Hospitality Industry Finance Leader Discusses Managing Risk and Agility During the Pandemic

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There are countless stories from the COVID-19 pandemic of businesses that found a way to succeed in the face of unprecedented disruption. For many finance leaders, the pandemic forced them to press the accelerator on digital transformation. In this interview, Tim Wakeford, vice president, financials strategy, Workday, chatted to Neil Gribben, vice president of accounting and control, Belmond, to learn more about how the hotel company embraced financial transformation head on.

Could you start by telling us about Belmond and your role with the organisation?

I’m the vice president of accounting and control. I’m responsible for all of the operational finance of Belmond. We are a hotel company, but we also operate trains and river cruises. We’re in approximately 25 countries, operating around 45 businesses and over 100 entities. In 2019, we became a subsidiary of LVMH, which is France’s largest company listed on the Paris Stock Exchange. Prior to that, we were, in our own right, listed on the New York Stock Exchange. So we’re very familiar with the rigours of public listing.

You recently went through a large-scale transformation project. Could you tell us about some of the challenges you were facing that led to the

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