Diane – Finance Director

DianeLocation: Aberdeen

Year joined in: 2010

Position joined as: Finance Project Manager

Can you tell us about your job?

I wear two hats. Firstly, I’m responsible for providing financial support to the Engineering & Production Services West business. This involves the provision of financial information to allow us to measure the performance of the business and understand the key levers to delivering profitable results. A lot of time is spent budgeting and forecasting, to anticipate future performance.  

We also support the business teams in analysing information, evaluating the financial impact of certain activities, managing risk and taking care of day-to-day management of the revenue and costs of the business.

My second hat is a compliance role looking after a number of legal entities that Petrofac trades through  and ensuring we are compliant with a significant number of UK regulations.

What excites you about the work you are doing now?

Being part of the leadership team excites me as it gives me insight into all areas of the business other than just finance and I enjoy the level of responsibility. My work is incredibly varied and very dynamic and you just never know what you are going to be asked to get involved in.

The best thing about my job though is the great people that I work with in the finance team. Leading a team of such hard working, diligent, dedicated and fun people is a privilege.

Tell us about your journey through Petrofac.

When I joined in 2010 we were going through a significant growth period and I was taken on to work on various projects within the finance department, including the implementation of an Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system which was on the verge of going live.

I then moved into a role of Shared Services Controller looking after the transactional side of finance such as payroll, accounts payable and treasury. This is the real backbone of the financial side of the business and I learnt a lot, particularly in the areas of payroll and taxes such as VAT.

In 2015 I became Finance Director and was appointed director of a number of the legal entities. As the business has restructured I have taken on this role for a wide variety of the services we offer including operations and maintenance, engineering, asset management, well engineering and training.

What has been the highlight of your time at Petrofac?

There’s been quite a few! I’ve enjoyed having the opportunity to work with our young graduates or developing future talent. I deliver training sessions to introduce them to finance and make them aware of our role in Petrofac and I’m always enthused by their energy and passion to learn.

I’ve also mentored some of the groups who are assigned projects to work on as part of their development programme and have sat on the judging panel evaluating some of the ideas they come up with to improve Petrofac. It never ceases to amaze me how confident these individuals are and how invigorating their fresh outlook on life is.

Another highlight was attending a Petrofac Finance conference held in Dubai near our operating base in Sharjah. It gave me the opportunity to meet my finance colleagues from all round the world and allowed me to build a network within the group. It also gave me the opportunity to visit the world’s tallest building!

How has Petrofac supported your ongoing development?

There is no better way to learn than on the job and I’ve been fortunate to have worked with some very experienced and empowering leaders whom I have learnt a lot from. We have group functions such as tax and treasury where there is a high level of expertise and knowledge and we work very closely with these experts.

The management development programme within Petrofac is also excellent and I particularly enjoyed the Leadership  Excellence programme delivered at London Business School.

What has been your key learning at Petrofac?

Profit with purpose! In the world of finance it is our job to focus on profitability but what I have learnt within Petrofac is that it has to be profit with purpose i.e. what really gets everybody out of bed in the morning is the drive to deliver for the client, to excel at what we do, to think out of the box and to live by our values.

What are your hopes and aspirations for the future?

My aspiration for the future is to develop an efficient, motivated and highly respected finance function that helps the business deliver.

You’re also a mother of three children. How do you balance motherhood and a successful career, and is there any advice you would share?

There is no getting away from the fact that it is a very hard thing to do, as career and children occupy every waking moment so there is very little time for hobbies, relaxation, friends, housework etc.

Right from the start of my career with Petrofac they have supported me by being flexible in my contractual hours. This means I get to take my children to school every morning and once a week I’m able to pick them up. That is something that is incredibly important to me.

The advice I would give is that you have to be very disciplined and carve up your day into sections where you are 100% focused on work or 100% on children, and not trying to do both at the same time.