IoD Essex Branch Ambassador Introduction
Your name: Darryl Bannon
Your title/role and company name: Director – Darryl Bannon Consulting Limited
Your IoD branch: Essex / London
Your IoD Branch Ambassador role: 99 club – supporting new business
Your social media handles @darrylbeth https://uk.linkedin.com/in/darrylbannon
Q: How long have you been involved with the IoD? 6 months
Q: Can you tell us a little about your career to date?
Since leaving University in 1998 I have worked my way up within finance to director level. Covering, investment funds, Insurance and brokerage. Before doing my MBA I worked on several major change programme developing and introducing new systems.
I did my MBA in 2012-2013. Based on my thesis on Digital Innovation within Fashion retail I joined a WAYRA winning start up in Ireland. I have played a role in Ireland advocating for small business. I moved to London at the end of 2013 to further my career. Working as a consultant in finance transformation and IT implementation programmes. However, in parallel working with start-ups. For example, helping to set up KPMG’s Start up mentoring programme.
I set up my own consultancy in 2016 so that I could control who I worked with and let me balance working with small businesses and large organisations. I am a thought leader in accounting and finance for FSN (third largest group on LinkedIn) and I have spoken at a number of events such as Pure on the topic of finance and strategy for the creative sector.
Q: What do you hope to achieve as an IoD Branch Ambassador? Ultimately to be a champion for emerging businesses. Making sure they know what options are available for them to grow their businesses but also to burst some myths about finance. Making accounting accessible for all. I have a primary degree in Marketing and as an FCCA accountant I know that the best companies respect both functions.
Q: If you could give your 21 year old self some advice what would it be?
Don’t listen to the naysayer and if you mess up, learn from it and take responsibility. It is the people who plat the blame game constantly who are hiding behind their own insecurities and mistakes so make sure you find a way not to work with or near them long term, as they will damage your reputation. Finally, office politics is everywhere so learn to take a deep breath and count to 10.
Q: What keeps you busy outside of work?
I am a big cinema fan so support the likes of the Cinema Museum in London as they have a great programme of rare old films. I have travelled extensively around the world, hiking, cooking socialising etc. I am an active member of a Lean In group for women in IT in London organising events etc. I have just bought a flat recently so the DIY and decorating is keeping me busy as well.
Also, as I am a doer, I try to be an active citizen so will engage locally to make things better. For example, I am currently trying to get a bottle bank in central Brentwood. Waiting 2 weeks to recycle bottles is ludicrous! Plus, not everyone has a car.
Q: Are there any business related or policy issues that keep you awake at night?
Business rates and rents for retailers is a huge bug bear. The high street is lacking in diversity due to prohibitive entry costs for retailers. Consumers will still want to shop and touch items. Having done the research and worked in family retailer the high street will only die if we make trading difficult. Retailers can’t afford to experiment with stock if they have to focus on paying rates and rent. Therefore. the variety that consumers crave can’t be found on the high-street, hence turning to online.
Access to working capital for younger entrepreneurs. Parking the start-ups who don’t listen and waste money, there are those under 30 who have never developed a relationship with their bank manager and despite healthy order books can’t get overdrafts. They should not have to revert to expensive debt, e.g. companies charging 20%+ in interest (and these are not payday lenders!!). If the banks are charging 2-3% to standard business so, why can’t younger entrepreneur get this? Better education on finance would also be a bit ticket item for me as an ambassador.
Q: Why do you think business leaders should join the IoD?
Apart from networking and having a space to work and meet people the IOD should be a trusted place for business leaders to enhance their knowledge and skills. I personally have been a voluntary board member in Ireland for over 10 years and have a wealth of experience and knowledge about the responsibilities of a director that I would like to develop into paid opportunities.
As a woman in business we bring a level of pragmatism and team work that can add to a board’s dynamic. Therefore, the IoD has an important role to encourage more diversity and representation at board level. By joining the IoD business leaders can contribute to the positive change and provide an opportunity for people to bring their skills to companies who need objective outside opinions.