The FD in question (see picture) is currently in charge of the finance function at Northern Foods and his full name is Jeremy Maiden. However, it seems he’d rather be called Jez than Jeremy. You wouldn’t know that from the Northern Foods release about his resignation, which makes no mention of his ‘real’ name. However, the investor relations department at National Express Group has included both the name Maiden’s mother gave him, and his moniker. And what a fun moniker it is! Shortening Jeremy to Jez may be common place but there’s something free-spirited and youthful about it. It’s more casual and, dare I say it, more funky than simply shortening, Robert to Bob, for example. I love a good nickname. In fact, I considered it to be quite an achievement when one of my sobriquets – Tiger (hardly original but still a bit of fun) – made a national newspaper article in which I was mentioned. Could this be a new way of humanising finance directors? Making them seem more interesting to the masses than just a pack of bean counters? Perhaps other companies should follow Northern Foods’ lead and include nicknames in their announcements. Eg* Toby (Tobes) Woolrych has been appointed finance director of Consort Medical. Geoff (Bickers) Bicknell has been appointed interim group finance director of Ricardo.John (Mad Dog) Taylor has been appointed group finance director of Maxima Holdings The inclusion of nicknames makes for far more interesting reading, if nothing else… *Not their actual nicknames.
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