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“Portfolio working allows me to keep close to the business I founded, whilst supporting other entrepreneurs and doing the things I love.”

Chris Willford, portfolio FD at the FD Centre in the Thames Valley
(part of The CFO Centre Group)

“Portfolio working allows me to keep close to the business I founded, whilst supporting other entrepreneurs and doing the things I love.”

Chris Willford joined the FD Centre back in 2016 after over 30 years working in FTSE 100 companies and the creation of a successful software business.

Having worked his way up to FTSE board level in two different industry sectors, Chris felt it was time to do his own thing, so in 2011 he joined forces with a friend and neighbour, said goodbye to corporate life and started a software business. Together, they established business relatively quickly, and after setting a good solid foundation, Chris concluded the business didn’t need his financial experience full time.

He wanted to stay close to the business, but it didn’t make sense for him to spend time on non-strategic or non-financial tasks that other people could carry out. Chris, therefore, decided to reduce his hours with the company – staying involved in the strategic direction and freeing up time for him to support other entrepreneurs.

After a chance meeting with a regional director at the FD Centre in 2015, Chris joined the FD Centre team the following year. He now looks after a number of businesses, working mainly in the tech, media and publishing sectors.

“I enjoy being in control of my own diary, and the variety of the work means there’s always something interesting to work on. I oversee some really strong and diverse businesses and there’s no shortage of opportunities to make a difference in each one.”

Oh, and when he’s not checking in with one of his clients, you may find Chris cycling with his local road cycling group…if you can catch him of course. You see, he has made sure he sets time aside for the work-life balance we all crave.

Are you ready for an initial chat? Call us –

“Joining such a knowledgeable team of professionals made the transition from corporate life so much easier for me.”

Jim Laslett joined the FD Centre in 2015 and has enjoyed the diversity that his new role brings.
(part of The CFO Centre Group)

After a chance meeting at a Christmas lunch in 2014, Jim decided to explore the opportunity of working with the FD Centre and later joined. Jim’s previous experience in retail and manufacturing has enabled him to look after a number clients from very varying industries – from an electrical wholesaler to a supplier of specialist products to fruit farmers, to a provider of care equipment to homes and hospitals.

He certainly enjoys the variety of portfolio working. And there’s peace of mind knowing that if there’s something he needs additional guidance on, he can always count on his team of colleagues, nationally and internationally, to provide specific industry knowledge. The team is so powerful.

“I get such job satisfaction from helping entrepreneurs reach their business goals. I’m so passionate about working with my clients that I could easily spend double the hours I’m contracted to work with them. The skill comes in prioritising, managing expectations and enabling the team, and I’m always available to discuss their progress if they need me.”

And with a rapidly increasing number of colleagues across 16 countries, it’s great to know that many others are also choosing the same lifestyle.

Are you ready for a conversation? We’d love to hear from you –

“I value the security that being a part-time FD with half a dozen clients brings.”

Michael Citroen, portfolio FD at the FD Centre in the Thames Valley
(part of The CFO Centre Group)

Michael Citroen is 59 years old and a 14-year veteran of the part-time portfolio job world. The former Group Finance Director of a large privately-owned company relishes the challenge and excitement of working with SMEs in his role as a part-time FD.

“The FD Centre is very focused on helping its part-time FDs to win new clients”, Michael says. “I could never have done as well as I have if I’d had to do it on my own as I had no idea about marketing when I first began.”

Like many people starting out on the part-time path, Michael had initially been worried about giving up a salary with all the perks. “To begin with, I felt a little insecure giving up a regular job, but the role was becoming increasingly political and I wanted to take back control.”

He quickly discovered that the financial return you get from this way of working is dependent on the amount of energy you’re willing to expend and the number of clients you take on.

He realised early on that the new lifestyle would enable him to spend more time with family whilst maintaining a good level of income.

Surely, if Michael’s still buzzing about this way of working after 14 years, it’s worth finding out a bit more about it. Isn’t it?

If you’d like an exploratory chat about portfolio working, we’d love to hear from you –

Tony Lewis

“With portfolio working, I’m not pigeon-holed into one particular area of expertise.”

Tony Lewis, portfolio FD at the FD Centre in the South East
(part of The CFO Centre Group)

With 30+ years’ experience in the corporate world, both in the UK and globally,  Tony has been there, done that, got the t-shirt. But by working for one of the top management consultants and supporting many US-listed companies, it’s very easy to be known for one particular type of situation.

Then there’s always the next client waiting for your support and advice.

Of course, it’s good to work and he’s proud of what he achieved. But when the appeal wears off and there’s no time to really enjoy the important things in life, something’s got to change.

Tony was ready for a new challenge. He wanted more time and space to have input into family life – to reduce the time he was travelling and help to settle his children.

For this reason, he approached the FD Centre to become a part-time FD.

And he has never looked back to the big job in the City and the international travel.

For Tony, the flexibility the role provides has meant the world to him. He can enjoy a challenging & rewarding professional life balanced with time for family, friends, sports & hobbies.

He also finds the role extremely fulfilling. Good practice and insightful advice aren’t just expected, they’re really appreciated.

“Instead of spending my time worrying about multinationals, I’m now helping a family-run business improve profit & cash generation. We’re talking livelihoods and real people. And it’s so much more rewarding.”

If you’d like to think about how portfolio working could work for you, we’d love to hear from you –


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