Head of Deals for Anderson Anderson & Brown (AAB) in the Central Belt, Lyn Calder, has recently taken up a new role as Managing Partner of the firm’s Edinburgh office. She speaks about all things corporate finance, including her background, her new position, and her vision for the future of the Edinburgh office.
You’ve recently been appointed to Managing Partner for AAB’s office in the Capital. Congratulations. What does this role entail and what is your vision for the Edinburgh part of the business?
My role is to oversee the day-to-day operations of the office, working with the leadership team in our growth story across the Central Belt. We’re a multi-locational firm now, but very much one team, so it’s important for me to work closely with my counterparts and across the firm, to ensure our clients are getting the best service possible and that we have a happy team.
Our vision for Edinburgh plays a significant role in the overall growth ambitions of AAB. We will continue to raise the profile of our strong brand across the Central Belt and beyond, predominantly by growing the team on the ground and delivering awesome service for clients across our compliance, advisory and specialist teams.
You joined AAB in 2018 as Head of Deals in the Central Belt. Will you continue in this role, in addition to Managing Partner?
Yes absolutely. I’ll still very much be working with clients on corporate finance transactions. I’m passionate about building and retaining relationships with our clients. I love helping businesses and their owners to achieve their ambitions, and deal-doing will continue to be a big part of what I do.
What made you pursue a career in accountancy and why did you decide to specialise in corporate finance?
At university I was fascinated by business growth and the different ways companies scale up. The mergers and acquisitions element of the curriculum had me hooked, and a career in corporate finance followed. While some corporate finance specialists take a different route than accountancy, I don’t think you can underestimate the importance of understanding the underlying numbers and financial dynamics when negotiating and delivering a deal.
In your opinion what makes an expert in corporate finance?The technical know-how is a given. True corporate finance specialists are trusted advisers who build strong relationships with their clients. I feel it’s so important to understand how we can add value to our clients’ situation, knowing what drives them both personally and from a business perspective.It’s also crucial to be able to articulate what you do in a way that clients can relate to. We need to help them negotiate the sales process as simply as possible, despite the fact that sometimes it is pretty complex.
What has taught you the most in your career in corporate finance?Despite having over 20 years of experience, I am still learning – every day is a school day! Every business, every client and every transaction is different. In my early years in the industry I learned how to do a deal, but as I’ve progressed to more senior roles, I’ve had the opportunity to spend more time building long-term relationships with clients. It’s the part I relish most.
Did you always have ambitions to become a managing partner?
I’ve always wanted a role with strategic involvement, where I can help people reach their potential. It’s a privilege to do this in a firm that is dynamic, always looking for the next opportunity and has an incredibly skilled team.
Why AAB?I was always aware that AAB was an exciting firm, renowned for high standards of client service and a real entrepreneurial spirit. Since joiningthe firm, I’ve experienced this first-hand. We’re a young leadership team, fuelled by ambitions to do something really special.
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