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Bank FDs snatch accounting industry gongs

Richard Meddings

HSBC’s Douglas Flint and Standard Chartered’s Richard Meddings took the two
most coveted FD spots at this year’s Accountancy Age Awards on 18 November ­
while Gü’s Melissa Foux and Moat Homes’ Stuart McCreadie won in their respective
growing business and public sector FD categories in a hotly-contested judging
process.

Flint received the award for outstanding industry achievement because of his
approach to the sub-prime crisis ­ being up front about the writedowns HSBC had
to make, and making them early ­ and because he made an important contribution
to the accounting profession outside of the job by way of his involvement with
standard setters such as the Accounting Standards Board and the advisory panel
at the International Accounting Standards Board.

He recently wrote to the European Commission’s Charlie McCreevy to call for
speedier EU adoption of international financial accounting standards.

In the Growing Business FD of The Year category, uber-chocolate pud making
company Gü’s Melissa Foux clinched the winning title for having laid the
foundations of good financial controls and reporting in at the company, swapping
its weekly cash management model for a daily one and saving it £130,000 between
better invoicing and forex hedging.

Moat Homes FD Stuart McCreadie won the Public Sector FD of The Year award for
his tenacity when every member of the housing association’s executive committee
­ including the CEO ­ left the business. Holding the fort, he took the
opportunity to streamline and improve its financial structure and budgeting
process.

Standard Chartered’s Meddings’ role in the government’s ‘crisis cabinet’ ­
the group of individuals who drew up the first bank bailout amid the unravelling
credit crunch ­ gave him the clear edge in the Blue Chip FD of The Year
category. Judges praised him for “leading the bank from the front” and for
putting his reputation on the line, they said, in advising government on how to
handle the crisis. The judges concluded that 2009 “really has been his year.”

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