Who’s who: A-Z of Finance Directors 2016 - Part 1

Business meeting

2 September 2016

From energy to ale, tea to transport, we list the CAs leading the finance function at companies around the world.

The Who's who: Finance Directors 2016 is produced in association with Campbell Dallas Chartered Accountants.

A to E


Gregor Alexander Gregor Alexander CA was named finance director of Scottish & Southern Energy (SSE) in October 2002, having previously served as group treasurer and tax manager. 

His involvement with the group extends back to Scottish Hydro-Electric, which he joined in 1990, before its merger with Southern Electric in 1998 to form Scottish & Southern Energy. He is also a director of Scotia Gas Networks and Scottish Hydro- Electric Power Distribution.

JAMES BELL CA (Aberdeen Harbour Board)

James Bell James Bell CA joined Aberdeen Harbour Board in 2009 from Caledonian Brewery, where he had been head of finance since 2002.

A graduate of the University of Dundee, he trained as a CA with Bird Simpson and spent seven years with Meston Reid in Aberdeen, eventually becoming senior manager before moving to Edinburgh and joining Diageo in 2001. Bell is also chairman of the Finance Group of the British Ports Association.

PETER BOLE (Tesco Bank)

Peter Bole CA, finance director with Tesco Bank, has been hired by rival institution Virgin Money. He will be joining his new employer later this year.

Bole’s appointment was announced alongside that of Hugh Chater who joined in June, from Royal Bank of Scotland, as chief commercial officer.

Jayne-Anne Gadhia, chief executive officer of Virgin Money, said the two were being hired for “broad experience and knowledge of the financial services industry, including a strong customer focus in retail banking”.

Bole joined Tesco Bank as finance director in 2009. Prior to that, he worked in several roles at RBS, most recently as finance director of the partnership, international and broker businesses within RBS Insurance. He has also held roles with Deloitte and Standard Life Investments.

Peter Bole

ALLAN BOWIE CA (National Trust for Scotland)

Allan Bowie Allan Bowie CA is chief financial officer and director of corporate services with the National Trust for Scotland. He was latterly with helicopter services business Bristow Group, where he was director, global operations accounting.

Among his previous posts, Bowie has been finance director for both Babcock Rail and the Scottish Resources Group. He recently relocated back to Scotland from the US and has been a member of the National Trust for Scotland for many years.

SALLY BROOKS CA (Cobham Antenna Systems)

Sally Brooks Sally Brooks CA is finance director of Cobham Antenna Systems, a high-tech company supporting the aerospace sector, based in Marlow, Buckinghamshire, and Lewisville, Texas.

She trained as a CA with Arthur Andersen and worked in financial roles at Christian Salvesen and Eaton Corporation – based variously in Scotland, the US, England and Germany – before moving to her present role at Cobham.


Angus CockburnAngus Cockburn was appointed CFO of outsourcing services group Serco in August 2014, joining his former chief executive, Rupert Soames, who now heads up Serco.

The turnaround at Serco appears to be under way, with the forecast for the current year's profits upgraded to £80m - on reduced revenues - in contrast to the heavy losses of recent years. Cockburn was formerly CFO of temporary power generation business Aggreko and he previously worked in senior management roles at Pringle of Scotland and PepsiCo Inc.


David Cockburn David Cockburn CA is CFO of craft brewer Innis & Gunn. The company’s export success owes much to its unique story of a beer brewed initially to create flavour for whisky barrels that has become a premium ale in its own right. Cockburn trained as a CA with Coopers & Lybrand, and moved in 2005 to become head of M&A in Scotland for Grant Thornton. He joined the board of Innis & Gunn in 2008 and became CFO in 2011.

IAIN COCKBURN CA (Hargreaves Services plc)

Iain Cockburn

Iain Cockburn CA is group finance director of Hargreaves Services plc, a multinational coal producer and distributor and logistics business. He was appointed in 2007, and previously held senior finance roles with Courtaulds plc and GenRad Inc in the UK and US. He has also been CEO and FD, Knowledge Support Systems, and a non-executive director of Tadpole Technology. He trained with PwC in the UK and Luxembourg.

Hargreaves is an AIM-listed company employing more than 2,300 people. It reported continuing revenue of 662m for the year ending 31 May 2015 and it operates one of the largest bulk haulage transport fleets in the UK.

TARA COMONTE CA (Getty Images)

Tara Comonte Tara Comonte CA is global CFO and COO (chief operating officer) of Getty Images. Getty, a leading digital marketplace for images, video and content, is based in New York. 

Comonte joined Getty Images from McCann Worldgroup, where she served as CFO. Previous roles include global CFO and COO of Mediabrands; global CFO of Universal McCann; regional CFO EMEA within the Publicis Groupe; and corporate finance with EY. In 2012, Comonte was named a World Economic Forum Young Global Leader.

ALISTER COWAN  (Suncor Energy)

Alister Cowan Alister Cowan is an executive vice-president and chief financial office (CFO) of Suncor Energy, based in Calgary, Canada. Suncor reported revenue of CAN$40.4bn for 2014. Cowan was previously CFO with Husky Energy and before that, executive vice-president and chief financial officer of British Columbia Hydro & Power Authority.


Carol Cran

Carole Cran CA has been chief financial officer of Aggreko, the world’s largest temporary power generation company, since June 2014. Cran has corporate finance and accounting experience acquired over a number of years in senior financial roles with considerable exposure to emerging markets. 

