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FDs’ Excellence Awards: Smaller quoted shortlist

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In 2012, the FTSE all-share rose by 8.24 per cent. The average share price rise for our shortlisted FDs’ companies, however, was a stunning 84 per cent. Meet the candidates for the FDs’ Excellence Awards “Smaller Quoted FD of the Year”:

Robert Brooksbank, Carclo

In 2004 Robert became FD of Carclo – a business founded in 1924, but which now produces high-tech specialist plastics and LED optics. After obtaining an degree in biological sciences, he qualified as a Chartered Accountant with Ernst & Young. After joining Enron in 1995, he became a director of his family firm, Brooksbank Industries in 1997. “Over his nine year tenure, Robert has presided over a strengthening of the group balance sheet that has enabled the group to expand and invest in its new technology businesses,” chief executive Chris Malley told us.

Kevin Cameron, Tangent Communications

Kevin started his career at Deloitte, then qualified at Tait Walker in the North East. In 1993, he became FD at Ravensworth, a print, design and creative agency in the region. Following significant growth, Ravensworth become the UK’s leading digital print provider, and in March 2007 Kevin oversaw the successful sale of the company to Tangent. “He’s clearly very commercial,” one Academy member commented. Chief exec Timothy Green clearly agrees: “I trust his financial acumen – and his ability to raise his head and see the bigger picture. Having a strong FD is key and Kevin fulfils his role with a high degree of professionalism, due care and skill.”

Tim Holden, Pendragon

Tim joined the multi-channel car dealership group Pendragon – which trades under brands such as Stratstone, for luxury vehicles, and Evans Halshaw; and which last year turned over £3.6bn – in June 2008 as group financial controller from KPMG, where he was a senior manager advising on audit and transactional service matters. A Chartered Accountant, he became FD in 2009. One Academy member was impressed by his skills in: “growth and debt management in horrible market conditions.”

Richard Logan, iomart Group

Richard was FD of Kingston SCL for ten years, engineering a management buy out and subsequent trade sale. He joined iomart, one of the UK’s leading cloud computing companies, in 2006 – since when, said one Academy member, “he has generated spectacular value for shareholders.” CEO Angus MacSween wouldn’t argue: “In 2012, we secured a £20m revolving credit facility with Lloyds, which was a big vote of confidence in iomart’s ability to deliver on our growth strategy and testament to the good relationship Richard has with the banking and financial community in general.”

Chris Smith, API Group

Chris qualified as a Chartered Accountant with Coopers & Lybrand in London. He has spent the last 20 years working in manufacturing businesses, holding a variety of roles at Courtaulds – manufacturers of films, chemicals and fibres – where he gained international experience with positions in Germany and Hong Kong. Prior to joining API, Chris worked for Scapa, the manufacturers of adhesive tapes, where he was finance and IT director for Europe and Asia.

Graham Stevens, Plexus Holdings

Graham became FD of Aberdeen-based Plexus Holdings – which manufactures and services a patented friction-grip engineering system for oil and gas field wellheads – in 2005. He has been involved in a range of industries as a director, investor and advisor – and overseen a number of acquisitions and disposals, as well as the implementation of turnaround and growth strategies. His chairman, Jerome Thrall, told us: “Graham’s financial background and experience in both the public and private arena complements [CEO] Ben van Bilderbeek’s entrepreneurial flair and engineering expertise.”

FDs’ Excellence Awards 2013: to celebrate these and other leading finance directors, why not join us at the 2013 FDs’ Excellence Awards, in association with ICAEW, on May 9, 2013? We’ll be recognising top FTSE finance directors as well as service providers to the finance community. The evening is hosted by ICAEW CEO Michael Izza and CBI deputy director-general Neil Bentley, and compered by the incomparable accountant-turned-comedian Fred Macaulay. 

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