Kay was born in West Sussex but brought up in Newcastle upon Tyne where she attended Gosforth High School. She then studied at Brasenose College, Oxford University where she achieved a MA in History and Economics. She joined Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce in London in 1985 as a Graduate Trainee Investment Manager, moving to Provident Mutual in a more client-facing role in 2008 and Scottish Widows shortly after. There she joined the European Equity team, transferring to Standard Life in 1996 where she is now a director of Standard Life Investments, specifically managing Europe (ex UK) pension funds and is the analyst responsible for the construction and food manufacturing sectors.
Kay lives in the Scottish Borders, is married to Joe and has three children Katie, Milly and Edward who all have or are attending Loretto. She has a lifelong passion for horses having competed in most disciplines (including one terrifying point-to-point) and otherwise enjoys cooking, reading and travelling.