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Meeting a Rio grandee – Guy Elliott

At Financial Director we love to get a glimpse into
the interconnectedness of many CFOs and we got a good one when we met Rio Tinto
CFO, Guy Elliott, at the mining company’s HQ in London. The ultra-shiny
boardroom we met in had been occupied by its audit committee only hours before –
and its newest member Ann Godbehere, who was made audit chair in February, had
been in attendance at her inaugural meeting.

We talked briefly about the work of the uber-secretive Hundred Group of FDs –
of which Elliott is an active member – and the muscle that the group has with
the Treasury. “I don’t go to as many of the meetings as I’d like but I think
it’s an effective lobby group and useful meeting place,” he told us. “Tomorrow
morning I’m going to a meeting which Ashley (Almanza, Hundred Group chair and BG
Group CFO) has brought together to look at the total tax paid by UK FTSE
companies.

“It’s a very large number that’s being paid – so it is important that is
properly calculated and presented… and there are a lot of other taxes that we
pay, one way or another. If you aggregate them it gives a much clearer picture
of the contribution that the larger companies in Britain make.” Hmm.

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