Me

My name is Len Jones and I am located in  the North West of England.. I am a duly qualified FCA and I pitch my values around  integrity,honesty and consistency ( with a dash of humour). My CV is below

 

CV

Executive Summary –Principal achievements

Highly qualified and experienced Group FD to SME main boards and listed PLCs over the last twenty five years I have a wealth of commercial awareness and business partnering skills, most notably in the FMCG and Financial service sector. Strong strategic knowledge, I innovate and support key initiatives including personal skills in Fintech and Entrepreneurship. I have taken ownership in managing growth, change and cultural development as well as curating my own Business Partnering and FP&A capabilities. I have led or been part of a team with professional advisors ranging from major Flotations with Rights Issues, Mergers, Acquisitions and Disposals to communicating with HMRC and FCA on minor compliance issues. I lead and maintain Sustainable Finance Functions in good and bad economic climes. My skills have also been enhanced with Private Equity / Venture Capitalists entries and exits as well as valuable stakeholder management through raising significant capital. I have also overseen multi- site management and reporting of various business entities (400 UK wide). Experienced also in operations management, having ran subsidiary companies both home and abroad.

Fascinated by digital technology and what it can do

 

 

Professional  Experience

Since Dec 2017– Currently involved with Fintech start-ups around self/sovereign identity management of own data and customer journeys, also keeping basic accountancy and business partnering skills contemporary with interim work -recent roles have included Financial Services (Credit Unions), UPVC manufactured products, Extractive industries.

 

 

W R Davies-Group Finance and Admin Director   Turnover £120 +m                 May 2017-Dec 2017

Interim role in a company with multi site operations.

  • Building on prior experience my role encompassed stakeholder management and review of operational processes.
  • Oversaw review of finance function and centralised Head Office controls through Shared Service inititiatives, recruitment and restructuring operational processes.
  • Implemented transition of various legacy IT systems onto common platform throughout the Group and initiated Monthly exception reports and accountability structures .
  • Updated Reporting structures, KPI measures and busines analytics with operational personnel

 

    Practical Car and Van Rental Limited -group                                                                            Apr 2000 – April 2017

Group Finance Director and Company Secretary/Chief Financial Officer

Point of SaleTurnover -£40 million

Summary experience and achievements

Reviewed and reinforced the internal control and finance functions to enable key business activities to perform and add value to the Company. I have increased the capacity of the resources available over the last five years. I have recently sold 100% of the equity of this company, have also  closed or sold several operating units within the group and additionally started new lines of business and acquired, or looked to acquire, other firms. This group was an active buyer and seller of businesses and I also headed the new business development team.

 Key Achievements

 

  • Rationalised under-performing trade outlets, shutting down sites and re-allocating resources to more profitable locations.
  • Repatriated off-shore insurance division and significantly de-risked the balance sheet and exposure to large insurable losses. Shortened insurance supply chain and ensured security of supply of underwriting.
  • Negotiated significant long term supply chain contracts ( in excess of £1m per annum)
  • Re-negotiated credit lines with high street funders on asset based finance lines, managing the facilities against a backdrop of reduced credit markets and maintaining relationships and supply of credit with key partners. ( £14 m at it’s peak)
  • Sold part of the business to the local management and facilitated setting up the finance to achieve the MBO (was MD of this particular group). (100k sale on net asset basis)
  • Revised the capital structure of group, splitting the trading divisions into distinct and separate entities and introducing new KPIs and Balanced Scorecards to reflect and record the new structure. ( Net assets £6m)
  • Revised Point of Sale IT systems to ensure 350 remote locations reported accurately and on time to centralised accounting function at HO.
  • Recently and successfully undergone due diligence and negotiated sale and purchase agreements with new owners on behalf of existing Board. ( for entire share capital circa £3m)

 

 Key Responsibilities

Broadly

  • Take a broad perspective of what happens in the business, identifying synergies and opportunities for collaborations, developing quality solutions that maximise resources
  • Own and manage the financial forecast, setting direction so short and medium term targets are achieved and appropriate compliance and risk management is carried out
  • Provide challenge around cost control and support in managing any divergences from targets

 

Specifically

  • Maintain and upgrade EPOS (Bespoke) system and capabilities within Franchise Network and HO and compatibility with regulatory and business performance requirements.
  • Implement controls of IT systems within the organisation to monitor 160 franchise sites.
  • Review of staffing levels, finance and compliance needs and resource allocation on subsequent rationalisation.
  • Introduce working practices to upgrade existing MIS and reinforce basic accounting and administrative disciplines.
  • Innovate training programmes and arrange skilling and de-skilling as necessary and undertake training of staff to comply with regulatory changes.
  • Refinance method of operations to cope with seasonal fluctuations in working capital. Liaise with funders and manage credit lines.
  • Introduce and monitor Key Performance Indicators for customer service, distance selling and retail complaint handling.
  • Compliance duties with FCA, HMRC, Funders and usual statutory bodies.

