What is your job?
I am the Director of Financial Control for France & Benelux. Along with my team, our role is to ensure optimal financial and budgetary management of the company to improve its operational and economic performance. To achieve this, we analyze various operational and financial key indicators to identify areas of profitability or inefficiency and propose appropriate action plans to optimize the profitability of the various activities of the Group. We work closely with the various operational departments of the company to understand all business issues and be as relevant as possible in our recommendations to management.
What is your career background?
I have a Master’s degree in Information Systems and Financial Control. I spent 5 years at Lapeyre, formerly part of the Saint Gobain Group, as a commercial financial controller, and then 3 years at Monoprix (Groupe Casino) as the Retail financial controller.
Can you describe a typical day?
There is no typical day in financial control! Although the job is subject to many monthly (closing) or annual (re-forecast, budget, etc.) deadlines, we are highly dependent on the Group’s news. Calculating the ROI of a store opening project, working on the business plan for a new second-hand activity, measuring the impact of new merchandising on revenue, analyzing and comparing the profitability of our logistics centers, rationalizing the evolution of overhead costs, anticipating and projecting the effects of inflation—our topics are varied and exciting! As a manager, I also dedicate part of my time to supporting my teams in their missions and helping them grow.
What thrills you about your job?
In financial control, we have a 360-degree view of the company, its various trades, and processes. We actively participate in the successful deployment of the strategy led by the Group’s management. Contrary to popular belief, the controller is not there just to “be the watchdog” but especially to work with operational teams as a true business partner, guiding them to consider/evaluate the financial aspects of their decisions and reflections. That’s what I love most about my job—interacting and working with different departments of the Group, understanding their issues, and finding relevant solutions with them, always with a focus on improving the company’s economic performance and respecting short to long-term goals. Today, I am pleased to see that my teams or I are constantly sought after by the management or various services of the Group to support them in their decision-making.
Among the 5 values of the Group, which ones resonate with you the most? How do you experience them daily?
Exigency: As a “finance” professional, it is expected that we provide reliable and accurate analyses. On a daily basis, I am very demanding of my team and myself regarding the quality and precision of the information transmitted and their understanding. As financial controllers, we must “make the numbers speak” and not just extract them!
Team Spirit: A financial controller cannot be effective without close collaboration with operational departments. At THOM, exchanges within the Financial Control department and with other departments are simple, easy, warm, and always in a spirit of kindness and good humor—a key to efficient work!
Various dinners and informal gatherings among colleagues (and there are many!) reflect the solid, warm, and friendly relationships that develop within the company.
The main qualities to perform your job?
Rigor and reliability above all, to have a certain credibility and the trust of our interlocutors in the analyses and recommendations we share with them. Having an analytical and critical mind, good organizational and planning skills, curiosity, and the ability to be flexible and agile are also important. Additionally, excellent interpersonal skills are crucial. Finally, it is essential to adapt to different interlocutors who are not all financially minded: being able to explain complex financial concepts in a simple way is crucial.
What advice would you give to someone starting out?
Understand the company as a whole: the vision, mission, and objectives of the company. Do not hesitate to be curious, ask questions, and take a step back. Each task must make sense for the person performing it. Dare to be proactive, give your opinion—every perspective matters. Do not give up in the face of difficulty; be persistent and dare to ask for help, whether from your manager or a colleague. Within THOM, teamwork is very present!