Chris Willford – Principal, Thames Valley
A commercially-minded chartered management accountant, Chris has excelled as a trusted adviser to FTSE 100 CEOs, entrepreneurs and public bodies. After studying French and German, Chris joined Unilever’s finance graduate programme. He developed his skill in senior finance business partner roles in Unilever and British Airways, followed by finance director roles at Abbey National, Bradford & Bingley and Barclays. His sector experience includes Consumer Goods, Transport and Travel, Software and Financial Services.
In recent years he has focused on using everything he learned so far to help SMEs and business owners achieve greater success.
Chris combines a willingness to roll his sleeves up with a talent for understanding and communicating the bigger strategic picture. He has a track record of managing businesses for profitable growth, prioritising investments and initiatives accordingly. He creates or adapts business plans and performance systems to meet the needs of the business and create value for the owners.
Chris has helped large and small businesses improve their bottom line using his analytical skills, willpower and persuasion to deliver cost reduction, product profitability and pricing initiatives.
As a former treasurer and head of investor relations and present-day FD and business-owner, Chris has extensive experience of arranging debt and equity funding for quoted and private businesses from individual investors, banks and capital markets. He has also regularly been involved in the acquisition and disposal of businesses.
A naturally collaborative leader, he enjoys helping people in his team to make the most of their talent.
Away from the office, Chris is a keen road cyclist and occasional skier.