FD in five minutes: Martin Miles

The career path taken by the chief finance officer at the British Heart Foundation

Martin Miles
Martin Miles

Q Why finance? Honestly? Luck. I did a geology degree, then backpacked in Australia and south-east Asia for two years. When I returned, I realised I didn't want to be a geologist. Through a couple of introductions, the idea of a business qualification emerged. I certainly don't regret it.

Q Why the BHF? I joined Price Waterhouse, as it then was, in Southampton and there was an opportunity for international travel - I spent two years in Kuala Lumpur. After 10 years, I then spent another 15 at the HMV Group and Waterstones. There were significant challenges, including the group's flotation, restructure and the apparent need to refinance biannually. This meant working long hours under significant pressure.

In taking the BHF job, I wanted my efforts to contribute to something great - meeting the volunteers or heart patients makes you think "I'm going to work even harder tomorrow". Joining the sector was also influenced by my father, who was the director of the RNLI for years. He had great job satisfaction.

Q Do you have any hobbies? In September, my eldest son and I cycled the almost 1,000 miles from Land's End to John O'Groats in nine days for the BHF.

I promised myself I'd do something really big for charity when I got the BHF job, and this was it. The ride required more than 4,500 miles in training, so it rather took over my life.

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