Ramzi Al-Masri Interview
Tell me a little about yourself (in a few sentences):
From the North, settled in the South. Husband and father of three children. Love to watch and play football. Started my career as a conventional Chartered Accountant and moved into a Commercially focused Finance Directorship role.
What has been the proudest moment of your career?
That’s a tough one. Either the time I officially became qualified as a Chartered Accountant or when I was first promoted to Finance Director.
What hopes do you have for your industry moving forward?
A more holistic approach to regulation, that protects consumers, while still allowing scope for innovation and continues to allow people the access to credit they need without having to turn to unregulated forms of lending.
How do you think a business can nurture employee buy-in for its objectives and values?
I think the best way to achieve buy-in is to involve employees at all levels, in discussion, ideas and implementation of the vision. Make it known to them that they are a vital contribution to the overall goals/objectives.
What advice would you give to someone looking to work in a similar role to yours?
Firstly, you have to work and study hard to get qualified. After that, it’s all about reading and diverse experiences in the field. It is a bit like passing your driving test (except I qualified in finance with first time passes – with driving, I did not). Essentially, you learn the fundamentals in the early stages as you’re getting your qualifications, but most of your skill and ability comes from getting stuck in after you have already qualified.
What do you do to unwind?
I would say watching football, but being a Liverpool fan, I am not sure that is any good for my cortisol levels! I guess it is easy to watch comedy in the evening after the children have gone to bed.
What are the values within your job role?
As a CFO/Finance Director, the most important values would be pragmatism and integrity.
What advice would you give to your younger self?
Depends how young you’re talking? I guess from an education perspective, I was not very good at self regulation during school or university, which definitely set me back, but I suppose that disadvantage is what gave me the desire to work harder when I got into adulthood, so who knows.
How would your partner describe you in three words?
I’m not sure if that’s appropriate for this forum… I guess on a personal level, it would be loud, tenacious and a term we use to describe our daughter – ‘characterful’.
What celebrity would you cast to play you in a movie about your life?
Taylor Lautner for sure, although most people might suggest Jim Carey!