FD in five minutes: Mark Hilton

The finance director of Relate, the relationship guidance charity, talks about the sector's increasing need for specialist skills and being mistaken for a counsellor

Mark Hilton was a roadie for the band Pulp in his formative years
Mark Hilton was a roadie for the band Pulp in his formative years

What reaction do you get when you say you work for Relate? The expectation is that I'm a counsellor. If their problem relates only to finance, then I might be able to help.

Why did you move into the charity sector? I spent 12 years at the professional services firm KPMG, looking after myself professionally. After that I wanted to use my skills to benefit others. I work with a great bunch of people and for a worthy cause.

How is the role of FD changing? In a previous FD role in the museum sector, I was responsible for a broad part of the operations, including income generating and commercial activity. Now charities are pulling back to core competencies with specifically skilled people for each role.

Do you have a claim to fame? In my formative years I was a roadie for the band Pulp. I was also in a band myself, All-Seeing I. They appeared on Top of the Pops after I left to concentrate on my accountancy exams.

How do you unwind? In the past I would watch bands. Now I'm more of a touchline dad, giving my son bad advice.

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