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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

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

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