My ambition was to be a pilot. I grew up watching the space shuttle launches and Concorde flying.
I have my father to thank for my career. He worked in fashion, but believed that by qualifying as an accountant I would always be able to make a living. It’s a conversation I am currently having with my son.
Soon after qualifying I was headhunted by a large international marketing agency to be FD within their struggling PR division. I was in my mid 20s and given a huge responsibility.
It is getting harder to attract future talent into the profession. This also has implications for succession planning.
I had to prove that an accountant could go from practice into industry and then back into practice. In 2003 this was almost unheard of. I outsourced to enable growing businesses to focus on what they did best and challenged the hourly-based model by offering a retainer-based approach.
Some of the people that I have trained over the years have gone on to become FDs of some very established well known companies. The fact that I have been able to help build some amazing businesses is why I still bounce out of bed.
Throughout my career there have been people who have been incredibly influential and have guided me. From my first training partner at BDO to the global CFO in that first FD role.
If you have a problem deal with it and never bury your head in the sand. Sometimes you have to accept that things will not always go your way.
I relax by reading awful novels, listening to dubious music (so my teenage daughter tells me) and trying to sit still. I am currently completing the Private Pilot’s Licence course to spend some of my time at the weekend in the air above London.
Being one of the few financially trained people within the agency taught me how to develop financial skills within people who may previously have had little or no experience
@sshllp won the 2016 #economia50 - an annual vote by readers to find the best source of finance news and commentary on Twitter. This year's competition launches in May so keep an eye on economia.icaew.com for details