Day One - 15th May 2019


Breakfast Briefing Networking and Registration


Breakfast Briefing
Rising to Challenges and Excelling as a Private Equity-backed CFO/FD

  • Planning key career moves
  • Building crucial relationships with your CEO, board and finance team
  • Managing expectations and identifying value and key risks
  • Optimising costs and spending
  • Planning and managing an exit process

Edward Knighton, Chief Financial Officer, YO! Sushi


Networking and Registration


Chair’s opening remarks


Keynote Panel
Investing in Innovation – Hear from Front-Runners of SME Tech-Usage

  • Where to focus your tech-investments – from business development to upgrading finance function processes
  • Using tech innovation to your advantage in a limited resource environment
  • Streamlining processes and driving business transformation through tech
  • Debating the impact of digital transformation on management structures
  • Where will tech take your business and how: sharing success-stories and lessons learn

Thomas Baumgartner, Finance Director, voestalpine Metsec

Polly Gardiner, Finance Director, Vita Mojo International


Case Study – National Merchant Buying Society
Challenge and Opportunity: NMBS’ Journey to RPA Innovation

  • Action and reaction: rethinking processes in the wake of a supply set-back and thriving in the process
  • Turning forced change into real, transferable marketplace innovation
  • Understanding RPA and how it can be used to streamline processes
  • Lessons learnt

Julie Langford, Finance & Operations Director, National Merchant Buying Society


Networking and Coffee Break

A chance for FDs’ and CFOs to chat to the UKs leading tech providers over tea and coffee, in a casual networking environment.


Panel Discussion

Keeping up with Digital Marketing and CRM Software Innovation

  • How to intelligently invest in your marketing strategy
  • Exploring options of marketing automation and CRM
  • How to best identify consumer needs and allocate budget accordingly
  • Following conversion rates and recognising “hot spots”
  • Embracing social media marketing and making it work for your company

Daniel Egan-Sheath, Finance Director, Gem Scientific

John Hammond, Finance Director, East Coast Concepts




Out of the Box Speaker
Weathering the Storm– Leadership and Teamwork in Tumultuous Times

  • Coping with uncertainty and maintaining focus in a changing environment
  • Maintaining stability in the face of adversity and taking the right risks
  • Consolidating leadership and teamwork to achieve maximum success

Alan Chambers MBE, Expedition Leader, Author and Former Royal Marine


Talking Tables

  • Managing Regulatory Compliance – GDPR and Beyond
  • Moving on from Brexit Disruption
  • Approaches to Cyber Security
  • Cash Flow Management for Corporate Travel

Networking Break


Commentary Panel
Managing M&A – Finding the Best Option for your Business

  • Due diligence – Identifying associated risks and readying your firm
  • Negotiating seller/buyer value expectations and collating financial data
  • Managing the transaction process without disrupting the firm
  • Observing big-scale mergers and sharing lessons learned

This panel will include the traditional question format to start with, before transitioning into a commentary section, where the panellists comment on 2-3 recent large scale, high-profile M&A transactions and discuss what SMEs can learn from observing the “big players” in this context.

David Bateman, Former Chief Financial Officer, Paperchase Products

Keith Boyce, Group Finance Director, Galago

Alan Burns, Chief Financial Officer, Photobox

Edward Knighton, Chief Financial Officer, YO! Sushi


Chair’s Closing Remarks and Introduction of The FDs’ Excellence Awards


The FDs’ Excellence Awards and Drinks Reception

Join us in celebrating some of the UK’s most innovative and ambitious Finance Directors and CFOs over a drink or two, as well as honouring the outstanding service providers which help businesses thrive.

