Planning Your Career Journey with Paul McAninch, Neil Grimmond and Chris Mitchell

Last week Rutherford Cross hosted its latest Planning Your Career Journey event in Glasgow. We were pleased to welcome Paul McAninch, Group Finance Director of MacTaggart & Mickel, Neil Grimmond, Partner of Craig Corporate and Chris Mitchell, Head of Commercial Finance of Loch Lomond 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.

Paul McAninch

After two years with a small practitioners. Paul joined Arthur Andersen, before moving to J&J Denholm Group where he gained broad exposure in a well-established family run business. In 2003 Paul moved to MacTaggart & Mickel, again family owned, where he has progressed to Group Finance Director over his 16 years, immersing himself in the business and the wider housebuilding sector.  His role not only focusses on the numbers, but also the culture, operational nuances, and commercial drivers of the industry.

Paul spoke passionately about continual development and putting himself out of his comfort zone into the learning zone. He has taken on various courses and non-exec appointments in recent years which has enriched his knowledge and provided the opportunity to learn from a broader network of highly successful business leaders.

Neil Grimmond

Having completed an Honours Degree in Accountancy and Economics at Strathclyde University, Neil joined PwC.  Neil’s typical clients at PwC were large US corporate businesses and it was difficult to appreciate any material benefit his work was having on those businesses. Upon qualifying Neil was encouraged by a peer to interview with Craig Corporate, where he is now a Partner.

Neil’s team works with owners and board’s of privately owned businesses looking to implement change, whether that be short-term projects such as MBOs, sales, acquisitions, changes in direction; or as long-term trusted advisors, giving ongoing support and advice.  He loves the variety of the work he undertakes, the need to wear different hats depending on; the business, owner, and sector, to name but a few. The work that the firm is involved in rarely has a need for someone to find the textbook answer, but is more about building trust, from witnessing best practice and learning from mistakes. Neil also spoke enthusiastically about continuous learning and adapting to new scenarios, stating at no point will anyone “have seen it all”.

Chris Mitchell

Chris had originally wanted to join boutique firm Rutherford Manson Dowd, where he had worked as an intern whilst at University.  However the firm were acquired by Deloitte, before he finished his degree and so joined Arthur Andersen. Following the Enron scandal, much of Andersen’s Scottish based work was taken by Deloitte, meaning that within three years Chris was once again working some of the Partners from his University internship. Chris was thoroughly committed to his work at Deloitte, putting himself forward to the most demanding audit jobs always giving his best and building strong relationships with senior members of the firm, absorbing as much as he could. This dedicated approach presented an opportunity to move into Deloitte’s Corporate Finance team.  Chris again immersed himself in the opportunity and one of his long-term projects was the purchase of Loch Lomond Group, and the new owner asked Chris to join him upon completion of the deal.

Chris has really enjoyed moving to the whisky sector, playing his part in the development of brand identity for an already strong product. In recent years his role has changed from preparing analysis to support decision-making, to making decisions and implementing them. He believes that energy breeds energy, and that enthusiasm is vital to any department or organisation. Like the previous speakers he is continually learning and feels this is vital for any ambitious individual. Chris discussed not having a plan for his career but by demonstrating the right behaviours the right opportunities are unlikely to pass you by.

To find out more about Rutherford Cross events, or to discuss your senior finance recruitment needs, contact [email protected]