Managing Your Cash Flow

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Britain’s best-performing business sector?

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Unfortunately, the reality seems out of synch with the hope. UK export numbers show niggardly improvement. There is one place where the shift is taking place. 

That’s among the UK’s mid-caps, judging by the shortlist for the FTSE 250 “FD of the Year” at the FDs’ Excellence Awards, in association with ICAEW. It’s striking that all shortlisted CFOs and FDs work in organisations that are expanding the UK’s innovative or international footprint.

Why are midcaps showing the way in corporate performance? Should there be more government focus on supporting these businesses? What do midcaps need to help drive them to the next level?

Here’s the shortlist. Note the range of activities: 

  • Croda International (FD, Sean Christie) is a speciality chemicals business
  • Hunting (FD, Peter Rose) manufactures equipment for the oil and gas industry
  • Morgan Crucible (Kevin Dangerfield) produces some of the most high-tech ceramics used in a bewildering array of environments
  • Qinetiq (David Mellors) is a defence and aerospace R&D powerhouse
  • Sports Direct (Bob Mellors) is a phenomenally successful retailer (its shares are up over 400 per cent since 2008)
  • And Telecity (Brian McArthur Muscroft) is at the cutting edge of IT, running the datacentres that power leading networks.

Each is delivering strong medium-term performance on key metrics such as working capital, cash and interest cover. They’ve also delivered a rise in share price during 2011. 

How does Britain build on their success? Let us know your views.

You can still make a nomination for the FDs’ Excellence Awards, in association with ICAEW, in three categories: 

  • FD of the Future (for high-potential stars of the finance team)
  • Young FD of the Year
  • Private Company FD of the Year. 

Winners will be announced on May 24 at the London Marriott Grosvenor Square. 

And you can rate the service provided by your bank, auditor, financial software company and other key advisers in our Satisfaction Survey. This is one of the UK’s largest surveys of the opinions of financial decision-makers and determines the results for Auditor of the Year, Bank of the Year and Financial Software Provider of the Year. The survey is short and interesting.  

The FDs’ Excellence Awards, in association with ICAEW and supported by the CBI, are the most prestigious national recognition of individual excellence in financial management. The awards are also supported by Ernst & Young, the Evening Standard, Lombard, Lloyds Banking Group, Kaplan, Real Business. 

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Is the FD more important than the CEO?
Jim Green
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