Thrive Spotlight: Richard Smith, Chief Financial Officer, European Operations
Welcome back to another installment of our “Thrive Spotlight” blog series.
Our featured employee is Richard Smith, Chief Financial Officer, European Operations. He is responsible for all things financial in the European region which currently encompasses our London, Luton and Nottingham sites. He is part of the overall Thrive finance function and reports to Jay Adams the CFO of Thrive.
Richard lives in Milton Keynes, a new city in the UK about 50 miles north of London. The location is ideal for his commute to Thrive’s three UK offices in London, Luton and Nottingham.
He and his wife have two grown sons they are very proud of and enjoy spending time with when possible. Richard likes to keep fit at the gym and is a keen cyclist out on the road with friends most weekends. He also enjoys watching sports and has season tickets for a local soccer team, MK Dons.
Even though his roots are in the UK, he is a travel enthusiast. He’s preparing to visit Japan, his first long-distance trip since lockdown. It’s a country that fascinates Richard, and he can’t wait to explore Japan’s rich culture.
Hi Richard! Can you tell us about your background and how you came to Thrive?
I have over 30 years experience in senior finance roles. I trained and qualified as a Chartered Accountant (similar to a CPA in the U.S.) with KPMG. I spent the first 12 years of my career with KPMG in the UK and Australia, most of my time working in London, leading turnaround assignments for large corporations facing financial challenges. Since then, I have worked in controller and CFO roles for private and public organizations in various sectors. I joined ONI in 2014 as its first CFO to create a first-class finance function to support the company’s growth before the sale. Thrive acquired ONI in May 2021, when I was appointed CFO for Europe.
Where did you go to school or get training?
I went to secondary school in Lincoln, an old Roman city in the East of the UK. I graduated from The University of Birmingham with an honors degree in Mathematical Sciences. I joined KPMG in Milton Keynes, where I trained and studied to be a Chartered Accountant.
What do you most enjoy about working for Thrive?
It has to be Thrive’s people. The Thrive culture is very similar to what I was used to at ONI, with a real focus on people and a work-hard, play-challenging approach. I’ve enjoyed building relationships both inside and outside of the company.
Are there any recent exciting projects at Thrive you can tell us about?
While at ONI, being acquired by Thrive was an exciting project but very intense. It was during COVID, so everything had to be handled remotely and on Teams. Now, we have three businesses in the UK.
I look forward to creating an integrated finance function to support their growth as part of the Thrive family.
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