Lucy Hoye is an integral part of Proco’s Business Services team as Chief Financial Officer. We caught up with her to discuss her journey so far and what it’s like to be a senior female leader in a global business.
What are the primary duties of a CFO in an executive search firm?
As CFO, I oversee all the financial operations of the business, which includes internal and external financial reporting, business control and treasury. Part of my role includes analysing the company’s financial strengths and weaknesses and using this analysis to advise the rest of the executive board on decision making. I also spend time building and maintaining relationships with external stakeholders.
Can you describe the journey and career path that has led you to your position today?
I qualified as a Chartered Accountant with Baker Tilly back in 2007. A few years after qualifying, I moved from practice into industry and worked as a Group financial accountant for Alliance Healthcare, which is the wholesale pharmaceutical and distribution part of Alliance Boots. From there I made my way into the travel industry, where I remained for a number of years and worked as the Financial Controller for All Leisure Group, an AIM-listed owner-managed business specialising in cruising before moving to the group reporting team at TUI, a FTSE 100 company. After over 4 years at TUI, it was time for a change. The opportunity arose to become the Financial Director for Proco Group and the rest is history!
Do you feel that the odds have been stacked against you as a woman in finance?
There are certainly challenges being a woman in a senior financial position. I think women still have to prove themselves much more than their male counterparts.
What is the most challenging part of your job?
Balance, which is always one of the most difficult parts of any job. Being able to balance everything I need to do while ensuring my team, as well as others in the business, also have enough of my time and attention.
What has the highlight of your career been so far?
Being promoted to Chief Financial Officer.
What is the most important trait of a leader, in your opinion?
People need to trust you and believe in what you’re trying to achieve. I also think it’s important to lead by example.
How do you balance your work responsibilities with your personal responsibilities? How have Proco allowed you to succeed / supported you?
It’s important to have a good work/life balance. I try to limit the amount of time I spend working outside of normal working hours but due to the nature of my role, I also need to make sure that I’m available should anything urgent that comes up. However, I don’t mind doing this as I don’t feel that it’s unreasonable, and also because I enjoy what I do!
There were some elements of the CFO role that I had not had much exposure to in previous roles, but Proco gave me the opportunity and the time to develop key skills in order to make the jump from FD to CFO. I also have brilliant support from Tim Moynihan, our non-executive director, who is a former CFO and a great asset not only to me, but to the business as a whole.
What do you enjoy most about Proco’s work / life balance?
There’s a good amount of flexibility in working hours and the ability to work from home for a couple days a week.