At Careers UK, we got the chance to interview the Chief Financial Officer (CFO) of CPP Group, Oliver Laird. CPP Group is a worldwide financial company that provides bespoke products and solutions, helping its partners deliver outstanding customer experiences.
What is CPP?
“CPP is a financial business service. We help business partners, banks and insurers find out what add-on products their customers want and need. We partner with businesses across the globe to offer their customers something extra. Something that gives a competitive edge, builds trust and creates customer loyalty. We design these additional products for the primary core products and fashion institutions.”
What is your company culture like?
“We aim to create an environment that inspires and energises its people. Where our people have the freedom to challenge, collaborate and develop their own ideas and expand their roles in ways that fit their development. We also understand that quality of life and quality of work go hand in hand, so we do our best to offer flexible working arrangements to create a healthy work-life balance.”
What is your recruitment process like?
“We try to be more diverse and inclusive in our recruitment process. I deliberately tried to recruit more women to create balance and we’ve succeeded in doing so. For us, it is about finding the best person to get the job done.”
What are your expectations of candidates wanting to join the business?
“Talent, curiosity and collaboration. That’s what we look for in CPP people. If you take real pride in everything you deliver and have what it takes to bring our values to life, even better.”
What makes CPP stand out from other employers and businesses?
“We focus on results. We’ve had double digital growth in revenue. We are flexible and able to change and adapt. We are able to meet the needs of individuals who come into the organisation.”
What is it like being the CFO of CPP?
“Every day is different. The great thing is, I get to make decisions and help people grow. I get to help build a business. You can’t forget that people are relying on you. You have certain financial regulations that you must apply to and standards to uphold. Most importantly, you can’t forget that you have to build a business correctly. I’m not the most technical of accountants in the world, but I can get by and build a business as well as a team.”
What does a typical day look like?
“The day always starts off with emails – being an international business, other businesses have different time zones, so there’s always something to catch up with. As I go through the day, it’s filled with meetings and one-to-ones with employees. At the start of the week, we hold a senior management team meeting to discuss what the week ahead holds and what our focus for the week is.”
Taking you back a few years to look at the early days in your career and reflecting on the steps you took to get to your current position, what tips would you have for others?
“So, I would say, always have a reason for changing roles. That reason could either be for financial or personal development, but when you have a reason for changing you will grow as an individual. I would recommend working in a small business as it’s different to working for a large company – you need to understand the different dynamic with the board and individuals. You’ve got a few lessons to learn. I think your first step would be to remember that whatever the organisation, cash is king. Then the last thing I would say, is to have and show the same level of respect for everyone.”
What are your top tips for individuals just starting their career journey?
“Don’t decide what you want to do too soon – you have to be sure. It is vital that you do something you are passionate about.”