Planning Your Career Journey with Adrian Barsanti, Jennifer McVey and Ranald Brown: Part 3

In August Rutherford Cross hosted its latest Planning Your Career Journey event online. We were pleased to welcome Adrian Barsanti, Head of Audit – IT, Change & Data at TSB Bank, Jennifer McVey, Group Head of Internal Audit at Baxters Food Group and Ranald Brown, Director of Assurance at Wheatley Group.

Each of our speakers shared their own career journeys with our audience and highlighted the approaches that had allowed them to progress to the roles they hold today.  Here is what our third speaker had to say:

Ranald Brown, Director of Assurance at Wheatley Group

Ranald is part of the leadership team at the Wheatley Group  – an organisation where everyone is committed to making lives, not just homes, better for customers.  His passion for the Group comes from the ability to really make a difference in what he does.

On a personal level, Ranald is a family man with two children. He professes to have developed skills during lockdown such as cleaning, gardening and (more challenging) home schooling, and has enjoyed the additional time with his family

Career Journey

Ranald commenced his career within finance with NHS Scotland.  He trained and qualified with the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy, before moving into the Big 4 firm PwC in the Government & Public Sector Assurance and Advisory Services team.  Ranald knew quite quickly that he wanted to do Internal Audit – he very much enjoyed working with non financial people.  He saw the earlier stages of his career as very good building blocks for developing his career in the direction he has.  His first leadership role was a Head of Finance job at North and East Glasgow Health and Community Care Partnership, which he held before joining the Wheatley  Group.

Wheatley Group

Ranald joined Wheatley Group as Group Chief Internal Auditor, operating effectively as the eyes and ears for the Board.  He was drawn to the culture of the organisation, but more importantly, the opportunity to work for an organisation that makes a difference to peoples’ lives.  In the last five years Wheatley has created over 2,000 jobs / apprenticeships and training places, built or had approval to build over 5,000 new homes, added 17,000 homes through partnerships, and helped 12,000 people through the Wheatley Foundation.

Ranlad believes there is a misconception around Internal Audit being “boring”.  Since his appointment to the role of Director of Assurance in 2011, Ranald has held responsibility for the following areas:

  • Internal Audit
  • Fraud / police investigations
  • Performance management
  • Money laundering
  • Strategic Planning
  • Whistleblowing
  • Project Assurance
  • Customer Insight
  • Information Governance

Ranald’s Advice:

Don’t try to plan too far in advance

You need to understand what motivates you, and to do that you have to try different things.  Internal Audit allows this.  There is a misconception that if you move into IA from practice, it will prevent you from moving to different areas of a business – but this is a myth.

What motivates you might change over time

Be open to change in what interests you and don’t be afraid to react to this change.

People and culture are key

Having recently been involved in an accident, he was so pleased to have been surrounded by a team and leadership colleaugues who were able to support him.  He felt privileged to work with such fantastic people, and appreciates how important it is to “keep the common touch” at all times.

Have fun in what you do

Your career will demand a lot of your time, so make sure you enjoy what you are doing.

Aim for balance

You can be “money rich” and “time poor” or various different versions of these – remember what is important and keep time for family and loved ones.

To find out more about Rutherford Cross events, or to discuss your internal audit recruitment needs, please contact [email protected].