FD in Five Minutes: Mark Wildig

Third Sector speaks to the finance director at Comic Relief

Mark Wildig

What is the proudest moment of your career so far?

Historically, the moment when I got my exam results and had qualified as an accountant: it was probably sheer relief. More recently it’s helping deliver Comic Relief’s ethical investment policy, which has led to us ending investments in fossil fuels. This is clearly a necessary step in helping to address the climate crisis.

What’s your biggest challenge at work?

Unsurprisingly, it is income: raising, maintaining and investing wisely. Like most charities we need to constantly look at new ways to fundraise and keep my team updated with modern funding streams. My role is to ensure we are being nimble enough to capture smaller funding streams as they become available in a quick, efficient manner.

What do you do outside work?

I love keeping fit and pushing myself physically with everything from cricket to snowboarding and from swimming and to cycling. In the spirit of Sport Relief, on 13 March it’s "game on", when I can take on sports challenges. I also make time to switch my television and mobile phone off and read decent books, always non-fiction. I like to think I’m a dab hand at DIY and I spend time entertaining my very playful dog Roxy, who enjoys playing hide-and-seek at home almost as much as a walk in the park.

Who has been the biggest influence on your career/life so far?

Every time I need sensible advice, my wife is the first person I speak to. Most of the time it is sound.  

If you had to work in another industry, what would it be?

I’d love to be a professional cricketer.

Which three people would be at your fantasy dinner party?

Vladimir Lenin, Stephen Hawking and Sacha Baron Cohen.

If you were Prime Minister for the day, what would you do?

Before breakfast I’d start off by reforming taxation, and then I’d offer free solar panels and batteries to every house in the UK instead of building power stations. Over lunch I’d work out how much quantitative easing would be required to pay for a much-needed infrastructure boost to rail, schools and hospitals across the country. Then I’d grab a coffee with Elon Musk and persuade him to help pivot the UK car industry into solely producing affordable electric vehicles (including geo-infrastructure) and develop better home battery technology. For the rest of the day I would hold a series of meetings with key world leaders to show what can be achieved in half a day if you try hard enough. If I had any time left I’d sort out Brexit.

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