We are delighted to announce the promotion of Greg Gordon from Finance Controller (FC) to Finance Director (FD).
In this article, Greg discusses the company’s position in the market, the opportunities for its people, and the role Finance plays in supporting the company’s growth. Greg joined Walker Sime in November 2020, is now in-post and already enjoying the challenge.
“Every company will expect something different from its finance department,” Greg explained. “The difference in an organisation of this size is that the role is much broader. You’re not just looking after the financial aspects of the business; you have to be willing to get onto the ‘shop floor’ and help out. That’s what I enjoy about the role – you get involved in all parts of it. You get to know the people and the contracts. And because you’re involved in such a hands-on way you really feel that you can make a difference.”
Greg is clear about the role of a finance function and the way in which it should go about its work. “Walker Sime has sound growth plans and it’s our job to ensure the finance is in place to support that growth.
“We should be working away quietly in the background and adding value where we can. If you’ve got a noisy finance function it’s probably not doing its job very well.”
Greg also has a clear view of the core challenge facing any growing construction company in a buoyant market. “Right now we’re a select (not small) fish in a big pond and we’re growing. As we grow, we’ll work with new clients with whom we don’t have the same longstanding relationships we’ve built with organisations like Peel L&P, Muse Developments, Bruntwood and more. So good governance – due diligence of the client – is vital to reduce risk, to ensure we don’t get caught out, and to ensure that the clients we work with are a good ‘fit’ for the Walker Sime brand. That really is important to us.”
Recruiting people people
Also central to the continued growth and success of Walker Sime is the ability to recruit the right people. Having joined the organisation in 2020, Greg has seen at first hand the emphasis Walker Sime places on finding people who don’t just possess the right skills and experience, but embody the Walker Sime ethos.
“That’s perhaps the toughest challenge of all, and to address it you need to understand this business’ roots,” Greg explained. “You can feel the heartbeat of the company. Integrity and honesty really do matter here and those values are what we look for in new recruits. Every year we relook at the strategy and values and ask again what it is that fundamentally drives this business. It always comes back to the people.”
Greg believes his own path from FC to FD is a prime example of Walker Sime’s strategy in action.
“My progression proves this business’ commitment to getting the right people in the right posts – people who can support the company in growing in a way that’s right for them. It demonstrates there’s a progression path for everyone. And it shows that managers here will help and support you in your career.”
Building with purpose
Greg highlighted a moment he believes clearly demonstrates the Walker Sime difference. “Recently Dez [Walker, the Walker in Walker Sime and the company’s Client Relations Director] took the Central Services Team round central Manchester to show us the projects the company is working on. That was really important because I’m not involved in day-to-day construction and you can perhaps become detached from the difference your business is making on the ground. It’s great to be out in Manchester with friends or family and point to a building and say ‘we did that’.
“As a human being you behave better when you feel valued and have purpose. In a business like this, you really feel part of something.”