“I hope I can give people the challenges and reassurance that allow them to be their best”

5 May 2021

Seema Paterson studied French literature and economics at university – not the most obvious joint honours for a budding CFO. But, she says, “I just loved French and I was good with numbers.” And her professional trajectory did become apparent before she had even graduated. Her year abroad wasn’t spent as a language teacher – it was in a French business… Read more

Trends in Start-Up Job Functions.  Where are all the FDs?

7 Apr 2021

Our friends at Beauhurst are always ahead of the game when it comes to up to the minute algorithmic analysis of current trends in start up and scaling businesses. It seems that their data appears to demonstrate a paucity of FDs/ CFOs /Heads of Finance in the start up ecosystem. Whilst it may seem a little self interested of us to highlight… Read more

International Women’s Day: no time to let up on gender parity

8 Mar 2021

A year ago, we wrote up the interim findings of the Hampton-Alexander Review (H-AR) into women leaders in British business. We gave two cheers that progress was evident (“progress” meaning companies taking advantage of all human beings with appropriate skills and experience for their most senior decision-making roles, regardless of their biology), but lamented that while 33% of board positions going to… Read more

Motivation matters: the game-playing at GameStop

29 Jan 2021

This post is being published in the middle of a “short squeeze” currently shaking up financial markets on the other side of the Atlantic. The story of GameStop, the hedge funds than bet on its collapse, and the day-traders who stumbled into the counter-position and created ten-figure losses for Wall Street (yes, ten figures) says something very interesting at the start… Read more

Pivot and the sky’s the limit

4 Dec 2020

It’s been the toughest year ever for leisure and hospitality. But, for creative thinkers, the barriers thrown up by lockdown are an excuse to think outside the box. In CFO Richard Barley’s case… literally. Richard Barley spent more than 15 years in advisory and investment roles – first with PwC and then PE house LDC. But Rooftop Cinema, the company where he’s… Read more

I can see clearly? Now?

17 Nov 2020

Ask any FD what their most important metric is, and it’s a racing certainty that the 13-week cashflow forecast is going to top the list. As anyone who’s been in a turnaround situation knows, unless you have a handle on the cash for the immediate future, you might as well give up. (For those of you with a passing interest in quantum… Read more

What turns ‘agile’ into ‘erratic’?

18 Sep 2020

Looking back through the archives of this blog is a sobering experience: nothing really changes. Today’s cliché about "operating in a world of uncertainties" is hard to escape (and like most clichés is true). But then this post from three years ago reminds us that living with massive uncertainty isn’t new. Covid-19 has just been layered on top of long-running instabilities… Read more

Funny money

10 Jun 2020

June, and the focus for many businesspeople has shifted. Every company has had to get to grips with socially distanced working; massive changes to supply chains and customer habits; and uncertainty about the economy. Now, it’s all about “re-entry” from lockdown and the prospect of a recession lasting well into 2021. In fact, most of the finance directors we’ve spoken to were… Read more

Blood, toil, tears and scenario planning

24 Apr 2020

I’m writing this blog post on the day the EquityFD team and over 200 CFOs and other senior finance execs were supposed to be meeting in Central London for the fifth annual Contemporary FD event. (Don’t worry: we will reschedule as soon as possible.) Now, a month after Boris Johnson issued the order to lockdown the UK – and six weeks since Chancellor… Read more

It’s the pipeline, stupid

14 Feb 2020

Are we seeing some progress at last on diversity in business leadership? The news is good from the FTSE 100, whose constituent companies have collectively filled a third of their director positions with women, according to the Hampton-Alexander Review (H-AR), up from 12.5% in 2011. The press has duly reported this as a victory for equality. The 33% figure is important because… Read more