As the woman in charge of our purse strings, Finance Manager Christine Lakin directs a lot of the Vision here at Oracle. What’s more, she’s wife to co-founder Tim, making her a pretty powerful force in the business. We catch up to ask what she really gets up to, both here in the office and back at home.
What does a finance manager really do at Oracle Vision?
I’m responsible for producing monthly management accounts – determining our monthly performance to help steer the business for future months. Additionally, I do cash flow forecasts to make sure we have the money we need, when we need it. That involves budgeting, doing rolling forecasts to see how much money we need for capital purchases and day-to-day running costs, so we’re on track to make some money at the end of the year.
It’s a really important job because ensuring we always have money in the bank makes us a very reliable partner for our customers. We’re also in a position to always pay our suppliers on time – we’re very good at that.
How did you get into finance?
I went to Sheffield Hallam and did a four-year business studies degree. In my placement year I chose to work as an accounts assistant. I’d realised accounts was the area of the business I knew the least about, and wanted the opportunity to get a better understanding. After finishing my degree I went back to the same company and studied for the CIMA qualification.
What drew you to Oracle Vision?
In my previous role I was working a lot of hours, and while I was paid well, it was stressful and busy. Unfortunately I didn’t really have much say in designing the company’s strategy. By that time I was married to Tim, and Oracle Vision was ready for its next stage of growth. I told him that if I was going to work long hours, I’d rather spend them on helping to grow Oracle Vision. So I came in and helped with finance and HR. It’s been fantastic to be a part in building this business’ success.
What’s it like working with your husband and your brother-in-law?
Tim and I work quite well, the only trouble is we probably talk too much about work at home. Chris and Tim are both lovely to work with, and I think they appreciate my work. We all work in different areas of the business, and we all have respect for what each other do, and what we contribute. We make a very good team.
What do you enjoy doing when you’re not here?
Just like Tim, I like going on holidays. Before we had children, it was easier to go to more exotic places, like Thailand and Vietnam. We still like to go away with Amber, but we’re expecting another little one and I think it may get a bit trickier. Closer to home, we usually enjoy getting out with friends and eating at restaurants. Covid-19 has put that on pause for a while, which has meant we’ve had to cook for ourselves a lot more!
If you could spend the day with anyone, living or dead, who would it be and what would you do?
Kate Middleton, I think she’d be nice to speak to, I think she’d be interesting, and I’d like to get some gossip about the family. Nothing formal, we’d just sit down and have a chat.
OK, time for the all-important quick-fire round:
First gig? Robbie Williams
Last gig? Rival Sons with Tim
Favourite food? Thai food – Tim and I are well matched in that respect
Favourite drink? Chocolate milkshake, especially at the moment, being 5 months’ pregnant
Favourite place in the world? Thailand, the beaches are amazing
Favourite film? Dirty Dancing
Favourite TV show? It’s not cool at all – Made In Chelsea
Favourite book? I like anything about Auschwitz – I’d highly recommend The Librarian of Auschwitz by Antonio Iturbe. At school I was always interested in history, and World War I stories fascinate me.