We welcome Tim Ward, Chief Executive of the Quoted Companies Alliance, to our regular series of interviews with leading figures in the business community.
About you and your business
Hello Tim, tell us about Quoted Companies Alliance and your role as Chief Executive
The Quoted Companies Alliance is the independent membership organisation which champions the interests of small and mid-size quoted companies. Our members’ contribution to the UK economy - and their potential - is vast. In my role as CEO I lead a team of 7 who campaign, educate and create interactive events for our members.
How has the economic recession impacted your business?
We’ve seen a lot of quoted companies leave the markets either by takeover or by deciding to go private. Despite this we have seen our corporate membership increase significantly during that time. The recession has encouraged us to ensure that everything we do is clear and relevant to our members.
What challenges are you facing over the next 12 months?
It’s our 20th anniversary this year. We aim to continue to build our membership and create a more distinct identity for our sector so that policymakers, lawmakers and regulators “think small first”. We are also running our first one-day conference – Engineering Growth for Small and Mid-Caps (http://www.theqca.com/events/annual-events/conference-2012/) – on the 27 June 2012, which will bring together the small and mid-cap community – companies, advisors and investor- an exciting challenge.
Do you think that the government should intervene more?
The Government has spent much time consulting on various issues ranging from tax simplification through executive pay to financing the private sector recovery. It’s time we started to see some real and valuable policies which incentivise investors to finance the smaller quoted companies so that they can from and create jobs. It’s not so much about intervention as creating an environment which allows business to flourish on behalf of our economy and society.
What is your view on the UK business scene?
We have seen from our most recent QCA/BDO Small and Mid-Cap sentiment Index survey that companies are becoming quietly confident about their prospects. Our advisory members remain much less optimistic. I think this reflects the fact that companies have stabilised their businesses and are concentrating on reducing their exposure to the banking fraternity. They are not yet back on the growth path which will cheer up their advisers by generating fees.
Do you have any Non-Executive Directorships? If so, what have you learned from the experience?
I am not a non-executive director. However, I am a qualified coach and mentor and spend time with executives, particularly finance directors, talking through the challenges they face. Usually these challenges concern working relationships, goal setting and creating a clear list of priorities. It is a privilege to share these challenges.
Do you have any advice that you’d pass on to a newly appointed company director?
Listen, keep up-to-date and talk constantly to your peers in other sectors.
What do you like to do outside of work?
Golf, photography and reading
Who is your hero/personal inspiration?
What is on your I-Pod and what are you reading right now?
I’ve been listening recently to The Doors’ LA Woman. I’m about to start reading The Marriage Plot by Jeffrey Eugenides having just finished The Art of Possibility by Rosamund stone Zander and Benjamin Zander.
Why did you choose to work with Moon Consulting
Moon Consulting and the Quoted Companies Alliance work in partnership to provide the QCA Search Service which offers recruitment services to our members. Both organisations have built sound reputations based on delivering tailored services for members and clients, which is why we chose to collaborate on a bespoke executive recruitment service for senior board members in the UK. The QCA Search Service offering is absolutely confidential, discrete and tailored to each individual or company scenario.