The Royal Mint CEO: “Understand your business' DNA”

How one CEO is modernising the UK’s oldest company - while being the first woman to do it.

by Éilis Cronin

Coins have a long history in Britain; first introduced to the island by the Celts, it wasn’t until Roman invasion did the country see the creation of its first ever mint, established to create Roman coins for 40-odd years.

The Royal Mint, which has an exclusive contract to supply the nation’s coins, was first established circa 886, more than 1,100 years ago, and remains an important bastion of British business. But the company, which is owned by the Treasury, faces a key challenge - the fall in the use of cash, a decline that sped up during the pandemic. So when Anne Jessopp stepped into the role of chief executive in October 2018 - the first woman to hold the title in its history - she had work to do.

Diversifying the business

Taking on the role was certainly not easy; during the latter half of 2018, the company was barely making profit as circulating coin demand was starting to fall. Jessopp only had a few months to turn things around, while also battling a crisis of confidence (more of which later).

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