V8 Supercars (V8SC) is the third most attended sport in Australia and has a TV audience of 59 million. So how does an English football fan with a radio background wind up in the CFO driver’s seat?
I manage the finance, legal, HR and IT functions plus financial reporting across the company. I have 10 direct reports and an expense budget of A$4 million, with oversight on a total expense budget of A$80 to A$90 million. We have 75 employees, but that swells to more than 500 during big events.
My first 12 working years were spent in the UK, auditing with Price Waterhouse [pre-Coopers!] then in management accounting roles at environmental consultancy Entec and mining equipment producer Komatsu. The past 12 years in Australia have seen two radio gigs and two sporting companies. I can safely say the latter 12 have been far more interesting!
My role when I joined V8SC was a “move and rebuild” – relocating finance, legal and HR functions from the Gold Coast to Sydney. Many personnel changes had to be managed while maintaining the provision of financial information to the relevant stakeholders. This is now complete, and we’re in a good period of growth.
From a business perspective, it has to be the new media deal with Foxtel, Fox Sports and Ten Network, which started at the beginning of 2015. This effectively secured the future of the sport, locking in growth that had been absent in earlier years.
Thinking like a CFO value pack: take your career to the next level and begin to adopt the skills of an aspiring CFO.
Getting the gig
V8 Supercars CEO James Warburton hired my former station general manager at Nova Radio, Tim McDermott. Tim then referred me to James. I liked Warburton’s vision for the business.
Moving to Football Federation Australia gave my Australian career a huge boost, as the business was focused on several fronts – running domestic competitions and national teams and the ill-fated World Cup bid.
I was more involved with a broader range of stakeholders than in the past, from senior levels of management, internally and externally, right up to board level and chairman Frank Lowy.
To succeed at any level, you have to work as an effective team – whether you are a team member or team leader. You need to build a team that gels, made up of people you can trust and rely on.