In the first of our Meet The Team Q&A series, we speak to Tom Morrell, recently appointed CFO at Grafton Capital.
Why did you decide to join Grafton Capital? What is it about Grafton that stood out to you?
The opportunity to work in a fast-moving sector, with an interesting and exciting group of companies and a smart team stood out to me. On top of that, Ed’s vision for how he wants to grow the business and the talent we’re recruiting have really impressed me, it’s an entrepreneurial culture which mirrors the businesses we invest in and I’m excited to be a part of the journey.
Can you describe what you’ll be doing within your new role? What are you most looking forward to?
I’ll be responsible for Grafton Capital’s financial reporting, compliance, tax and financing activities as well as oversight of the investments we have and contributing in the review of new investments. I expect it to be quite a hands-on and varied role which will enable me to use the skills I’ve acquired in my career so far but I’m also looking forward to learning from the rest of the team and developing skills in new areas.
Why do you like working with SMEs and growth companies?
I love the fast-moving nature of SME companies, the smaller boards and investor groups allow them to be dynamic and make quick decisions. The fact that the management are typically personally invested in the business also means that the work we do can make a huge difference for those individuals, both personally and professionally.
What excites you about technology?
It’s exciting to be working with people who are pushing the boundaries of what’s possible and developing new solutions which will change the way we do things. An example is Board International, a company which we’re invested in, they have developed a unique platform which distils huge amounts of data and enables businesses to make fast, informed decisions which previously may not have been possible. It’s an environment in which you’re always learning.
Do you think the job of a CFO has got more challenging during the pandemic? How is Covid-19 changing the role of the CFO?
I think that the uncertainty and volatility created by the pandemic has put CFO’s right at the centre of every business. The CFO should always be across key strategic decisions, but the pandemic has put even more focus on the role, particularly with regard to stakeholder management. In the changing environment good, clear communication is critical and obviously that’s another area which has presented challenges as the world has moved to remote working.
What is the best piece of life advice you’ve ever received?
Nothing is so important in retrospect as it was in prospect. It’s just a reminder that, however demanding a situation is, one day you’ll look back on it and wonder why it was such a big deal, I find it helps to keep things in perspective.
One final question: how have you filled your time in lockdown? When not working of course!
I got engaged, moved house and started a new job during lockdown so finding a way to fill my time hasn’t been a problem!