Olympics FD ponders ‘job of a lifetime’

The finance director for London’s 2012 Olympics bid says he is pondering
whether or not to stay on for what he calls ‘the job of a lifetime’.

In his first interview since London was awarded the 2012 Games, Neil Wood
told Accountancy Age he has not yet made a decision about his future
with regards to the next stage of the Games.

‘It’s tempting. It is the job of a lifetime. It certainly won’t exist as a
job in the UK again in our lifetimes,’ Wood said. 

Wood stressed, however, that his plan had always been to return to Deloitte,
where he is a partner, after the initial stages. He is to be FD of the London
Organising Committee of the Games (LOCOG) for at least the next six months.

‘I’m a partner in Deloitte, and I’ve been incredibly fortunate that I have
been allowed to take on this role,’ he said.

After the interim period, a decision will be made, both by Wood and others,
as to who takes on the role of organising the finance function for the games

After the euphoric celebrations on Wednesday, he said it was too early to
make a decision: ‘the decision I have come to is not to even think about it at
this stage.’

The drama of recent events might make it difficult to make a balanced
judgment, he suggested.

Few finance directors can have, overnight, seen such a difference made to
their budgets.

Whilst the bid itself was costed at around £30m, the budget for the Games
themselves will be £1.5bn in today’s money, Wood said.

Wood started his career at Andersen in 1986 before moving to Deloitte in
2002. At Deloitte he had worked on a project consulting on the congestion
charge, working with government, but ‘nothing like’ the contact he has with
government now, he said.

The bid team is to start working on the budgets for 2012 the minute it gets
back on Monday, Wood said.

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