FD in Five Minutes: Nick Swarbrick of Turning Point

The chief financial officer at the care, disability and employment charity

Nick Swarbrick
Nick Swarbrick

Turning Point refers to itself as a social enterprise rather than a charity – why? Two reasons. First, we don't fundraise – all our income comes from contracts with competitive tenders. Second, because we try to achieve a surplus to put back into our services.

What are your current priorities? It's all about driving business performance, not just reporting on it. I'm trying to get the team to give more strategic support to the business and get everyone thinking about being risk-aware – not risk-averse.

What bit of equipment could you not do without? This might be a cheat answer: it's not a Blackberry or tablet -it's my bike. I cycle to and from work every day – it keeps me fit, is a very good stress reliever and gives me a lot of thinking time.

What traditions do you have in your team? We do something called the AFTAs – the Amazing Finance Team Awards. Every quarter we give these to people who have demonstrated the values we want – they get a lovely trophy and a big wad of chocolate.

Do you know what your surname means? I did look into this a few years ago – there are conflicting views, but the one I'd like to believe, the most romantic, is that it comes from three Germanic princes who settled here in the north east in the Middle Ages.

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