FD in Five Minutes: Nick Avery of Lepra

The finance director at the charity that works to beat leprosy on emotional moments and box sets

Why did you choose finance as a career? I studied for an accounting qualification and joined an internal audit department where I could use my data analytics expertise to identify major control failings. I found two black holes in their business systems and helped to recover several million pounds. My boss at the time quite liked this and generously sponsored my studies. I qualified in 1991.

What is the proudest moment of your career so far? It was this year, when visiting India. I met a person affected by leprosy and watched a Lepra shoe technician provide her with a pair of custom sandals that will transform her life for the next six months, simply because she will be able to walk without pain while her feet heal. It was my first visit to the field and an emotional moment. I strongly believe good things are achieved by lots of small kindnesses.

What do you do outside work? I volunteer for two other charities, a local one that I helped to set up for the partners of people with dementia, and I sit on the audit committee of a national care charity. I coach a junior rugby team because I’m now too old and wrecked to play the game myself, and I belong to a book club, which gets me reading books I wouldn’t otherwise have picked up and shames me into actually finishing them. I’ve also been known to sit with a glass or two of rosé with my partner and binge-watch a box set.

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