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Pandemic Perspectives interview series

A series of fascinating informal chats with senior finance leaders working in organisations that have been impacted in different ways by the COVID-19 pandemic, sharing their reflections and unique perspectives on how they, and their organisations, have reacted to the unfolding crisis.

Parkmead Group plc, Ryan Stroulger CFO & Executive Director

With the cost of energy impacting significantly on businesses and homes in Scotland, it’s worth understanding more about the energy market and we are delighted to be joined by Ryan Stroulger, CFO at Parkmead Plc, an active producer and supplier of energy through its gas and renewable businesses. Recorded on 6 April 2022.

ACS Clothing Ltd, Andrew Rough CFO

ACS is the largest clothing rental and renewal facility in the UK. It is an enabler of the fashion industry’s circular economy by providing third party and reverse logistics sustainably. We hear from Andrew as he reflects on the challenges the organisation and industry has faced. How they have adapted to the new ways of working and how the fashion industry and markets are evolving to embrace a long-term sustainability. Recorded on 20 October 2021.

Newton Steel Framing, Richard Webb

We hear Richard’s reflections on the challenges the business and industry are facing. What’s impacting projects and what changes he’d like to see in the future, and how the construction sector and markets are adapting and coping with the current economic climate. Recorded on 7 October 2021.

Scotland’s tourism and hospitality industry, Clare Beck, Riddell Graham, Averil Wilson

An informal chat with Clare Beck - Heineken, Riddell Graham - VisitScotland, Averil Wilson - Apex Hotels.  As parts of the hospitality sector begin to reopen in Scotland, we look at the impact of lockdowns and restrictions on the sector and explore what comes next. Recorded on 29 July 2021.

National Trust in Scotland, Katerina Brown

An informal chat with Katerina Brown, newly appointed CFO at National Trust in Scotland about the challenges the organisation has faced, covering property, hospitality, and tourism sectors. How the organisation has had to adapt, on new skills and Katerina’s thoughts in the key priorities for recovery and the future. Recorded on 8 July 2021.

Claire Middlebrook, Middlebrooks Business Recovery and Advice

An informal chat with Claire Middlebrook, Managing Director of Middlebrooks Business Recovery and Advice about the challenges, the warning signs and her own thoughts on returning to the office, recovery and beyond. Recorded on 19 May 2021

Marston's, Ralph Findlay

Your chance to find out more about how the Covid-19 pandemic has impacted the hospitality sector, from Ralph Findlay, the CEO of large hospitality business Marston’s plc. 11 May 2021.

Lumify Energy, Travis and Freccia Benn

Interview with co-founders Travis and Freccia Benn who talk about their sustainability-specialist accounting practice’s experiences of the pandemic, and how they make a difference in the renewable energy industry. 29 April 2021.

Caroline Swan, S&D Properties Group

An informal chat with Caroline Swan, Managing Director of S&D Properties Group, Caroline's role covers all aspects of SME management within commercial and residential property sectors. Recorded on 28 April 2021

Robert Brady, Elite Performance Coach, Iceberg Digital

Robert Brady, Elite Performance Coach, Iceberg Digital, will discuss the affect the COVID-19 pandemic has had on the Estate Agency business. Recorded on 20th April 2021.

Deloitte, Steve Williams

An informal chat with Steve Williams, Deloitte on how the financial services sector in Scotland has been impacted by the pandemic. Recorded on 1 April 2021.

Micronclean, Robert Parker

An informal chat with Robert Parker, Microclean. An inspiring local story of this business’s pivotal role within the COVID-19 vaccine and healthcare supply chains. 24 March 2021.

FW Capital, Gary Guest

An informal interview with Gary Guest of FW Capital.  Hear about the trials and tribulations of being a lender to SMEs during a pandemic and how the funding landscape is changing. Recorded on 9 March 2021.

