Chris Bampton

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"“In my experience, going beyond finance – managing helpdesk and corporate functions and rolling up my sleeves to get involved – work winning, commercials, a bit of everything, helped me to deliver financial management more effectively because I know how the business works. Get that grounding if you can, as it will make you better at what you do.”"

Chris Bampton has been part of Macro's success since its original formation in 2002.

In a career spanning over 20 years, Chris's ability to keep an eye on the future, and his ambition to deliver growth for his people and for the business, means that he is as excited about Macro's new chapter, as he was when he first joined.

Chris’ Q&A

How did you get into what you do?

I started in facilities management in the second job that I had. Working for a company called CBX who worked in facilities and infrastructure management. I gained a grounding in accounts; the company was bought about by Sulzer Infra – so became part of a bigger industrial engineering and manufacturing operation and I stayed for five years. I was poached by Bill Heath who had moved to Bovis/Lendlease and then followed him to Macro in December 2002 not long after it had been originally formed.

It was an exciting time to join. I was attracted to the business because of the people, but also because we were just a few months into trading. There was a lot of new business, and we won a lot of contracts. In 2007, we saw the opportunity to expand the business internationally with work in Dubai, and I become financial director that year. We continued growing as more domestic (UK) clients took our approach with them globally and so we grew the business organically, extending more widely into the middle-east and rest of the world in 2017 with Ross, our Chief Executive.

What do you enjoy most about your current role at Macro?

The variety. Every day is different, there are lots of challenges and there’s always something new to learn and different challenges to overcome.

I like the entrepreneurial side of how we’ve grown and this is something we can take a dynamic approach with as Macro; a more specialist focus where, after a difficult time during the pandemic, we’ve taken a leading approach in developing hybrid approaches to workplace and workplace experience and have the business independence we need to build our service offer even more closely in alignment with what clients need and want whilst keeping controls in the right place so that we can serve clients more efficiently.

How do you find a better way / push the boundaries?

Using systems and tools that can automate, losing wastage on manual processes and creating capacity on the team to do the right things better. By installing a new finance system alone (which we're working on), we'll become a more robust business, so that the team can get to do what they're really paid to do. Payments and consolidation process automation means that we can manage our business more accurately and more quickly – which benefits our clients, our supply chain partners and our business.

What has been your proudest achievement at Macro so far?

Lots of things, becoming a financial director to begin with was a big personal achievement.

When I joined the business, I had actually had a job offer which on the surface looked better, so I took a bit of risk when I joined. I’d just bought a new house, we’d had our second daughter, and although I know and trusted some of the senior team, joining was a bit of a leap of faith - but it was the right decision.

I’m proud of what did to get qualified, I took my ACCA early in my career, I’d start studying before work at 6am and fall asleep with a book in my hand at the end of the day but qualified and am proud to be part of a business which grew from a revenue of zero to £145m just before the pandemic, setting up new entities, growing with clients and moving into new territories along the way.

Why Macro Group?

I enjoy our work, creating excellent experiences, delivering efficiencies for our customers and growing our business, but the difference at Macro is the people here – which was one of my main reasons for joining the business. We’re a great team!

Now that we’re an independent business, I’m excited to be able to go build success in our own right. Clients should feel the same – we can bring service improvement to them by having a sole facilities management focus, increasing our specialism and our ability to bespoke our offer.

What motivates you every day?

Just doing a good job. I'm dedicated, I like to be successful, and I like to see the people around me be successful.

Taking members of my team, helping them to progress and take on more senior roles is a source of great motivation and satisfaction. It also means that we are making a success of the business, which is a big motivator – seeing that it's stable and is well positioned to grow.

What skills do you need to be good at your job?

An eye for detail – and an eye on tomorrow as well as today. Be understanding and show empathy as things don’t always pan out how you plan them to be – have a listening ear and understand challenges and concerns. Be a chameleon and adapt.

There’s plenty of things that happen in business – so anticipation of what the consequences of each action and decision are so that you can manage repercussions and progress and use that wide lens to take in the bigger picture is also key for me.

What advice would you give to someone looking to get into what you do?

In my experience, going beyond finance – managing helpdesk and corporate functions and rolling up my sleeves to get involved – work winning, commercials, a bit of everything, helped me to deliver financial management more effectively because I know how the business works. Get that grounding if you can as it will make you better at what you do.

Knuckle down, work hard, speak up when you need to speak up, listen and lean. People under-estimate the power of listening, listen to your boss, your colleagues, your clients. Analyse information and situations that you’re in to make the best decision – but don’t let analysis paralysis take hold, remember to move forward!

What are you passionate about outside of work?

Family is most important to me but in terms of hobbies, I’ve been playing football since I was 9 and have probably played around 750 matches for my team in High Wycombe.

I'm a goalkeeper despite starting out as a left-winger, but am at a good standard. When I was younger, I took training camps with the likes of Ray Clemence and Bob Wilson, so I learned from the best.

If you hadn’t got into this line of work what do you think you might be doing?

I’m not sure this would be my livelihood but I’m interested in blockchain technology - it’s under-appreciated, will change industries and have a bigger place in the world going forward.

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