A FORMER Culcheth High School pupil has been named finance director of the year at a prestigious award ceremony.

Jon Else, director of finance at Forster Dean Solicitors, won the award after being shortlisted among the leading lights of the region's finance community.

Now in its eighth year, the awards, held at the Hilton Hotel, Liverpool, showcase the work of the region’s brightest FDs across both public and private sectors.

Jon is responsible for the day to day finance function at Forster Dean Solicitors and also works with fellow directors on the planning and execution of strategy for the company.

He trained at PricewaterhouseCoopers and then spent 10 years working in corporate finance.

The awards are sponsored by business advisers Grant Thornton, Accountable Recruitment, Hill Dickinson and HSBC.

Carl Williams, north west managing partner at Grant Thornton, said: “With the UK’s imminent exit from the EU it’s never been more important for companies to have finance directors that can blend assured, considered guidance with unflinching commercial awareness, both for the benefit of their businesses but also for the regional economy as a whole.

“As we’ve seen in previous years, there is an incredibly rich seam of talent in the finance sector in the north west and North Wales, and all the winners deserve recognition.”

Simon Massey, managing director at Accountable Recruitment, said: “I’d like to congratulate all of the finalists and winners. Finance professionals have a crucial role to play in driving our local organisations forward.

“The judges had to decide between a particularly high standard of individuals this year, showing that our region has some of the brightest and best finance directors around. Their combined excellence results in a significant contribution to the regional economy and these awards are a fitting tribute to that.”