Companies tend to be dominated by their technical specialists: an engineering company will be dominated by engineers, a software company by software engineers, etc. The more able specialists become business managers. However, the skills involved in running a business are different from the skills of their technical specialists, and very often there is nobody who fills that gap.
David believes that this is where a good FD brings huge value, in helping a technical organisation to work well as a commercial business. It requires a strategic mind-set with involvement across the business, it requires strong strategic financial planning, a strong team player, energy, enthusiasm and a passion for business, and the ability to work with colleagues across the company to help them to improve their own contributions to the firm’s commercial success.
David has strong experience in the development of strategy, governance and risk management, business planning, establishing a controls environment, profit improvement, cash management, international/multi-currency groups and M&A processes, working with colleagues across all disciplines and different cultures.
He has more than 25 years’ experience as a finance director across a variety of organisations, from divisions of large PLCs and complex groups to medium-sized owner-managed businesses, together with strong international experience and a working knowledge of French, German, Italian and Spanish.
David’s particular sector experience lies in manufacturing, engineering (including process, chemical and mechanical), oil & gas, industrial process safety, laboratories, consulting and foreign exchange, although he considers that an FD’s skills are very portable to other sectors.
Very unusually for an FD, David has since 2000 also been a licensed practitioner of Thomas International’s work-based human behavioural analysis and other motivational tools and has used these extensively to enhance individual and team performance across his previous businesses.
He is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (FCMA); a Chartered Global Management Accountant (CGMA); a Fellow of the Institute of Directors (FIoD) and has passed all of the exams for the IoD’s Chartered Director qualification. Academically, he holds the degrees of BA (Hons) in Economics and Master of Philosophy (M.Phil) by research on transnational joint ventures and acquisitions.