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Financial Talent Executive Network (F-TEN®)

F-TEN® is a unique business leadership, mentoring and peer-to-peer network programme designed for ambitious senior finance professionals who are one or two career stages away from a group CFO or equivalent-level role. 175 delegates from 98 organisations have successfully taken part since the programme's inception in 2009.

Register your interest

Why join?

  • Increase your impact and influence with your team, the board and analysts.
  • Understand the roles, responsibilities and dynamics of the boardroom.
  • Communicate strategy and business news with confidence and credibility.
  • Conquer specific business issues with mentor and peer support.
  • Develop a well-rounded, authentic and inspiring leadership style.

Business leadership programme for aspiring CFOs

Key details

Location  London
Duration  9 months 
Next start date  18 April 2016
Cost  Register your interest for details.  

Programme overview

The Journey

A look at the programme elements:

Financial leadership 360° assessment (online)

Peers, direct reports, line managers and stakeholders provide you with feedback at the start and end of the programme, to help with setting objectives and measuring development.

Mentoring sessions x 8 (1.5 hours)

Obtain guidance from a 350 FTSE CEO/CFO or NED on any challenges you may be facing, benefitting from their wealth of experience and expertise.

Workshops x 4 (1 day)

Interactive sessions to learn and embed the skills and behaviour required to be credible as a CFO.

Peer learning groups x 6 (half day)

Facilitator-led, challenging forums to discuss and apply the learning from the workshops, drawing from both your personal leadership challenges and live business issues.

Networking events x 4 (evening)

Meet high profile NEDs, CEOs, CFOs and F-TEN® alumni sharing their different perspectives and ‘lessons learned’. Previous speakers include Sir Martin Broughton, Chairman of British Airways and Sir Michael Rake, Chairman of BT and Deputy Chair of Barclays.

Case Studies

Tom Hinton

Finance Director, Power Generation, Centrica (F-TEN® sponsor)

Tom Hinton

Q. Why do you think the programme is important for finance professionals?
A. It gives finance professionals an opportunity to build an excellent support network, allowing them to share the issues they face on a daily basis with like-minded individuals and gain independent advice and support. The independent challenge that you receive on the programme constantly forces you to rebalance your thinking and approach problems from a new, fresh perspective.

Q. Why did you sponsor Richard (McCord) to go on the programme?
A. I felt that Richard could really benefit from another voice in his ear that wasn’t his manager; ideally someone who Richard would respect, listen to and act upon. I also thought that Richard could do with a) sharing and solving his problems and b) learning how to coach others on their daily issues; these are experiences and skills that you hone very openly on the F-TEN® programme.

Q. What difference has the programme made to the business?
A. Richard has clearly become quite a different finance leader. He has really focused on building a high-performance team around him and taking a more ‘rounded’ approach to leadership: his personal values are beginning to show in the office and I can feel the team around him flourishing on being able to deliver and meet his exceptionally high expectations. This has enabled Richard’s finance team to provide outstanding finance support to the business. I think that without F-TEN® Richard’s leadership would not have changed as dramatically and subsequently the financial leadership that his team provides to a large, growing business would not be as pronounced.

Richard McCord

Finance Director, Power Generation, Centrica

Richard McCord

Q. What do you consider to be the most valuable part of the programme?
A. Firstly, the mentoring sessions. My mentor is a former FTSE 100 CFO, and I can talk to him confidentially about issues I am grappling with in the office. He has been there and done it himself, so he really understands where I’m coming from, and he can talk to me about how he dealt with similar challenges in his own career. I’m also enjoying sharing experiences with my peers. It is comforting to know that while we all work in different organisations, and have different roles, the core challenges we face are remarkably similar. In my peer learning group, we’ve been sparking ideas off each other which has been useful.

Q. How is the programme developing you as a leader?
A. Fundamentally, it is making me lift my head up from the day-to-day rigours of my job, to step back and think more about leadership and building a high performing team. With a busy role, it is all too easy to neglect this, but in fact this is the area I am now focusing on most.

Oliver Martin

Strategy & Commercial FD, Carphone Warehouse

I completed a four-month secondment in July 2013 as Finance Director of the Netherlands branch of Carphone Warehouse Group, which was my first experience of working for the Board and making group operational decisions. My time in the Netherlands put my leadership skills to the test. I was in a different work environment with a completely different culture. There was quite a bit of personal pressure too. 

F-TEN helped me to work on being able to build alternative leadership styles. The Dutch have a direct way of working. My English collaborative style was viewed as being indecisive and unclear. Therefore I had to develop different leadership skills – particularly as I had four months to impress. I feel more comfortable being more challenging and direct now.

