Neil Chisman has been appointed group FD of Thorn, which went private last year in a deal with Nomura. He was FD of Stakis for ten years until it was acquired by Hilton. Name Neil Chisman Age 52 Company Thorn Qualification & date FCCA 1972 What things other than finance do you do in your job? Strategy, IT, laugh. Would you rather spend more time doing non-finance things? If so what? No. Finance and strategy get you into everything. What is on your desk (eg. PC, too much paper etc)? It’s boringly neat – just in-tray, out-tray and current task. What percentage of your week is spent in meetings? 80% if you count one-to-ones. What is your favourite work-related website? Vogue On-line (editor Abigail Chisman) and Tom Chisman film locations. What’s the silliest question a non-financial manager ever asked you? Why do you keep harping on about shareholder value? What is the best/worst thing about your auditors? Best is the comforting feel of reliable professionalism. There is no worst – I like them. What accounting standard/ regulation/company law would you like to see changed? The exempt classification of VAT should be changed to zero rated. It would save a lot of work. Rank the following items in our list of key FD attributes: (a) accuracy, (b) stewardship, (c) entrepreneurial skills, (d) people management skills, (e) strategic thinking. No. Is an accountancy qualification essential to the FD role? Yes. What one question should we have asked you but didn’t? Should we buy Hilton shares?
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