Codestone is excited to announce the appointment of Chris Powell as Chief Financial Officer. With over 30 years of financial experience in a wide range of companies and industries, Chris is looking forward to taking a hands-on approach to help Codestone reach new heights.
A healthy start to his career
Chris gained a solid accounting and finance foundation having qualified as a Chartered Accountant at KPMG, after which he went on to explore new career opportunities working as Finance Director or CFO (Chief Financial Officer) across several organisations, from small start-ups to large FTSE 200 corporates almost exclusively in leveraged businesses. His first move was to the country’s largest Funeral Directors firm dealing with acquisitions and integrations to support the business’ rapid growth. Chris then transitioned into the Healthcare sector, working for Allied Healthcare, and then the Financial Services sector with Homeserve, during which time he was directly involved in a whole host of mergers, demergers, acquisition, and sales processes to manage expansion programmes.
Going on to help save the planet
After working for companies that cared for people, Chris then worked for companies that cared for the planet, starting with Organic Bouquet, an online flower bouquet service based in San Francisco. This was a fascinating journey for Chris, as it was an IPO process across several countries, although the IPO itself was to be floored by the suddenness of the financial markets crash of 2008. Here, Chris also oversaw the company’s strategic diversification programme branching out into organic pet products, food, and clothing. Uniquely, the head office was based on a wooden seaplane jetty where amazingly Otis Redding composed the iconic song ‘Sittin’ on the Dock of the Bay.’ Chris continued to build on his environmental credentials by next working for Helveta, providing innovative cloud-based software to help track timber movements across the globe using barcodes. This was an exciting business model and helped monitor deforestation to stop the illegal timber trade which was becoming a worldwide problem.
IT Services industry covered
Chris has worked for three different businesses in the IT Services sector like Codestone, including an automotive diagnostic software business called Autologic and most recently at The NAV People, an ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) implementation specialist for Microsoft Business Central providing support, services, training, and enhancements to its users and backed by Codestone investor FPE. Not only will Chris’ IT Service industry experience be invaluable to Codestone, but he also believes that his new role has much more to offer the company and highlights, “It’s not only about learning the efficiencies of the business, but how the business can make a difference. Just being an accountant is never enough. You really must get involved as a business partner and look at the bigger picture, not just add up the numbers.”
Communication is key
Although Chris will be strategically and operationally focused, communication will be the key to his success as the new CFO and explains, “To enable an organisation to function at its best means providing information at the right time and interfacing with all the various business stakeholders. Therefore, communication and relationship building are what I focus on, encouraging teamwork and integration to enable the business to flourish.” He strongly believes the Finance function is about creating the right balance of controls and processes to instigate growth.
Climb every mountain
Living in the beautiful Lake District, Chris is a father of two and proud to have recently become a grandfather for the first time. He has always enjoyed outdoor pursuits and loves climbing and learning the history about mountains which has given him the opportunity to travel around the globe. He has impressively stood at the top of three of the world’s so called Seven Summits (being the highest peak on each of the seven continents): Mount Kilimanjaro; Mount Aconcagua; and Mount Elbrus, with only another 4 continents to go to achieve the full set! When he is not trekking or skiing, Chris enjoys running and has already completed the Berlin and New York marathons. He is now busy training hard for the Manchester marathon and hoping to shave a few more minutes off his time.
Exciting journey ahead
His broad set of skills and key values mean Chris can make a real difference at Codestone to help it achieve growth. Jeremy Bucknell, Codestone CEO says, “Chris’ experience and obvious acumen compliments our leadership team brilliantly and he has a vital role in helping the company grow and flourish. It’s unusual to find a CFO with such a wide range of financial experience and key experience in our sector. Chris’ strong belief in being a true partner across the business is something I know we will really benefit from.”
Chris is excited to be part of the Codestone team and believes that good people drive success, which converts to satisfied customers and ultimately a successful business. And who knows which mountain peak he will climb next… Mount Everest, the highest one of them all?