Sarah Donn has already enjoyed a rapid progression up the career ladder and believes the foundations are in place for her to play a key role in successfully growing business at Bancon Homes.
The 29-year-old recently joined the independent Aberdeenshire housebuilder and construction group as the firm looks to increase its homes business in and around Aberdeen.
At what is a relatively young age to hold such a position, Sarah has already built up an impressive and successful CV.
The former Fraserburgh Academy pupil graduated with a degree in law from the University of Aberdeen in 2009. She then joined KPMG as graduate audit assistant, becoming an audit assistant manager in 2012 when she gained chartered status.
Sarah then moved to Stewart Milne Group to take up the role of group financial accountant and subsequently divisional accountant for Stewart Milne Homes.
It was from there that she joined Bancon which recently reported strong results and ambitious plans for growth which include doubling the size of the homes division in the next 12 months.
DID YOU ALWAYS WANT TO WORK IN FINANCE?
I had studied finance at school but it was law that I chose to do a degree in at university. As the course progressed I focussed on tax law but when I finished my degree I felt law wasn’t for me and decided to pursue a career in finance.
WHAT LED YOU INTO THE HOUSING INDUSTRY?
Initially I didn’t set out to work in housing. I was fortunate to get a job with KPMG and the role gave me the opportunity to gain experience in various industries, including oil and gas, but it was property that I was most interested in. I liked that it was tangible, buying and selling homes is something that most people will want to do at some point.
WHY DID YOU DECIDE TO MOVE TO BANCON?
It is an exciting time at Bancon as the company is going through a period of growth. It is a new position that I will be taking on and I feel I can add value, playing a role in growing the team and the business.
It is a well-established, local business which has an exciting strategy and plan in place to realise it. I share the board’s vision for how the company can progress and I am looking forward to being an integral part of the team which achieves this five-year growth plan.
HOW DO YOU FEEL ABOUT BEING A DIRECTOR AT SUCH A YOUNG AGE?
I am excited by the challenge of being finance director. This is a fantastic opportunity for me at this stage in my career. I have been quite lucky to have had the opportunity to progress quickly in my previous roles. Although I am young I do have several years’ experience I can bring to the job.
There are lots of opportunities for the business to grow and I am confident I can play an important role in helping to make the most of them.
IS YOUR JOB JUST FOCUSED ON ABERDEEN?
Bancon has a strong heritage in the north-east and we are looking to grow in Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire. Our current projects include high profile homes sites Aspire and Maidencraig in Aberdeen as well as developments in Aboyne, Banchory, Drumoak and Tarves.
WHAT DO YOU ENJOY ABOUT YOUR WORK?
I enjoy working in finance as it links all aspects of the business together, providing an overall picture of the company’s performance. My current role allows me to combine my technical skills and sector experience to make informed financial and commercial decisions.
From analysing historical trends to forecasting, this role has provided me with a great opportunity to contribute to Bancon and to be directly involved in the growth of the business.
WHAT IS THE BEST PIECE OF ADVICE YOU’VE BEEN GIVEN?
Make the most of every opportunity. I’ve been fortunate to progress quite quickly in my career because I have made the most of every opportunity. I have worked hard to succeed in all of my roles and have enjoyed taking on new challenges.
WHERE DO YOU SEE YOURSELF IN FIVE YEARS?
I would like to be in a position where I can look back and see that Bancon has grown, built upon the skills within our team and achieved the plans we have set.