For the third part in our spotlight series of talented and interesting people across PIB Group, we are shining the light on Elisa Griffin. Elisa has just celebrated her 16th work anniversary within the business, firstly with Cooke & Mason, one of the first business acquired by PIB Group, and then the past four years as Group Head of Finance for PIB Group. So she has been part of PIB since the very early days.
Tell us about yourself?
I wanted to be an accountant ever since I was a child! I loved maths at school from an early stage and this evolved into a wider curiosity about business.
I entered the world of accountancy following A-Levels and started studying my ACCA qualification; I was fully qualified by the age of 23 years. Around this time, I moved into a Senior Audit role where Cooke & Mason plc became one of my audit clients for three years.
In 2004, I then applied for the role at Cooke & Mason as Company Secretary / Head of Finance. I shortly became Finance Director in 2007 and the only female director on the board (still only in my late 20’s). We sold the business to PIB Group in 2016 and I subsequently became Group Head of Finance and started to lead the Group central finance operations from Retford.
What do you do in your current role?
In my role take responsibility for Client Money, the Group IBA Function, Group Financial Planning and monthly reporting, as well as working alongside others on Finance Integration and Entity rationalisation. With having 16 years’ experience in the insurance sector it obviously helps a lot on the commercial side of Finance.
What has been the biggest achievement in your career to date?
When I was asked this question a few years ago I stated that it was becoming Finance Director in my 20’s and also the sale of Cooke & Mason to PIB Group in 2016 (as I was heavily involved in the whole process and it was a great experience having “acquired” smaller businesses in the past).
However, I would now have to say that growing a central finance team from scratch four years ago to what it has become is my proudest achievement without a doubt. To see the growth in people, systems, controls and the amount of acquisitions and integrations we have done over such a short amount of time is incredible. And seeing colleagues I have worked with closely with over many years seize more senior and wider job opportunities across both finance and the wider group is brilliant. Of course, all of this is with the help from many people in the central team, and Ian Haldenby who joined the business 18 months ago as Group Financial Controller.
What is the best thing about working for PIB Group?
The people for definite – there are so many talented people within PIB, and everyone engages, collaborate and work as a unit. The business ethics are fantastic, and we operate in such an open and transparent culture which comes right from the top.
I think PIB have a special group of people working for a very special business!
From a personal perspective I also have to say the job is “never boring” and it brings its challenges (good and bad) every day. I still feel like I can learn and develop as we constantly grow and evolve, and my job can be quite diverse. It is an exciting place to be!
How do you relax outside of work?
As many people know I play flat green bowls, albeit I wouldn’t always call it relaxing! As I play at a very competitive level! However, it is sociable, and I have a lot of friends in that community so it helps take me away from “work mode”. I have been playing since the age of 10, and first played for England at 15 years of age, representing my country for many years, and winning several national titles. In fact this week also signifies another anniversary of my club and I winning the Top Club National Title both in 2018 and 2011 at the end of April.
Congratulations to Elisa Griffin on her 16-year work anniversary!