Speaker: Chris Ferguson, CFO, Preqin
What would you like to say to your CFO?
Chris Ferguson: I want to start by passing on my sincere thanks to Raymond for the tremendous support he’s given both myself and Preqin over the past two years. And not only has it been a pleasure working with him, but as a CFO, I can comfortably say that it’s been a tremendous return on investment for both myself, but also as a company.
What one or two big issues/untapped opportunities were you facing before you started working with us?
Chris Ferguson: Before Raymond started working with us, we were facing some very common but pretty significant challenges of how to scale the business support functions. We’ve been a rapidly growing and global company, but we were under invested in the back office, particularly in FP&A where Raymond is an expert. And really from the outset, he was able to give me very clear perspective on what good looks like and what to aim for, as well as some very clear and concrete actions on the steps we needed to take in order to get there.
What have been the benefits to your business specifically?
Chris Ferguson: In terms of some of the specific areas where Raymond has helped us, one is he’s got an incredible life of talent and being able to assist us and filling some key roles within the Finance team through his network. He’s helped us optimise our tax efficiency, most notably through Patent Box, but then also have been able to help on corporate tax issues, company secretarial issues. He’s also obviously an expert on FP&A and he’s really helped us improve our reporting, both internal management reporting, but also external.
What have the benefits been to you personally?
Chris Ferguson: The biggest benefit to me, personally is the peace of mind that he provides because I know he has a fantastic track record and years of great experience standing behind any advice that he gives me. And that, frankly, is where, you know, you can come short as a younger and less experienced CFO like myself. So, I think we dove tail pretty well in terms of what we’re bringing to the table.
What are you hoping to achieve over the coming 12-24 months with the support of your CFO?
Chris Ferguson: Looking forward as a company, we’re hoping to continue to grow around 30% this year. We’re expanding the footprint of our offices into India and China, if we can get that right. We’re also broadening our product suite into kind of adjacent industries and areas And look, all of those will come with a variety of financial and operational challenges, but you know, nothing that Raymond hasn’t seen or dealt with before. So, as always, I feel like we’re in good hands.