Finance directors will play vital role in guiding firms after Brexit

Finance directors in Yorkshire must make sure their businesses are fully prepared for the upheaval that will follow Brexit, whichever way Britain decides to leave the European Union.

FDs have a pivotal role to play in protecting the region’s public and private finances after the high-stakes divorce. Finance bosses are likely to play more of a strategic role against the backdrop of Brexit uncertainty.

Elaine Owen, senior vice president at Lockton Companies, said: “The conventional role of the FD in this Brexit transition climate has morphed into a far more strategic one as they are brought into negotiations with suppliers and customers alike.

“FDs need to be forward thinking, resilient and focused to keep businesses on track.”

The Yorkshire Finance Director Awards 2017 have been launched and will celebrate the talented individuals whose financial skills will be vital to the future fortunes of the region’s economic success.

The awards are being sponsored by accountancy and business advisory firm BDO LLP, insurance brokerage Lockton Companies, executive recruitment specialists VRS Executive, and law firm Walker Morris.

Ms Owen said: “Having been involved in the Yorkshire Finance Director Awards for the last three years the calibre of the FDs in the Yorkshire region has been extremely impressive and well up to the challenging post-Brexit landscape.”

The programme, now in its 15th year, is open to FDs working in limited companies, PLCs, private equity businesses and the public sector. The Yorkshire Post once again this year is media partner.

Cliff Sewell, managing director of VRS Executive and founder of the awards, said: “As always the role of the FD is ever changing and even becoming even more central in the strategic direction of the business.

“One key issue facing many of the region’s businesses is the challenge of Brexit and without doubt the FDs are taking a lead role in ensuring businesses are in strong positions for trading post Brexit.”

To enter or nominate, visit and follow the simple instructions. The winners will be announced at an awards ceremony at The Queens hotel in Leeds on October 11.

The keynote speaker will be announced soon. Labour MP Rachel Reeves was the keynote speaker at last year’s event. The former Shadow Secretary of State for Work and Pensions urged business and civic leaders to lobby Government to ensure Yorkshire gets the road, rail and energy networks it deserves.

At the event last year Allison Bainbridge, chief financial officer of VP Group, was named Best Finance Director of a PLC.

Jeroen Van Os was named Young Finance Director of the Year. Caroline Ackroyd, FD of Sky Betting and Gaming, Paul Bray, from Team 17, Colin Sorrar, FD of Lowell Group, Darren Fisher, from UK Coal and Daniel Woodwards, Seabrook Crisps, Paul Smith, YPO, Mike Richards, from Arran Isle and Jan Dobrucki, Wesco Aircraft, were also winners.

Awards are now in 15th year

The awards are now in their 15th year and have become established as the region’s leading awards in the finance community.

Richard Naish, who is heading the initiative from Walker Morris with Debbie Jackson, said: “Now in their 15th year, the awards have become firmly established as the region’s leading awards in the finance community.”

Paul Davies, audit partner at BDO LLP, said: “In addition to taking overall control of a company’s accounting function, today’s new breed of finance directors are being asked to provide leadership to the board’s finance and accounting strategy, as well as optimising the company’s financial perform-ance and strategic position.

“It’s important that we recognise and celebrate the value and knowledge that finance directors add to the organisations that they work for and how this all adds up for the economic performance of our region.”

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