Nicola Brenchley

Head of External Reporting, BT

Nicola Brenchley

The F-TEN programme has given me valuable insight into my key strengths and development areas, and the mentoring process in particular has provided greater clarity about my career goals and what I need to do to achieve them. The peer learning group and main events provide a fantastic opportunity for networking with fellow finance professionals and for sharing experiences, issues and challenges. It has been great to get insight into how my peers at other organisations have different approaches and ways of working to solve common issues.

Paul Gallacher

Director of Finance, Reporting and Control, RBS Insurance

Paul Gallacher

The greatest benefit for me to-date from the programme has been gained from my mentoring sessions. By focusing on the skills/approaches needed to address current work related issues in these sessions, I have been able to deal with them more confidently once back in the office. What has also been useful is to tailor each session to a particular issue that has cropped up from the last session so that it all feels very real-time.

Simon Martle

Group Financial Controller, London Stock Exchange Group

Simon Martle

The opportunity to have a mentor from a FTSE 100 company appealed hugely – someone from outside my organisation who has helped to challenge me in ways I wouldn’t otherwise receive. He has not just challenged me on work issues but also on the wider reasons why I do things. The whole experience has been hugely beneficial and I’d thoroughly recommend it.

Jason Snell

Commercial Finance Director, Everything Everywhere

Jason Snell

In particular, the opportunity to work with a mentor for 12 months allowed me to explore and assess my leadership capabilities and develop some key skills. The process forced an honest assessment that I wouldn't have taken without this opportunity and ultimately has made me more confident in my own style and capabilities.


Q. Do I have to be a member of ICAEW to attend one of the leadership programmes?
A. No, all of our leadership programmes are open to anybody looking to improve their leadership skills.

Q. Do I have to be an ACA?
A. No, we welcome delegates with any finance qualification or background.

Q. What if I can’t make all of the sessions?
A. We understand that our F-TEN® delegates are extremely busy individuals and it’s not always possible to move priorities around, but we advise our delegates to work out a way to attend as many sessions as possible in order to make the most of their investment in the F-TEN® programme.

Q. How is my mentor selected?
A. Participants and the ICAEW team select a mentor together, to match your development needs with the mentor's expertise.

F-TEN® mentors

  • Ben Stevens Ben Stevens Finance Director & Chief Information Officer, BAT

    Ben joined British American Tobacco in 1989 and has held positions including MD Pakistan, MD Russia, Head of Corporate Affairs and Development Director. He has extensive international experience in line management, M&A, strategy, IT, corporate affairs and project management.

  • Meen Adams Meen Adams Chief Accountant, Barclays

    Meen moved into her current role in March 2014, taking overall functional responsibility for Financial Control across Barclays. This includes responsibility for the Financial Reporting, Regulatory Reporting, and Policy, Governance and Control functional teams.

  • Lynn Mawdsley, CFO, Sodexo Lynn Mawdsley CFO, Sodexo

    Lynn has a wealth of commercial, strategic and financial expertise from a broad and diverse background with large, international companies ( > £200m to several billion turnover) including listed, public sector and private equity backed organisations and multiple industry sectors.

  • Tony Chanmugam, Group Finance Director, BT Group Tony Chanmugam Group Finance Director, BT Group

    Tony was appointed Group FD of BT Group in 2008 when he also joined the BT Group board. He was previously CFO of BT Retail and MD of BT Enterprises. In his career at BT Tony has established a strong reputation for cost transformation.

  • Alexander Filshie Alexander Filshie Group Chief Financial Officer, CLS Group

    Alexander has 24 years experience in international banking and regulated financial services. He joined CLS from American Express, where he was the international financial controller for Europe, Middle East, Asia, Canada and Latin America.

  • Philip Gregory Philip Gregory Non-Executive Chairman, Medicals Direct Group

    Also NED at Hansard Global. Philip qualified as a chartered accountant with KPMG and was formerly CEO of HSBC Insurance Brokers, European COO at Marsh and CEO at Tullett Prebon.

  • John Worth John Worth Interim Group CFO, Hiscox plc

    John was previously the finance director of Bunzl plc and is a member of ICAEW. He is a non-executive director of Compass Group PLC, a trustee of Voluntary Service Overseas and deputy chairman of the charity FareShare.

  • Hugh Watchorn Chief Financial Officer of Bonhams

    Hugh graduated from the London School of Economics in 1984, and began his training with Arthur Andersen in London. He became a Member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in 1989, and has gone on to apply his keenly commercial mind to fast-growing, entrepreneurial businesses across a wide range of sectors. He is particularly experienced in leading corporate finance projects such as taking companies to market, mergers and acquisitions, re-financing, and business turnarounds.