A week in the life of David Nish, finance director of ScottishPower.

Monday Arrive in our corporate headquarters in Glasgow at 7.15am and spend much of the morning ploughing through a pile of e-mails, mainly from the US on this occasion.

I then meet trustees from a number of our pension schemes before taking part in a marathon executive committee meeting on strategy and operational performance until the evening.


Shuttle down to London for one of a regular round of talks with investment bankers and major investors before heading for Heathrow and the 12-hour flight to Portland, Oregon, where PacifiCorp is based. The relative calm at 35,000ft is ideal for going through business papers that somehow never fail to pile up.


Still midday UK time in my head, I get to the Portland office at 4.00am local time where I find a breakfast waiting for me, prepared from last night by a considerate US secretary who knows Starbucks is not yet open!

At least the hotel is just around the corner. Chair a meeting of the US risk committee looking at operating and commodity risks. Early to bed as jet lag gradually catches up with me.


No surprise that I don’t enjoy the soundest of sleep though, with 40 such trips under my belt in two years, I am getting used to it. However, I use the regular gaps between sleep to check UK developments.

In the morning I start a long round of business review meetings, examining the performance of all aspects of our US operations.


Another 4.00am start, but suitably wide awake for an audit committee session, which focuses on our year-end report. A meeting of the ScottishPower board – now regularly held in the US – begins and, as most of the agenda papers appear to be sponsored by me, I bear the brunt of the questions and answer session.


Fly overnight to London, losing eight hours on route, and then on to Glasgow. Make it home with a couple of hours to spare, much to the relief of my son who is waiting to go to his first rugby international. And Scotland even manage to beat Italy!

– David Nish is finance director of ScottishPower. Since joining as deputy finance director in 1997, he has overseen the integration of the company with US utility PacifiCorp.

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