Chief Operating Officer

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Chief Operating Officer

Hilary Fiennes came to Marsden in April 2020, in the midst of lockdown, to become our Chief Operating Officer. She has a wealth of experience in financial management and also a long-standing relationship with Marsden School; both of her girls attended and she previously worked with the Senior Management Team on a part-time basis as their Executive Assistant.

London Background

Born and raised in London Hilary graduated with a BSc (Hons) from the University of Manchester in Statistics and Operational Research. She then went on to qualify as a Chartered Accountant at KPMG followed by 15 years working in banking in various roles in the Barclays Group, including, inter alia, managing the programme finances for the replacement of their core credit card processing systems, heading the Business Planning team for credit card operations, and working in central corporate planning, where she was responsible for the design and implementation of a value-based medium-term planning process for the Barclays Group internationally.


New Zealand Calling

Just prior to moving to New Zealand with partner Toby and her children Emily, Tom and Leandra, Hilary took a role managing a state secondary school in London with a roll of 1200 pupils. Once in New Zealand Hilary worked in part time roles for several years before re-entering full time work in finance in the not-for-profit sector, most recently working for a social services provider focusing on promoting social justice.


Relocating a family halfway across the world is no easy task, and despite her many professional achievements that is the thing Hilary is most proud of. Her girls attended Marsden with Leandra becoming Head Girl and Emily Head of School Council. Her son attended Wellington College. 

Outside Interests

Hilary’s favourite saying is that “It is better to light a candle than to curse the darkness”. In her free time she is an avid op-shop shopper with a magpie weakness for shiny things, and also enjoys walking the dog, skiing more slowly than the rest of her family, and experimental baking.