Wednesday, 25 February 2015

‘Paul Hooper–Keeley elected as new chairman for CIMA in the West Midlands’ reports Enda Mullen in The Birmingham Post

The West Midlands Area of CIMA, the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants, has elected Paul Hooper–Keeley as its new chairman. 

Mr Hooper–Keeley, who has been involved with CIMA in the Midlands for 16 years, has been elected to the role for a two-year term of office by fellow CIMA members. 

Based near Lichfield, he has worked as a management accountant in the SME sector for 31 years, the last 19 of which were at finance director level. 

For the last 11 years Mr Hooper–Keeley has provided interim finance director services across the UK and set-up his own company, Intervallum, six years ago. 

He said: “I was honoured and delighted to be elected by my CIMA peers to the prestigious role of chairman of CIMA West Midlands. 

“As chairman, my main focus will be to drive towards CIMA’s strategic goals. 

“Our specific objective this year is to actively engage with members and students, particularly through networking and continuing professional development, to help them feel supported and part of a community.” 

Mr Hooper–Keeley added: “I am keen to ensure we run a range of interesting events with high-profile speakers that will provide learning and development opportunities, as well as a social occasion, for management accountants in the West Midlands.” 

A former president of CIMA’s North West Midlands branch from 2003 to 2005 and again from 2010 to 2013, Mr Hooper–Keeley is also a West Midlands ambassador for the IOD’s Chartered Director qualification, a Chartered Manager via the Chartered Management Institute and a Fellow of the Institute of Leadership & Management. 

Married with a daughter, he lives in Fradley near Lichfield and is currently undertaking a part-time PhD at the University of Derby.

Friday, 20 February 2015

Michael Fabricant MP at this morning's Lichfield Business Connect Breakfast Meeting

Paul Hooper-Keeley with Michael Fabricant MP at Lichfield Business Connect

A big thank you to Michael Fabricant MP who gave a humorous and very engaging talk and Q&A session at the Lichfield Business Connect breakfast meeting this morning.

He talked through his career, including a short-lived stint on a pirate radio ship followed by a career in business selling TV/telecommunications kit around the world.

The Q&A session was lively, with Michael being very honest in giving his opinions on other major politicians (Chatham house rules apply, so I can divulge nothing more) as well as his opposition to HS2 (due to the original Labour plans being adopted rather than the alternate plan that the Conservative team's consultants had devised which was £8bn cheaper and didn't require so much of the countryside being carved up).

He reaffirmed his great support for the business community and, of course, gave us his thoughts on the forthcoming general election.

A very good session indeed from that rare breed of politician who has both had a job outside of politics and actually answers the questions he's asked with no hesitation or flannel.

Thursday, 19 February 2015

The Interim Paradox by Fraser Geekie

I was inspired by Godfrey Golzen’s book on Interim Management, which, although it is now over 20 years old, has a very interesting chapter “The Right Stuff of Interim Management”, which is as apt today, if not more so, than it was in 1992 when the book was written. 

It fell on my head from the top shelf of the bookcase, along with a number of associated magazine cuttings which have also contributed to the thinking behind this blog. Dislodged by fate, perhaps, (or was it the bottle of single malt hidden behind that I was reaching for) the resultant bang on the head drew me to contemplate a series of animated discussions we have been having with colleagues attending the Interims North bi-monthly seminars in Manchester on the topic of what properly and uniquely defines an Interim Manager and therefore what are the Corporate benefits of employing one? 

Harking back on the group discussions; adaptability, resilience, diplomacy and independence were a few of the characteristics we all proffered as essential foundation blocks of Interim Management success. Additionally, the general feeling was that the key competencies demonstrated by successful Interims were learned on the job, rather than being skills which could be taught. We all agreed that Interim Managers draw experience from several organisations and are over-qualified for the Interim assignments which they take on. This makes them able to hit the ground running, command the respect of their stakeholders and make quick inroads into solving the problem. All good stuff, but does it really distinguish the Interim Manager? 

