Profile – Esther Brookes, Nelson Hind

Stepping into a newly created role, Esther Brookes is Nelson Hind Catering Management’s first-ever financial director.

At 29, she is now responsible for the finances of a company projected to turn over #26m this year. Plucked from Big Sixer Coopers & Lybrand, the former audit manager was brought on board Nelson Hind as company accountant in spring 1995. Promotion followed in 1996, when she was made financial controller.

At first, the move from the profession into industry seemed a big jump, but Brookes is suited to her chosen environment.

She explained: ‘Nelson Hind is big enough for personal opportunities yet still small enough for an individual to make a difference long term.’ Leading by example, Brookes has great expectations of her young team.

She sees developing people, systems and structure as a priority. ‘As FD, I can look at the wider business issues. I want to ensure the company evolves at all levels, not just on the finance front. I have seen the company double in size. We must keep pace with this rapid growth and maintain our quality reputation,’ she said.

Being a woman has never presented career barriers as far as Brookes is concerned, and she concludes her new job is not a case of ‘too much too soon’. ‘I have no reservations about taking on the directorship. I’ve been with Nelson Hind for three years and plan to continue developing as it does,’ she said.

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