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Life as an interim FD – part two

The ‘portfolio career’, whether classic project-based interim work, short-term cover, or part-time assignments, is becoming increasingly popular among senior finance executives. In this second part by Christian Doherty two more financial directors tell us why they went against the grain.

Chris Denham FCA was educated at Cambridge and worked at Smith & Williamson in audit and insolvency. He was FD at Jo Y Jo from 1992 until 2005, then started as a part-time FD.

I’m not so much the classic interim. I’m more of a part-time FD with a number of clients. I’ve got one client I’ve been handling since 2005, and they’re one day a week, which fits in with the others. The main role I’m currently in, I started as an interim for them after administrators insisted on having someone who knew what they were doing in the accounts department. When I started, I had left my previous employer. To be honest, it was getting a bit boring; I was doing the same thing every week and like a lot of SMEs, the mistake you can make in your career is not getting enough training or finding out what’s out there. But I got very good at import/export and a few other things, and then because I knew people at the banks, especially HSBC, they had clients who often needed a bit of expertise in the field. So the bank would recommend me to various people and I picked up a few roles that way.