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Work experience

Dec 2008Present

Head of Finance

La Senza Ltd.

Reporting in to the CEO, responsible for the Finance function of this £170m turnover chain with 220 stores in the UK and Europe.

  • Leading a team of 21, overhauled the management reporting, increased the information provided; improved the quality of that information and reduced the reporting time from 10 working days to 5.
  • Renegotiated covenants with lenders.
  • Responsible for non-stock procurement, reviewed all new supplier contracts and renegotiated several to ensure profit maximisation including stationery, consumables, cash collections, credit card processing and new eCommerce platform.
  • Initiated and led company-wide cost-saving initiative which identified and secured over £2m annualised savings.
  • Initiated and led project to improve morale and reduce staff turnover which led to a 20% reduction in staff turnover.
  • Prepared and presented new store investment proposals and measured actual results against original proposals
  • Restructured Finance department; removed and replaced individuals; defined roles more clearly; implemented month-end close process.
  • Led the budget and quarterly forecast processes. Developed P&L and cash-flow model for forecasts and budgets.
  • •Initiated n facilitated cross-department meetings to address business process issues; documented and redesigned processes; saw issues through to resolution.
  • Produced statutory accounts for 9 entities with associated corporation tax computations.
Mar 2009Present

School Governor (voluntary role)

Rosh Pinah Primary School

As a governor of a local primary school, responsible for Finance, Head Teacher Appraisals and sit on Catering committee.

  • Led process of cleaning up and filing of trust accounts
  • Lead head teacher appraisal process
  • Outsourced catering
May 2007Dec 2008

Financial Controller

MFI Retail Limited

Responsible for the Accounting, Controls, Financial Planning and Analysis, Tax and Cash Flow Management. Joined soon after private equity purchase of this £550m-turnover furniture retailer with 200 stores across the UK. Responsible for 5 directs and a team of 54 across two sites to support the seven legal entities.

•Recovered £22m in Sep ’08 from the vendors of the company in an out-of-court settlement by recruiting and leading a team of five qualified contractors for three months to reconcile the balance sheet which had not been done in the preceding 15 months. Through this process, identified misstatement of acquisition balance sheet leading to claims against vendor amounting to over 50% of value of net assets purchased. This enabled investors to exit with all the equity invested.

• Reduced finance team cost by £1.5m. Restructured the team of 54 and re-engineered period-end process to shorten reporting timescales from 10 days to 5; increased outputs at month-end and reduced headcount to 32.

• Enabled the company to carry on trading for an extra two months by managing cash flow through challenging period.

• Reduced expenditure of cash out of store tills from £5.8m to zero. This reduced expenditure as well as eliminating untaxed payments to employees. This was part of a program I initiated to overhaul financial controls and procedures across the business.

• No audit adjustments were recommended by the auditors after first full year in role and second audit demonstrating the improvements in the quality and accuracy of the accounting. This compares with £58m of adjustments a year earlier, immediately after arrival.

• Selected and implemented budgeting software which enabled the business to deliver budget to investors to tight deadline.

Feb 2004May 2007

Financial Controller

UTC Fire and Security (Chubb Fire and Kidde Fire)

Responsible for both the Financial Controls and the Financial Planning & Analysis function, changed the culture of the finance team following acquisition of Chubb Fire by US conglomerate, UTC. Improved controls; introduced monthly forecasts and sped up reporting of this £200m turnover business with five directs and a total team of 27 across four sites in the UK

• Passed external Sarbanes Oxley audit at first attempt and subsequent internal audit the next year by overhauling controls and procedures.

• Implemented UTC’s “ACE” quality system in Finance organisation with the objective of improving processes and introducing more efficient working practices. Achieved ‘qualifying’ status; reduced number of journals posted by 20%; reduced debtor days from 62 to 48.

• Achieved a 25% cost reduction in Finance team by outsourcing and off-shoring part of Financial Accounting and all of AP and Credit Control

• Reduced head office overheads by 20% whilst leading the ’06 budget setting process.

• Assisted in due diligence of acquisition of largest competitor. Focused on integrity of accounting information supplied.

• Integrated Finance function of acquired company in ‘06. Reduced combined headcount by four as part of integration.

Oct 2002Feb 2004

European Financial Controller


Led the centralisedFinance and Treasury function of the five countries in which this car rental business with a £35m turnover operated with a team of 15, all based in London.

• Identified to the Chairman a fundamental business flaw which led to the restructure and change of strategic direction of the company which is now profitable.

• Negotiated vehicle leasing deal with lender and maintained relationships with lending bank and providers of mezzanine debt.

• Reduced the time to report the monthly results from three weeks to four working days through workflow analysis and process re-engineering.

• Completed all tax and statutory returns for UK, France, Spain, Netherlands and Switzerland within deadlines.

• Coordinated all legal paperwork, as Company Secretary, through refinancing process which brought in much-needed funds.

May 1999Oct 2002

Finance Manager, UK and RoEMEA

Veritas Software Corp. (now part of Symantec)

Responsible for the Finance function in 11 of the 18 countries in Europe, Middle East and Africa including the UK. Supported the business as it expanded across Europe by leading a team of twelve, three of whom were based outside the UK. The eleven businesses had a turnover of close to £180m.

• Set-up six legal entities in different countries as well as the general ledgers with assistance of local legal and accounting firms,

• Prepared Statutory Accounts and Corporation Tax Analysis and as a result reduced fees paid to external auditors by £10k.

• Selected payroll outsource partner and managed project to outsource 500-person payroll, saving the company £25k per annum.

• Implemented monthly forecasting process for each of the countries leading to local MDs taking ownership of their forecast.

May 1997May 1999

Finance Manager, Netherlands and UK

Developed and grew Finance function for Netherlands and UK as business grew by 100% per annum over two years. Additionally, from November ’98 to March ’99, covered for the European Finance Director following his heart attack. Reporting directly to the European President, ensured continued high level of service during this period which included delivering the annual budget of this $50m turnover business.

• Implemented Sage Accounting System in Netherlands, UK and France enabling speedy reporting and the ability to drill down to costs.

• Provided Site Directors with operational and financial analysis on a daily basis and presented operational analysis in monthly meetings to team leaders which resulted in improved productivity and contributed to the business breaking even in ’99.

• Recruited and led a team of four, three in the Netherlands and one in the UK.

Sep 1994May 1997

Management Accountant

Corporate Software & Technology Ltd.

Supported the business by providing management accounting information and support. Prepared all Balance sheet reconciliations and was responsible for VAT returns and liaising with VAT inspector. Sole responsibility for accounting for new division.

• Selected and implemented accounting software for new division

• Achieved CIMA qualification

Jan 1993Aug 1994

Audit Assistant

Hazlems Fenton

Assisted in audits of various clients of this seven-partner firm including advertising agency; retailers; housing association; national charities. Sole responsibility for maintaining accounts of two clients who outsourced their accounting function

• Passed part 1 of ACA exams


Sep 1981Jul 1988

5 Scottish Highers

Hutchesons' Grammar School


Major Achievements


Sep 1994Jul 1997


Chartered Institute of Management Accountants