As Director & Chief Client Ambassador, Nikolai is responsible for spearheading The Smarty Train’s partnerships with clients on the topics that matter most to them.

Nikolai brings over a decade of consulting, commercial, design and delivery experience in culture and behaviour transformation. He has worked with clients to unlock talent at scale at a wide variety of organisations including Goldman Sachs, Dyson, Universal Music, McLaren and Channel 4.

Nikolai graduated with an MA in Geography from the University of Cambridge in 2006 and later went on to gain an MA in Religion & Philosophy from the University of London (SOAS) in 2010. His early career was spent advising senior executives on functional strategy and management for CEB Inc (now Gartner) and later at Mind Gym plc where for 9 years he ran two multi-million pound Practices and spearheaded critically acclaimed thought-leadership in the fields of ethics, inclusion and respect. He is also a senior coach and facilitator and blends challenge, nurture and humour to empower positive change in others.

Nikolai believes that everybody is immensely talented - it just takes the right conditions to unlock them. He is passionate about an integrated approach to life and work in which one’s sense of purpose, values, strengths and environment are aligned to unleash both performance and wellbeing. From Boards to fresh university graduates, Nikolai believes that when individuals flourish, businesses and wider society flourish too.

Strange but true…

Nikolai holds advanced qualifications in Wine (Distinctions in both Wine & Spirit Education Trust Levels 2 and 3) which he likes to employ when coaching clients and colleagues over dinner. He’s an artist and exhibited at a number of galleries including the Minories, Colchester. He was also, once upon a time, affectionately referred to as “my beautiful boy” by Donatella Versace.