Philip Lloyd, FD of Learning and Skills Council, pipped the likes of John Rishton of British Airways and ex-Amey FD Eric Tracey to win the Finance Director of the Year Award, sponsored by Marks Sattin in association with Financial Director.
Lloyd’s victory was quickly recognised by his work colleagues: “My office was covered in balloons when I got into work and I also got some champagne! Everyone over here has been delighted.” The judges were looking for evidence of substantial financial achievement, along with good communication, efficiency and high-quality service.
They described the LSC as a success story in which Lloyd played a big part, and acclaimed his achievements as “fantastic”.
Lloyd sees his success as a coup for the public sector: “You’re up against well known people from blue-chip companies, and it’s good that it’s recognised that some public sector organisations are on a par with them.”
The LSC was established in September 2000 and is responsible for the education of the 16-plus age group. It is the UK’s largest non-departmental public body with an annual income of £8.1bn to fund colleges of further education, sixth form colleges and more than 1,000 providers of work-based learning.
“When this organisation was created by David Blunkett, we had six months to get everything up and running completely from scratch. No staff, no systems, no bank accounts, no processes, nothing. In six months we had to start up an organisation the size of Marks & Spencer,” explains Lloyd.
His immediate challenge when he joined the firm in October 2000 was to create a finance function from nothing. “I was the third person on the payroll.” he says. “Within a month of joining, the Department for Education and Skills handed me control of LSC funds. We had to have systems in place to protect the public funds. We did this in a month. From there we carried on building and recruiting. I feel proud that the team I helped to build has worked so well.”
Rick Bloomfield of Don-Bur Hdgs and Muntons’ Roger Barker were shortlisted for the FD of the year award. Other winners on the night include British Land in the Business Annual Report category. Details of all the other awards and winners can be found at www.financial director.co.uk/awards.