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Characteristics of a finance director


It’s an interesting thought: is it really possible to characterise an entire profession, one which plays such a crucial role in the performance and strategy of businesses in the UK today?

Hays certainly think so, with a new report delving into the common characteristics that a finance director possesses. Articulate, confident and enthusiastic all surprisingly take a back seat, with fewer than half of the finance directors surveyed believing them to be personal characteristics that have helped them to succeed in their careers so far.

Instead, sheer hard work is number one, as suggested by 75% in the report, which is entitled ‘DNA of a Finance Director’. This is followed by having a proactive nature (67%), credibility (61%) and adaptability (60%). Ambition was only important to 32%.

What about skills? Having a commercial understanding was the runaway winner, as cited by (36%), far exceeding those believing people management (18%) and strategic planning (14%) are most important. Incredibly, only 6% regarded cash flow management as the most important skill to be a good FD, with financial analysis skills primary for only 5%.

Interestingly, 75% have always worked in finance, with 45% possessing more than 20 years’ post-qualification experience. ICAEW’s ACA qualification was the most popular, followed by CIMA and ACCA.

The in-depth report went beyond establishing a finance director’s professional attributes, however. It found that three-quarters are men, with 64% aged between 41 and 55. They typically enjoy playing (76%) and watching (42%) sport, while more than one in three have a passion for travelling the world (34%).

Does this all sound familiar? Do you, or your company’s finance director, possess many of these personality traits? We’d be interested to know!


Some of the funders we work with

  • Shawbrook Business Credit
  • Bibby Financial Services
  • Skipton Business Finance
  • Nucleus Commercial Finance
  • ABN AMRO Commercial Finance
  • MarketFinance
  • Catalyst Finance
  • Ultimate Finance Group
  • Regency Factors
  • iwoca
  • Aldermore Invoice Finance
  • Close Brothers Invoice Finance
  • PNC Business Credit
  • Haydock Finance Ltd
  • Leumi ABL
  • Barclays
  • Santander Corporate & Commercial
  • Secure Trust Bank
  • Merchant Money
  • Trade Finance Partners
  • InvoCap
  • Woodsford Tradebridge
  • Royal Bank of Scotland
  • Creative Capital
  • Roma Finance
  • Davenham Trade Finance
  • Spotcap
  • Boost Capital
  • GapCap Cashflow Finance
  • Investec
  • Positive Cashflow Finance
  • inFund
  • Pulse Cashflow Finance
  • Calverton Finance
  • Giant
  • Innovation Finance
  • Metro Bank SME Finance
  • Team Factors
  • IGF Invoice Finance
  • Davenham Asset Finance
  • 4Syte
  • 1pm
  • Partnership Invoice Finance
  • Berkeley Trade Finance Ltd
  • Lloyds Bank Commercial Finance
  • Gener8 Finance
  • Peak Cashflow
  • Asset Advantage

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