Empire Stores Group plc

Group Treasurer & Tax Manager (1993 to 1998)

U.K. Mail Order Retailing based in Yorkshire. A subsidiary of La Redoute S.A. T/O £300m.


Strategic Risk: Recruited to advise the board and the French parent company on treasury (following a trading incident) and tax matters. Develop and implement policy. Hedge currency and interest rate exposures. Maintain key relationships with group banks, regulators, advisers, auditors and lawyers.

Debt and Interest Rate Risk: Critical role in securing and managing funding sources and debt portfolio including working capital facility, cross border (inter-group) funding, debenture stocks and leasing. Re-finance the Group with a 5-year syndicated loan facility for £130m with optimum terms and covenants. Negotiate ISDA documentation and execute deals (IRS, Caps, Collars and FRAs) to mitigate interest rate risk.

Tax Risk: Represent the group successfully in an industry-wide legal claim against HM Customs & Excise. Develop systems to prepare VAT, PAYE and corporation tax returns and assure compliance.

Cash Management: Lead a specialist project team comprising several functional heads to reduce Post Office transaction fees without compromising customer service. Drive further savings in money transmission activities via a U.K. clearing banks tender.

Currency Risk: Total responsibility for hedging exposure by dealing in currency options and forward contracts.