Managing Your Cash Flow

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FDX 2014: Small Quoted Company FD of the Year

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John Samuel, Renew Holdings plc

2013 share performance: 108.1%

With a history spanning over 200 years, Renew provides multidisciplinary engineering services to maintain and develop UK Infrastructure in the Energy, Environmental and Infrastructure markets. Specialist Building activity is focused in resilient and sustainable markets in the South.

The company scored well across the FDX metrics – despite posting a slight fall in turnover for the review period. The massive jumps in ROCE and cashflow are impressive; then the slashing of days sales outstanding was a major contributor to the rise in cashflow. A great all-round performance from the finance team.

John was previously Group Financial Director of Filtronic plc from 1991 until 2004. Subsequently he was Chief Financial Officer of Zetex plc from July 2004 until February 2006. John qualified as a Chartered Accountant in 1981 with Deloitte, Haskins & Sells before serving as a partner with Baker Tilly from 1987 until 1991

Bruce Morrison, Bond International Software plc

2013 share performance: 79.9%

Bond International Software is a worldwide provider of software solutions in the field of Human Capital Management. It is a world leader in staffing and talent management software for recruitment consultancies and corporations of all sizes, and provides HR, e-recruitment and payroll solutions to the public, education and publishing sectors. 

The big hit for Bond’s finance strategy appears to have been working capital management – a brilliant performance on that score (it’s not working capital negative, according to our figures) even as turnover climbed 9.5%. During the review period, the company moved from loss to profit, flattering the ROSE result, perhaps – but, nevertheless, showing the company is in the hands of a smart finance function.

Bruce joined Bond in July 2003. He qualified as a Chartered Accountant with KPMG in London where he became an Audit Manager before leaving to act as Finance Director of Wembley Stadium Limited, which was the major operating company within the Wembley PLC Group. Subsequently, he joined Radio First plc, a start up company, as Finance Director.

John Swaite, AdEPT Telecom plc

2013 share performance: 120.4%

AdEPT provides telecom services to 20,000 customers across the UK. Its commercial customers range from very small businesses to nationwide chains with hundreds of branches, and take a variety of telecom solutions including calls, lines, and data connections ranging from a simple 2Mb broadband through to a 10 Gigabit Optical connection.

Every size of connection can be connected together with an MPLS network. It also provides cloud-based contact centre solutions to the airline, travel, cinema and insurance sectors.

AdEPT operates in a highly competitive marketplace. That means tight finances are a crucial platform for the business to punch its weight – and with rising cashflow despite a decline of 10% in turnover, it’s evident that exists at Adept. Debtor days also fell and interest cover increased – a great way to instil confidence in operational managers and investors alike.

John joined AdEPT Telecom in March 2008 as Group Financial Controller and was promoted to Finance director and the Board in January 2009. Prior to joining AdEPT, John spent more than nine years with one of the UK’s leading accounting firms, Crowe Clark Whitehill LLP (CCW). 

In his role as senior corporate finance manager at CCW, John was responsible for all aspects of financial due diligence and transaction support on mergers, acquisitions, flotations and subsequent public offerings with transaction values up to £120m.

Antony Walters, Ashley House plc

2013 share performance: 72.58%

Ashley House specialises in property development for the care industry and its philosophy is based on successful collaborations and partnerships. By combining our expertise with client vision it deliver solutions that improve user experiences, drive efficiencies and improve the ability of care professionals to do their jobs effectively, in turn improving lives.

Turnover was down in the review period – but so was working capital, a good piece of discipline in a business with heavy overheads. The business also moved from loss to profit – and the reduction in debtor days and resultant boost to cash also demonstrate some smart finance teamwork.

Antony has a BA in accounting and qualified as a chartered accountant in 1992. He gained an Executive MBA from Warwick University in 2004. He joined Ashley House in February 2010 having held various senior management positions within Celesio Group/Lloyds Pharmacy which he joined in 1996. 

Immediately prior to Ashley House, Antony was managing director of Sapphire Primary Care Developments which Ashley House acquired from Lloyds Pharmacy in November 2009.

Dimitrios Gryparis, Globo plc

2013 share performance: 190.55%

Globo is an international leader and technology innovator delivering multi-platform Enterprise Mobility Management and Telecom software solutions.

Globo is a growing business – and it scored relatively poorly on working capital as a result. But the sign of a great finance team is managing that often necessary growth properly. That’s why great performance in ROCE and cashflow earn Globo a place on the shortlist. Debtor days also plummeted over the review period – demonstrating this is an FD who can deliver sustainable growth.

Dimitrios graduated from Essex University with a bachelors degree in Accounting and Financial Management. He also has a Masters degree in Banking and Finance from Adelphi University (NY, USA) and is a former banker, having worked as an account officer in the Corporate Banking division of EFG Eurobank in Athens for 5 years between 2001 and 2006. He joined Globo in June 2006.

Jane Hall, The Innovation Group plc

2013 share performance: 47.87%

Innovation Group is a global provider of business process services and software solutions to the insurance, fleet, automotive and property industries. We enable clients to unlock the potential of increased collaboration, outsourcing and strategic partnerships, helping to reduce costs and risks, improve efficiency, increase customer satisfaction and achieve growth. 

With a commitment to flexibility and innovation we are able to provide tailored solutions that can meet the demands of today and adapt more rapidly to the needs of tomorrow.

A big rise in turnover (19.5%) can pose a challenge for an FD. Like Globo, working capital climbed as the business invested in new revenues. But making the most of a shift from a small loss to an £11.7m profit can really help. Debtor days fell nicely – but the big score was cashflow, which doubled.

Jane was appointed to the Board on 18 August 2009. She originally joined the Group following the acquisition of Cosy plc in October 2001. Jane was initially responsible for the UK finance function before moving into the role of Group Financial Controller in 2004.

In November 2005, Jane also took over the responsibility of Company Secretary and she subsequently assumed the role of Acting Group Finance Director prior to her appointment to the Board. Prior to joining the Group Jane had several senior finance positions in smaller private companies. She is a member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales and qualified in 1993.

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