found the bar and all was forgotten.

In my penultimate year at Warwick I was offered a 3 month internship at KPMG’s London Head Office, Salisbury Square, in the Corporate Finance; Mergers and Acquisitions team. The whole placement was a bit of a blag and just goes to show the power of networking. The CF M&A team hadn’t previously taken on interns or offered graduate jobs and to my knowledge they still do so year on year.

Had events panned out differently I would have readily accepted the full time offer in the Insurance Team (CF M&A sub division).

As a student, I found the whole “living away from home thing” far more stressful than it should have been. Aside from the Police’s total failure to do anything about the crack-head next-door who found enjoyment in vandalising my car and/or trying to run me over and/or threatening me with a knife, this was due to the estate agents responsible for managing the private rented accommodation our group lived in during our 2nd and 3rd years of study. We experienced the whole range of classic estate agent tactics, from over-selling a property to blatant misappropriation of rent monies, and I felt I could do something better.

Adam Arnold as an entrepreneur

After graduation I had to make a decision – KPMG’s offer letter required a reply and I could either accept, or turn it down and go it alone. In August 2005 I formed the Smarter Group and, six months after graduation, launched my first company Smarter Housing Ltd..

Setting-up the business couldn’t have been easier, but life has been difficult ever since! By documenting my day to day ‘Encounters of an Entrepreneur‘ I hope to expose some of the lesser published hard knocks of being in business. I have recovered older posts from Warwick Blogs, so the content on this site now dates back to late 2005 when I first entered the business world and will track my progress as I try to grow the Smarter Group into a monolithic empire as per Sir Richard Branson’s Virgin Group.

    Published by Adam Arnold

    Adam Arnold is a 20(ish), father & founder of the Smarter Group; a member of CTVF500; Entrepreneur in Residence @ Wolves Uni; SPEED+ Mentor & an #sbs winner.

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