Lydia joined the Group Finance team in July 2016 on a 12 month fixed-term contract as Group Reporting and Project Manager. She is now three months in to the role so we thought we would catch up with her and find out how she has settled in. Here is what she had to say…
How did you find the selection/on-boarding process here at Phoenix?
The recruitment and selection process was quick and quite smooth! I was kept well informed of progress every step of the way. The on-boarding portal was easily accessible and user friendly, and the on-boarding team were always available and helpful in answering any questions I had about the process.
Cast your mind back to your first day, what were your initial thoughts?
Everyone in the Group Finance team was friendly and welcoming. I had an induction session with my line manager on the first day to talk about my role, key priorities and where I could source all the background information I needed to bring myself up to speed with the Group. Systems access was already set up which meant that I could access files, folders and documents straightaway. The Facilities team were also at hand to show me round the office and help me settle in.
What have been the highlights of your first three months?
I joined in July which meant I walked right in to the 2016 interim reporting cycle. My first priority was to manage the delivery of the Phoenix Group Holdings 2016 Interim Report, a role which involved not only understanding and explaining the Group results, but also interacting with the senior management team including the Group Chief Executive Officer, the Group Finance Director, as well as interacting with other teams across the wider Group. It was a steep learning curve, but I had all the support I needed to get through this.
What are you most looking forward to?
Phoenix Group has recently completed the acquisition of AXA Wealth Limited’s pension and protection businesses, and has announced the proposed acquisition of the Abbey Life Assurance Company, which is expected to complete by the end of 2016. With two acquisitions and, 2016 being the first annual reporting period under the new Solvency II regime, it means that the 2016 year-end reporting cycle will be busy and I am definitely looking forward to that!
What do you think is unique about Phoenix?
I believe the closed life fund model presents great opportunities for anyone working in Phoenix to get involved in different areas as the acquired businesses are integrated within the Group. Given the history of the Group and how Phoenix has evolved, there is a great wealth of knowledge around insurance accounting policies and practices. The collaborative working environment enables knowledge and information sharing.
What’s your favourite thing about working in Juxon?
The location. It’s an easy commute for me and the area is great. There are plenty of restaurants and cafes around the building and there is easy access to a variety of shopping places.
What do you like most about your role?
My role involves external financial and regulatory reporting. With the changes in the regulatory reporting framework in the insurance industry, and the newly acquired businesses in Phoenix, I have a great opportunity to be part of this change. Phoenix is a listed Group and messaging of the information contained in our financial and regulatory reports is important because of the interest investors, analysts, rating agencies etc. have in our reports. I must say it’s challenging but also a rewarding role!
Lydia, Group Reporting and Project Manager