Now, this is the important bit. Let’s distinguish between a “Career Interim” and someone who is simply "on the market", perhaps between permanent jobs, to undertake a defined project. There are several important competencies which set high performing Career Interim Managers apart from candidates who just happen to be immediately available (albeit suitably qualified) for specific short term assignments. To my knowledge there is no quotable qualification (yet) in flexibility, impartiality and organisational know-how / nouse, yet most Career Interim Managers would consider these a significant part of part of their job description. Add to this one particular behaviour which stands out in all the feedback I have received from satisfied Clients (Employers of Interim Managers) – good Interim Managers are more likely than permanent professionals or staff on project related contracts to prioritise the needs of the Business over their own personal goals. Simple when you boil it down. I would suggest that this final characteristic is, indeed, the unique differentiator. 

As ‘fixers’, Interims are more likely to focus on the client’s need rather than their own personal requirements or career aspirations. Yes, maintaining their personal reputation is essential, but this is enhanced by doing the very best they can for their clients with minimal support and with an eye on value for money. Their reputation is enhanced by ensuring they leave a strong legacy; up skilling and coaching teams to continue their work long after the assignment has ended. Strangely, the shorter the assignment, the greater the commitment to the client’s cause. The “Interim Paradox”, where, if they are unable to focus on serving the client and leaving a legacy, the assignment may come to a premature end. 

If you would like to know more on the benefits of Interim Management and perhaps discuss some appropriate case studies from a Client or a Candidate perspective, please don’t hesitate to contact me at Executives Online  or directly 07976 905571 

Fraser Geekie 

A Senior Consultant with Executives Online (North), Fraser delivers Business-wide solutions through the rapid and precise placement of Consultancy, Interim, and Permanent personnel. Quality talent in-place, on-time.

Vistage Midlands Open Day at Villa Park, Birmingham, on 6th March - 'Speak Loudly and Carry a Big Shtick!' with keynote speaker Mikki Williams

Vistage Open Days are high-impact, half-day business workshops where Vistage members and guests get together to experience a world-class Vistage speaker. You will learn several new techniques, share ideas and experiences and you will leave the workshop with actions that can be implemented immediately within your business. You will also be able to meet and network with other local senior business leaders, in a safe and trusted environment. 

When: 6th March 2015 

08.30 – Registration and breakfast

09.00 – Welcome and introductions

09.30 – Mikki Williams – Speak Loudly and Carry a Big Shtick!

10.45 - Coffee and networking

11.15 - Session recommences

12.45 – Review and discuss actions

13.00 – Lunch 

Where: Aston Villa Football Club, Villa Park, Trinity Road, Birmingham B6 6HE 

Wouldn’t you love to dazzle your audience whenever you make a presentation, even if it’s an audience of one? 

Do you choke and go blank? Or fumble and mumble your way through–or knock ‘em dead! The ability to speak in front of people is an essential success skill, and no skill opens more doors, creates more visibility and gives you more opportunity to exercise power. 

Organisational culture in your business is formed by stories, not just strategy and execution. 

The power to communicate your thoughts is crucial to achieving your goals, whether they concern work, family or friends. Included in this dynamic programme is content from Mikki’s “The Art and Heart of Storytelling”. 

CEOs, MDs and business leaders have to give presentations whether to their Board of Directors, their customers, their clients, their vendors, their trade association or their employees. To use Peter Drucker’s format, I contend that “delivery eats content for breakfast”. And you may know what you are going to say but you don’t know the how. 

Everyone must speak in front of a group sometime. Whether your audience is 2 or 2000, the key to success is to feel at ease and to speak persuasively. 

We are wired for communicating through and learning from stories. Instead of telling our valuable stories, we think we are safer with abstractions, opinions, ideas and beliefs rather than our lives. The more data one uses, the less connected we feel, the more human interest, the more connection. Mikki is a unique and transformational storyteller who will share with you the tips, tactics and techniques of effective presentation skills plus the power of authenticity in storytelling. 

