Car Care Plan’s Group Chief Financial Officer (CFO) Simon Wright is a finalist for the Yorkshire Finance Director (FD) of the Year Award, which will be announced on Wednesday, 11th October. Simon has been Finance Director at Car Care Plan since 1999 and Group CFO for the past 12 years.
Now in its 15th year, the Yorkshire FD Awards recognises and celebrates outstanding talent across Yorkshire. It is the leading awards ceremony of its kind in the region, bringing together the professional community for a glittering awards dinner at The Queens Hotel in Leeds.
As part of our ‘An Interview with…’ series, we sat down with Simon to find out what the secret to his success has been.
Interview with Car Care Plan CFO Simon Wright
How does it feel to be a finalist for the Yorkshire Finance Director of the Year Award?
Surprised, pleased, humbled.
In reality however, the nomination is really a reflection on the quality of the finance team here at Car Care Plan that has consistently been producing high quality results over many years.
What does your role at Car Care Plan involve?
What’s great about working at Car Care Plan is that roles are not defined by stereotypical boundaries. So whilst my role encompasses the traditional stewardship aspects of a FD’s role, at CCP it is significantly more than that and I tend to have involvement in all areas of the business, all with the goal of improving our customers’ experience.
How has your role within Car Care Plan changed over the years?
Technology and availability of data have accelerated (and generally improved) all aspects of the role. Deadlines are shorter and there is a thirst for more information to be produced more quickly. However, the rise of the machine has also put significantly greater demand on the checks and balances operating in the finance area and therefore on the people that work in finance.
How did you originally come to work at Car Care Plan?
I studied Chemistry at the University of Nottingham before working for KPMG for a few years. My fellow director, Gary Whitelam, then recruited me at the start of 1993 as the first employee of Car Care Plan Insurance. I then became CCP FD in 1999, CCP MD in 2002 and Group CFO in 2005.
What stands out as a career highlight for you?
I’ve been involved in lots of team-based successes over the years; implementing numerous systems, acquiring companies, setting Car Care Plan Insurance up – the list is endless.
One thing you quickly realise in business life however, is that you can’t succeed on your own and that you are wholly dependent on your colleagues – and I’ve been particularly lucky to have worked with some of the best in the business over many years.
What advice do you have for aspiring finance directors of the future?
- Get a recognised accountancy qualification – they should all equip you with the skills to handle any problem you come up against in business.
- Maintain strong ethics – if something doesn’t feel right it generally isn’t.
- Stay close to the end customer.
- Keep a keen eye on the detail.
- Above all, make sure you have the best people around you.
We wish Simon and all the other finalists the best of luck for the awards!
Visit the Yorkshire Finance Director Awards website for further information.