Interview with an FD: Sam Hummadi
March 29th 2017 | Posted by phil scott
Sam Hummadi, FD, Imperial FX
How did you get where you are today?
Whilst I started my career in engineering, I realised early on that my passion wasn’t sitting behind a cubicle working on blueprints.
I remember being invited by the company’s CEO at the time to speak to our clients every now and then to confirm spec design details and related technical information relevant to the project at hand. That was when I realised I was not enjoying my career path and decided to switch to a career in the financial services industry that entailed dealing with numbers, money, and face-to-face contact with people.
Within two years I had changed my career direction and based my entire focus and effort on pursuing banking, finance, and investment and never looked back.
Over the past 18 years, I’ve worked in the financial services industry in the United States, Egypt, Gulf Cooperation Council member states and the UK.
Covering positions as a Financial Specialist at First Union Bank, Compliance Officer at E*TRADE Financial Corporation, Vice President at Riggs Bank, and Portfolio Manager at Continental Investment Group, before joining Imperial FX.
I am also a lecturer with Euromoney Learning Solutions based in London, conducting seminars and workshops in macroeconomics, capital markets, credit, asset management, corporate finance, SPVs, relationship management and risk management.
My previous role at Continental Investment Group involved the management of more than $1bn investment portfolio comprising marketable securities, infrastructure projects and distressed companies. My role soon evolved into CEO of Alpha Beta Industrial Group, a distressed holding company which employed over 370 employees with a turnover of $20m.
What does your role entail?
I joined Imperial FX with a view to re-structure the group of companies to better fit a modern, efficient, and transparent business model involving contraction and eventual closure of the existing retail branch network whilst simultaneously expanding our global agent network.
We succeeded in eliminating money-losing branches, controlling costs, and replaced them with overseas agents yielding significant benefits, financial and otherwise, ranging from extended global reach and brand recognition, reduction of financial and legal liability while maximizing profit potential.
I’m also involved in reducing and stabilising expenditure, optimising corporate governance, ring fencing assets, streamlining corporate communications and diversifying our revenue sources.
What makes a great FD?
In order to be a successful Financial Director, and a valued contributing team member, it’s essential that you are able to lead by example and set the standard for the rest of the business and industry. Having a clear channel of communication with employees is also important.
With regards to professional traits, I believe that Financial Directors should be adept at building a scalable business model through cost control and steady growth, structuring fail safe mechanisms to mitigate risk and be able to diversify revenue and income.
What do you enjoy outside of work?
Not much these days, with work load increasing and an ambitious online platform launch timeline. Free time is often spent with family, exercising, or reading
Who or what inspires you?
In terms of films I find I was inspired by Other People’s Money, Wall Street, Boiler Room, Margin Call. I also felt inspired when reading The Art of War by Sun Tzu which dates back to the 5th Century BC, which is regarded as a valued reference for business strategy guidance.