21st January 2015
After more than 25 years at member firm CBW, 3 years on MGI’s International Committee and the past year on the Executive Committee, Peter Winter, Managing Partner at the London based firm, becomes Chairman of MGI. Here he shares his experience:
Who or What inspired you to become an accountant?
I was not clever enough to become a Doctor or Lawyer so I studied Economics at University. When I graduated, the UK was in the midst of a recession with the Iron Lady at the helm and the only businesses recruiting were accountants – so I ended up being an accountant.
Tell us about CBW?
I joined CBW over 25 years ago and since then we have changed from a typical small suburban firm of general practitioners to a full service mid tier firm based in the City of London, UK. The transition has been a team effort combined with a mixture of inspiration and perspiration. To make this kind of change you need a clear vision of where you want to be and sense of purpose. When implementing the vision you occasionally have to take bold decisions and you must have the strength of conviction to believe that you are right when implementing them.
Having been part of MGI’s IC for 3 years and the EC for the past year, how are you finding the experience?
The experience has been challenging in that, as a team, you are always striving to find the right balance between achieving the longer-term ambition and delivering short-term value. This is further complicated by having to balance occasional conflicts between what the Area and what the IC & EC sees as being good for MGI.
Of course there is payback. Firstly, seeing MGI taking significant steps forward in its continual development and also getting to know many more of the members on a more personal level which provides confidence when referring work out across the world.
How has your involvement in the organisation helped your firm?
It is difficult to measure tangible benefits, however participating in MGI Governance in the UK and Internationally and being involved in Thought Leadership for MGI has raised our profile within the organisation, which we believe is a good thing
Now as Chairman of MGI, What are your aspirations?
Our immediate challenge is to ensure that we implement the Network plans effectively and demonstrate value to our members.
Formalising the Network position is an important priority for Clive. During the debate there was much discussion about the value of this to members. Clive and the EC have to ensure that the Network infrastructure and processes are implemented effectively and commercially so that members do not see this as an expensive and bureaucratic process. However at the same time we mustn’t lose sight of what I believe MGI is all about – doing business internationally with member firms that we trust to provide our clients with the same level of professionalism, support, care and attention around the world that they receive from each of us in our own countries.
Some advice to people who want to follow your path;
Keep to the traditional professional values as your foundation if you want a successful career. This means you must be professional, keep high technical standards and timeliness.
However the key to creating a successful service orientated professional services business is not purely about the quality of the product. I would recommend that people focus on ensuring clients are highly satisfied so that they keep coming back year after year and so that they continue to refer new opportunities to you.
I believe you can reach this nirvana by following a concept known as the ―Service Profit Chain. Over simplistically, this means working in an environment that delivers high employee satisfaction which then delivers higher standards of work, which in turn delivers client satisfaction, which leads to client loyalty and ultimately increased profitability.
What are three things you should never do in this business?
- Over promise and under deliver
- Be dishonourable
What do you do to relax? Your favourite past time?
Punish my body by eating and drinking too much, reading, watching movies and football – I am a lifelong supporter sufferer of Chelsea FC.
To find out more about CBW visit the firm’s website or head to its MGI World member profile page.