Interview with an FD: Neil Warman
April 27th 2016 | Posted by phil scott
Chief Financial Officer, The Nostrum Group
How did you get where you are today?
I qualified as a chartered accountant nearly 20 years ago and since then my background has included investment banking, trading and other senior financial services roles.
Having started my career at Andersen I went on to hold senior roles at Bear Stearns where I helped set up its lucrative European mortgage securitisation desk and then progressed to Bank of America. In 2008 I joined HML, Europe’s largest mortgage processing outsourcer, where I was Chief Commercial & Finance Officer, and Deputy Chief Executive producing complex pricing models to provide support to the CEO whilst managing the associated risk by handling all contractual negotiations.
I put a partnership in place with Nostrum whilst at HML so I knew the business and management well. Having spent most of my career in a corporate environment, I was keen to find a more dynamic and entrepreneurial SME business so when the time came to look for something new, the fit was perfect for both myself and Nostrum.
What does your role entail?
In addition to leading the finance function at Nostrum, I’m responsible for all head office functions including legal, risk and compliance, property and HR, and take an active role in helping shape the strategy of the company. My role is really all-encompassing and I’ve done whatever is needed, from working through complex legal and tax issues to ordering and overseeing an office move.
Alongside my role at Nostrum I’ve had the opportunity to be a board member of the York, North Yorkshire and East Riding Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) and chair the subcommittee responsible for the Growing Places Fund. Recently I was honoured to be appointed to the Regional Board of the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) for the Yorkshire & Humber region where I see a key part of my role as ensuring the FinTech industry in the region is appropriately represented.
I’ve also been fortunate enough to be awarded UK FD of the Year in the Growing Business category at the Business Finance Awards 2016, and represent the company at a number of other accolades including the Sunday Times Tech Track 100, and Deloitte 2015 Technology Fast 500.
What makes a great FD?
A good FD needs the ability to both challenge and support their CEO in equal measure, and be the custodian of the risk and return trade-off and understanding what the company needs to achieve this.
You need to be in the detail but be clear on the strategic direction with purpose and always strive to improve. Ultimately you can’t be precious, and must always be self-critical when required, recognising the achievements of your team along with your own.
What do you enjoy outside of work?
Football was a big part of my younger years having played for the England youth and University teams and I’m still an avid supporter of West Ham.
Wine, films, tennis, travel – I enjoy all forms of escapism and believe it’s important to have that balance outside of work, but my main priority is always spending time with my young family. Coming home to my two daughters and wife brings everything into perspective and drives me to be better.
Who or what inspires you?
My family always inspire me and I have always admired all top sportsmen and women. It takes dedication and hard work to reach to top and I admire anyone who overcomes adversity, faces challenges and never gives up. I also admire perfection in all forms, I just wish West Ham could reach those heights!