Event Fees: - This event is free to Vistage members

Colleagues of Vistage members: £75+VAT

Vistage Alumni: £125+VAT

Guests: £125+VAT 

Mikki Williams
Mikki is an international speaker, trainer, consultant, executive speech coach, author, radio and TV personality and entrepreneur extraordinaire, creator of seven companies. An inspirational humorista and business motivator, she was chosen as one of the best speakers in North America by Meetings and Conventions Magazine. 

She was featured on the front page of The Wall Street Journal, named one of the Outstanding Women of the Decade by the United Nations, and ABC did a television documentary about her life. She was also recognized as Small Business Advocate of the Year, Entrepreneur of the Year and the International Fitness Business Person of the Year.

Monday, 16 February 2015

Rob Brown to MC the CIMA Midlands Conference 2015: Essential Management Accounting Tools on Saturday 25th April at Hinkley, Leicester

“One of the best conferences I have been to – great value and highly professional speakers” CIMA delegate at EMAT conference 2014. 

Due to the success of the EMAT conference held last year in Woburn, we are pleased to announce that we will be running this event again in Leicestershire on Saturday 25th April. 

Within the area of management accounting there is almost an infinite number of tools, methods, techniques and approaches, all promising to define and manage your organisation’s strategy, resources, customers and costs. This event will identify the right tools and help you obtain their full value.  

Date: Saturday 25th April 

Location: Hinckley Island Hotel, Watling Street (A5), Hinckley, Leicestershire LE10 3JA 

Price: £85 (CIMA members and students: £75) 

Early Bird Discount: -

Book your place before 31 March 2015 and save £15; the cost will be £60 members and students and £70 guests. Bookings from 1 April will be charged at the full rate. To book, use the URL at the end of this feature.

Timings: -

9.20am  Registration

9.50am  Start

4.30pm  Finish (approx). 

Please ensure your provide your MyCIMA login details at the top of the booking page for the discount to be applied. 

Price includes buffet lunch, refreshments throughout the day, and a conference pack with your copy of the CIMA report, ‘Essential tools for management accountants’. 

What you can gain? 

Outcome costing in the public sector

Covering his paper which was chosen by the Scientific Review Panel as highly commended at the World Congress of Accountants in Rome, Dr Macnab will provide an overview on developing a practical means of achieving outcome budgeting in public sector bodies to develop: - 

• A practical means of achieving outcome budgeting.

• Develop a methodology to link costs (actual and budgeted) to outcomes.

• Share experiences and to collaborate in meeting challenges.   

This session will also discuss techniques to evaluate cost effectiveness and value for money from outcomes using the information extracted from the costing model.  


• Why KPI’s are so vital to good performance in business.

• How to establish the right ones.

• How to make them a positive motivating force for people. 


• The meaning of governance and the main business issues.

• Leadership and the board.

• Practical examples of what works well and what needs attention. 

What makes good risk management good?

• Why establish an enterprise risk management framework?

• What makes for effective risk management? – the differentiator.

• How you can establish an effective enterprise risk management framework? 

The session will explore a number of challenges that all organisations face in creating and sustaining an effective enterprise risk management framework and how these can be practically addressed and integrated into everyday business. 

Building your reputation 

Rob Brown will be our master of ceremonies and will talk about adding an additional tool to an accountant’s kit - reputation. He will enthuse and demonstrate the importance of learning to “promote your brilliance”. 

Speaker Details 

Dr Alasdair Macnab FCMA, CGMA, Director of Corporate Services at the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh, has responsibilities for accountancy and finance, human resource management, information and communications technology services, estates and facilities management including major capital projects such as the Gateway, commercial activities, and executive supervision of the Botanics Trading Company. Alasdair serves on CIMA’s Research and Development Panel as well as on other boards in Scotland. 