OnGen, Chris Trigg

An informal chat with Chris Trigg, Managing Director, OnGen. In this ICAEW Scotland 'pandemic perspectives' interview we hear about the challenges, opportunities and how things are looking in the future for this Scottish based tech company. Recorded on 24 February 2021

2022 Commonwealth Games Organising Committee, David Grady

Join the ICAEW Birmingham and West Midlands district society for a fascinating informal chat with ICAEW Chartered Accountant and Chief Financial Officer (CFO), David Grady, of the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games Organising Committee. The session will feature your chance to get involved in the interview, by asking your questions of our speaker. 12 February 2021.

Joanna Worby, Brachers LLP

Joanna Worby, Managing Partner of Kent based law firm Brachers LLP, discusses the impact the coronavirus has had on the practice and their clients. Recorded on 2 February 2021.

Graeme Cumming, V&A Dundee

Re-opening in August 2020 post lockdown, V&A Dundee has amended operations to ensure the safety of visitors and staff alike. This includes reduced capacities, advance booking slots, physical distancing and a visibly enhanced cleaning regime. In this ICAEW Scotland 'pandemic perspectives' discussion we speak to Chief Operating Officer, Graeme Cumming about the challenges they have faced, the road to reopening and what lies ahead.  Recorded on 17 December 2020.

Clive Stevens, Chair of the Turner Contemporary Margate

This session with Clive Stevens, focuses on how the gallery has coped during the pandemic and the arts in general. Recorded on 11 December 2020.

Craig Mackinlay, MP for South Thanet

Craig Mackinlay, ICAEW Member and MP for South Thanet, discusses the coronavirus restrictions, its impact on the local economy and the UK's future relationship with the EU. Craig spoke about how his experience working as a Chartered Accountant has proved very useful to him in his role as an MP, particularly in his work as a member of the Public Accounts Committee. Recorded on 27 November 2020.

Scotmid, John Dalley

Scotmid is a co-operative business, it has a different business model combining the benefits and challenges of a co-operative model with the underlying drivers to run a successful business – but where success will be defined in broader terms (including impact on the community). With a diverse range of businesses, some seeing strong levels of business and some impacted significantly over the last few months, John Dalley, CFO, has an interesting story to tell. Recorded 4 November 2020.

Naked Wines, Helen Mahood

Helen Mahood, Director of Financial Planning & Analysis at Naked Wines PLC talks about how Naked Wines have responded to the pandemic, including the steps that they took to ensure that their existing customers continued to receive their products even when online demand reached a high. Recorded on 27 November 2020.

Drax Power, Tom Baker

An informal chat with Tom Baker, Group Financial Controller, Drax Power, who discusses the effect of Covid-19 on the industry and Drax's plans to be carbon negative by 2030. Recorded 20 October 2020.

Eden Project, David Harland

An informal chat with David Harland, CEO of Cornwall's best known tourist attraction and its development arm Eden Project International Ltd. David discusses how closure followed by low visitor numbers led to huge losses and staff redundancies. However, the last couple of months have been more positive and they are now setting up the ice rink ready for the Christmas season, albeit with smaller numbers to ensure they are Covid secure.  Recorded 16 October 2020.

Loughborough University, Andy Stephens

An informal chat with Director of Finance at Loughborough University, Andy Stephens FCA, as he describes the experiences of this top 5 UK university (Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2020; Times Higher Education 'Table of Tables' 2020) during the COVID-19 pandemic. Recorded 15 October 2020.

Riverford Organic Farmers, Andy Boteler

An informal chat with Andy Boteler, Director of Finance at Riverford Organic Farmers who discusses what measures they were forced to put in place to cope with the huge increase in demand during lockdown, how office-based staff moved to remote working and their plans going forward to ensure they maintain resilience, increase investment to expand capacity and delivery capabilities and deliver on it's environmental priorities. Recorded on 2 October 2020.

Orbital marine power, Chris Milne

Orbital Marine Power is an innovative Scottish engineering company at the forefront of tidal technology and a world leading developer of floating tidal stream turbines. In this pandemic perspectives interview we hear from Chris Milne, CFO, about how the crisis has impacted the developing renewables sector as he explores everything from the initial slow down to supporting their supply chain and being part of the green recovery. Recorded 2 October 2020.

