Outstanding finance leaders on shortlist for Northern FD Awards

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The shortlist for the Northern Finance Director Awards, which recognise the outstanding contribution of finance leaders to the Northern Powerhouse’s estimated £412bn economy, has been announced.

Spanning 14 categories, the awards sponsored by international business advisers Grant Thornton UK LLP, global law firm Squire Patton Boggs and leading recruitment firm Page Group, pay tribute to the enterprise, leadership, resilience, social impact and all-round excellence of the financial directors and chief financial officers in Northern businesses over the past 12 months.

The tumultuous nature of the past year makes these awards more significant, with many finance directors managing furlough, strained investor relationships and restricted cash flow.

Those FDs, who helped steer their businesses through the turbulent waters of the pandemic with particular skill will be recognised with the new COVID-19 Pandemic Response Excellence award, while a Diversity and Inclusion Award has also been added to the programme this year, reflecting the need to encourage and champion diversity in Northern boardrooms.

The finalists for each category are as follows:

Best Northern Finance Director of a Limited Company up to £25 million, category sponsored by The FD Centre

  • Jonathan Blythe, Bawtry Carbon Ltd
  • Martin Elliott, Linley & Simpson (The Lomond Group)
  • Anders Liljendahl, RAM Tracking
  • Gareth Lloyd, Moda Furnishings Ltd
  • David Thornton, Tracsis plc

Best Northern Finance Director of a Limited Company of £25 million – £100 million

  • Sadie Alton, Infinity Works Consulting Ltd
  • Robert Atkin, PFF Packaging Group Ltd
  • Martin Hargreaves, Victoria Plum Ltd
  • Andrew Lightowler, thebigword Group Ltd
  • David Sadler, Global Autocare Ltd
  • Clair Scott, Richard Wellock and Sons Ltd

Best Northern Finance Director of a Limited Company over £100 million

  • Paul Cogan, Bettys and Taylors Group
  • Andrew Gale, EVO Business Supplies Ltd
  • Ross Faith, E.H. Booth & Co Ltd
  • Mark Pownall, CF Booth Ltd
  • Craig Tomkinson, 2 Sisters Food Group

Best Northern Finance Director of a Listed Company

  • Jayne Cottam, Assura PLC
  • Claire Dickinson, AES Engineering Ltd
  • Mike Iddon, Pets at Home PLC
  • Septima Maguire, Benchmark Holdings PLC

Best Northern Finance Director of a Private Equity-backed Company

  • Jonathan Blythe, Bawtry Carbon Ltd
  • Martin Elliott, Linley & Simpson (The Lomond Group)
  • Paul Gibson, Zyro Fisher
  • Iain Jamieson, Fairstone Group Ltd
  • Jocelyn Morgan, Clubhouse Golf
  • Simon Owers, International Leisure Group
  • Rich Winsland, Tactus Group

Best Northern Finance Director of a Global Company (HQ in the North (Subsidiary))

  • Claire Dickinson, AES Engineering Ltd
  • Mark Horsey, TransUnion
  • Septima Maguire, Benchmark Holdings PLC
  • Ria Murphy, Fanatics (International) Ltd

Northern Finance Director of the Year 2021 – Growth/Scale Up

  • Colin Boyle, 2M Group Ltd
  • Martin Elliott, Linley & Simpson (The Lomond Group)
  • David Goulden, APS Group
  • Leigh Manton, SYNETIQ Ltd
  • Jocelyn Morgan, Clubhouse Golf
  • Rich Winsland, Tactus Group

Northern Finance Director of the Year 2021 – Innovation

  • Susan Allan, Willerby Group Ltd
  • Robert Atkin, PFF Packaging Group Ltd
  • Tim Knockton, Arc Inspirations Ltd
  • Gareth Lloyd, Moda Furnishings Ltd
  • Clair Scott, Richard Wellock and Sons Ltd

Northern Finance Director of the Year 2021 – Leadership

  • Paul Cogan, Bettys and Taylors Group
  • Jayne Cottam, Assura PLC
  • Ross Faith, E.H. Booth & Co Ltd
  • David Goulden, APS Group
  • Craig Tomkinson, 2 Sisters Food Group

Northern Finance Director of the Year 2021 – One to Watch

  • Jonathan Blythe, Bawtry Carbon Ltd
  • Christina Geary, BJSS
  • Marc Jones, Clifton Trade Bathrooms Ltd
  • Matthew Jowett, Sigmat Ltd
  • Clair Scott, Richard Wellock and Sons Ltd
  • Tom Shanks, Blueline Group

Northern Finance Director of the Year 2021 – Turnaround

  • Jonathan Blythe, Bawtry Carbon Ltd
  • James Downey, LNER (London North Eastern Railway) Ltd
  • Martin Hargreaves, Victoria Plum Ltd
  • Septima Maguire, Benchmark Holdings PLC
  • Ben Mitchell, Yodel

Northern Finance Director of the Year 2021 – Deal of the Year

  • Joanne Cowl, ABI (UK) Ltd
  • Martin Elliott, Linley & Simpson (The Lomond Group)
  • Iain Jamieson, Fairstone Group Ltd
  • Zoe Kirby, InXpress Global Ltd
  • Anders Liljendahl, RAM Tracking
  • Jocelyn Morgan, Clubhouse Golf
  • David Sadler, Global Autocare Ltd
  • Darren Woods, Freedom Fibre Ltd

The winners of the 2021 Celebrating Excellence Awards for Diversity and Inclusion and Covid-19 Pandemic Response will be announced at our Northern FD Awards dinner on October 7.

Emma Davies, partner at Grant Thornton in Yorkshire said: “Our independent panel of judges have delivered an outstanding shortlist of talented CFOs and FDs.

“Given the events of the last year, many of the finance directors on our shortlist have gone above and beyond the call of duty to play an integral role in enabling their businesses to pivot, innovate, find new markets, raise finance and acquire. In many cases they have made sacrifices to protect their colleagues’ positions.”

“The role of finance directors in value creation is so much more challenging, diverse and rewarding than it has ever been, which is why these awards are so important to acknowledge the enterprise, leadership, resilience, social impact and all-round excellence of the financial directors and chief financial officers in Northern businesses over the past 12 months. They will also showcase some truly inspirational stories of agility, compassion, innovation and, of course, that most natural quality, Northern grit!”

Hannah Kendrick, corporate partner, Leeds at Squire Patton Boggs said: “Finance directors have battled through an incredibly difficult and unforeseeable year, demonstrating commendable leadership and stewardship in steering their respective businesses to safety, and in many cases securing unprecedented growth.

“This year’s shortlist endorses finance directors across a diverse array of sectors that are bolstering the Northern economy and contributing to the post-pandemic recovery.

“Needless to say, there has never been a more appropriate or deserved time to celebrate the finance leaders of the North.

“We are in awe of the talented line-up of nominees this year, and there is no doubt that each and every finalist is truly deserving of their place on the Power List. We wish a heartfelt congratulations to all of the winners when we announce them in the autumn.”

John Halton, associate partner, Page Executive added: “To have had the privilege to hear the experiences and stories of the finance directors across the region has been fascinating and, in reality, confirmed what we already knew – that there is some
exceptional finance talent in the North of England helping to deliver some great results and performances for the businesses and people they work with.

“Page Group has been recruiting accountants in the region for almost 40 years, so it seems
overdue, but also a proud moment for us to be able to play a part in recognising the efforts and achievements of some of the region’s finest finance leaders.”

You can find the latest copy of the Northern FD Powerlist here.

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