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RSK's Abigail Draper in final of Finance Director of the Year

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Oilfield Technology,

RSK Group, the fastest growing environmental consultancy in the UK has announced that its Chief Finance Officer Abigail Draper is a finalist in the 2016 Finance Director of the Year Awards.

The awards are due to be presented on the evening of Wednesday 9 November at the Hilton Liverpool Hotel.

Featuring in the Finance Director of the Year £60 Million + Turnover category against three other finalists, Abigail Draper joined Helsby, Cheshire-based RSK Group in September 2011 at a key time for the company, helping it refinance for international expansion.

RSK provides independent environmental consultancy and technical services in the areas of the environment, health and safety, engineering and sustainability management to industrial, financial and public-sector clients in the UK and abroad.

Abigail Draper said:

“I’m proud that I’ve joined a North West company at a time when it has truly gone global. From the moment I joined, it’s been extremely busy. The refinancing was a huge project that allowed us to branch out into new markets including Iraq. When I get into the office each day I have learnt to expect the unexpected – whether opening a new office in Basra or buying a new company in Germany.

“We are entering a golden age of infrastructure development in the UK – with HS2 and Hinkley Point following big projects like the Mersey Gateway and Crossrail. With the consequences of Brexit to deal with too, the Finance Director’s role is not going to get any less hectic.

"As a finance director you feel incredibly responsible. I think some of that feeling is essential - but you also have to step back, keep calm and focused, and trust the teams you are working with to carry on delivering.

“One of my most unusual moments at RSK was when we needed to buy a large Windrow Turner for turning soil in rows to bioremediate a site. They were hugely expensive, around £250 000. Then our MD saw one for sale on an online auction site in America. It felt crazy at the time, and we were all anxious, but we bid for it and managed to get it for £120 000.”

RSK Group has over 1200 employees working out of 46 offices across Europe, North Africa and the Middle East.

This year RSK was awarded a prestigious Queen’s Award for Enterprise in International Trade, the UK’s highest accolade for business success, in recognition of its ground-breaking environmental operations in Iraq.

Chief Executive Officer, Alan Ryder, who founded RSK in 1989, said:

“Abigail has helped us navigate through a huge period of change and expansion at RSK. She has helped us to meet our budgets in a period of great uncertainty. Her energy, shrewd advice and knowledge have kept the wheels turning.”

Abigail is responsible for all aspects of the finance department, leadership of the business from a financial perspective and the design and implementation of the control environment. Her background is as a financial controller and a finance director in the technical manufacturing, property, legal and retail consultancy sectors for more than 15 years.

She is an experienced Chartered Accountant with a track record of working with banks and investors to raise finance and manage growth in a leveraged business. Prior to RSK she worked for Colemans ctts - a nationwide firm of solicitors, and at an international management consultancy business Kurt Salmon Associates – now acquired by Accenture. After a degree in Maths and Management, she trained with Grant Thornton in Leeds.

The Finance Director Awards celebrate the achievements of leading individuals and businesses within the Liverpool City Region, Cheshire and North Wales regions. The prestigious awards are sponsored by Accountable Recruitment, Grant Thornton, Hill Dickinson and HSBC.

The event will be hosted by BBC Radio 5 Live’s Hugh Ferris. Guest speaker on the night is Mark Palios, Chairman of Tranmere Rovers and former FA chief executive. Winners across 12 special categories will be announced at the ceremony.

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