UK FDs dominate European CFO rankings

The FDs of the UK’s largest companies are among the best in Europe according
to a poll of 600 portfolio managers at 250 money management firms and 800
analysts at almost 100 brokerages, who together control an estimated $2.57
trillion (£1.37 trillion).

The poll, conducted by respected investment journal Institutional
, asked respondents who they rated as the best FD in Europe in each
sector. Out of the 31 sectors identified in the research, the FDs of UK
companies came out on top in 11 of them.

The report asked analysts about how the FDs had performed on financial
transparency, efficiency, profits, financial profits and strategy.

In aerospace and defence, George Rose, the FD of BAE Systems was the number
one FD in Europe. In banking, HSBC’s FD Douglas Flint topped the polls. Colin
Day, the FD of consumer products group Reckitt Benckiser, was the best FD in his
category, as was the FD of mining company Rio Tinto Guy Elliot. In food
retailing Tesco’s Andrew Higginson was the top dog, while in general retailing
GUS’s FD David Tyler took top spot.

The other FDs to perform well were Man Group’s Peter Clarke, Smith &
Nephew’s Peter Hooley, Simon Melliss from Hammerson, Imperial Tobacco’s Bob
Dyrbus and Richard Solomon’s from Intercontinental Hotels.

After a year that included the transition to IFRS, an increasing challenge
from private equity and a clampdown on tax avoidance by the HM Revenue &
Customs, UK FDs have done well to perform so strongly against their mainland

When the results of the Institutional Investor poll are compared with the
findings of research compiled by Accountancy Age’s sister publication
Financial Director, it also emerges that the UK FDs rated most highly
by analysts and fund managers are also the best performers when it comes to
creating shareholder value.

In its analysis Financial Director used date each FD in the FTSE 100
took up the position and measured his/her performance against the FTSE All-Share
from that date until the middle of April this year.

Over the respective time periods, Financial Director measured the
return on £1,000 if invested in each individual company as opposed to the return
on £1,000 if invested in FTSE.

When measured against this benchmark, every FD ranked in the Institutional
Investor survey outperformed the FTSE All-Share since appointment. Every one of
the FDs generated double-digit share price growth, with Man Group’s Peter Clarke
the leading performer, having overseen a 430% increase in his company’s share
price since his inception in 2000.

Related reading