Profile – Terry Heard, Carlin Music

Terry Heard, recently promoted to finance director of Carlin Music, dreamed of a career in pop music through accountancy. In 1981, Heard, a certified accountant and chartered secretary, began his career with Pannell Kerr Forster. The work – primarily auditing large insurance clients – did not excite him. ‘We worked with various syndicates such as Lloyds Insurance Market, but such big numbers lost their meaning.

It was like looking at a phone directory,’ he says.

In 1983, Heard left Pannells to work at an accountancy firm in Regent Street, London, called Edwards Sarikhnai – now the Chiltern Group – the original auditor of 1980s teen group Wham!

Wanting a more direct involvement in the music industry, Heard joined the then RCA record label a year later, whose eclectic list of artists ranged from Dolly Parton to David Bowie. Working in their internal audit section, Heard was responsible for operations outside the US.

‘There was a team of eight to ten of us, and we travelled to Europe, the Far East and Asia. You didn’t know where you’d be from one minute to the next.’

In 1987, he became a licensee auditor in RCA’s joint video venture with Columbia. Again, the work took him across the globe, including visiting Argentina. ‘It was before hostilities had officially finished,’ he recalls.

He finally broke into show business in 1989, when he became financial controller for the Norwegian band A-ha.

His main responsibilities were dealing with recording royalties generated from performances and publishing, while trying to minimise the band’s tax bill.

Heard joined Carlin Music in 1992 as financial controller, taking responsibility for safeguarding the copyright of a back catalogue including Elvis Presley and Dolly Parton. He believes becoming FD will not require any major changes in his role. ‘Eventually everything revolves around cash flow and profit & loss,’ he says.

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