Burberry’s promotion to the FTSE-100 on September 7 takes the count of female
FDs in the index to four, as the high-fashion label’s FD Stacey Cartwright joins
the likes of 3i’s Julia Wilson.
Burberry had been on the FTSE reserve list of companies who could go into the
index at its quarterly reshuffle on September 9, but actually moved up two days
before the reshuffle in a separate action, replacing Thomson Reuters which was
deleted from the index.
Cartwright is now one of four women FDs in the FTSE-100 alongside 3i’s Julia
Wilson, Cairn Energy’s Jann Brown and Friends Provident’s Evelyn Bourke – and
she is one of the best-paid women, as our 2009 FD salary survey reveals.
Having joined in 2004 from Egg, Prudential’s internet bank operation, Cartwright
oversaw Burberry’s 2006 IPO when it split from parent company GUS. In an
exclusive interview with Financial Director in 2007, she revealed how she had
led the overhaul of Burberry’s finance and accounting systems to return some
£20m in savings.
Other FDs that did well out of the FTSE-100 shuffle are Rentokil’s Michael
Murray, Whitbread’s Christopher Rogers and Segro’s David Sleath.
Promotion to the FTSE-100 in the most severe recession for generations
reflects the work put in by Rentokil’s Murray since he joined the troubled pest
control business in January this year from security outfit GSL, which he left
when it was bought by security contractor group G4L last December. Alongside
chief executive Alan Brown, who himself only joined from ICI last April, Murray
reduced the company’s debt burden and moved it away from the threat of further
profit warnings – of which it had four in 2008.
Ex-FD for Woolworths and Comet Group, Whitbread’s Christopher Rogers moves in
to the top index as rumours abound that he is on a shortlist of candidates to
replace the leisure group’s CEO, Alan Parker, if he retires soon as is expected.
Rogers would be competing for the role with the likes of former Boots CEO
Richard Baker, who joined the business in September as a non-executive director,
Premier Inn head Patrick Dempsey and Carl Leaver, who had run Whitbread’s Travel
Inn and the Marriott Country Club businesses before becoming head of
international at Marks & Spencer, a role he quit unexpectedly this May
despite being in the frame to succeed Sir Stuart Rose.
Segro FD David Sleath is one to watch after he helped take the property
business into the big league by securing the acquisition of real estate
investment trust Brixton this summer for £165.5m moving at the right time to
get a very good price and wiping Segro’s arch-rival off the map. Sleath is only
on his second job in business having been FD for automotive engineering group
Wagon, which filed for bankruptcy last Christmas, until 2005. He had a 17-year
career with Arthur Andersen previous to that where, by the time he left in 1999,
he was a partner and head of audit and assurance for the Midlands.
This article is updated with a correction to information on Stacey Cartwright
Read our interview with Burberry FD
Read our analysis of Rentokil FD