Join our hunt for top finance heads in region

Victoria Woodings, head of UK operations at Principle Group, Huddersfield.  14 April 2106.  Picture Bruce Rollinson
Victoria Woodings, head of UK operations at Principle Group, Huddersfield. 14 April 2106. Picture Bruce Rollinson
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THE search is on for the talented women and men whose impeccable financial skills keep the region’s economy on a strong and stable footing.

The Yorkshire Post today launches the Yorkshire Finance Director Awards 2016 in partnership with accountancy and business advisory firm BDO LLP, insurance brokerage Lockton Companies, recruitment specialist Sewell Business Group, and law firm Walker Morris.

The prestigious awards are open to FDs working in limited companies, plcs, private equity businesses and the public sector.

Victoria Woodings of the global brand implementation specialist Principle Group, won the outstanding achievement award at last year’s event.

Paul Davies, partner and head of audit at BDO LLP in Yorkshire, said: “In a year where international markets have struggled and the UK as a whole faces a productivity challenge, Yorkshire based mid-market companies have continued to perform well in an increasingly competitive market.

“While there is a clear expectation for FDs to manage business plans and growth prospects in the context of a more unstable global economic outlook, there can be no doubt that Yorkshire’s top performing FDs share one important characteristic and that is to adapt to changing conditions.

“To seize the prizes of growth requires vision, strategy and execution.

“Many Yorkshire FDs face the difficulties of striking a balance between ambitious growth plans and long term responsibility for the company.

“In my opinion, the role of the FD has moved considerably away from that of financial custodian and towards that of enabler of business strategy.”

Lockton Companies LLP returns as sponsor in a special year for the business.

Mark Evans, partner and head of Leeds risk solutions, said: “As the largest privately owned global insurance broker, with a significant office in the centre of Leeds, we are proud to once again be sponsoring the awards.

“We feel honoured to have been able to build relationships with a number of the most knowledgeable and talented finance directors in our region.

“Their businesses span a very broad range of industries, from the traditional to the most modern of technologies. They display outstanding professionalism in all that they do.

“2016 is a landmark year for Lockton, it marks our 10th anniversary in the UK and our 50th anniversary globally and we are delighted to be able to jointly celebrate with our outstanding Yorkshire finance professionals in what will certainly be another fantastic awards event.”

The Sewell Business Group is founding sponsor of the awards.

Cliff Sewell, chief executive, said: “We have supported the awards for 14 years and will continue to recognise and celebrate the outstanding talent in Yorkshire.

“The awards are a great way to bring together local businesses, and award finance directors who have achieved and added to their company.

“The role of the finance director is in the modern day ever changing.

“Gone are the days of closed-door financial directors, as they play a much more instrumental role right through the core of any business.

“The Yorkshire business market again continues to be resilient and compete in the world economy, with many organisations tapping into new areas of industry across the globe.

“Yorkshire continues to keep its feet on the ground, but through industry and events such as the Tour de Yorkshire, it continues to punch well above its weight.”

Walker Morris, one of the most respected names in the Yorkshire legal sector, joins as sponsor this year.

Richard Naish, corporate partner, said: “As a law firm with one of the leading corporate practices in the region, Walker Morris has a long history of working with some of the most experienced and talented financial directors in Yorkshire across a broad range of industries.

“Our sponsorship of the awards was a natural fit and reinforces our ethos of recognising and rewarding those people who of the highest calibre, both in our own business and in our clients’ businesses.

“Walker Morris is delighted to be sponsoring these prestigious awards which have firmly established themselves as one of the region’s leading awards and networking events.”

Find the right category

The categories are as follows: Best Finance Director of Ltd company (up to £35m); Best Finance Director of Ltd company (£35m-plus); Best Finance Director of a Plc; Best Finance Director of a Private Equity Company; Young Finance Director of the Year (up to 40 years of age); Best Finance Director - Public Sector; Outstanding Achievement Award.

To enter or nominate, please visit winners will be announced at The Queens hotel in Leeds on October 20. For more information contact Hannah Dowley on 0113 242 1200 or