Our People: Meet Luke McKay

Financial Controller at JCT600 VLS

With two months of VLS service under his belt already, Luke will be taking over the financial reigns from Richard Walker who left VLS on the 21st of April to take up a new position within the JCT600 Group. It is already clear that Luke is going to fit in well here at VLS but we never miss a chance to get to know our team better so here goes…

Tell us a bit about you, your career to date

I studied Maths at Durham University and during my third and fourth year took on a six-week apprenticeship with PwC, which led to my being offered a graduate job in external audit.

Over my three years at PwC auditing companies such as supermarkets, bathroom manufacturers, brand management companies, chemical manufacturers, and many more, I also studied the ACA to become a chartered accountant.

After I qualified, I moved to Computershare as a Finance Manager in the mortgage services division for more than three years. This role gave me a strong grounding in management accounting; I learned a lot from the team around me, in particular the Head of Finance who was a great role model, but I was ready for a new challenge.

When the opportunity came up at JCT600 VLS, I couldn’t pass it up. The family-owned business not only has a renowned reputation within the market, the fast-changing nature of the automotive industry really appealed to me.

What is your role at JCT600 VLS?

As the Financial Controller, I lead the accounts and finance team, ensuring all our financial information is accurately recorded, and that we are achieving our financial objectives as a business.I work very closely with the JCT600 VLS management team to provide financial input to our strategic decisions. I also liaise with our customers, suppliers, and finance houses to help manage our relationships.

What does a typical day look like for you?

There are many moving parts in this business and our stakeholders are all at different points in their journey with us, which keeps us on our toes and keeps my work varied. Some days I am very busy pulling our month-end accounts together, and other days are very commercially focused, instead spending my time in meetings with the management team or our funding panel for example.

What do you love most about your role?  

A typical Financial Controller role can often be very focused on the accounting side of things, but this role also has a strong commercial aspect, I get involved with many strategic aspects too, which are interesting and give me a big-picture overview of the business.

What is your career highlight to date?

While working at PwC, I had the opportunity to travel to New Jersey for a couple of weeks to audit a subsidiary of a FTSE 100 company, the workload was heavy to get everything done in a short time but being able to experience a US office environment was interesting. We also got to spend the weekend in New York, which made it all worth it.

How would you describe the culture at JCT600 VLS?

Everyone is very driven and always have their customers at the forefront of their mind, creating a strong work ethic that gets results.

The communication and openness are fantastic as well, there isn’t anyone in the team I can’t approach with questions, and likewise, my door is always open.

What was the best advice you have ever been given?

Whether it be your career, or anything else, finding and learning from a good mentor is one of the best things you can do. Learning from someone who is knowledgeable, hardworking, and passionate about what they do makes a huge difference in your own ability to get the best out of yourself.

What’s something about you (a fun fact) that not many people know?

I have a cat that we have trained to do tricks: paw, spin, jump and sit! Although he is a house cat he does get a walk in the garden and up the street.