Interview with an FD: Andrea Zecchino
November 30th 2016 | Posted by phil scott
Andrea Zecchino, FD, Veeno
How did you get to where you are today?
After my graduation in business management in Rome (University LUISS), I started working as a consultant for Ernst & Young. This was a very challenging time for me and I learned so much in such a short amount of time.
I really wanted to live an experience abroad and after two years I moved to Manchester to work in the finance department of Kerry Group.
This role gave me the opportunity to start working with a lot of finance activities that were totally new for me. I started my qualification journey for CIMA.
Then, I met Nino and we started thinking and talking about our new ‘venture’, and eventually I left the position and decided to focus full-time on Veeno.
Thanks to the expertise of our family vineyard in Sicily, we brought our wines to Manchester and then we began to source the best quality appetisers from Italian producers. We opened our first Italian wine café in 2013 just off Albert Square in Manchester city centre. Within a year, we opened cafés in Leeds and York
Today, we have wine cafés in multiple locations across the UK, we are growing very fast and spreading the ‘aperitivo culture’ – which means nibbling and drinking in a relaxed and informal atmosphere with friends & family during the later afternoon and early evening.
What does your role entail?
As a finance director of a young business, the most challenging aspect is to put in place accounting systems and procedures without losing focus on the day-to-day business and the growth plan, that is the strategic priority at the moment.
We are continuously learning and trying to improve our finance processes with particular regards to waste, labour costs and cost of sales, that are key performance indicators in our industry.
What makes a great FD?
I believe that a successful FD needs to be as close as possible to the core of the business (in our case: the stores and the staff) to understand as much as possible, as opposed to just running reports and crunching numbers.
In our organisation, each function is connected very closely with other parts of the business and it’s important to be analytic but at the same time show commercial sense and strategic vision.
What do you enjoy outside of work?
One thing is for sure, I had more hobbies four years ago! I really enjoy playing football and I used to practice a lot of other sports, including tennis, skiing, cycling. I love off-road motorcycling, but I don’t have many opportunities to practice it here.
Who or what inspires you?
I love New York: its atmosphere makes me want to live there one day. It just inspires me.