Day Two - 16th May 2019


Chair’s Opening Remarks


Big Picture Panel

Setting yourself up for Fundraising Success to take your Business to the Next Level

  • Clarifying specific financial needs and capital allocation
  • Assessing traditional and newer funding alternatives and selecting the right one for your business
  • Optimise your financial data and projections to raise capital
  • From new products, to operational updates and new markets: where to invest capital for maximum success
  • Comparing and Contrasting Funding Methods: Sharing Lessons Learned

John Hammond, Finance Director, East Coast Concepts

Helen Gammons, Chief Operating Officer, Rotolight Group

Paul Rickard, Chief Financial Officer, Pocket Living

Camilla Taylor, Chief Financial Officer, whats3words


Keynote Address

Financing your Business in the New Turbulent World

  • What are the dimensions of the new political and economic turbulence?
  • How can you best cope with the turbulent economic climate and ensure your business stays successful?
  • How has the business financing landscape been changing?
  • What are the pros and cons of the new emerging alternative equity and borrowing providers?
  • How can you benefit from the various ways fund providers can aid your business from contacts to advice and beyond?
  • What are the implications of funding options for your business at different stages of growth

Mike Wright, Professor of Entrepreneurship and Director Center for Management Buyout Research, Imperial College Business School


Case Study

Lessons Learned from Expanding into New Markets

  • Considering your position and finding the right time for expansion
  • Choosing the best way to take you company global – Weighing up the options
  • How to market to new markets and find your footing abroad
  • Lessons learnt

Networking Break


Economic Outlook Panel

Growing your Business and Expanding into New Markets

  • Finding the funds and knowing where to focus them for successful expansion
  • Maintaining momentum and balancing national and international operations
  • Managing additional resources and responsibilities for yourself and your team
  • Managing the transition from single to multi-product operations
  • Upgrading processes to help manage business growth and deal with compliance issues
  • Negotiating cultural challenges and adjusting to new markets

Julian Ghinn, Former Finance Director, Scott Dunn

Rob Gorle, Finance Director, Perkbox

Roy Naismith, Chief Financial Officer, Hive Energy

Matthew Wells, Finance Director, Worldwide Recruitment Solutions


Case Study

On Board with Private Equity – 5 Keys to Success with PE Funding

  • How can you present your company as an unmissable investment?
  • Collaboration is key: working with your board for optimum results
  • Understanding changes to the FD role “after” Private Equity involvement
  • Utilising increased capital in the right places for maximum success
  • Readying your staff and managing the change



Case Study

Understanding Contracts – Mitigating the risks associated with winning, managing and losing them

  • Selecting tenders and managing the bidding process
  • Balancing varied aspects of the process – from financial risks and due diligence, to legal and compliance matters
  • Mobilising and managing the contract once it has been won
  • Preparing to say goodbye – managing the demobilisation process

Rod Meade, Finance Director, Carter Jonas


Industry Leader Panel

Managing the Commercial FD Role and Staying on Top of your Game

  • Understanding and debating the meaning of commercial finance leadership
  • Finding a balance – Consolidating strategic involvement with the core responsibilities of the FD role
  • Converting data into information and driving the decision-making process
  • Keeping up with change – Integrating new business models, skills, requirements and technology with your existing expertise
  • Coping with pressure and ensuring consistent performance

Will Edwards, Finance Director, LOVESPACE

Mat Hanson, Finance Director, Aquam

Andy Kay, Finance Director, Random42

Vanessa Worsley, Head of Finance, 4net Technologies


Expert Outlook

The Future of Recruitment

  • Adapting to a changing workforce and exploring new avenues of talent acquisition
  • Understanding the new generation of job seekers and how to employ them for maximum success
  • Contemplating the pros and cons of in-house training vs. experienced hires
  • Managing increased competition and salary expectations

Interactive Panel –

HR and the FD – an Interactive Discussion

  • Commenting on a changing work-force and the problems faced by the finance function when it comes to recruitment
  • Debating the skills shortage and identifying what is missing and why
  • Keeping staff motivated and ensuring consistent performance from old-timers and new talent alike
  • Where best to spend your money to optimise your workforce: training vs. recruitment

Brian Chester, Non-Executive Director, Viewsat

Sarah Hutton, Human Resources Director, Western Europe, The Coca-Cola Company


Chair’s Closing Remarks and end of conference

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