Neil Outram

Summary

An experienced Finance Director and SME business owner with prior experience in large multinational companies. Neil established and grew a business from inception to a multi-million dollar operation with several locations in two different countries. He has the ability and experience to develop and deliver sustainable financial and strategic growth strategies, turnaround financial operations, enhancing financial capability and maximising business performance through embedding robust systems, controls and tools.


Experience

Neil qualified as a Management Accountant in the United Kingdom whilst at Courtauld Textiles PLC. After gaining experience in several high-profile companies such as Mirror Group and Railtrack, he moved to the engineering and construction company, Alstom Power Plants UK. In 2003, Neil moved to Malaysia as the Country Financial Director for Alstom and subsequently undertook the same role in Singapore and Thailand. After leaving Alstom in 2010, Neil established and grew his own successful business, which has expanded to include multiple locations in both Malaysia and Indonesia.

He enjoys performing in challenging environments, solving problems, and building & working in teams whilst striving towards achieving goals and aspirations. Neil has a down to earth, practical approach with his clients thanks to his wide range of experience in financial management, business growth and operating SME businesses.

Over the course of his career, he has:

  • New business development – Established and set-up a business with ownership for defining the business model, securing ongoing funding capital, sourcing locations, creating marketing content, recruiting expert child development gymnastics instructors and leading, mentoring and training staff to drive performance and outstanding customer service levels.
  • Business Planning – Developed a budgeting and a strategic financial review process. Implemented and oversaw the running of these processes which included monthly financials, cash flow, company and team KPI’s. Recently subcontracted to a Company who offer a new and unique technology. Reviewed their new business model and developed a business plan with an emphasis on cashflow. This led to a revised cash funding solution to the one originally envisaged.
  • Cash-flow – Developed, implemented and ran cash flow forecasting process. Negotiated loans and overdrafts with a bank to fund growth and working capital. Calculated the company’s valuation to derive share price for offering to new and existing investors
  • Commercial – Negotiation and renegotiation of various type of contracts. Dealing successfully with disputes and claims related to contracts.
  • Team Building & Management – Built a number of teams in several countries and cultures, developing and improving competencies.  Instigated right sizing exercises as appropriate to business needs and activity levels.
  • Finance & IT transformation – As Country Finance Director, led the initiative to transform team issues and enhance the IT infrastructure. Reviewed existing processes; reorganised finance department; brought accounts up to date; resolved long outstanding issues; trained and mentored teams; reinforced clear expectation of ethics and standards; led the implementation of new server; and overhauled IT infrastructure.
  • Cost Reduction – Implemented successful cost reduction schemes whilst improving quality and timeliness of service.

Case Study

Background:

Having worked in large corporate entities in several countries, I had decided that I would utilise the knowledge and skills I had acquired and set up and develop a business in my own right.

I had certain criteria’s in as much that it would provide a reasonable income and capital growth and that at some future point the business would be able to run with minimal involvement from myself, becoming more of a passive income.

An important criterion was to be involved in a business that I could take pride in being involved with. Whilst I had capital to invest it was limiting factor. At this point, the Malaysian economy was still recovering from the 2009 financial crisis.

Challenges:

To find and engage in a business that would fit with my criteria. This being within reasonable means to set up the business leaving adequate working capital. That gave the greatness possibility of success for a new business, with resilience to economic downturns.

The target was to become a successful business start-up with a fast transition to a stable cash positive trading position. From a stable and sustainable base move to growth and expansion of the overall business.

The measurements I used during the start-up phase of the business were cash generation, EBIT, company & share valuation, and the number of locations we could expand into when appropriate and once growth was achievable.

When starting up the gym business, I set-up, tracked and managed a series performance stats. These KPIs included gross margin by Gym, number of inquiries, conversion of inquiries to members, retention of members, salary as percentage of revenue and EBIT.

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