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Employee Spotlight: Mark Francis

Welcome to the third edition of our employee spotlight series!

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This month, we get to know our Chief Financial Officer, Mark Francis, a little better as we talk spreadsheets, carbonara and The Office in the latest edition of our Employee Spotlight series.

Let’s start with you telling us a little about yourself…

Well, I am a Leicester boy, now living in London with my partner and our needy dachshund, Michael Scott. A somewhat ill-thought-through lockdown addition to the family but adored all the same. He joins us in the office from time to time so most of the team have now met him. He’s amazing!

I had a stint living in Australia as a kid, which was a pretty cool experience, but spent most of my youth growing up in the midlands. I enjoy living in the city now. I am a keen cyclist and love exploring the city on 2 wheels.

Michael Scott? Brilliant! I presume you’re a big fan of the Office then?

Yes, it’s one of my favourites. I’ve seen it so many times but it still makes me laugh!

I knew his name was Michael but didn’t know that was the reason why.

Tell us about your role at Cloud Gateway. How long have you been with the company and what does a typical day look like for you?

I am the Chief Financial Officer for Cloud Gateway. I have been here since the start of 2020, so approaching 4 years with the business now. 

My job covers all sorts. My primary responsibility has been looking after all aspects of the finance department. This often means working and collaborating with other departments across the company, which is something I really enjoy. Working in Finance can sometimes get you a bad rep. but there is a bit more to it than spreadsheets and numbers - not that I don’t enjoy putting together a good spreadsheet!! 

I work closely with Justin (our CEO) and the rest of the leadership team on wider strategy and forecast planning. This has become one of the most critical parts of my role as we look to grow the business over the coming years! There is some exciting stuff in the pipeline that we hope to be able to share with everyone pretty soon.

What is the most enjoyable or rewarding part of your role?

Rejecting expense claims.

Ha! Great answer!

I’m only half joking!

Have you always worked in Finance?

I have worked in Finance since leaving university, but prior to joining the glamorous world of numbers I had some great part-time jobs. I’ve worked as a petrol station attendant in the village I grew up in, a pot wash in a butchers (totally grim), and a barman at a comedy club whilst at uni.

Oh, nice. Did you ever come across anyone at the club we might have heard?

Yeah, some really good people came through the doors there. I guess the most famous would be Greg Davies and Michael McIntyre. And the bar was closed during the acts, so you can just watch the gig.

Oh, wow. Very cool! How do you like to spend your time out of work?

I recently started to learn French, which is a throwback to my GCSE days. I was partly inspired by being sucked into the ridiculous Netflix show, Emily in Paris, but also by a truly woeful attempt at asking for the bill at a restaurant in Paris recently, which will haunt me for the rest of my days!!

Other than that, I enjoy watching sports so this summer has been particularly good with the Ashes and Women’s World Cup. I have also been trying to brush up on my cooking too.

Oh, that sounds good. How is it going? Do you have a specialty dish??

Ha! Not too badly. There is plenty of room for improvement still, but I am getting there with it. I would say my favourite thing to cook is a carbonara. It’s all in the timing!

Before we wrap up, I believe you’re currently in the process of expanding your Finance team. What sort of role / person are you looking for?

Yes, that’s right. We’re currently hiring for a Finance Business Partner. We’re looking for someone to run the day-to-day operations of the Finance function, and to support me with some of the strategic projects I mentioned earlier. I’m more than happy to share more information on the role within anyone who is interested, or check out the full Job Description here.

That’s great, thank you. We finish each interview with the same question. It’s not always as easy as you might think. What is one word that sums you up best?

I’ll go for calm.

You’re right though. It is not as easy as it sounds.

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