Hilary Keenlyside, BA, MSc, Sloan Fellowship

Prior to co-founding Bonnar Keenlyside, Hilary pursued a career in arts management at the Aldeburgh Festival, Scottish Opera, the Academy of St. Martin-in-the-Fields and the Almeida Theatre, both of the latter as Chief Executive. She is a Sloan Fellow of London Business School, gaining an MSc in Management from the University of London.

Her core skills have been developed through solid experience in general management and the forensic financial planning, strategy and analysis techniques taught at London Business School. Hilary has particular specialisms in capital developments, business planning and financial reviews.

Key skills and areas of expertise include:

  • financial and economic analysis;
  • turnaround management and implementation;
  • feasibility studies and major building developments;
  • commercial management consultancy;
  • board appraisal and development.

I’ve always thought that arts organisations need psychotherapists, rather more than management consultants.  Hilary Keenlyside at BK manages to combine a profound understanding of the joys and ambitions, the trials and tribulations of the peculiar world of the arts with practical experience and a razor-sharp business brain.  If you’re lucky enough to work with Hilary you get the best of both worlds – not so much an external management consultant, rather a critical friend and supporter.  She’s the best.

Helen Marriage
Artistic Director/CEO Artichoke


She has led many pieces of work for BK at all scales for clients including:

  • London Organising Committee for the Olympic Games, National Theatre Scotland, Royal Opera House, National Chamber Choir of Ireland, Arts Council and Barbican;
  • Brighton Borough Council (The Dome), Middlesbrough Borough Council (Town Hall), Royal Borough of Greenwich (Woolwich Arsenal);
  • Grand Theatre, Blackpool, York Theatre Royal, Roundhouse, London, Hampstead Theatre, Unicorn Theatre for Children, Salisbury Playhouse, Newcastle Theatre Royal;
  • Artsadmin, artsdepot, Ovalhouse;
  • Istanbul Foundation for Culture and Arts (IKSV); Hüsnu M. Özyeğin Foundation, Istanbul, Dubai Properties;
  • Llangollen International Music Eisteddfod, Parkview Properties (Battersea Power Station); London & Regional (Old Oak Park, Park Royal)

Hilary is an experienced non-executive director, having served as a Governor and Deputy Chair of The City Lit, London, which is the UK’s largest adult education institution with 25,000 students who attend from across the south of England. During the period of Hilary’s governorship, the City Lit built a new purpose-built college and this development was managed by the Finance and Employment Committee, which she chaired.

Hilary also served as a trustee and latterly as Chair of Barnardo’s for 12 years, which is the largest UK children’s charity with a turnover of over £240 million (one of the top ten charities in the UK by scale), serving more than 110,000 young people through 400 projects across the UK.  For Barnardo’s she sat on the Investment Committee, which manages some £50 million of funds and properties (including shops, schools and establishment buildings).

Hilary now sits as a trustee of St.Wilfrid’s Hospice, which provides tailored end of life care at both the Hospice and to communities across West Sussex, supporting patients, their families and friends.

Hilary heads up Bonnar Keenlyside England, working from Chichester.

I’ve always thought that arts organisations need psychotherapists, rather more than management consultants.  Hilary Keenlyside at BK manages to combine a profound understanding of the joys and ambitions, the trials and tribulations of the peculiar world of the arts with practical experience and a razor-sharp business brain.  If you’re lucky enough to work with Hilary you get the best of both worlds – not so much an external management consultant, rather a critical friend and supporter.  She’s the best.

Helen Marriage
Artistic Director/CEO Artichoke