Raleigh UK

An informal interview with Stuart Atkins, Financial Director of Nottingham's historic cycling brand, Raleigh UK, delving into issues of supply and demand during the pandemic, the breadth of Stuart's role as FD and the opportunities for technology adoption within businesses. This session is chaired by George Acquah of Rolls-Royce. Recorded 29 September 2020

Lakeland Limited, Paul Lewis

An informal interview with Paul Lewis, CFO at Lakeland Limited - a family-owned business famed for its kitchenware, solutions for home, garden and seasonal items. Hear how the business is adapting to the current market forces. Recorded 30 September 2020.

York Racecourse, Chris Ward

An informal chat with Chris Ward, Head of Finance, York Racecourse on the impact of the pandemic on the racecourse and the wider sporting events industry. Recorded 25 September 2020.

Suffolk Agricultural Association, Phillip Ainsworth

Phillip Ainsworth, the CEO of the Suffolk Agricultural Association talks about the cancellation of The Suffolk Show and the implications of owning an events business and a charity during the pandemic. He goes on to speak about how they are running events now and what the future might hold for them. Recorded on 29 September 2020.

Gol Centres & Newport Live, Rhys Boore and Martyn Seaward

The founder and owner of Gol Centres (Wales), Rhys Boore and Newport Live's Finance Director Martyn Seaward, talk about the effect of the pandemic from a sport and leisure perspective.  In an interview with Martin Warren, they give their overview of the pandemic so far and the economic impact felt by the region's sports industry. Recorded 23 September 2020.

Gymshark, Philip Daw and Steve Hewitt

Following its positive performance and investment success during the pandemic period, ICAEW Birmingham and West Midlands caught up with Philip Daw (CFO) and Steve Hewitt (CEO) of Solihull-headquartered billion-dollar valued 'unicorn' leisure clothing and accessories manufacturer and retailer, Gymshark. This session is chaired by Catherine (Cat) Kelly of Cooper Parry. Recorded 21 September 2020.

The Chaplin Group, David Chaplin

David Chaplin, the owner of The Gonville Hotel, Cambridge, The Maids Head Hotel, Norwich and The Ship Hotel, Brancaster talks about the effect that the pandemic has had on the hospitality industry. He gives an overview of how the Government's support measures - including Eat Out To Help Out - have assisted and talks about the other measures that he has put into his hotel group to help keep customers safe, including doing away with cash. Recorded on 15 September 2020.

Ian Macleod Distillers, Mike Younger

In this pandemic perspecitives discussion we will hear from Mike Younger, Finance Director at Ian Macleod Distillers (owners of Glengoyne, Tamdhu, and Rosebank single malts, plus Edinburgh Gin) about the challenges they have faced and thoughts on recovery. Recorded 15 September 2020.

PD Ports, Jon Armstrong

Jon Armstrong head of Operational Finance at PD Ports is interviewed by Keith Proudfoot on how the port in Middlesbrough adapted and remained operational during the pandemic. Recorded 8 September 2020.

British Steel, Tom Mather

Thomas Mather Group Financial Controller at British Steel based in Scunthorpe gives an insight into how the pandemic has affected the steel industry, both from a UK and global perspective. Recorded 4 September 2020.

Imperial College London, Andy Roland-Price

Angus Farr, LSCA Business Board chair interviews Andy Roland-Price, Group Financial Controller at Imperial College London who gives insight into Imperial's response to the pandemic and the search for a vaccine, and how they have been managing the uncertainty around student numbers for the new academic year. Recorded 2 September 2020.

Biorbyt & the University of Cambridge, Qun Yang and Professor Chris Lowe

The founder of Biorbyt Qun Yang and Emeritus Professor of Biotechnology at the University of Cambridge, Professor Chris Lowe, talk about the effect of the pandemic from a scientific perspective. They give the global overview of the pandemic so far and the economic impact talking about antibodies, testing, modelling, treatments and the global response. Recorded 1 September 2020.

