Midlands & South West Managing Partner and Head of Manufacturing Business, Crowe UK
Johnathan Dudley is a Professional Ambassador for both our MSc Finance and MSc International Finance courses.
Why do you endorse this course?
Britain has always been a global trading nation. Lots of people claimed that the Brexit vote, and its aftermath, would make it more insular. Actually, whatever your thoughts about the rights or wrongs about Brexit, what is does do is open up global markets to UK business more than at any time in the last 50 years and that presents new challenges and opportunities for businesses and the finance professionals that work in them, with them and for them. Its more important than ever that we have finance professionals that have a global outlook with international capability.
What is your background?
I am born of ‘Black country’ stock, My father was an electrochemist, from Wednesbury, a self-made entrepreneur and sometime inventor, who had his own electroplating business that I used to work on the shop floor of, in my ‘teens’ and his mother was a shopkeeper. So my heritage is in entrepreneurial trading stock, rather than finance really; I went to school in Walsall and after a year on a ‘specialist post A level course’, at what is now Wolverhampton University, I trained as a chartered accountant at a small local firm before joining the firm that is now Crowe UK, back in 1988. I opened a new office from scratch, became a partner in 1984 and never looked back really.
What is your specialism?
One of the things I learned from sitting on the edge of my fathers business experience was that his then accountant just processed the numbers; the scorekeeper at a cricket match, if you like. What he needed, what every business needs, is someone out there batting with them. This requires a range of knowledge skills and experience. Over the years I made it my business to develop this as a specialism and to fill the gaps in my knowledge with that of trusted colleagues as time progressed.
What is interesting is that need for someone ‘out there batting with them’ applies to all businesses of all sizes and these days I use some of that gained knowledge to coach business leaders too.
What are your employability tips?
Technical knowledge and qualifications are of course important; but to an employer, they are a ‘given’. You need to stand out from the crowd. The biggest quality that clients of finance professionals are looking for is someone they can trust. So show your personality, your passion, (as if you don’t have a passion for something then its not for you) and that you can channel the energy that created into trusted relationships, both internally and externally.
So Be early, be keen, ask probing and open questions; listen! Then act.