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Morrisons’ FD: It’ll be a tough 2013

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You don’t get more influential than the views of Richard Pennycook, group FD at the supermarket chain Morrisons:

“It’s going to continue to be a difficult time. If there’s one area to be bullish, it’s the US, which might start to pull away. The UK can be a bit more confident beyond 2013, but the growth trajectory is unlikely to get much steeper. Five years into the downturn, businesses need to adapt and get on.

“For FDs, 2013 is going to be a year when the balance sheet is particularly important as boards start to turn their minds to the longer-term prognosis.

“Balance sheet structures are very relevant. We’re at a point when you have to make long-term plans around debt-to-equity ratios and the balance between fixed and flexible funding.

“In retail, low growth will continue to weigh on performance. Small and nimble retailers should fare better.

“We’re seeing a new generation of FDs come forward who will carry the lessons of the last five years through. My advice to FDs for 2013 is to make sure that the finance function provides crucial broad insight into business performance. Most finance functions do that to some extent, but it’s a moving target. The finance function has a key role in offering a dashboard to explain the health of the company.”

he FDs’ Excellence Awards, in association with ICAEW, are the most prestigious national recognition for UK FDs, financial controllers; and the service providers that support them. 

You can make a nomination in four categories (deadline is March 1, 2013):

  • Young FD of the Year – high-performance finance directors under 40
  • Private Company FD of the Year – finance directors going above the call of duty in a non-quoted company
  • FD of the Future – high-potential financial controllers, finance managers and VPs who are tomorrow’s CFOs and FDs
  • Inspirational FD – a new award for leading finance directors whose work goes beyond finance and inspires others in their business, market and community

Or you can rate the service provided by your bank, auditor, recruiter, financial software firm and other key advisers, in our annual Satisfaction Survey. 

The FDs’ Excellence Awards are hosted by Real Business, and supported by the CBI, London Evening Standard, Ernst & Young, Lloyds Banking Group and business information partner Jordans.  

This article was first published in ICAEW magazine, economia,. We’ll be sharing more top FD views in the coming days.

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