A Month in the life of a Portfolio Finance Director

Friday, 1st September 2023


In the coming months, I intend to use this blog to talk about

  • What it is like to be a Portfolio Finance Director, the challenges, the obstacles, the successes and the difficulties,
  • The various types of assistance I offer to my clients, how I help them achieve whatever it is they wish to achieve and how I help them avoid the pitfalls that can befall businesses,
  • The challenges that my clients are facing in any given month, and how they are approaching them.

But as this is my first blog, I thought that I would initially set the scene as to an average client’s journey.

“Come for the Numbers, Stay for the Strategy”

I have to be honest; it took me some time to come up with this strapline. But I am a little proud of it because it very accurately describes the journey that most of my client go on.

Come for the Numbers

The old adage is that “Sex sells” and it is true, selling dreams is important. But as a Portfolio Director, it is more often pain that sells.

My clients tend to hire me when they have reached a point of extreme frustration.

They are either receiving no management information, the information they are receiving they simply don’t believe or the information they are receiving is so out of date as to be worthless.

They have a view of how they think they are trading, but the numbers don’t support this.

Sometimes cash has become an issue and they don’t understand why.

They are frankly in a bit of a mess.

They phone me, I have a chat, I go out for a visit, I try to understand the problems with their management information and then I fix them.

I often produce the first set of meaningful management information they have received in some time, or on occasions ever.

Then the fun starts.

Stay for the Strategy

Once my clients finally have some meaningful accurate information then the next stage begins.

What’s the plan?

How do we overcome the challenges, how do we maximise the opportunities, how do we minimise the risks?

I work with my clients to develop a strategic plan. We pull together forecasts, we look at the funding required. We develop an action plan. We look at the support that is needed.

I then stick around. I make sure that the business continues to have reliable, timely, relevant information. I assist in delivering the plan, I introduce the right people, I offer advice, I hold them to account.

I genuinely become a Trusted Business Advisor.