ghd finance manager shines brightest with top prize

October 20th, 2014

ghd finance manager shines brightest with top prize in talent awards for second year

A commercial finance manager at Leeds-based global hair products brand ghd has once again been awarded the top prize in the Yorkshire Rising Stars Awards which celebrate the region’s up-and-coming talent among finance professionals.  Following the success of Umar Khan in last year’s awards, ghd’s Lewis Black was named overall winner across all categories in the 2014 awards at a ceremony last night (16 October).
 Overall rising Star of the Year Award Winner - Lewis Black-0312ghd an acronym for Good Hair Day– which is a market leader in premium hair straightening irons and other hair styling products, has seen profits double over the last four years and the judges recognised Lewis’ contribution to its continued success.  Following the sale of the business to Montagu Private Equity for £160m in 2007, ghd has grown its pre-tax profits to £32m leading the company to be bought by investment firm Lion Capital in summer 2013.

The judges concluded that Lewis is the embodiment of what the Rising Star Awards are all about.  He impressed across the board with his combination of dedication, drive, attention to detail, technical ability and commercial awareness.

Commenting on his award, Lewis Black said: “It is a great honour to have won and to follow in Umar’s footsteps. Thank you to ghd for giving me the opportunity and recognising my achievements, I work with a great team and could not have done it without them.”

Other Leeds-based organisations which were recognised in the awards included supermarket giant Asda whose senior manager in trading finance, Laura Walker, was the winner of the West/North Yorkshire companies with over £100m turnover category; and Leeds City Council’s assistant finance manager Daniel Overton who took first place in the Not for Profit category.  Laura, who has been at the leading edge of change management in the Asda business, impressed the judges with her enthusiasm and energy; while Daniel was recognised for his contribution to implementing IT solutions that have resulted in efficiencies in a time of severe funding reductions at the council.

Organised by financial recruiter Sharp Consultancy with support from Grant Thornton, Gordons LLP and RBS, the awards boast an impressive pedigree of former winners from some of the region’s most prestigious companies. Chris Sharp, director of Sharp Consultancy, said: “Looking back at the roll call of current and former winners is like a who’s who of Yorkshire’s most dynamic businesses.  The awards have really gained traction over the last four years and it’s great to see previous winners who have risen through the ranks recognising the benefits of the awards and going on to nominate young finance professionals within their own teams.”

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