News  & Insights

CFO Incubator Breakfast with Richard Richards, CFO Seven Group Holdings

by Hazel M Bennett

Richard Richards was a fantastic way to wrap up our current season of CFO Incubator last week. He spoke to the group about what led to his decision to become a CFO, which wasn’t a straight forward career progression from his early beginnings in Tax and explained that although he had travelled the “less worn path”, the transition was possible.

Taking career risks is essential from Richard’s perspective for any aspiring finance professional. He has taken huge risks in his career, at times making career moves that seemed like “a step backwards” in order to be able to move his career forwards. Although he has not had a formal mentor, Richard considers himself lucky as he has had various informal mentoring relationships with people he has worked for and worked with who have become friends and confidants today.

Richard’s 3 key pieces of advice for aspiring CFOs are:

  1. Work on acquiring new skills that support your career aspirations. Take on complex problems and focus on skill acquisition as you never know when those skills and knowledge will become useful.
  2. Relationships – Not all roles are necessarily promoted in the market. There will be contacts that you come across and build relationships with that will influence your career in the future. Bear this in mind and make these relationships work for you and not against you.
  3.  Don’t be in a rush – It might be great to say you are a CFO at 30 but it’s not always a logical, natural progression. Enjoy the journey! Back yourself and your abilities as no one will have 100% of the skills required on day one, but you can get your network to help you solve the problems you encounter. Everyone has gaps, but the key to success is to understand your skillset by knowing your strengths and acknowledging your weaknesses as they are your biggest opportunities.

We would like to thank Richard for his incredibly entertaining and inspiring chat with our CFO Incubator group. If you would like to find out more about the next season of our program visit The CFO Incubator webpage


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