Mauve: from ‘company in the cupboard’ to global operation

Discover the inspiring journey of one of the speakers at our upcoming Think Women event - Ann Ellis, who went from headteacher to expat to CEO of global workforce solutions company Mauve Group.

Leading provider of global workforce solutions, business expansion and consultancy services, the Mauve Group has helped organisations conquer new markets in more than 150 countries worldwide.
Ann Ellis is the co-founder and CEO of Mauve.
The daughter of a Welsh farming family, Ann Ellis knew she wanted to be an entrepreneur at the age of nine as she watched Sophia Loren play the ‘Richest Woman in the World’ in The Millionairess. The film inspired Ann into a colourful and unconventional career that has seen her travel the globe supporting the empowerment of women in business.Ann started her career in teaching in the UK, working her way up to the role of headteacher while simultaneously achieving a Masters degree in Applied Educational Studies. A former languages student and fluent Italian speaker, Ann jumped at the chance of relocating to Italy with her young family in the early 1990s. In 1996, she co-founded the now-global organisation Mauve Group with her husband John Ellis.  During this era of rapid technological advancement and increasing international access, business was beginning to shift from local to global. Ann was the first and only ‘back-office’ employee of Mauve Group in the very early days, operating from a tiny cupboard-sized office in Teolo, Northern Italy. Today, Mauve Group is an international organisation providing global workforce solutions and HR services in more than 150 country locations worldwide. Ann’s role as CEO remains as energetic as ever and she continues to be involved in the business at every level.Ann has appeared on BBC Radio Wales and delivers keynote talks around the world at events such as the Millennials Engagement Congress in Colombia and Global Business News’ World Trade seminars, sharing her learnings and experiences from 25 years at the helm of an expanding global organisation.

Taking local to global

Coming from careers in the telecommunications industry and strategic operations in the education sector, and being British expats living in Italy, Ann and John knew well the need for remote or mobile workforces. They identified a gap in the market for compliant global payroll, employment and immigration solutions, realising these tools would provide organisations and individuals with the freedom and opportunity to explore new business territory.As the family-run organisation expanded its size and reach with a network of strategically-positioned local entities, the scope of Mauve Group’s services began to evolve from core employment solutions into the broad bill-of-fare it now offers its clients.

Find out more about the other inspirational speakers at Think Women


Today, it utilises its first-hand knowledge and experience to provide business services to any organisation looking to expand or operate in a new market. Through solutions such as company set-up, employer of record, international payroll and compliance, local HR and contracts consultancy, international market research, risk assessments and project management, it equips businesses with the tools they need to grow. Mauve's bespoke solution packages ensure clients benefit from reduced risks, lower costs and faster timescales as they expand their business overseas or at home.Its expansive country network and strong focus on global compliance are among the company's greatest USPs. Every solution is managed in-house by Mauve staff and it has its own entities situated in more than half of its global locations. As a result, its clients can be sure of trustworthy support, with no fear of their requests being referred on to middlemen or intermediaries. Mauve has also developed an extensive in-country partner network of strategic professionals who are experts in their fields locally and are fully due-diligence checked, making the company a safe pair of hands to support its clients around the world.

Expanding horizons

Mauve can offer global mobility and HR professionals the foundations and support to facilitate their international operations, allowing them to focus on the day-to-day running of business matters. Whether the requirement is for one-off information and consultancy or a longer-term project encompassing a number of Mauve solutions, its teams are on the ground and ready to assist. Mauve works with clients of all sizes, from individuals and SMEs to NGOs and large multi-nationals – no requirement is too small or unconventional for the team to explore.Its vision is to be a trusted partner to organisations of any size seeking to expand their horizons and achieve growth beyond their home markets, all the while retaining the supportive, inclusive and family-focused ethos of Mauve’s earliest incarnation as ‘The Company in the Cupboard.’

Relocate Think Women Event 2020

Mauve is a sponsor of Relocate’s Think Women workshop and lunch on Friday 6 March at the Institute of Directors, 116 Pall Mall, London SW1Y 5ED. Join the Think Women community to honour aspiring women across diverse industries who are doing great things in their sector or community. Ann Ellis will be sharing her inspiring journey from primary school headteacher to CEO of a global services company. We welcome women and men to share their stories and experience. 

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