A key member of the senior management team, Cran works to align financial strategies with the strategic direction of the business. She was also appointed as a non-executive director of Halma plc on 1 January 2016.  

Having joined Aggreko in 2004, her previous roles include group financial controller and director of finance. She also spent seven years at BAE Systems, in a range of senior financial positions, including four years in Australia.

F to L

GEORGE FAIRWEATHER CA (Walgreens Boots Alliance)

George Fairweather CA is global CFO at Walgreens Boots Alliance, the global pharmacy business created by the merger in 2014 of Boots Alliance – where he had been group FD – and US group Walgreens. 

In 2015, GAAP net earnings attributable to Walgreens Boots Alliance increased 118.4 per cent to $4.2bn and net sales in fiscal year 2015 increased 35.4 percent to $103.4bn, compared with the same period a year ago.

Fairweather had headed finance at Alliance Boots since its formation in July 2006. He joined Alliance UniChem in the same position in 2002 and later led the financial integration during the merger with Boots Group. He was a main speaker at the ICAS Conference in 2016.

Neil Simpson

COLIN FLEMING CA (Amec Foster Wheeler)

Colin Fleming Colin Fleming CA is finance director of Amec’s Europe operations covering oil and gas, clean energy and environment and infrastructure markets. He has been at Amec for 14 years and has more than 30 years’ experience at senior level within the major oil and gas service companies.

In November 2014, the group completed a takeover of Swiss competitor Foster Wheeler, changing the name of the combined business to Amec Foster Wheeler.

ALLAN FORREST CA (Global Services Division, Goldman Sachs)

Allan Forrest CA is managing director and global CFO of Goldman Sachs’ global services. The division has its headquarters in New York and manages corporate services (including finance), real estate and security for the financial services giant, worldwide. Forrest has been with Goldman Sachs since 1999 and was previously a manager with Arthur Andersen.


Laurie Foulds CA is group CFO of ED&F Man Group, one of the world’s largest commodities traders. He was appointed to his present post in March 2010. He previously held several senior positions with General Motors Corporation, most recently as executive director of finance at GM Europe, based in Zurich.


Alan GrayAlan Gray CA is the director of finance and board member of NHS Grampian. Employing more than 15,000 staff and with an annual operating expenditure in excess of £1bn, NHS Grampian is one of the largest organisations in the north-east of Scotland. 

Gray is responsible for the board’s strategic financial planning, has executive responsibility for performance management and is chairman of the programme board responsible for the public sector capital programme across the north of Scotland. Prior to taking up his current post, he spent 25 years in professional practice, latterly as a director with PwC.


Michael Healy Michael Healy CA joined the Thomas Cook Group plc on 14 May 2012 and became group CFO on 1 July 2012. Prior to this, he was group FD of Kwik-Fit Group. 

He has considerable international experience across a broad range of industries and was previously chief operating officer and FD of the Hong Kong listed First Pacific Company Ltd and subsequently CFO of ebookers plc

MICHAEL HENDERSON CA (Abu Dhabi National Exhibitions Company )

Michael Henderson CA is group CFO with the Abu Dhabi National Exhibitions Company (ADNEC). He has been in post since 2007, having previously worked as CFO of security and risk management specialists, Olive Group. He trained with EY and was an EY partner in Dubai. ADNEC owns and operates the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre and other exhibition facilities, including the ExCel centre in London’s Docklands.


Chris Houghton CA is CFO of Bristol-based energy supply business Ovo Energy, having moved across from the equivalent role in Telecom Plus in October 2014. Ovo is a relative newcomer in the utilities sector, trading only since 2009. Houghton was previously a corporate finance manager with PwC and also spent two years as assistant secretary to the Panel on Takeovers and Mergers.

DAVID KEMP CA (Wood Group)

David Kemp David Kemp CA succeeded Alan Semple CA as CFO of energy services business Wood Group in May 2015. Kemp was previously CFO of Wood Group PSN, one of the group’s companies. 

He has more than 20 years’ experience in the oil and gas sector and, prior to joining Wood Group, worked at Trap Oil Group, Technip, Simmons and Company International and Hess Corporation working across finance, M&A and operations.


James Kidd James Kidd CA joined AVEVA – a global engineering software provider to the plant, power and marine industries – in 2004 and was appointed financial director on 1 January 2011. 

Prior to his appointment to the board, Kidd held several senior finance roles within the group and was head of finance from 2006.


Richard Logan Richard Logan CA is group finance director, Iomart, an integrated Internet and telecommunications company which has evolved to become one of Europe’s largest providers of cloud computing services. Logan was previously finance and commercial director of Kingston SCL for 10 years, during which time he played a key role in a management buy-out and subsequent trade sale.

JOHN LOVE CA (Macfarlane Group)

John Love John Love CA is finance director of the Macfarlane Group. He has been with the group since 1996 and became FD in 1999. 

Prior to joining Macfarlane Group he was with Deloitte. Macfarlane Group operates three leading UK-based businesses in the packaging and labels sector and is listed on the UK Stock Exchange.

The ICAS Conference 2016

Join business professionals for one of the biggest events in the calendar at the ICAS Conference 2016, on 29 September in Edinburgh. The conference, which is hosted by one of the world’s leading professional bodies, is themed ‘Innovation and Entrepreneurs... in Brexit Britain’, and will feature a panel of top speakers from the business and political sphere, including a world-renowned entrepreneur, the CA leading the world’s largest conservation charity and the world’s most infamous rogue trader.


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