Robin Tidd FCMA, CGMA is managing director of RTM Ltd having led RTM’s team in over 300 business performance improvement projects and management development projects. This work has been in a wide range of sectors in organisations of all sizes. He has run over 200 managing directors’ workshops attended by over 3000 managing directors’ over the past 20 years. He has been a CIMA council member since 2006 and is currently a member of UK Board of CIMA. 

Louis Cooper has over 20 years experience in public practice having worked for all of the ‘Big four’ accounting firms and for the last six years he has been lead partner of the risk and assurance team at Crowe Clark Whitehill. He is a fellow chartered accountant and a member of the Institute of Internal Auditors (IIA), the Institute of Risk Management (IRM) and the British Standards Institution (BSI).  

Matt Humphrey is a consultant at Baker Tilley and has over 25 years of business advisory experience. His particular focus is on ensuring that sound governance and risk management prevails during the periods of development, operation and growth to ensure that these entities become commercially sustainable, represent value for money and are able to provide quality services to customers, both now and in the future.
Rob Brown helps business leaders, experts and professionals to build and leverage powerful networks and connections for wealth, influence and opportunities. His key topics of expertise are relationship capital, executive presence, word of mouth, reputation management, career acceleration and LinkedIn and strategic networking.

Wednesday, 11 February 2015

Paul Hooper-Keeley added to Jeremy Paxman, Justin Urquhart Stewart & Roz Savage MBE for 2015 Finance Directors' Forum


7 - 10 October 2015, Arcadia

OPENING ADDRESS (WEDNESDAY): THE UK POLITICAL LANDSCAPE: Jeremy Paxman, Award-Winning Journalist, Author And Television Presenter

We are excited to announce that the award-winning journalist, author and television presenter Jeremy Paxman will headline this year’s Finance Directors’ Forum. In the wake of the general election, Jeremy Paxman, who has been at the sharp-end of political commentating for over 30 years, will share his views on what lies ahead for the UK. Jeremy Paxman has worked for the BBC since 1977 and has been the presenter of Newsnight, University Challenge and many BBC documentaries. He even completed a sell-out one-man show PAXO at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in 2014. He writes widely for newspapers and magazines and has recently become a contributing editor at the Financial Times. Jeremy Paxman will be hosting Channel 4’s coverage of the May 2015 General Election. 

CONFERENCE CHAIRMAN: Justin Urquhart Stewart, Economic Commentator & Co-Founder, Seven Investment Management

Having trained as a barrister, Justin took up corporate finance, working in both Africa and Singapore. He then returned to the UK and helped in the developments towards Big Bang in 1986 in London which led to him helping to found Broker Services in 1986. Broker Services went on to become Barclays Stockbrokers, where Justin was Corporate Development Director. In early 2001, he co-founded Seven Investment Management, an investment management business that innovated the UK investment market with the introduction of the first Sterling Investment Wrap Account. Seven Investment Management now manages and administers around £5.8 billion on behalf of professional financial wealth managers and intermediaries. 

Justin has a keen interest in developing the investment market to break down as many of the traditional barriers as possible for both private investors and smaller companies. As part of this he was involved in the original development of the AIM market and the investor educational company, Proshare. He writes regularly for national magazines and newspapers, and is a frequent commentator on television and radio, both in the UK and abroad. In March 2014, Justin won the ‘Best Industry Commentator 2012’ from the City of London Wealth Management awards, as voted for by professionals and consumers. 

Justin will also be delivering an Economic Outlook seminar - further information to follow.  

KEYNOTE ADDRESS (THURSDAY): Roz Savage MBE, World Record Holding Transatlantic Rower

There is no better way to acquire advanced expertise on self-mastery, resilience, and stress management than to be alone on a 23-foot rowboat, thousands of miles from land, at the mercy of winds, waves and currents. Since 2005 Roz has been the world’s foremost female ocean rower, having rowed – solo – across the Atlantic, Pacific and Indian Oceans. She has rowed over 15,000 miles, taken around 5 million oar-strokes, and spent cumulatively 520 days alone at sea. Prior to this radical undertaking, she spent eleven years working as a management consultant, which gave her a relevant and practical understanding of business and commercial organisations, both experiences of which she will draw upon during her keynote address. 

