We caught up with one of Xalient’s newest recruits, Chief Finance Officer Andrew to find out a bit more about him, his role at Xalient and what makes him tick…
To kick things off, could you tell us a bit about your career background and current role here at Xalient?
After taking a year out travelling after University, training to be a chartered accountant was a bit of a shock to the system but I gained lots of commercial experience from my clients and entered the ‘real world’ of business with a north east Telco in 2007 and have been fortunate enough to work with some great organisations with amazing people in the sector ever since. Xalient is my latest chapter and as CFO I hope to bring that outside experience I’ve gained over the years to the business to help us grow quicker.
What is it that attracted you in this opportunity the most?
From the first conversations I had with Lynton, Sherry, Mark and Annie I was sold on the culture and in my 6 weeks I haven’t been disappointed!
What’s the first thing you do when you start your working day?
A cup of tea whilst planning the day and clearing any overnight emails. I also have a daily check in with my team which is really important especially when we’re all still working from home – we cover off everything from Netflix, Pizza ovens and how we can help each other workwise. And of course a conversation about the weather normally features!
And what does a day in the life look like for you?
There’s so much variety to the role it’s actually really difficult to describe! Yesterday I was doing everything from reviewing commercial contracts, answering payroll queries, speaking to suppliers, supporting our sales teams, reviewing our financial forecast and of course keeping an eye on cash – it’s a cheesy cliché but cash is king!
What unique value do you think you will bring to Xalient?
I’ve always really enjoyed the people side of business, helping to develop team mates but also learning – every day is a school day!
Being quite new to Xalient, what would you say makes Xalient stand out among others?
As a relatively new organization we don’t have some of the legacy challenges that many businesses in the sector have which means we can be more disruptive and move quicker than others – this is a real advantage for us
How would your colleagues describe you?
Hopefully a great team mate!
What does work-life balance mean to you and how do you work to achieve that goal?
With four relatively young children (4, 9, 12 and 14) it’s so important to ensure that work doesn’t overrule family life. Having spent many years doing a long weekly commute I’ve actually really enjoyed being at home over the past 12 months, hopefully, my wife Lucy would agree! That said, I’m looking forward to getting back into the office and meeting all of my new colleagues in person.
In the past 12 months, have you started or stopped any routines or habits to change your life?
I found that during 2020 in my last role I was falling into the trap of spending long periods of time sitting in front of my screen and wasn’t getting enough exercise. Over the past few months I’ve really got into doing some fitness training 2-3 times a week and also got back to Monday night 6 a side football this week which I love even if my head thinks I’m a lot younger than my legs!
Are there any products, gadgets or apps that you can’t live without?
The best thing I’ve ever bought was an outdoor wood fired stove which has a grill on top. Since buying it last Autumn I’ve probably BBQ’d at least once a week and for those chilly North East evenings it’s been amazing for meaning you can sit outside without freezing.
Who inspires you (work, personal and / or historical)?
My parents (I think you don’t really realise how amazing they are until you have your own children), my wonderful wife (of course!) and one of my all time heroes was Sir Bobby Robson – from watching him do his jig on the touchline in Italia 90 to bringing great times as manager of the Toon army. Such a genuine bloke and so inspirational.
And finally, do you have a tip for getting through the lockdown?
Take some time out to enjoy our wonderful countryside – looking forward to Alfresco April (Xalient’s CSR charity fundraising Walking Challenge). And counting down how many sleeps until pubs and restaurants reopen of course!