Media and technology big winners at FDs’ Excellence Awards

Ian Griffiths, chief financial officer at ITV, picked up the prestigious FTSE 100 FD of the Year award at the 2013 FDs’ Excellence Awards, in association with ICAEW, in central London; while FTSE 250 FD of the Year went to Rick Medlock, CFO of mobile satellite company Inmarsat; and Richard Logan, FD of Glasgow-based cloud computing firm iomart Group, topped the Smaller Quoted FD of the Year category. All the winners are pictured.

Griffiths – who joined ITV as group finance director five years ago after 14 years at Emap – fought off competition from David Robbie of Rexam; Tony Chanmugam, CFO of BT Group; William Seeger of GKN; Sean Christie of Croda; and William Waggott of TUI Travel.

The shortlist was produced following analysis of three years? worth of metrics such as cash management, return on equity, finance function discipline and balance sheet management, using information provided by company data specialist Jordans.

An academy of experts independently judged the shortlist and said: ?ITV is a real turnaround success story and clearly he?s been instrumental in his success.? Another judge commented: ?A true commercial business partner to the Chief Executive, Ian has helped increase cash flow, revenue and top line growth despite difficult market conditions.?

Alongside CEO Adam Crozier, Griffiths has helped ITV to achieve an increase of three per cent in external revenues to ?2.196bn in 2012 while also delivering ?30m of cost savings.

Over the past three years, despite a flat advertising market, the company has grown profits by 157 per cent to ?520m, adjusted its EPS by 411 per cent to 9.2p and has improved its cash position by over ?800m.

Adam Crozier said: ?Ian is a high-class Group FD as well as being operationally astute and focused. He has been a key figure in helping to transform ITV operationally as well as financially.?

Four female finance leaders won awards at the 2012 FDs’ Excellence Awards; this year, female FDs won in three categories:

Clare Needham, Commercial Manager at Worksop-based discount retailer Wilkinson Hardware Stores, won the FD of the Future award supported by Ernst & Young, whilst Marie Cooper, Finance Director at Sheffield’s President Engineering Group, was named Young FD of the Year.

Divinia Knowles, CFO and COO of Mind Candy – the online gaming company behind Moshi Monsters, went home with the Inspirational FD of the Year award after the judges were wowed by her passion and enthusiasm for her role, her commitment to the firm’s charity projects in Africa and the fast growth the company has achieved.

Mark Harrison, FD of City and County Healthcare Group, the London-based home care provider, completed the individual awards by being named Private Company FD of the Year.

Created by Real Business and supported by the CBI, the FDs? Excellence Awards also recognise the service providers that support Britain’s finance community using the results of an annual survey, in which 1,380 UK FDs and financial decision-makers recorded their opinion.

Lloyds Bank won the Business Bank of the Year award for the ninth year running and Crowe Clark Whitehill was named as the Best Auditor to Large Firms. It was announced that, in 2014, individual bank relationship managers would be recognised for their support for business.

Haines Watts Group won the Best Auditor to Small Firms category; Alexander Charles was named Recruiter of the Year for the third year running; Advisory Firm of the Year went to Acolyte Resource Group; ADP topped the Financial Software Provider for Large Firms shortlist; and Infor was recognised as the best Financial Software Provider for SMEs.

Michael Izza, ICAEW?s chief executive, said: ?An award-winning FD is not just a financial controller; working closely with the CEO they play an integral role in developing and implementing company strategy. A knowledgeable and inspirational FD that demonstrates leadership and influence is as essential to the success of a business as a tenacious and visionary CEO. The FDs’ Excellence Awards are a fantastic way to recognise those FDs that are making a real difference to British businesses.”

Matthew Rock, co-founder of Real Business, added: ?ITV was an embattled company pre-2010, with failures in the digital market and falling advertising revenues taking their toll. However, the business re-organisation launched in 2010 by Crozier and Griffiths has seen the broadcaster enter a new era, helped by hit programmes Downton Abbey, Britain’s Got Talent and, more recently, Broadchurch.

?The continuing emergence of award-winning female financial talent will help to bring greater diversity to the top of British business and is a route that is increasingly being considered by women aiming to enter the boardroom.”

Neil Bentley, CBI deputy director-general, said: ?Without sound financial management, business success can be elusive. Talented financial directors can transform company fortunes and are instrumental when it comes to securing growth and creating new jobs. The CBI is pleased to support these awards.”

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