Roz applies a psychological and neuro-scientific approach to mind management, to develop greater resilience in individuals, teams and corporations in times of rapid and often unpredictable change. In challenging circumstances, an understanding of human stress-response mechanisms and how to control them is crucial to smart decision-making, accurate risk assessment and creative problem- solving. 

Roz will also be running an associated workshop session.  


BEING AN INTERIM FD: SHOULD THIS BE YOUR NEXT CAREER MOVE?: Paul Hooper-Keeley, Interim FD & Managing Director, Intervallum Limited

This workshop session, being run by a seasoned Interim Finance Professional, will explore: - 

        The practicalities of setting up as an Interim FD/CFO.

        The process of being an interim – why become one, what value will you be expected to add and types of work you will encounter: -

-        Turnaround & transformation – adding value to an organisation to include case-study examples.

-        Transactional work & leading companies through M&A.

-        Being a safe pair of hands – bridging the gap during times of recruitment / succession.

        The benefits being an interim – making it work for you and as a tool for enhancing your CV. 

Plenty of time will be made for interactive Q&A during the session.  

Paul Hooper-Keeley has 31-years industry experience, 19 as a Board level FD, the last 11 in an Interim capacity across multiple sectors. He has significant experience of PE, MBO, re-financing turnarounds, M&A and building high performing teams. He is a direct Fellow of CIMA, has just completed 3-years as Branch President of the NW Midlands and has now been elected CIMA Chairman for the whole of the West Midlands. In addition, as the IoD’s 25th Chartered Director, he is an Institute of Directors’ West Midlands Ambassador. 

The Finance Directors' Forum qualifies for CPD credits. All delegate attendees will receive a CPD certificate after the event. 

For further information please visit or contact: - 

Joe Rutter, Delegate Manager: 020 8487 2277,

James Walker, Delegate Manager, 020 8487 2299,

Victoria Coles, Conference Manager: 020 8487 2266,  

Monday, 2 February 2015

Free CIMA CPD Event, ‘Operational Excellence and Performance Management – the Missing Link?’, in Cannock on 12th February

Event Summary
Many organisations have embarked upon operational excellence journeys under the guise of lean and/or six sigma and many organisations have sophisticated performance management processes in place in the form of scorecards, KPIs and dashboards. However, those organisations often find it challenging to reap the full rewards of those initiatives, so what is the missing link?   

Date: 12 February 2015 (starting with networking at 18:30)   

Location: Roman Way Hotel, Watling Street, Hatherton, Cannock WS11 1SH 

Price: No charge  

Buffet served on arrival 

To book your free place email  

What you can gain
This session will explore the challenges facing organisations introducing lean/six sigma, with particular reference to the finance function, and how, if those improvement efforts are not directly linked to the performance management process, it becomes very difficult to validate the business benefits. It will show how the practise of strategy deployment can bridge this gap and ensure that improvement is linked to performance to deliver real value. 

Speaker Details
Dave Jones provides business performance management and improvement consultancy services. He has over 15 years of expertise in the areas of strategy deployment, balanced scorecard and lean six sigma. He brings considerable experience and understanding of managing change in transactional and manufacturing work environments gained through working with leading global organisations including Johnson & Johnson, HB Fuller and NestlĂ© to improve their business performance.   

He has lead strategy execution programmes from objective setting, through scorecard definition to ongoing management review in a number of different environments including Cyprus Telecom and is a member of the Palladium Execution Premium Community (XPC). 

Dave has led a number of lean six sigma delivering demonstrable business benefits both operational and financial. As a Certified Master lean six sigma Black Belt, he has trained and coached hundreds of lean six sigma resources including across a diverse range of industries and from all corners of the world.