Overview: Almanza into the spotlight at Hundred Group

It took a bit longer than normal to finalise, but the Hundred Group of
Finance Directors has finally nominated the chief financial officer of BG Group,
Ashley Almanza, as the man to chair the organisation when Prudential’s Philip
Broadley steps aside.

Almanza, who was named to succeed Broadley last week, will be formally
appointed as chair of the influential lobby group on 26 November.

A challenging year for both him and the organisation lies ahead.

What’s Happened?

Almanza who began his career with British Gas in 1993 and guided the business
through a decade of radical restructuring before taken his current post in
August 2002.

Since taking the BG Group CFO role, Almanza has guided the FTSE 100 oil giant
through five years of outstanding stock price growth.

Shares in the company have climbed from the 250p mark in 2002 to close to
900p this year, outperforming Shell, BP, the FTSE 100 index and the oil and gas
In addition to his career success, Almanza has been a key member of the Hundred
Group’s main committee and, given his outstanding performance at BG Group, was
an obvious successor to Broadley.

What is going to happen?

Yet for all his success, Almanza has never been one to revel in the
spotlight. He rarely, if ever, gives press interviews and prefers to leave it to
the likes of Jon Symonds, Ken Lever, Mark Pain and Helen Weir to give Blue Chip
FDs a public face.

As Hundred Group chairman, that will all have to change. There is nothing
quite like the chairmanship to raise a businessperson’s profile. The chairman is
seen as the leader of top accountants in business and Almanza will certainly
face more media scrutiny and intense interest from finance lobby groups than
ever before.

With the credit crunch, sub-prime and audit choice issues hanging over the
market as the year draws to a close, Almanza will have plenty to ponder as he
prepares to
ascend to one of the most important positions in accounting.

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