The Relationships that make me: Phil Searle

Phil Searle recently received the Contribution to Shared Services and Sourcing Thought Leadership Award at the 9th Annual Shared Services and Outsourcing week, which was held recently in Budapest. 

Phil is the Founder and Managing Director of Chazey Partners, which provides expert business advisory services in finance, Shared Services, business process outsourcing and technology.

Prior to founding Chazey Partners, three years ago, Phil was Group Vice President and CFO of Cendant TDS’s International Markets Division. This role encompassed all areas of finance across four continents, focusing on accounting and control, decision support, financial planning and analysis and financial Shared Services; "I founded Chazey Partners because I am really passionate about what can be achieved through effective Shared Services and sourcing - and when you are passionate about something you love doing it!"

My Business Partner
My business partner at Chazey Partners, David O’Sullivan, has an understanding of Shared Services and Outsourcing that is second to none.  He also has a fantastic track record of operational success at businesses like Reuters, Whirlpool, Newell Rubbermaid and many others.  David and I work really well together.

We also have some great people on the team, many of whom are operational people by background who have "been there and done that" and we learn from each other all the time.

Mentors from my past
There are many people who have influenced me during my business career – some who I aspire to being more like and others who I don’t; I won’t name the latter group!  I have learned from both groups of people and am who I am today largely because of this. 

I have worked for some great people who have the tremendous qualities of personal drive and determination, a passion to succeed and leading by example.  For example, at 3Com I worked with and for some great people including two specific CFOs during my time there who I have tremendous respect for (Chris Paisley and Mike Rescoe) and at Cendant where I worked for a great line boss (Gordon Wilson). 

In previous companies I have had the pleasure of working for some other great people who have influenced me – from Alaric Smith way back in my first job after leaving KPMG at Kellock Ltd, to Ray Hill at Sealord Europe and Ron Kaiser and Richard Parkinson at TIS.I have always strived to learn how to become better from those that I respect and admire.

I have also had some great people working with (peers) and for me, including the likes of Fraser Kirk, Carl Barnes, Rebecca Mott, Rosalie Adduci, Julie Powell and Mike Zongus at 3Com and Gerry Niven, Mike Dodds, Peter Bellini, Tad Ostrowski and Lee Golding at Cendant. 

My relationships with Sell-side & Buy-side 
On the provider side, Peter Moeller from Deloitte is someone I have come across a number of times and always find his presentations, writings and insight very informative and on the mark.  

Tom Bangemann from Hackett-Answerthink is also a person and professional that I respect very much and his intellect and insight is tremendous.

Again, there are way too many great people to mention that I have been fortunate to connect and sometimes collaborate with.

My Family
I learned from my father the desire to succeed, commitment to making a difference and a sense of personal accountability. And I owe a great deal to my wife, Banu, who has shared my many ups and downs with me since we were married 18 years ago. 

One thing about the Shared Services and Outsourcing space that anyone involved in it will tell you – it is not always easy and there are many challenges and hurdles to overcome and sometimes quite intense periods.  But the rewards for success are fantastic and the value that can be added to an organisation and its people huge.  And the empowerment, energy and motivation of teams and individuals striving to achieve a common set of goals can be personally inspiring!

Industry Gurus
There are many great people in the Shared Services and sourcing space who I have had the pleasure of interacting with over the years. One of the most passionate individuals I have ever had the pleasure of knowing is Dan Foley, now at ITV.  Dan is an inspiring leader and visionary in the Shared Services and Sourcing space.  Just spend a few minutes with him and you will know what I mean!

Also, from many years back and since, Dr Martin Fahy (now working out of Australia) is someone who knows this space inside out and is also a passionate speaker and author on the subject.  I also immediately personally liked and respected him the first time we met, and he and I have since chaired and spoken at a number of events together.