My work is based on 30 years of experience across a wide range of organisations, people and scenarios.
All my work derives from recommendations from clients and a network of complementary professional advisors I have developed over time.
I have shared a mediation room for a day with a QC and our mutual client to whom we were both offering pro-bono advice. Several months later I received a phone from the CEO of Hardwicke asking if I could help and informing me that I had been recommended to her by that QC.
A tailored approach
I am not afraid to challenge assumptions and I will take responsibility where it seems absent. But my tenaciousness does not come at a cost of morale or good humour; I am sensitive to the styles and aptitudes of all stakeholders – and my aim is always for the success of the organisation.
Several years ago I helped a small business run by friends sort out its share ownership. Having listened to their concerns I took the role of spokesman and communicated what they wanted to say to each other but were too polite. As a result the three directors were able to realign the shareholding to the satisfaction of everyone.
I sometimes I have to manage turbulent internal politics within organisations. Other times I am in a sector where making money is not the prime concern. I am therefore used to adapting my approach depending on the organisation’s raison d’etre.
Applying process to financial strategy
Over the years I have refined a process-driven approach which brings rigour and precision to my clients’ financial (and business) strategy.
In a nutshell: my approach isolates the organisation’s goals, rationalises them against its finances, and generates logical roadmaps for action (which I often help to implement). It weaves together business strategy, accounting and risk management, and creates a rationale which invariably draws consensus from all stakeholders.
As the new FD of a small company I inherited ad-hoc management accounts based on two different finance systems. Determined to unearth the value buried in the data, I eventually compiled a monthly trend for the previous three years, with integrated cash flows and balance sheets. I carried this format forward for the next five years, and it fed directly into the business strategy.
I worked with Gavin when I was advising on the sale of Illumina Digital to All3Media. As Illumina’s Finance Director, and without a huge accounts department behind him, Gavin had to respond to innumerable requests for financial information, represent and reforecast numbers in a variety of different ways, all to very tight deadlines imposed by the due diligence process. Eminently professional, Gavin maintained his cool and his sense of humour throughout the process and was a pleasure to work with.
Nicola Horton - Principal, Corporate Finance at Kingston Smith