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FDs honoured at Accountancy Age Awards

(Accountancy Age) The UK’s best finance directors and finance teams were revealed in front of a packed crowd at this year’s Accountancy Age Awards at London’s Battersea Park Arena on November 17.

British Airways’ finance chief Keith Williams scooped the award for FD of the Year Blue Chip.

Williams has kept a firm grip on the company’s finances against a backdrop of industrial strikes and a merger with Spanish operator Iberia, which led to boardroom casualties as two management teams fought to keep their positions.

“He’s a phenomenal FD who has steered BA through arguably the hardest period in its history – whether it’s been the global recession, fuel hikes or Icelandic ash clouds,” said one judge. “He has retained a very, very strong finance function which worked as hard as it could to support the business. The finance function has duly done that.”

The award for FD of the Year Growing Business was picked up by Ian Little, group finance director of Access Technology Group. Little helped steer the company through a tough year, which included acquisitions, a significant recasting of the business plan, consolidation of four trading companies and a change of business model.

Judges described ATG’s submission as excellent.

“It shows outstanding performance, across significant breadth of responsibilities. It is clear that the last 12 months have been critical for the company and Ian has played a very influential role in its success and growth,” the judges said.

Paul Vernon Woods saw off tough competition to pick up the award for FD of the Year Public Sector. He was a clear choice among the judges as top public sector finance director. His success in dual roles as Newcastle City treasurer and treasurer of the Tyne and Wear Transport Authority saw the judges at their most effusive.

“Clearly an incredibly able and inspirational finance leader in the North East with very significant profile and influence, beyond his immediate areas of responsibility or organisation,” said one judge.


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