Carlson Thought Leadership in Finance & Technology

Q&A with Adam Westbrook, U.K. Director of Business Development at Carlson Management Consulting

November 21, 2018 / by Lauren Strohmeier

Carlson's Expansion into the U.K.Carlson Management Consulting (Carlson) brings its world-class financial solutions and services to organizations throughout the United Kingdom (U.K.) and Europe with its recent expansion into the U.K.

Ethan Carlson, Founder and CEO of Carlson, announced, “We feel that the UK and broader European Union present excellent opportunities to help organizations transform business performance through our solution and service offerings. We look forward to growing the Carlson presence here.”

Adam Westbrook, U.K. Director of Business Development, shares how he will help Carlson’s clients enhance financial performance, make data-driven decisions, collaboratively plan, and achieve finance transformation through our financial solutions and services.

Can you share your background?

I’ve worked in corporate finance, management information, data warehousing, planning, and corporate performance management for 22 years. Originally, I worked at a large financial organisation in the U.K., heading up their partnerships division as well as providing reporting solutions to our partners. We resold market-leading solutions and provided consultancy services around data warehousing and reporting.

From there, I then moved to a SAP and IBM reseller where I provided financial platforms to a larger client base. I then transitioned to a corporate performance management business, with headquarters in Australia. I set up and managed the European division that delivered consolidation, reporting, and strategic planning solutions for the public and private sectors throughout the U.K. and Europe. We enjoyed steady growth in the UK and increased the client base from four clients to fifty, when I left to join Carlson.

I achieved this growth through diligence in sales activity, staying on top of best practices, and delivering the best financial solutions and services to our clients.

What influenced your decision to go into the financial solutions and services industry?

That’s a great question. I’ve always been involved with providing robust outputs for organisations. Whether it’s the office of finance, sales, or HR, I really enjoy the challenge of transforming organisational data into meaningful information to help people make informed business decisions.

When communicating with clients, I ask them, “What information do you want? Why do you want it? If I provide the information, what decisions will you make based on this information that will improve performance?” This helps to ensure the outputs provide relevant content to empower decision-makers.

I’ve always enjoyed providing the best financial solutions and services for clients and getting the best results from the myriad of data sets that exist within their organisations. Fundamentally, the opportunity to achieve this through integrity and hard work is what influenced my decision to go into the industry.

How will you help organisations achieve finance transformation through our solutions and services?

In recent years, there’s been a certain degree of consolidation and changes in working practices within organisations in the U.K. As offices become increasingly remote, for example, having an integrated view of financial performance that allows collaboration is vitally important.

I have many years of experience in providing financial solutions and services to many different organisations, from large global enterprises to mid-market organisations. Also, I understand what the output needs to be and how it will help organisations succeed. My prior experience in these areas will be very beneficial.

What trends do you foresee in companies adopting cloud financial solutions in the U.K.?

As growing U.K. organizations transition to financial applications, there are tighter compliance regulations they need to adhere to.

Adopting cloud financial solutions, like Adaptive Insights, allows business people to access information wherever they may be, have a single version of the Truth, and engage with their data in ways that can drive meaningful results.

Adaptive Insights allows planning to become an active process rather than the traditional static approach and encourages collaboration between the work force, ensuring accuracy in the budgeting, planning and forecasting process.

How would you build a case for moving to a financial solution in the cloud?

The first benefit I’d emphasize is the reduction in internal cost that comes with hardware infrastructure, staffing, and version control. Bringing finance to the cloud, through a business planning solution, can save an organisation a lot of money.

Also, in these increasingly remote workplaces in the U.K., people are no longer solely sitting in offices together working around one central server. Therefore, having that ability to access real-time information anywhere at any time is a great reason for moving operations to the cloud.

Finally, there are a lot of advantages in moving away from spreadsheets and legacy budgeting systems to a purpose-built corporate performance management solution like Adaptive Insights. Adaptive offers a full suite of features that enables best practices such as driver-based budgeting, rolling forecasts, self-services dashboards, one-click board reports, and more. 

What qualities do you bring to make a difference for Carlson’s clients?

I make it all about the client’s needs, providing the proper support to ensure they get the best value from their investment. It’s important the client benefits from their engagement with our services, rather than solely relying on the solutions to solve their problems.

What hobbies do you enjoy outside of work?

I spend much of my time with my three children, one dog, and three cats. I really enjoy family time. We like to travel, enjoy watching football, and watch our boys play for their local teams. We also like to spend time outside and garden. Overall, I strive to be generally happy and healthy.

Have questions about how Carlson’s financial solutions and services can best transform finance at your organization? Contact us for a discovery call.

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