THE FINANCE profession is well represented in Accountancy Age's Financial Power List 2012, which lists those people who will wield the most influence over the future direction of accounting.
Neil Wood (pictured), the LOCOG finance director tasked with keeping the budget for the London Olympics in line with expectations was the highest placed FD on the list of 50. So far Wood, who came in at number four, has managed to keep the budget on track but last-minute problems could spiral spending out of control. The whole world is watching, not only judging the spectacle but also whether finances and infrastructure will win gold. Wood will need to maintain tight control, with his employer Deloitte having already won the deal to provide professional services to the next Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.
Bank CFOs were also well represented on the list with Chris Lucas, Barclays CFO for the last five years, and Tim Tookey who, despite leaving Lloyds Bank to join Friends Life later this year, served as the company's interim CEO in the absence of Antonio Horta-Osorio's role while he recovered from extreme fatigue.
Lucas is an increasingly influential voice in the great debate of the age: what to do with the banks? Lucas had a good crisis. He has continued in guiding the bank through the turbulent waters, with many analysts taking note of his calm under pressure and admirable support for the bank's then-CEO John Varley. Since then, with the appointment of Bob Diamond, Lucas has continued to add a solidity and steel to Barclays' attempts to hold its own.
Andy Halford, chairman of the Hundred Group of Finance Directors and CFO of Vodafone, appears in the list for the second consecutive year. He remains one of the most influential players in the finance profession. Halford has already raised the profile of the discrete but influential lobby group's profile and with the audit reform debate continuing to rage, his influence is sure to grow in 2012.
Rachel Osborne, the recently appointed FD of John Lewis, is also on the list. John Lewis has reported an "outstanding" rise in sales at its department stores during the Christmas period. Like-for-like sales were up 6.2% from a year ago, but Osborne - who joined the company last year - will find her performance very much under the spotlight. Osborne spent one year at Sodexho, following a six-year stint at retail giant Kingfisher B&Q. The step up to John Lewis will test her resources to the limit.
The full Accountancy Age Financial Power List 2012 can
be accessed here
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