In this month’s Meet-A-Member, we get to know Andrew Hewett, Director of Finance at the University of Dundee and Past-President of IMS.
The HE sector is very open and good at sharing ideas, so last week I was at a meeting of the Scottish Universities Finance Directors Group in Stirling and this week I have been near London meeting with a group of FDs from similar universities. HE can be frustrating for finance professionals so meeting fellow FDs helps keep things in perspective and helps you realise that all universities are facing the same issues.
Varied and much more interesting than I ever imagined it would be. While I was at university I had a summer job with a five-partner firm in Norwich. I assumed I would probably spend most of my working life in that environment. However, I ended up working for a FTSE100 retail group for 17 year and was ultimately responsible for their international supply chain with offices in Hong Kong, Shanghai, Delhi, Warsaw and Pietermaritzburg. At one point I had one-million air miles with Virgin Atlantic. I have now been in the Higher Education sector for almost six years which is a complete and refreshing change.
In 1994 I was one of a team of four sent to Hong Kong to open a product sourcing office. Having to build a business from scratch in a foreign country without speaking the local language provided more challenges than you can imagine
Learn to speak Chinese. It would have helped me in every job I have had since 1985.
Seeing the business that we set up in Hong Kong in 1994 achieve £1bn turnover 20 years later – better still, it’s still employing some of the original local staff!
I joined IMS in 2014 to help build my network in Scotland when I moved here from London, and was IMS President for two years between 2015 and 2017.
Being President was fascinating as it allowed me to see more of the inner workings of ICAEW than most members get to see. It used to be an organisation I simply paid an annual subscription to. It’s now an organisation I am proud to be a member of.
A collection of short stories by Mark Twain.
By sailing competitively or cycling long distances. Neither is particularly relaxing but they clear my head of all other distractions.
I worry when I get to the top of tall buildings because I sometimes think that if I were to jump off I would be able to fly.
“Who Do You Think You Are?” – my father has traced our own family tree back several generations and it’s interesting to see other people’s family histories. There is always something dark lurking there.
Coffee in the morning, tea in the afternoon.
“Reputation, reputation, reputation! I have lost my reputation and what remains is bestial.” I remember it’s from Othello but I can’t remember who said it. Reputation is hugely important for any business. Just ask Bell Pottinger.
I loved living in Hong Kong for six years but London is my favourite city. It’s so easy to walk around and there are so many interesting alleyways, shops, pubs, people to look at and so much going on. When a man is tired of London he is tired of life.