CFO Boardroom - Tuesday - Conference Day 1
11:30 am - 11:30 am CFO Case-Study: Maintaining “BAU” Through Periods of Business Transformation
In this session, hear from Susan Allan, award-winning finance director, about her personal experiences leading two
businesses through periods of intense change. Learn from her about her experience being part of a team which led
DFS to an IPO, and how, following this, she has prepped a business for sale to Private Equity backers, all while
minimising the impact to her business and employees.
• The challenges associated with IPOs and Sales, and, with the benefit of hindsight, what Susan would do differently
• Tips and tricks to keep the ship steady during transformation
• People and change – maintaining employee and business confidence through disruptive periods
12:00 pm - 12:30 pm Redefining The Value Proposition of Finance:
The role of finance has changed drastically in the last decade, and even in the past few years. Today’s finance
needs to be able to adapt to changing circumstances and to provide insight to the rest of the business, quickly
• Understand how you can adapt your operations to improve business value.
• Address the skills-gap within your teams, as they step out of the back office and into strategic partnership positions.
• Create the building blocks for success.
• Methods to innovate new values for the finance.
• Proactively, not reactively, respond to changing business needs.
12:30 pm - 1:00 pm CFO Case Study: “From Tanker to Speedboat…What can Established Organisations and Start-Ups Learn From Each Other?"
Hear from Sally Matthews, CFO of Gousto and former Finance Director of FTSE-listed organisations Unilever
and Tesco, about the key learning curves associated with moving from listed organisation to start-up.
• Lessons learned – getting finance up and going
• How Gousto is growing at 140%, and how finance is facilitating this growth
• How start-ups are recruiting for adaptability…the challenges and opportunities of finding the right people
in a start-up environment
1:00 pm - 1:30 pm A Five-Year Plan for Finance: Navigating Blockchain, AI, and Payments 2.0
“Hey Finance, what’s our blockchain plan?” If you haven’t gotten this question yet from your business leaders, it’s just a matter of time -- followed closely by employees asking if Artificial Intelligence is going to put them out of a job. Attend this session to find out five things you can do over the next five years to navigate blockchain, AI, and other waves of technological change coming your way. See how these innovations are going to really put Finance on the map. And be prepared to answer that pesky blockchain question.
1:25 pm - 1:55 pm Lunch
2:20 pm - 2:50 pm CFO Case Study - Finance Leadership when Dealing with a Major Incident
In Feb 2018, news of the Haiti sex scandal broke, leading to an immediate loss of supporters (c.7%) and a loss
of institutional funding for one of the UK’s most well established charities. One year on- what has been Finance’s
role in managing this crisis?
In this session, discover the critical role of Finance for financial stabilisation and recovery efforts. Understand the
key “lessons learned” from a finance perspective, and the importance of immediate action to ensure finance is
an integral part of future planning and decision-making.
Alison Hopkinson, Finance & IT Director, Oxfam
3:00 pm - 3:30 pm CFO Case Study: Stepping Outside of the Role of CFO: Setting A Business Up From Scratch and Dealing with International Expansion
Hear from Amelie Redon, Group CFO for S4M, about their rapid international expansion. Joining as employee
number 7 in 2015, she has led the organisation to 170 employees across offices in the US, Europe, Asia Pacific,
and Latin America. Learn from her:
• The challenges associated with being part of a successful start-up, strategic acquisitions, and maximizing
• International investment – how to maintain momentum and prepare 60% growth in their international markets
• How a technology start up handles finance technology – exploring AI and RPA tools from the start
• What can more established companies take away from the “tech start-up” mentality?
Amelie Redon, CFO, S4M (finalist for CFO of the Year)
3:30 pm - 4:00 pm CFO Transformation: From Guardian of “The Rubber Stamp” to a “Trusted Advisor”
Thankfully, long gone are the days when nothing left the building without the seal of approval from the FD.
As Finance leaders, we should be moving to a world where:
• Digital is the norm
• Data input is scarce
• Internal controls and segregation of duties is code
• Month end is measured in hours, not days
Neil Morling, Chief Financial Officer, Handley House
4:00 pm - 4:30 pm Stakeholder Discussions: Finance & IT
With 66% of UK CFOs saying that 2018 was a year they would substantially increase the amount of time they
spent managing technology, it is undeniable that Finance leaders will need to be more interactive with their
“technology” counterparts than ever before. However, there can often be a perception (be it myth or reality) that
Finance’s sole interaction with IT is to hold the purse strings.
In this session, led by Paula, Finance and IT Director of Wateraid, understand how she has challenged this perception
and earned the right to be a leader in an functional area which she does not have a background in. Hear how Wateraid
have successfully updated their systems to include various aspects of AI, and are now an organisation that is
benchmarked against within the sector, and how she navigated stakeholder relations through this transformation.
Paula Laird, Finance & IT Director, Wateraid