Neil Leslie


Independent Agent


Lemons, catching a thief, and the book that lands me in Rome every year.


People say Neil’s an all-or-nothing kind of guy. Which stands to reason: with Cicero and Messi as his idols, he was surely never meant to be a spectator in the game of life. Growing up in his picturesque hometown in Scotland, he had all the sailing and beaches a lad could wish for, and the region’s pristine golf courses surely planted a seed for his future love of the sport (he’s now proudly down to a single-digit handicap!). But holidays in Greece, inter-railing around the Continent after high school, and an internship at a Washington, D.C. think tank increasingly stoked his passion for new horizons, and ever since he’s been exploring the world via travel and literature. Oh, and his chef’s hat and Kamado Joe ceramic grill. Neil is keen on the culinary arts, counting Italian and Texan BBQ among his specialty cuisines, but what’s a fine meal without a big red wine? Zensho Agency’s “in business for yourself but never by yourself” philosophy struck a chord with Neil, just as his recruitment excellence and humanitarianism did with us. Nelly, Grinch, Elwood, Penz, Keg, Lezzer – how does a man end up with six nicknames? Don’t ask. We’re just thrilled that Neil ended up with us.

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Values: A message to our awesome tribe

Years from now, you may not remember the particulars of deals you closed at Zensho (or what the returns were). You will remember your colleagues and how it felt to work with them. The imprint you left on the world.

We invited you to join our tribe because you impressed us as someone who shares values intrinsic to our culture. But just to ensure we’re totally on the same page, here they are, spelled out in black and white and trimmed in our corporate colors.

Freedom is Zensho’s central pillar. Beyond the mere state of being free, for us the word carries with it a sense of obligation: “Freedom to…” What follows should define you as a person. Of course, to provide your business community with amazing service, but also to engage and give back to the world. And that’s where Autonomy comes in. Unlike the general implications of self-rule, ours leads not to detachment but to a broad and radical sense of interconnectivity. One that enables each of us to commune with others in infinite ways. Together, these two values empower you like nothing else on earth, and they’re here waiting for you.

So, what do we ask in return?

Transparency means not only having open books, but being one yourself. No secrets or ulterior agendas. It is to share personal and industry information without seeking to leverage it for profit or motivate others in any way. Its cousin, Clarity, is about including precision and context in the communication process. At Zensho, we always try to anticipate the details a fellow partner might need and supply them up front.

Which leads us to…

Collaboration. That is, to cooperate meaningfully. Because only through recognizing individual strengths can we thrive as a whole. For us, collaboration requires presence as we listen and respond, evolving toward a collective goal represented by the name of our charity initiative: Ayni (reciprocity). This can’t exist without Collegiality. How we care for each other and the tribe as a whole, share both opportunity and responsibility with open hearts – that’s what empowers us to excel as a firm.

With these six in place, our seventh value happens all by itself.

Harmony. When your environment manifests balance between all people and things – even forces that oppose each other – life just flows. Living completely becomes a state of being. After all, that’s the very meaning of Zensho.