Steve Plant

Summary

An experienced and approachable Finance Director who has a passion for working with a portfolio of growing SMEs. In addition to strategic and operational responsibilities, he has experience in business start-ups, acquisitions, disposals, business roll-outs, and international investment. As a Chartered Accountant, Steve has put his skills to good use in countries as diverse as India, Russia and Singapore and relishes working in different cultural environments as well as the UK.


Experience

Steve qualified as a Chartered Accountant in Manchester with KPMG and, after qualifying he joined a UK-wide department store chain where he held a number of roles. He then moved into international retail, initially as international financial controller and then as finance director for new business start-ups in Russia and India. Following a divestment programme Steve negotiated the sale of the Indian business to a major local conglomerate.

Steve returned to the UK and has held a variety of Finance Director /Financial Controller roles in customer facing businesses such as coffee bars, cinemas, bingo, estate agency, property development and children’s day nurseries.

He is flexible and a resilient self-starter, working well either alone or as an effective team player. He is a goal-driven individual, action-orientated with a can-do attitude and a fine eye for detail.

Over the course of his career as a Finance Director he has:

  • Dealt with international joint ventures.
  • Secured sources of funding for business expansion.
  • Taken a lead role in major IT systems implementations.
  • Handled complex commercial agreements.
  • Prepared short term and long range cash flows and business plans.
  • Developed robust financial forecast models.
  • Handled both international and UK start-ups.

Case Study

Sector: Leisure

Finance Director

Background: 

The business comprised a chain of 12 family-owned cinemas. The business prided itself on excellent customer service and was reluctant to take the “human factor” away from the way it operated. The IT systems were not integrated with the head office thus meaning that each cinemas trading results had to be telephoned through at mid-night to an answerphone and the managers had to provide a long message giving the takings for each particular film. This film data was collated manually by the film booker and relayed to the head office at the end of the week. Each site had two sets of software – one for selling cinema tickets and one for product sales such as popcorn and soft drinks.
This mode of operation meant that the head office didn’t know which films were taking money until the end of the week and then at the end of the week HO staff had to calculate manually the film hire due to the film distributors.
Other issues arising were that customers could only buy tickets when the cinema was open either in person or on the phone. The business website could only detail the film showing times and did not have the facility to allow customers to buy tickets.

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