Blogposts

The Art of Building a Foundation of Governance Without Stifling Innovation

Epsilon's Chief Financial Officer, Raymond Yeo was recognised as the CFO of the Year 2018 at the 7th CFO Innovation Awards. The CFO Innovation Awards, inaugurated in 2012, recognise Asia's leaders in all aspects of financial management. 

In this special blog, we have Raymond contributing a piece reflecting on his career journey, including his relatively short but impactful time at the helm of Epsilon. 

I began my career in external audit practice more than 27 years ago with PriceWaterhouse and had since been involved in financial management roles that entailed mergers and acquisition, IPOs and fundraising across multiple industries; a large part of it in telecommunication and technology sectors. In this fast-paced space, the increasing demand for modern CFO to be more strategic means being able to adopt technology at a similar pace, if not quicker. Since technology is a critical part of the process to drive change, it is very important for CFOs to integrate the right technology quickly within the organisation. This will allow the CFO and his team to free up more time for other value-adding roles.

Epsilon is a nimble network service provider that is innovative and hungry for growth in the global connectivity arena. Moving from M1 to join Epsilon more than two years ago offered me the opportunity to challenge myself, contribute and lead in all aspect of the business operations and transformation initiatives.

Receiving the CFO of the Year 2018 accolade at the 7th CFO Innovation Awards last week took me down the memory lane.

Back then, Epsilon was on the cusp of transforming into a cloud-centric network service provider focused on delivering exceptional customer experience. We wanted to be a different kind of provider, one that redefines the boundaries of traditional networking through innovative software-defined solutions. The core of our business transformation centered around supporting our existing, but also new-breed of customers, to scale in a growing digital world.

Unlike my previous roles in larger organisations where there was already an established team, being in Epsilon felt like an exciting start-up; a blank canvas that allowed me to be creative in building the framework around governance and processes. With the organisation growing and evolving at rapid speeds, it was and still is imperative we build a robust and efficient Finance function that supports Epsilon’s vision of Making Connectivity Simple. We continually have to balance growth with limited resources and this modus operandi is demonstrated across the entire global organisation.

At Epsilon, I am very proud of what the Finance team has achieved. As we embarked on the transformation journey, we have moved from a traditional finance organisation to one that is cross-departmentally integrated across the entire organisation with the focus on supporting innovation and business transformation. This took time. It involved reorganising, hiring and mentoring people with the right skill sets including data analytics, building dynamic pricing models, managing a nimble credit control system, improving forecasting techniques, risk management, and other shared services. They have played a significant role in implementing sound financial practices whilst adopting new technology and methodology to drive the business forward. It can be hard to build an efficient team with limited resources but even harder to build a team of committed people. The glue that binds all this together is our culture of teamwork and excellence to ride over the waves. Without their dedication and support over the years, this award would not be possible.

A sincere thank you to all my team.

Till this day, I am still very passionate about the goals we have set to achieve in the years ahead. As we continue to embark on this new journey of growth, it is important that we learn to embrace changes with the right attitude.

It is often said change is the only constant, well, accepting change is key.

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More information about the CFO Innovation Awards including a full list of this year’s winners can be found here.