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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 board-level group CFO role.

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Why attend

  • 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  10 months 
Next start date  April 2015
Cost  Receive an Early Bird discount if you book before 31 December 2014. Register your interest for details.  

Programme details

Programme Overview

Over the duration of 10 months, the F-TEN® programme will challenge, inspire, and push you to your limits, as well as heighten your self-confidence, moulding you into a business leader. The programme is 10 months to ensure that participants have sufficient time to learn, reflect and apply their new wisdom and skills with encouragement from their mentor, fellow participants, and business sponsor. Participant numbers are limited to 30 so that each delegate is guaranteed a FTSE 350 CEO/CFO or NED as their personal mentor for the duration of the programme.

Financial leadership 360° assessment (online)

Participants complete ICAEW’s online assessment at the start of the programme. This provides feedback from peers, direct reports, line managers and stakeholders, and an external benchmark to help with objective setting for the programme. The 360° assessment is run again at the end of the programme to measure development and identify next steps.

Networking events x 4 (evening)

Speaker sessions where high profile NEDs, CEOs, CFOs and F-TEN® alumni share their different perspectives and ‘lessons learned’ while they have been leading a business at board level. Previous speakers include Sir Martin Broughton, Chairman of British Airways and Sir Michael Rake, Chairman of BT and Deputy Chair of Barclays.

Peer learning groups x 6 (half day)

Our greatest leadership learning comes from our own experience of life. Learning from others’ experience adds to our speed of development. This is the focus of the peer learning groups where we use real life experiences to help all the leaders in the room to lead better. Participants work with a facilitator in small peer groups to discuss and apply the learning from the workshops using both their personal leadership challenges and common strategic finance projects (e.g. offshoring) as case studies.

Mentoring sessions x 8 (1.5 hours)

Participants choose their preferred mentor or coach in partnership with the ICAEW team who help to match the development needs of the participant with the expertise of the mentor or coach. Delegates meet with their mentor during the programme to discuss any ad hoc challenges that they may be facing and can receive assistance with advice based on similar challenges the mentors may have also faced during their rise to the top. Mentors and coaches are allocated on a first come, first served basis.

Workshops x 4 (1 day)

Participants focus on fine-tuning and refreshing the skills needed to be credible in a boardroom environment. These sessions will give participants a chance to work on the key skills pertinent to finance leaders by facilitating small group discussions around mind-set and behaviour, and practising simple tips and tricks to help you build your confidence as a leader. All of the workshops and networking events are operated under Chatham house rules.

Case Studies

Get a real sense for the F-TEN® experience through a series of short interviews with some of our participants and their sponsors. Hear how the participants have progressed, the benefits of working with a FTSE mentor and how the F-TEN® network can support your long-term career development.

Richard McCord

Head of Finance, Centrica Energy Renewables

Richard McCord

Q. What did you expect from the programme?
A. I am in a phase of my career where I’m transitioning from manager to leader. I wanted the F-TEN® course to help me do this, and it is certainly living up to expectations.

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.

Q. How does it differ from other leadership/training programmes you have attended?
A. The different modules are all geared towards a common goal: becoming a better finance leader. Being finance oriented is a big bonus, as it focuses the leadership challenge in the sphere that I have chosen as a career.

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.

Jason Snell

Commercial Finance Director, Everything Everywhere

Jason Snell

Q. What has been the greatest benefit for you to date?
A. 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. How has the programme developed you as a leader?
A. The programme helped me in two main ways. Firstly, I had previously had a quite inward facing focus to professional relationships and development opportunities. The opportunity to meet a range of people from different industries widened my perspective of issues they faced and that in reality we all have similar obstacles to overcome and we all have fears and concerns in common – being able to discuss these was invaluable. Secondly, the way in which information was delivered in workshop sessions encouraged me to not just look at how I could utilise what I had learnt but helped me create a more questioning mindset in general. This has helped me to rise above some of the day-to-day challenges we face and focus on more holistic, permanent solutions to problems.

Q. What is your greatest achievement at work to date?
A. One of my greatest achievements to date is the creation of a high performing finance team following the merger of Orange and T-Mobile. Faced with multi-site, multi-system, them versus us challenges, as well as delivering our objectives, we have been able to bring together a team of 50 who have a single vision and aspire to perform at a high level.

Andrew Tempest

Group Reporting Manager, easyJet

Andrew Tempest

Q. How has the programme met your expectations?
A. F-TEN® exceeded my expectations, particularly the mentoring and peer learning groups. I think the reason I got a lot out of it was because I put a lot in.

Q. What has been the greatest benefit?
A. The programme helped me recognise that some of the challenges I face are not unique to me and my team. It was refreshing to hear that others have the same issues and it helped hearing their solutions.

Q. How has the programme changed your leadership style?
A. The programme made me think harder about the implications of what I do. In every situation you should think about both tactical and strategic responses and the programme helps develop your thinking about this. It is very important that you understand that being a manager is about doing things right and being a leader is about doing the right thing. The programme also really helped with people management and I now deal with tricky situations in a more effective way.

