Meet the Nivo team: introducing Rebecca Birt, CFO
Next up in our series: Meet the people behind the Nivo brand, to hear directly from our Chief Financial Officer (CFO), Rebecca Birt. In this article Rebecca shares her professional journey to become CFO at Nivo and some key highlights from her career.
Hello, I’m Rebecca Birt the CFO and Head of Operations at Nivo. I joined Nivo in September 2019 and have loved being part of a start-up and actively helping grow a business.
When the opportunity came up to write a meet the team article, as everyone does, I thought what on earth am I going to write about?! It made me think about my working life and all the great people and memories I have from each stage. All the special people you meet and
collaborate with on your journey.
My career started at KPMG, one of the big 4 accountancy firms, where I joined the Financial Services Audit department and trained to be a Chartered Accountant. It was a brilliant grounding, learning all about the inner workings of various businesses. It provided exposure to a wide range of financial, commercial, and operational professionals who you could learn from and enabled you to understand how each business worked.
After KPMG, I joined AstraZeneca in the Group Reporting Department. A change in the industry from Financial Services to Pharmaceuticals. AstraZeneca is a FTSE 100 company and the fastest reporting business on the FTSE. It was a work-hard-play-hard culture and we were in it together and achieved. I take that sentiment through to my working life today, I want to create that fantastic culture where people belong and want to work hard so the business achieves but we can also celebrate our successes.
AstraZeneca segwayed into three fun-loving, sports-mad, mud-attracting baby boys, so I took some time to immerse myself in family life. I learned to cook, bake cakes, and successfully negotiated my way out of many sit-down protest situations... I learned a wide range of skills I didn’t have but definitely needed! When my youngest child started pre-school, I was more then ready to do something for myself.
I started a small import business and sold homewares online. I built my own website, sourced and negotiated with suppliers, sold online and through home shows, etc. I learned what it was like to run a business from start to finish. It was a great experience and this is where my passion for the small business came from, which ultimately led me to move out of the corporate world to work for a startup business. I decided that I would pick my finance career and then I would join a startup business and that’s exactly what I did.
I started at Nivo part-time initially, sorting out their financial records and pulling the monthly reporting and budgets together, then as the business has grown my role has too. I’m now fully responsible for the financial and operations side, including Human Resources, Legal, Data Protection, and Compliance. I have people who help me in all of these areas but I love
having a wide-ranging role, and thinking about the different aspects of the business and every day is different.
I’ve also met a great set of people at Nivo, Ian Brookes, Elizabeth Gooch, Damian McGann, Michael Common, Mat Elliott, and David Morgan-Brown. They are fantastic, knowledgeable, and helpful people. We are all in the startup journey together experiencing the highs and lows that come with the territory but that’s all part of the fun and unpredictability of the journey.
In terms of myself, I’m definitely a straight-talking, no-nonsense type of person, honesty, trust, and integrity are high on my personal values. I like to drive things forward and achieve. I hugely believe in working in teams and putting the foundations in place which enable people to achieve in their own roles.
Outside of work, if I’m not standing getting soaked at the edge of the football field, I’m with my family, walking the dog, hiking, or doing some sort of sport with the boys. I also love to see and socialise with my friends. I definitely live by the philosophy of life is for living, let’s be happy and make the most of it.
Get in touch with Rebecca about anything in this article, alternatively take a look at Nivo's most recent case studies to find out more about our offering.