 

Paramount PLC (listed on UKSE) -turnover £40 million                                       1992 – 1997

Finance Director/Company Secretary

Pub Company in secondary tied house market- 400 sites throughout North West England –

Estate value £80 million

Hall Livesey Brown (Chartered Accountants)                  1984 – 1993

Manager/Partner

Private practice with extensive portfolio of SMEs

Deloitte, Haskins & Sells(now pricewaterhousecoopers)                    1979 – 1984

Articled Clerk/Senior

First employment via Training contract and subsequent qualification.

 

Personal Traits

Learning and leadership style

I am an Activist learner and I am decisive, assertive and task driven. I am an outgoing, energetic extrovert with genuine concern for others. My style is inclusive and I use persuasion rather than control.  I can mediate where necessary and understand that conflict is sometimes appropriate but only after seeing both sides of the argument.

I have innovative tendencies and like working in a mentally stimulating environment. I like the work to be varied and I am keen to develop outside contacts.

I enjoy visionary thinking and take care not to become too isolated from other people and resistant to their valued contributions.

My leadership style is to be at the cutting edge of change whilst at the same time respecting the traditional habits within the underlying business processes, fully communicating whatever I do or propose doing by a series of targets/milestones along the way.

 

Additional Commercial Work

 

  • Direct negotiation of Compromise agreement for outgoing CEO, including chairing investigatory matters into whistle blowing allegations
  • Recruitment and selection of new CEO, employing National Head hunters
  • Interim FD role to fill in for incumbent who was on long term sickness and involved in recruitment of replacement
  • Arbitrated and solved formal group grievance against the Board
  • Chaired Finance and Risk Committees and participated in HR and IT sub committees
  • I have also been involved in various  pro bono projects with the Charity Commission and ICAEW ( see below)
  • I currently Chair the Association of MBAs which includes 14 Trustees from a business and academic background.
  • Currently advising companies on self managed  identities and blockchain technology

 

Pro Bono Work

Recent work with the charities (from a Treasurer/Trustee perspective) has included:

The Association of MBAs                           – Chairman-

see www.mbaworld.com

 

  • Reporting to Samaritans main HO and compiling business unit performance measures
  • Setting up accounting systems and liaising with funders in waste management business
  • Setting up new charity and liaising with solicitors and Charity Commission regarding memorandum and articles together with new constitution
  • Advising Credit Union on potential merger (this did not happen due to cultural difference)
  • Consultancy work on closure of a charity and merging with another, larger charity (Children with Tumours and Neuro)
  • Report in conjunction with Charity Commission’s overall strategic review of charities and general advice to AIDS related Charity in Liverpool (Sahir House)
  • Interim FD work for Association of MBAs whilst incumbent on long term sick leave.
  • Revisions to investment policies for charities
  • Mentored school teams in the annual BASE business competition for the ICAEW
  • Sit as SME representative with Financial Reporting council
  • Assessed as ‘fit and proper’ person for compliance duties in FCA regulated companies

 

Treasurer of several other charities over time ranging from Credit Unions to mental health Charities.

 

Qualifications

 

  • BA (Hons) Iii, Accounting and Financial Administration (UCNW Bangor)
  • Post Graduate Diploma in Personnel Administration (University of West England)
  • FCA (ICAEW) 1992
  • MBA 2010- (Cranfield University)
  • Diploma in Charity Accounting ( ICAEW) 2012
  • MSc Charity Accounting 2013- (Cass Business school)
  • Certificate in Fintech from Oxford Said Business School- 2018
  • BFB qualification -(ICAEW) June 2018

 

Other Interests- Background

 

  • Fully qualified Chartered Accountant       (FCA)
  • Obtained MBA in 2010 and MSc in 2013. Regularly attend and speak at educational events at all levels, involved with the ICAEW, Charity Commission and Business schools on various projects which have included “How Charities Evolve and Implement Strategy”
  • Mentoring of students on sponsored business competitions
  • Actively involved in many ICAEW initiatives
  •  ICAEW Finance and Management Faculty which publishes technical material to its members currently involved in Business Performance Measurement project (regularly blog and contribute to online discussion groups which includes editing material for inclusion into the monthly magazine).
  • Odd ( and I do mean Odd) lecture to MBA students on Finance

 

 

Social Media Presence

 

Website- www.lenejones.com

Blog   http://lenejones.com/category/blog/

Twitter https://twitter.com/Len151055

LinkedIn Len Jones –the thoughtful accountant

https://uk.linkedin.com/in/lenejones

 

YOU TUBE –

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Te-pVDXy_PU&feature=youtu.be

( the importance of sustainability)

Here is a formal lecture

https://youtu.be/iiNGbjBx5hA  ( last half hour so scroll through)

.
The Practical Group – Chief Financial Officer – Job Description

 

Accreditation: ICAEW, Bangor University, UWE, Cass Business School, Cranfield University