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Britain’s top FDs: their secret is…

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In fact, the common denominator is… experience. 

This year’s FTSE 100 shortlist shows the benefits of a long-term horizon, in a market often obsessed with short-term results: together, Stacey Cartwright (Burberry), Angus Cockburn (Aggreko), Robert Dyrbus (Imperial), Andrew Griffith (BSkyB), David Keens (Next) and Andrew Shilston (Rolls-Royce he served out the whole of 2011 before retiring in January) have a collective 69 years of service as FD or CFO. 

That’s an average of more than 11 years compared to the mean for all FTSE 100 FDs of just five-and-a-half years. 

Is it conclusive proof that experience delivers results” We’d like your views” Is this simply coincidence, and do experienced FDs actually run the risk of getting stale in the role How will experience stand the test once digital technology really transforms corporate reporting?

The FTSE 100 “FD of the Year” shortlist was selected for demonstrating outstanding medium-term cash management, return on equity, finance function discipline and balance sheet management. 

They are:

  • Stacey Cartwright, Burberry
  • Angus Cockburn, Aggreko
  • Robert Dyrbus, Imperial
  • Andrew Griffith, BSkyB
  • David Keens, Next
  • Andrew Shilston, Rolls-Royce 

While the FTSE 100 fell 5.5 per cent in 2011, the six companies on the shortlist posted an average gain of 21 per cent. Experience seems to tell.

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 also honour service providers to the UK finance community – banks, auditors, financial software firms.

You can still make a nomination in three categories: FD of the Future (for high-potential stars of the financeteam); Young FD of the Year; and Private Company FD of the Year. Winners will be announced on May 24 at the London Marriott Grosvenor Square. To make a nomination, visit the awards website or contact Alexis Carlson at

And you can rate the service provided by your bank, auditor, financialsoftware 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 are also supported by Ernst & Young, the Evening Standard, Lombard, Lloyds Banking Group, Kaplan, Real Business. 



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