AFI, one of the UK's leading powered access specialists, has announced the appointment of Paul Roberts as Group CFO. Paul's role on the holding company board will see him take overarching responsibility for the Group's Finance, IT, HR, Property and ESG strategies, and lead its team of experienced directors including Richard Orme, who was promoted to Finance Director of AFI's UK and Middle East operations in October last year.
Paul Roberts was previously a leader of Deloitte's Corporate Finance Advisory practice in Yorkshire & the North-East and latterly has spent more than seven years as CFO for High Seat Holdings – the holding company for the national furniture retailer HSL and its manufacturing sister company, which designs and produces HSL's specialist seating and beds.
Paul's experience saw him lead HSL's Finance, IT and Property teams, manage legal and regulatory matters, as well as playing a key role in delivering its ESG strategy, including the announcement that it had been certified carbon neutral in 2022. During his previous 20 years with Deloitte's Corporate Finance Advisory business, Paul advised on £3bn of mergers, acquisitions and exits for a large number of listed, privately owned and private equity-backed businesses across the UK and Europe. Clients included AFI and several other plant rental groups in the UK. He was also previously a Non-Executive Trustee of one of the leading social care and housing services charities in the North-East of England.
David McNicholas, CEO at AFI, said:
"Our relationship with Paul goes back almost 20 years. Whilst at Deloitte he advised AFI on a number of key acquisitions and investment milestones, and so we know that he shares our vision for growth, innovation, teamwork and making a positive impact. We are delighted that he has now joined as CFO to drive forward the delivery of our plan".
Paul Roberts said:
"During my career I have sought out businesses with distinctive brands that are clear in their responsibility to their customers, colleagues, shareholders and society, and I know that the AFI team shares this passion. The Group is already leading the market in its digital transformation journey, and its commitment to colleague welfare and improving its environmental impact. It has a huge opportunity for growth, and I'm thrilled to now be joining the Board to support it in this journey."
Paul has been working with the business since March, and formally joined the AFI board on 3rd July.