Flex consultant answers mobile retailer’s call for help

One of our valued clients, a mobiles, electricals and technology retailer, called on the Bridgehouse Flex service following the departure of an assistant company secretary at a particularly busy time of year when it was producing its annual report.

In danger of falling behind with filing, the listed company needed a temporary resource to work alongside the Finance team while it recruited a permanent replacement. It was essential the Bridgehouse Flex consultant was fluent in the use of Blueprint software and experienced in managing employee share save schemes as the client needed someone who could “go in and get the job done with minimal handholding.”

We suggested icsa graduate Irene Chew, who has seven years’ experience supporting directors and trustees in both the private and not-for-profit sectors. Irene is a valued member of our team, providing ongoing compliance, administration and secretarial support to our clients.

Accustomed to working as part of a close-knit small team, Irene could have felt daunted by her new working environment – 3,000 people in offices spread over three floors – but she quickly adapted to her new surroundings, reminding herself, “Remember, you’re here flying the Bridgehouse flag.”

The role, a five-month placement, involved regular data entry to keep all the company’s statutory records up-to-date and ensuring all investment statements were in order for the employee share save scheme. This was a far from straightforward task as it involved paying close attention to detail and liaison between four parties, one of which was the Greek government.

Irene first gained an understanding of the client’s needs and recalls, “It was useful that I had a lot of knowledge on statutory filing requirements in various international jurisdictions as the client had several overseas subsidiaries that needed help.”

Showing a willingness to muck in, Irene also became involved in preparation of ancillary documents for the group’s AGM, ensuring they would be ready in time for publication. This involved liaising between the finance team and the printers, feeding them information for different sections of the notice and annual report.

The rigorous standards she had been trained to uphold gave Irene confidence as she knew the client was accustomed to using the biggest names in the industry for its company secretary work but the client appreciated Bridgehouse’s ability to be flexible and adaptable.

The placement ended when the company recruited a permanent member of staff. Irene had fitted in so well that she was viewed as a member of the team – to the extent that the client organised a farewell lunch and presented her with gift vouchers and a card filled with personal messages from her colleagues. This was completely unexpected and meant a lot to the delighted Irene who exclaimed, “There were so many comments you couldn’t see any white space!”

The client was so impressed with the service Irene provided through Bridgehouse Flex that it has commissioned further work since the assignment ended.