Interview with an FD; Alan Jones
October 29th 2014 | Posted by phil scott
FD, the Infinite Group
How did you get where you are today?
I have been a finance director for more than 30 years. I was the FD at Golley Slater, a national advertising and full-service marketing agency, and set up my own consultancy in 2008.
My specialty is helping business owners build value in their business from an FD point of view. I help them get to a saleable point, and I have expertise and experience in exit planning, acquisitions and business growth.
My success comes from being good at business and being good with people. I chose finance as the route into business, but the financial director’s role is much more than just finance.
A business needs to be able to trust their FD. Not only their personal integrity, but also their professional competence. The financial director’s role is a critical position as they will not only be the confidant of the CEO/MD and board of directors, but will also be expected to have a considerable strategic input.
I believe that I have provided strong leadership and change management. What has really helped me get to where I am today is that I have helped all the companies that I have worked with to be much more successful.
What does your job entail?
A financial director’s job is all encompassing. Starting with the strategy, setting objectives, holding people accountable, reporting KPI’s in a dashboard, the FD interacts with all the functions within a business, operations, delivery, marketing, sales, finance, HR, IT, admin to engage with the staff and empower them.
What makes a great FD?
A great FD is someone that understands the business and understands the people in the business.
The FD needs to understand the strengths and weaknesses of the business, how to make sure that it makes money, and how to engage with the people. Being good at the technical side of the business is a must, but a company also needs to have are good a good vision, strong leadership, happy customers, happy staff and good systems. When you have all of these you will have a successful business.
What do you enjoy outside of work?
I am a veteran amateur sportsman. I am chairman of Lisvane and Thornhill Old Gits football society and still play regularly. I also play badminton and enjoy watching rugby with my sons and walking with my wife and friends. I am an avid reader, particularly of business books.
Who or what inspires you?
There are numerous business and sports people that are at the top of their game that inspire me. The skill level and team togetherness of Team Europe in winning the Ryder cup was inspirational.
I am also inspired by seeing the weight being lifted off my client’s shoulders and helping them to build a valuable business that is scalable, sustainable and works without them.