Umar Khan, commercial finance manager, ghd
By restructuring sales deals with hair straightening giant ghd’s retailers, Umar generated an additional £1m of revenue, flowing straight through to profit. He also managed a strategic shift in the direction of the company, changing the emphasis from working only with salons to working with major retailers and online.
As the newest member of the UK management team, Umar had to persuade his colleagues that the status quo was more dangerous to the company than change, implementing an innovative solution to address the concerns of the salons.
“Umar is undoubtedly a rising star within ghd,” says the company’s Director of Global Forecasting & Planning Christian Dickson.
“As the Commercial Finance Manager of our UK organisation he has been instrumental in growing profits and has been a true “right-hand” in helping the managing director, and the company as a whole, navigate through some tricky retail and economic headwinds.”
Steven Swaby, financial controller, Industrial Chemicals Group Limited
Steven handled the significant pressure on group cash arising from three major incidents at Industrial Chemicals Group’s manufacturing plants within three months, during a tense refinancing process, whilst maintaining tight control and managing staff morale.
He had a major impact on the due diligence process required for the refinancing, in particular, as well as being crucial to the efficient implementation of significant changes during the company’s recent change of bank.
“Steven joined the business during a reorganisation of our finance function in 2012,” explains Industrial Chemicals Group’s John Carver. “He made an immediate impact improving systems, processes and controls in a new role.
“His constructive criticism and recommendations, based on honest assessment of areas for improvement, has contributed to positive change. He has introduced public company best practice professionalism to enhance a growing private company. He has earned respect from colleagues and has all the credentials to be a very successful FD in the future.”
Tracy Waind, financial controller, Hemingways Marketing Services
Tracy was central to identifying the need to upgrade and automate the existing financial package and processes at Hemingways Marketing Services.
In particular, she overhauled the complicated incumbent VAT system associated with being an intermediary buying and selling gift vouchers. The process was reduced from taking over a week to a matter of hours. It was also “green stamped” by HMRC as creating greater control around inputs.
In addition, Tracy has been key in identifying the need for an automated order process system for online orders and has taken it upon herself to negotiate new contracts with key service providers and therefore reduce costs, saving tens of thousands of pounds.
“The level of support I receive from Tracy on a daily basis is invaluable and consistent, enabling me to channel my energies into driving new business,” says managing director Andrew Johnson.
“The commercial insight offered by Tracy gives me clarity as to where those efforts should be focused by developing reliable management information and providing her analysis around the business performance.”
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