“Portfolio working allows me to keep close to the business I founded, whilst supporting other entrepreneurs

Chris Willford, portfolio FD at The FD Centre in the Thames Valley
(part of the CFO Centre Group)

“Portfolio working allows me to keep close to the business I founded, whilst supporting other entrepreneurs and doing the things I love.”

Chris Willford joined the FD Centre back in 2016 after over 30 years working in FTSE 100 companies and the creation of a successful software business.

Having worked his way up to FTSE board level in two different industry sectors, Chris felt it was time to do his own thing, so in 2011 he joined forces with a friend and neighbour, said goodbye to corporate life and started a software business. Together, they established business relatively quickly, and after setting a good solid foundation, Chris concluded the business didn’t need his financial experience full time.

He wanted to stay close to the business, but it didn’t make sense for him to spend time on non-strategic or non-financial tasks that other people could carry out. Chris, therefore, decided to reduce his hours with the company – staying involved in the strategic direction and freeing up time for him to support other entrepreneurs.

After a chance meeting with a regional director at the FD Centre in 2015, Chris joined the FD Centre team the following year. He now looks after a number of businesses, working mainly in the tech, media and publishing sectors.

“I enjoy being in control of my own diary, and the variety of the work means there’s always something interesting to work on. I oversee some really strong and diverse businesses and there’s no shortage of opportunities to make a difference in each one.”

Oh, and when he’s not checking in with one of his clients, you may find Chris cycling with his local road cycling group…if you can catch him of course. You see, he has made sure he sets time aside for the work-life balance we all crave.

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