Meet Duncan McPherson, Financial Controller
Our team Q&As give you an inside look at the people behind Folklore.
As our Financial Controller, Duncan is the gatekeeper of our resources. Read on to learn more about him and why we’re thrilled to have him on our team.
Tell us about your experience prior to Folklore.
My accounting journey started fairly early as I was awarded a KPMG scholarship in high school to complete my university studies before embarking on a five-year career with KPMG.
After receiving an excellent grounding at a Big 4 firm, I felt like it was the ideal time to move into commerce. My first role was at Trafalgar Group, an innovative property and financial services group that had a rich history in the South African market.
Two earlier international secondments at KPMG had sparked a desire to travel and experience more of the world beyond my home borders, leading to my first big move to London. London was meant to be a two-year stint, but I ended up departing six years later with a passport filled with international stamps (and a wife and child to boot).
My first role in London was with a tech start-up that was acquired by a US-listed company, which led to growth expansion into Europe. A role at a leading specialist insurance provider followed, where I looked after the finance function across all major European markets.
I knew that as much as I loved London and its endless travel opportunities, it wasn’t my forever home. My wife (who is Australian) and I decided to make the move Down Under where I took up a role at Westpac Insurance. While there, I gained valuable experience and was involved in the major insurance sale transactions as Westpac sought to divest from its non-core banking operations.
After four years at Westpac, I started looking for my next role and was drawn to Folklore and its ‘first cheque to forever’ philosophy. The VC space has always interested me and I was excited by Folklore’s focus on early-stage investment and the opportunities that it presented. Folklore has an exceptional track record and the culture is awesome! I’m fortunate to be surrounded by an impressive and diverse team, and I’m excited to be part of the next stage of its growth story.
What’s your scope at Folklore?
All things finance – which includes the financial integrity of the company and partnering with the business to ensure the results are on track. There’s also compliance and an operational focus to my role, which extends beyond simply the core finance functions.
I think some people still have an outdated perception of accountants or finance teams; we’re not all sitting at the back of the office with a calculator. Finance functions have evolved a long way beyond this, becoming dynamic business partners with a focus on delivering value and guiding a company’s decision-making process.
What’s a practical piece of advice you might have for founders/entrepreneurs as it relates to their finances?
Getting the foundations right from the start will make your lives easier later on. It doesn't have to be perfect, but you should have one eye on the future as your business scales and you come up against new challenges like international expansion or acquisitions.
Equally important is choosing the right partners, whether it be accounting software, outsourced contractors or a funding partner – smart choices now will ultimately increase the rate of success!
What’s a non-work passion you have?
Surfing and pretty much anything to do with the ocean. I’ve always lived close to the coast and I grew up in a ‘beach family’. For as long as I can remember, weekends were beach days – unfortunately, my skill on a surfboard would hardly suggest that! Still, I love taking my family down to the beach and it’s where you’ll find us most weekends!
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