Contemporary FD 2017: the wrap-up

23 Mar 2017

The second annual Contemporary FD event brought together 139 delegates, 19 speakers... and a raft of new ideas for navigating choppy waters ahead.   The thing about clichés, they say, is that they only become so by being true. And while it’s infuriating that every other business article or positioning paper these days begins, “the business world is changing fast and we face…

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Make your mark in 2017

22 Dec 2016

Rather than endlessly pore over the entrails of 2016 – a year many people will class as the worst in living memory for all sorts of reasons – we though now would be a time to look forward. One of the oldest clichés in the financial management book is that it’s hard to steer when you’re only using the rear view…

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Meet your new algorithmic overlords

13 Oct 2016

Artifical intelligence does not have such a great reputation in our culture. HAL 9000, Skynet, that big glowing cube thing in I, Robot… Let’s just say we humans have something of an inferiority complex about machines doing the thinking. But that’s not going to stop those machines coming for your finance function. In the words of tech blogger Vik Singh, “AI is…

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Sarah appears on CMS (Cameron Mckenna)‘s website this month in a featured article

17 Aug 2016

This month our spotlight article features Sarah Hunt who joined CMS back in 1989.  Sarah gives us the low down on her career so far and reveals her passion for helping young people into the world of business. When did you work at CMS (Cameron McKenna) and in what team? I joined what was then Cameron Markby Hewitt as a trainee in 1989 and qualified…

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The benefits of blindness

11 Aug 2016

What do Germany, Bangladesh, Norway, Namibia, Poland, Myanmar and the UK have in common? How about this group: the UK, Liberia, Switzerland, Lithuania, Brazil, South Korea, Chile, Malta, Croatia, Mautitius, Nepal, the Marshall Islands, Saint Lucia, Granada, The Bahamas, Taiwan and Austria? Are they potential trading blocs post-Brexit? No. Some list of Olympic achievements? Also topical, also wrong. No, the first list is…

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Getting a grip

27 Jun 2016

You really don’t need any more pontificating about Brexit. But sometimes a topic is so overwhelmingly part of the national conversation, it’s hard not to pitch in. So: what does the referendum vote mean for finance execs and growth businesses? Let’s start with the chatter. AccountancyAge did a poll and 45% of accountants say it’ll be a disaster for the profession. They’re wrong,…

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Cassandra calling

19 May 2016

Are we on the brink of some kind of economic meltdown? We’re seeing lots of indicators showing the UK, US, European and Chinese economies cooling off – and plenty of doomish commentators warning this might trigger a tipping point into some kind of collapse. Is this Cassandra – cursed by Apollo never to have her accurate forecasts believed – calling? Or are they just…

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The price people will pay

21 Apr 2016

In the 1st century BC, Publilius Syrus wrote: “Something is only worth what someone is willing to pay for it.” (Among other quotes apocryphally ascribed to him are “better late than never” and “a rolling stone gathers no moss.” Smart guy.) That’s a lesson on value that springs quickly to mind when I look at the current market for growing businesses. What prompted…

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A day to value

21 Mar 2016

The days of financial engineering are (mostly) behind us. Today, growth companies - whether backed by private equity or not - have to find, engineer, accelerate and communicate the value they are creating. And, as over 100 guests at The Contemporary FD event heard last week, the finance director has a key role in all those dimensions. "Finding a balance between control…

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All about the margins

29 Nov 2015

The secret to running a business in a crowded marketplace? The equation is simple: you either steal market share - usually by killing margins. Or you find something someone else has missed - meaning you learn to play in the margins. And that’s what The Gym, recently floated at a value of £250m, has done. And it might just be an…

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