Why I recruited an FD to keep us on track on AIM

Glisten Group Plc boss Paul Simmonds on hiring an FD to manage the company's affairs on AIM


Confectionery and edible decorations firm Glisten Plc was created, in its current form, just 18 months ago and launched on AIM almost straightaway. It was natural therefore that top of chief executive Paul Simmonds’ agenda was recruiting an able FD. “I wanted a person who had large business experience but where there was also a chemistry between us to make the relationship work,” he says.

After leafing through contacts and speaking to a number of hopeful candidates, it was an old colleague, Rob Davies, who he turned to. Davies, had reported to Simmonds as financial controller in a previous business incarnation and had spent a total of 13 years in the food industry.

“Instinctively I knew it was a relationship which could work again in my new business. One the one hand there’s a great deal of trust between us and on the other hand Rob’s a very resilient character and will challenge decisions and procedures.”

“We’re a good blend. I’m a planner, a strategist who is product orientated and positive. Rob tends to operate at the other end looking for flaws and the implications of what we want to do. Where we overlap is that were both good analysts.”

As Glisten is a very early stage Plc, Davies also acts as company secretary, a role which requires him to have a high level of commercial, operational and regulatory awareness. And when it is time for some bean counting, his frugal mentality is held in high regard by his boss.

On a day to day basis Davies work varies from providing weekly performance reports to eyeing up potential mergers and acquisitions, but as an AIM listed company a good portion of his time his spent communicating with Glisten’s investors.

“We’ve set out to work hard on investor relations as, with a £15m turnover, we’re still a relatively small company,” says Simmonds. “It’s an important area for Rob to keep in order, and he’ll deal with things like applying for our EIS certificates, fielding queries from new investors, of which we’re lucky to have quite a few, and sending circulars and newsletters to our existing ones.”

The communication aspect of Davies’ job is one he has had to work on in the move from a big to smaller business, blending his technical skills with the need to express precisely what Glisten is all about. Dawes is confident his FD is more than up to the task. “When we began Glisten the management team I brought in, Rob including, was chosen to take us to at least the next few stages. He’s with us for the long term” he says.

We’re a good blend. I’m a planner, a strategist who is product orientated and positive. Rob tends to operate at the other end looking for flaws and the implications of what we want to do

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