New Accordance VAT managing director Lucy Franklin says that people should be at the heart of the industry – even while it faces some challenging times
The financial and professional service industries are not necessarily synonymous with a good work life balance. It isn’t a profession renowned for its ability to deliver financial security as well as professional and personal fulfilment. But there is no reason why that can’t change.
I recently took up the post as managing director of Accordance VAT. How we continue to establish the company as not just a place to earn money, but a place where people can grow professionally, where they enjoy and are stimulated by their day to day activities, and where they are given the space to flourish, is of the upmost importance to me. This would be a challenge at the best of times – add a period of significant political instability which affects how people feel in and about work, and you get a sense of the scale of the task at hand.
Setting out a vision
When I assumed the position of MD, I set out my vision for where I want to take the company. The most important asset we have and the thing I most want to protect, nurture, and develop is our workforce. We have plans to expand, but we will only do this by putting people at the heart of everything we do.
I don’t come from a finance background. I see this as a distinct advantage in my new role; it allows me the scope to have both a lateral and unprejudiced overview. In my six years in the industry, I’ve been able to observe the vast range of talent, the immensely varied skill sets, and the countless people who work with integrity. My relative newness in the industry gives me a different perspective, particularly when it comes to making people the focus of growth.
For me, good business management – whatever the field – rests in the ability to empower people in their areas of expertise. It’s about increasing productivity not by cracking the whip but by increasing job satisfaction, and to harness different skills which complement each other.
The benefits of diversity
The key to developing people is to understand them. And this starts with recognising the varying reasons why people get into finance. Accordance has an immensely culturally diverse team. Our staff are truly European, and we have more than 30 languages spoken in house. With this diversity naturally comes a broad set of reasons for coming here. Some simply love the industry and were drawn to it through their interest in economics and politics, others because of their analytical or numerical skills and comprehensive understanding of…