Karen Letten

European Rail Market Leader

Karen has more than 20 years of experience in strategic and commercial issues in transport in the UK and in Continental Europe. Her transportation experience includes both high speed and classic rail. Her experience has been in both high speed and classic rail, and covers transaction advice, commercial due diligence, partnering and joint ventures, business and corporate strategy, strategic planning, business case development, franchise specification and procurement, stakeholder management and transformational change.

Prior to Steer, Karen was responsible for SNCB (Belgian Railways)’s international strategy, first as Deputy to the General Manager, later as Divisional Director International Partnerships and Joint Ventures (2008-2013). In close cooperation with other international railways she worked on successive projects to consolidate their Eurostar and Thalys businesses and to enable these ventures to operate in an open access environment. In 2013 Karen joined the UK Department for Transport as Project Director for the Rail Franchising Programme. In that capacity she acquired a good understanding of the franchising process and the characteristics of sustainable franchise proposals. Karen also acted as reviewer of major projects for the Infrastructure and Project Authority (IPA). In 2018 Karen became Corporate Strategy Officer for SNCB responsible for the development of a transversal strategy to guide SNCB through the changes in industry structure and market dynamics that would result from the 4th railway package (liberalisation of the domestic rail market). 

At Steer, Karen will be working on strategic and commercial issues both in the UK and in Continental Europe and will focus on leveraging Steer’s industry expertise to help clients with market opportunities in Europe.

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