Royston grew up very poor, living with his single mother and with no support from his absentee father. Sometimes there was little or no food in the home where he lived with his Mother and Grandmother on the Caribbean island of Grenada (the spice Isle). Even clothing and shelter were sometimes a problem for the family. Under these challenging conditions, Royston learnt to work hard from a young age (it was the way of life and necessary for survival) and became very determined to improve life for himself and family in the future.
Royston acquired a good grounding in business from the age of 10, sourcing materials, producing and selling fudges and sugar cakes in primary school. Also did farming and landscaping jobs throughout his secondary school and college years (ages 11 to 18) to help pay for books, school uniforms, meals and travel cost. Being a boy scout from the age of 8, he learnt and developed character skills like toughness, creativity, and determination; employability skills such as leadership, teamwork and problem solving; and other practical life and survival skills like cooking, swimming, climbing and first aid. Royston was a cadet and militia (during the Grenada Revolution) at the age of 13/14.
Despite a tough upbringing and having to juggle school and farming, and failing to excel in secondary school during his years as a militia, through dedication, focus and strong self-belief he emerged valedictorian of his graduating class at secondary school and achieved A’ Level passes in Maths, Physics, Accounting and Business Management. After finishing college, Royston started working in the hotel industry as an Accounts Clerk, with the remit to master various finance roles, to enable him to cover for colleagues on leave of absence. (This was an excellent opportunity for him to obtain insight into the end to end financial operations of a business).
Being very ambitious, he saved up monies from his first job and followed his friend to Canada (where Royston’s dad lived), with the hope of furthering his education. However, after meeting his dad who said sorry my son, I cannot help you, he became depressed and eventually had to return to Grenada feeling very deflated.
So, by age 24, he had experienced what it is like to succeed and what it is like to fail. He then turned his hands to farming some very bushy land (owned by his Grandmother) and got a part-time job teaching evening classes in accounting and principles of business to adults. He used the money earnt to buy building materials to help improve the family home.
Within a year, he got a job at another hotel as Cost Controller where he got inspired to become a qualified Accountant. Royston approached a local firm of accountants (Pannell Kerr Foster) who provided registration forms for the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) which he filled and shortly after began studying on his own in Preparation for exams. The Managing Partner of the accounting firm recommended Royston for an accounting job at his brother’s bakery business (one of the biggest on the island at the time).
As the bakery Accountant, Royston automated finance systems, implemented robust financial controls, reduced operational costs, enhanced processes for sales forecasting and production scheduling, and improved profit by 200%, and eventually became Chief Finance Officer.
With the support of his Mother and Grandmother, Royston took a student loan and travelled to the UK in 1997 to complete his professional studies in Accountancy (ACCA). He qualified within three years (while working in menial part-time jobs) and landed his first job as a qualified accountant for an Insurance Company located on Fenchurch Street (City of London) in January 2001.
Summary of achievements and experience since qualifying as an Accountant in 2000
2011 to Current
Delivers solutions to businesses as a Management Consultant via his Accountancy firm RAC Management Consultancy Limited (RACMACS) providing solutions to various small to medium sized businesses and large financial service companies (Insurance, Asset Management and Banking).
- Implemented new finance processes and systems for Home Care Company, enhanced financial operations and saved the business thousands in Corporation tax
- Registered over 20 businesses with Companies House on behalf of Entrepreneurs
- Enabled Entrepreneurs and small business owners to raise capital for business expansion
- Managed the financial affairs of several small businesses (incl. construction, electrician, catering, beauty salon and self-employed professionals operating limited companies)
- Prepared and filed tax returns and devised tax strategies for several businesses/Entrepreneurs
- Led projects to build and implement new management information, data warehousing, databases and performance management systems for various companies (small and large)
- Delivered large scale complex projects for FTSE 100 companies (financial services) with oversight of technical teams and workstreams across finance operations, treasury, risk, compliance, actuarial and information technology
- Led the enhancement of financial reporting processes, controls and systems driven by financial reporting standards (IFRS7 and IFRS9) and regulatory change (Solvency II, Dodd Frank Volcker Rule, EMIR and AML)
- Managed senior stakeholders and provided written and oral updates to executives and steering committees
Royston A Cumberbatch (RAC) is a passionate, enthusiastic and highly-experienced finance and business expert with knowledge of a wide range of business models and frameworks and well positioned to help and empower entrepreneurs, business owners and organizations achieve the outcomes they desire and deserve.
2007 to 2011
Financial Controller, Finance Manager and Investment Operations Management roles in Insurance/Re-Insurance and Investment Asset Management Companies
- Gained Significant experience in all areas of finance management from core finance operational activities to planning, budgetary controls, treasury, finance operations, managing investments, MI development, statutory and regulatory reporting, reporting to Boards and Executive Committees reporting to supporting commercial and strategic decision making
- Directed investment strategies, and improved investment accounting controls and oversight
- Prepared financial plans and forecasts, conducted performance reviews, and oversaw treasury and expenses management and Investment accounting
- Owned several risk policies, and prepared papers for governance (risk, audit, investment) committees
- Led financial transformation programme in line with International financial reporting standards
- Led oversight of investment reporting for major insurance companies’ investment assets: 700+ funds totalling c£150 billion and c50,000 securities (portfolios included fixed income securities, derivatives, private equity, real estate)
2001 – 2006
Management Accountant – City of London, Insurance Company.
While working with this company, he managed all aspects of the Service Company financial operations including: payroll, accounts payable, preparation and filling of statutory accounts and tax returns, enhancement of systems and processes for budgetary control.
He mastered Investment accounting, treasury operations, and managed relationship with banks and regulatory bodies.
He also worked with in-house information technology specialists to build and implement various systems for Investment Accounting, performance management and financial reporting.
Although Royston enjoyed working as a management accountant and mastered money management and investment accounting, his real passion was building and leading high-performance teams, spearheading business change, and improving financial and management Information systems.
With a hunger to master business and not just accounting and finance, he decided to study for the Masters of Business Administration (MBA) at Oxford Brookes University and graduated in summer 2007. The Subjects studied were:
- Leadership development
- Business Strategy and Innovation
- Change and Transformation
Thesis topic: “The Influence of Organisational Culture on Excellence