FD in five minutes: Richard Penney of Parkinson's UK

The director of finance at the support and research charity enjoys the variety in his job but also has his sights set on the high seas

Richard Penney
Richard Penney

How did you get into finance? I didn't want to do sciences - I didn't like the smell of chemistry labs - so finance it was.

What do you most enjoy in your job? It's very varied work, and there are great opportunities because it's an organisation with ambition and energy that's moving forward and still growing.

What's the most challenging aspect of the job? It's probably the same as what I enjoy about it. The charity is so energetic and busy, and people want to do different things. It's all about how we support people financially to do those things, as well as helping to support the core parts of the charity.

What do you do to switch off from work? I usually switch off the work emails on my phone when I go home - that's the first step. I'm also very into amateur dramatics. I recently played Colonel Pickering in George Bernard Shaw's Pygmalion.

If you could play any character, who would it be? Captain Jack Sparrow from Pirates of the Caribbean.

What's the best bit of advice anyone's ever given you? I think it's a case of being able to take a little bit of time out to de-stress. I find that being able to clear your mind and take a step back really helps you to approach a situation calmly.

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