Awards 2007: Finance Director – Blue Chip (over £50m turnover)

AA Awards

Sponsored by Watson Wyatt

Winner: Ian Dyson, Marks & Spencer

This year’s winner of the Blue Chip finance director accolade is the perfect
example of how an FD can support and nurture boardroom aspirations.

Following a series of lacklustre years, Marks & Spencer has transformed
itself into one of the UK’s leading retailers, outperforming market expectations
and setting standards above most other retailers in its sector.

Pivotal to this success is group FD Ian Dyson who has worked tirelessly to
provide board executives with the financials to make innovative decisions.

The decision to name him as our winner was made decisively and consensually.
Given the calibre of FDs that Dyson was up against – Trevor Dighton G4S, Douglas
Flint of HSBC and Helen Weir of Lloyds TSB – the decision can only be considered
of the highest praise.

A long list was selected by readers of Financial Director and Investment Week
from the whole gamut of blue chip FDs. But our judges said: ‘This is a man ahead
of anyone else. It’s impossible to see past him to any other candidate at this
moment. There are other great FDs out there, but Ian Dyson stands out like a

Appointed just over two years ago, Dyson, 44, was this year awarded the
maximum bonus under the retailer’s performance-related pay scheme, reflecting
the achievement of targets based on pre-tax profits ‘delivered in full’.

Responsible for IT, property and the group’s finance, Dyson has spearheaded
the revamping of its stores, supply chain, IT, finance and everything else in

Dyson has put the environment at the centre of his responsibilities at the
retailer, even in the search for backers of a £400m bond in which he asked banks
about their green credentials. Dyson is pragmatic in the group’s green approach,
citing the business reasons as well as its responsibility in upholding standards
in society and towards the environment.

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