Tyne Theatre & Opera House, Keith Proudfoot

Keith Proudfoot, Finance Director of Tyne Theatre & Opera House talks to Chris Soan, Northern Society Deputy President on the impact of COVID-19 in the arts sector. From closing, to making use of the government support schemes and the impact of the cancellation of panto. Recorded 1September 2020.

University of Dundee, Carol Prokopyszyn

Carol Prokopyszyn, Director of Finance at University of Dundee, giving her perspective on the pandemic, and how the University has been impacted in different ways by the crisis. Recorded 27 August 2020.

Chester Zoo, Liz Carnie

Liz Carnie, Director of Finance at Chester Zoo was interviewed by Andrew Lovelady Past President of the Liverpool Society of Chartered Accountants on how the Zoo has coped in the pandemic and with a view to the recovery. Recorded 26 August 2020.

Deliveroo, Joanna Hacking

Deliveroo's Finance Director Jo Hacking speaks about the effect of the pandemic on the takeaway meals market, especially on a business such as Deliveroo that is reliant on restaurants, many of which were closed. Hear about how Deliveroo started delivering basic groceries, dark kitchens and the gig economy. Recorded 18 August 2020.

Ultimate Finance, Josh Levy

Description to go before video: Josh Levy, CEO of Ultimate Finance, is interviewed by London Business Board Member Angus Farr, on how their business has adapted their model during the recent pandemic - including how they ensure vital funding support continues to flow seamlessly to SMEs. Recorded 17 August 2020.

Venator, Stephen Ibbotson

Stephen Ibbotson is interviewed by Keith Proudfoot, Northern Society President on how the multi-national chemical company has coped through the pandemic. Recorded 11 August 2020.

Greggs plc, Richard Hutton

Keith Proudfoot, Northern Society President talks to Richard Hutton on how COVID-19 has affected the ‘food to go’ retailer. From loans to the introduction of the click & collect App. Recorded 4 August 2020.

Cambridge Building Society, Peter Burrows

Cambridge Building Society’s Chief Executive Peter Burrows speaks about the effext of the pandemic on the Financial Services sector in the light of the ultra low investment environment. He explains how the Building Society has transformed itself, the operation impacts and what the effect has been on both customers and the UK housing market. Recorded 4 August 2020.

East of England Co-Op, Doug Field

Doug Field, CEO of the East of England Co=Op, talks about feeding the nation through the pandemic from the initial panic buying through to reduced football and higher basket spend together with the measures to keep staff safe and customers safely shopping. In his capacity as Chair of New Anglia LEP (covering Norfolk and Suffolk) he goes on to talk about the economic impact on the area and how they are helping businesses to recover, survive and hopefully thrive. Recorded 21 July 2020.

Metnor Construction, Adam Langman

Adam Langman, Finance Director of Metnor Construction talks to Keith Proudfoot, Northern Society President on the impact of COVID-19 on the industry. From closing sites to making use of the government support schemes to keep the business going. Recorded 21 July 2020.

Addenbrookes Hospital, Lore Lippmann

Lore Lippmann, Associate Director of Financial Management for Cambridge University Hospitals talks about working for the NHS during a critical time. Lore speaks about the changes that the Cambridge University hospitals have had to make and the work they did to help to flatten the curve whilst the virus was at its peak. Recorded 7July 2020.

AstraZeneca, Gemma Yuill

Gemma Yuill, Senior Director of Financial Reporting speaks about the work of AstraZeneca during the crisis in terms of their agreement with Oxford University to help produce a vaccine for COVID-19 and also the challenges facing a large pharmaceutical company at a time of crisis. Recorded 23 June 2020.

BAE Systems, David Green

A fascinating interview with David Green of BAE Systems discussing the impact of the pandemic on the global giant from his own perspective.