Profile: Mike McEwan, Miller Construction
Brewing, football, drug manufacture, mining, publishing and, of course, construction: such diversity of experience brings Mike McEwan to Miller Construction as the new divisional finance controller.
Kicking off his career in auditing, he gained wide-ranging exposure to a variety of companies and industries after studying accountancy at Heriot-Watt university.
McEwan has made his first job move after seven years with Arthur Andersen in Edinburgh and Chicago, where he was part of the team that developed a new software system to standardise its international audit process.
He spent the last six months of 1997 on secondment to Miller which inspired him to make things permanent. ‘The scale and process in construction have always been of interest to me. I feel it’s more rewarding to be able to see the fruits of your labour and the impact that the building has – many other industries have less tangible outputs,’ he says. ‘I think it is a very interesting time to be in construction. Gone are the days of putting guys and materials on-site and waiting for a result.’
McEwan feels Investors in People, the public-private partnership, and partnering are changing the whole focus of the industry. His key challenge is to raise the profile and value of financial operations. ‘I’m keen to see the existing financial function continue a move towards adding value to the business, rather than being a back-room record-keeping function,’ he says.