Sarah Rigby

Director of Finance Planning, Howden Joinery Group

Sarah Rigby

Q. Why did you participate in the F-TEN® programme?
A. I took the programme because I felt stuck in my role at the time, and was looking to understand what would make the difference and enable me to take a step up to a broader commercial role. I also wanted to broaden my perspective having been with my current organisation for around eight years.

Q. How has the programme met your expectations?
A. The programme has definitely achieved the aims I had, broadening my perspective, increasing my knowledge about leadership, communication and influencing, and also significantly boosting my confidence. It really highlighted for me that how we see ourselves, and how we come across to others, can be completely different, and you need to be aware of the effect you are having and check in with others.

Q. What have you gained from your F-TEN® experience?
A. The programme, and in particular my mentor, has helped me increase my contribution to the commercial performance of my division. Since the programme, I have led a successful implementation of a new forecast and demand planning system, now live and delivering benefits in service and stock control. This required leadership to overcome issues in the project and also overcome the fear factor among the planning team regarding change to their way of working.

Paul Gallacher

Director of Finance, Reporting and Control, RBS Insurance

Paul Gallacher

The F-TEN® programme is a great opportunity to share experiences not only with current chief executives and FDs who take part in the programme, but with other senior finance staff on the programme from different industries. So many people face or have faced the same issues that I’m currently seeing in my role and it is really useful learning about and sharing the different approaches that can be used to solve them.

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.

Nicola Brenchley

Head of External Reporting, BT

Nicola Brenchley

The F-TEN® programme has helped me to identify practical ways to flex my leadership style to address different challenges in each area of my role and to be a more effective leader. It’s also 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.

When you have been with an organisation for some time, you can become a bit insular. 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 or shared issues.

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.


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.

F-TEN® mentors

  • John Bason FD, Associated British Foods John Bason FD, Associated British Foods

    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.

  • 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.

  • Darra Comyn Darra Comyn Group Finance Director, Afren

    Darra was previously the Group FD for ITE Group plc and Expomedia Group Plc and in the oil industry as an analyst with Chevron Oil UK and Dragon Oil where he was Group FC and Company Secretary.

  • Andrew Cunningham Andrew Cunningham CEO, Grainger plc

    Andrew joined Grainger in 1996 as FD, becoming Deputy CEO in 2002 and CEO in 2009. He is a Fellow of both the ICAEW and the RICS and sits on the Policy Committee of the British Property Federation and the Cambridge University Land Economy Advisory Board.

  • mark-fryer Mark Fryer Group Finance Director, Dialight

    Mark was appointed Group Finance Director of Dialight in 2010. Prior to this he held the Group Finance and Business Development Director role with Manganese Bronze Holdings plc. Mark is a Chartered Accountant, having qualified with Ernst & Young in 1988.

  • 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.

  • Tim Harris Tim Harris Group CFO, Torus Insurance

    Tim joined Torus as Group CFO in May 2012. Previously, he held roles in Aviva including Deputy Group CFO and Chief Capital Officer, where he was responsible for leading the group capital team with specific responsibility for managing capital.

  • Adam Lawrence Adam Lawrence Chief Executive, The Royal Mint

    Adam qualified as a chartered accountant with PwC. From 1995, he held a number of senior positions with Catalent Pharmaceuticals, including Vice President Finance for the Sterile Technologies division. He joined The Royal Mint in 2008. Adam holds an MBA from Monash University in Australia.

  • Richard Meddings Richard Meddings Group FD of Standard Chartered plc

    Richard qualified as a chartered accountant with Price Waterhouse in 1983 and, prior to joining Standard Chartered, held a number of senior roles in the banking industry including at Hill Samuel and at Credit Suisse. He was Group Finance Director of Woolwich plc and Group Financial Controller of Barclays plc.

  • Steve Melcher Steve Melcher Mentor and Non-Executive Director

    Steve works with senior executives and directors to improve their leadership skills through interactive, reflective and personally challenging sessions. Steve has 25 years of experience operating at board level in the UK, the US, Europe and Asia. He serves as a NED for both Standard Life UK and Euler Hermes.

  • Paul Rayner Paul Rayner Group Finance Director

    Paul joined Mouchel in January 2013 as Group Finance Director. He was previously with Chemring Group PLC for 18 years in various roles; latterly as Group Finance Director from 1999 to 2012.

  • 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.

  • Rick Sturge Rick Sturge IBM Global Process Services, Europe

    Rick Sturge is Head of Financial Services at IBM's process outsourcing team in Europe, working with a range of organisations in both banking and insurance.

  • Adam Walker Adam Walker CFO of GKN Aerospace

    Adam Walker joined Touche Ross in 1989. Following his qualification as an ICAEW Chartered Accountant he specialised in corporate finance work.

  • Doug Webb Doug Webb CFO, MEGGITT

    Doug has held a number of senior international financial positions across a range of industries including defence, aerospace, engineering, technology and financial services. Most recently he was Chief Financial Officer at London Stock Exchange Group Plc, and prior to that, Chief Financial Officer at QinetiQ Group Plc.

  • John Worth John Worth Group Chief Financial Officer, Aspen

    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.