Everyone's individual circumstances are different and I will help you to tailor your own personal wellness plan. Broadly, the steps I would recommend are:
- Background and introductions - get to know each other to build rapport and trust
- Assessing your current physical and mental wellness - this can be as broad or as specific as you like. For instance, the long list we could cover would include what issues you are facing, your mood, thought patterns, how active you are, any recurring aches and pains, how you are sleeping, your diet
- Focus on identifying your goals and any blockers that you are facing
- Develop a tailored wellness plan for you with specific milestones and objectives, and work together to achieve them
I will bring learnings from from my own personal experiences, and we can discuss how and whether they may be appropriate to you. I am happy to work in a variety of settings, but my preference is to do the sessions in person where possible (if not, we can do sessions remotely). If you want, we can have some of our sessions outdoors, perhaps combined with a walk. It is entirely up to you!
I am an ex-partner from a Big 4 accounting firm who now focuses on promoting good mental health practices and personal leadership. I have spent nearly 20 years working in professional services firm with large corporate clients and understand the stresses and strains that can come from those environments. In 2017 I had 5 months off work with stress and anxiety, and learned a huge amount about self-care, recognising and addressing unhelpful thought patterns, meditation, mindfulness, tackling insomnia, and the links between physical wellness, the natural environment and mental wellbeing. I am now a trustee for Men Walk Talk and steering committee member of This Is Me Scotland, two mental health initiatives.
I am happy to travel to meet you. Short distances are fine and I am happy to do that for free (for example, 15 minutes each way); anything longer than that we can discuss depending on where you are and how many sessions you need.
A professional accountant with almost twenty years’ experience at senior level who is passionate about promoting the mental health agenda and making a difference. My focus has been on providing mental health support over the past three years since undergoing my own mental health experience in 2017, and wanting to help others avoid the pitfalls I fell into.
I have experience of working with a wider variety of individuals and organisations. Good at flexing to accommodate different individual styles, needs and ways of working, I enjoy meeting new people and tackling problems for the first time and innovating in an outcome-focused way. I am good at judging when to say it how it is and when a more subtle messaging approach is needed. I work with integrity and good humour, leading with personal values, with a relentless focus on getting a high-quality outcome.
1. Transferable Skills and Significant Achievements
1.1 Mental Health and Third Sector
• Established and sponsored EY’s Mental Health Network in Scotland; running town-hall event on mental health, UK-wide Time to Talk Day webinar, worked with clients to share insights on good practice, motivational guest speaker on mental health, implemented mindfulness programme
• Steering Committee Member for This Is Me: increased membership through awareness events including at Scottish Parliament with MSP guest speaker; building alliances with SAMH (Scottish Association for Mental Health), Samaritans and Mental Health Aberdeen
• Treasurer and Trustee for Men Walk Talk charity, promoting mental wellbeing by encouraging men to get together and talk whilst enjoying the benefits of the outdoors
• Seconded to Keystone Foundation (NGO in India focusing on working with indigenous communities promoting eco development and organic produce) to lead development of their business plan (below)
1.2 Compassionate Leadership
• Sought after counsellor and mentor at EY, leading team by example and cited as role model
• Represented the UK regions on the EY national committee for Diversity and Inclusiveness over 18 month period, building a network across the UK to provide structure for coordinated execution of D&I strategy
• Client relationship partner for Morgan Stanley account in Scotland. Developed long-term relationships through trust and integrity, resulting in EY becoming the preferred partner for Morgan Stanley Finance
1.3 Strategy and Board Experience
• Established EY’s Finance Advisory practice in Scotland from scratch, recruiting and managing a high-performing team of 22, establishing new client relationships and service offerings. Developed and executed go-to-market strategy; member of UK Finance Advisory leadership team; provided input into EY’s regional plan for the UK firm
• Experience of delivering board-level advice to clients on a range of strategic business issues, including:
o Reporting to audit committee on control and governance frameworks for large UK bank
o Presenting to board on accounting and Finance implications for strategic business transformation for third sector organisation
• Worked with other members of This is Me steering committee to develop mission statement, objectives and key performance indicators as part of strategy development
• Wrote business plan for the Keystone Foundation Enterprise Development function with the objective of helping improve supply chain to organic produce shops; worked with founder members to implement it successfully, resulting in 50% increase in sales of tribal produce over a 12-month period, with consequent benefits to indigenous communities
1.4 Finance and Accounting
• Twenty years’ experience working for a global accounting firm with primary experience in audit and assurance, financial control and governance frameworks, accounting and regulatory compliance
• Responsible for agreeing annual and three-yearly revenue and cost budgets for my department, managing and monitoring performance of actuals versus budget, and reporting business performance
• Leadership in delivery of projects for a range of FTSE 250 clients
2. Career Summary
2.1 Men Walk Talk October 2020 – present
Mental Health | Treasurer and Trustee
Men Walk Talk support, organise and deliver walk and talk groups for men aged over 18 across the UK
2.2 This Is Me Scotland September 2018 - present
Mental Health | Steering Committee Member
This is Me is a mental health initiative focused on breaking down the stigma of mental health in the workplace. I joined the Scotland steering committee in 2018 to help drive this initiative and make a difference
2.3 Ernst & Young LLP
Senior management positions with Ernst & Young LLP, including leadership roles:
Associate Partner | Head of Finance Advisory, Scotland March 2012 – March 2020
• Responsible for developing go-to market-strategy for Finance Advisory practice in Scotland and establishing team, client base, and service offerings
• Wider UK firm leadership roles, including: co-developing the EY’s regional plan for the UK firm, UK Diversity and Inclusiveness lead for UK national markets, established and sponsored EY’s Mental Health Network in Scotland, UK risk management lead for Finance Advisory practice
Director |Accounting Advisory Services, London February 2008 – March 2012
• Director in Accounting Advisory Services team. Member of leadership team growing headcount from 12 to 80, managing performance of team and delivery of revenue targets, solution development, training, delivering change programmes to senior stakeholders across various global locations
Senior Manager | Audit, London September 2001 – February 2008
• Responsible for managing audit delivery of multiple banking clients, including two global banks and a mortgage lending specialist; delivering training, managing budgets
• Control framework implementation for global investment bank: managed and coordinated the UK team of 50 in SOX 404 Finance controls implementation for global bank. Responsible for reporting to programme steering committee on control design and operating effectiveness
3. Education and Professional Development
• Chartered Accountant (CA), Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland (2004)
• BSc Mathematics (2.1), University of Nottingham (2000)
• Samaritans Wellbeing in the Workplace E-learning
• IFRS and UK GAAP accounting standards
4. Hobbies and Interests
Avid outdoors fan, from open water swimming, cycling and hiking to foraging and gardening. Enjoy playing the guitar and piano and watching/playing pretty much any sport!
Mike is a honest, caring and sincere life couch. He gives relevant and practical advice that stems from his years of experience dealing with a wide range of people and scenarios. He encourages you to come up with the solutions and guides you along the path to owning your decisions, which is what I appreciated about him. Mike offers a different perspective and he has a unique ability to force you out of your comfort zone. I can highly recommend Mike as a life couch.
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