Find out how Allen made the most of the connections he met on his journey to Chartered Director, and how the benefits of his training have been shared across his organisation, not just his own professional development.
I’m the group finance director of Henry Group, a family owned construction business. After studying maths at university I qualified as a Chartered Accountant working in audit and corporate finance for accountancy firm BDO.
I then joined Ulster Bank in 2006 working as a senior manager in corporate banking before joining Henry Group in 2012.
As group FD, I try to focus on all my responsibilities as a director but in particular I’ve a specific emphasis on finance, risk management, corporate governance and strategy.
Why I undertook the CDir programme
I had good experience within accountancy practice and banking before entering industry and these really help in my day to day role.
However, as with many other directors I didn’t have a specific qualification for my role as a director, and even though I had specific focus on finance ultimately every director has responsibilities for all areas of a company.
For me undertaking the Chartered Director programme with the IoD was by far the best way of quickly getting up to speed with the various roles and responsibilities of a director.
For any director, whether newly taking on a role, or having developed an owner/managed business - or even for someone who’s been a director quite some time but wants to develop - I think the IoD is the best place to assist them with director training. The IoD is a professional organisation run for directors and the IoD qualifications, such as Chartered Director, are perhaps better recognised and held in higher regard than alternative courses.
My key learnings
I’m continually trying to develop and happy to be learning new things every week.
Collectively as a board we recognise that we need to be constantly adapting within our business environment and all employees need to be developing and learning to deal with these changes. We seek to embed a learning culture of professional development into the heart of the business and this in turn helps contribute to the ongoing long term success of the Group.
From a personal perspective, Corporate Governance, Strategy and the Role of the Director and the Board were the most important topics. These were areas that I had identified where I needed to develop upon taking on the position of Finance Director and the course definitely helped me in these aspects.
How the CDir programme has helped me
For myself, I feel better skilled and more knowledgeable having undertaken the training. It’s also good to have the Chartered Director qualification along with my Chartered Accountant qualification underpin my position as finance director.
I was very fortunate to complete my training with a great bunch of directors spread across both public sector and private sector. Many of them I hadn’t met before but through the residential courses spread over a number of months I really enjoyed getting to know them. I’m keen to keep in contact with as many as possible and it’s always nice to hear how their careers are developing!
For the company and colleagues, I think we have become more strategic, and focused. One example of this is as a board we have subsequently reevaluated our values. Ultimately this has left us with a clear direction for the long term success for the company, for colleagues and for all other stakeholders.
To find out more about becoming a Chartered Director click here, or to take part and complete a testimonal for the Chartered Director hub, get in touch here.