Léo Robert, CFO UK Ireland - RC

Léo RobertCFO, UK & Ireland


Initially published on February 14th, 2019, the testimonial was updated on August 24th, 2022.

In a few words

Working at Rémy Cointreau since: June 2015
Current position: CFO, UK and Ireland
Based in London, UK
3 key skills to work in your team: team spirit, analysis, enterprising

Your job as CFO for the UK and Ireland

What does your role entail?
The interest of the CFO position within a subsidiary like Rémy Cointreau UK Ltd is major. Its human size makes it easier to adapt quickly, as well as being very close to the teams. I have the chance to work with a very dynamic and complementary financial team. My responsibilities allow me to focus on financial issues that have an impact (commercial strategy, investment policy, regulatory reporting) while actively contributing to the medium-term vision of the entity.

How is your team structured? Do you have any specific issues to share with us about your market and its roadmap?
The finance functions are integrated within our subsidiary UKI (UK & Ireland). This includes controlling, general accounting, debt collection and supplier payments. My team is multi-cultural and integrates a wide range of expertise and seniority levels, which makes it rich. We are currently facing – like many industry players – complex issues. Part of our work consists of optimizing value creation in a strong inflationary context, and refining sales planning in order to minimize logistical disruptions. In line with our group strategy, our ambition is to become a reference in exceptional spirits in the UK. My job is to support our teams in the development of our current portfolio (The Botanist for example) while launching new exceptional products on the market (like our champagne Telmont, launched in 2021).

Biggest misconception abut working in finance?
Financial data is at the heart of our business. That’s true, but finance is not just math or an Excel spreadsheet. Any analysis produced by our team requires close collaboration with multiple departments, from sales to marketing, from logistics to human resources, to name a few. This multitude of daily interactions ensures that we can read the data accurately and plan our financial performance better. Personally, I joined the group because of my passion for the spirits industry before the financial profession, so I allocate a significant part of my time to non-financial aspects (customer visits, for example) which add to my understanding of the business and our performance in the UK.

Your international journey within Rémy Cointreau

What led you to work abroad?
At the beginning of my career, I was open to the idea of moving abroad without actively seeking it. Rémy Cointreau contacted me after an internship in 2012 and offered me the opportunity to be part of the US Travel Retail team in Florida in 2015. I loved this experience, which was extremely enriching from a professional and personal point of view. When the opportunity to discover Asia presented itself in 2017, and more specifically China, I jumped at the chance. It was a fantastic experience, the discovery of a culture and country that I was previously unfamiliar with, as well as a very complex and exciting business model and commercial dynamics. Now in the UK since January 2022, I have the pleasure to join a team full of energy and ambition. I am adapting to a new environment and to new local specificities in a post-Covid context.

What have these experiences bring you?
A real cultural richness, the chance to discover new territories, other ways of thinking and collaborating. This has sometimes implied an important work on oneself, the ability to question one’s methods and biases linked to our education.
On a personal level, I had the opportunity to try dozens of unknown and delicious dishes (xiaolongbao being in the top 3), to travel locally on several continents, to create relationships with great people that I continue to meet around the world, and to meet my partner who accompanied me to the UK.

How has Rémy Cointreau help you through these transitions?
Rémy Cointreau has accompanied me through all my expatriations, from relocations to visa processes, to getting in touch with local support. Some moves were sometimes complex to get started (for example the visa processes for China and the UK post-Brexit). However, I did not encounter any major problems, which was much appreciated! This allowed me to stay focused on the transition and get used to my new life with each new experience.

Some piece of advice for readers who’d also like to move abroad? 
Each experience has brought a new chapter in my life. Stay open to new opportunities, it might bring you some nice surprises!