Special Feature: Finance Director and Company Secretary - Stephen Borg

A passion to learn drives the Group’s vision

“The minute I stop learning would be the beginning of the end of the challenge” – Stephen Borg

After 17 years with the Group, the spark is still there for Finance Director and Company Secretary Stephen Borg, who believes he learns something new every day, as the companies continue to grow and diversify.

As he is also the Group’s company secretary, he sits in for some 10 to 15 board meetings a month, but one of his favourite meetings is that of the strategy board, where all directors, including non-executive ones, come together to brainstorm ideas and discuss a way forward for the Group.

Describing it as an ‘equal opportunity board’, which belongs to everyone, Stephen believes that this board nurtures a sense of belonging among his colleagues.

An exciting idea that was born out of one such board meeting is the creation of a five-year vision, and he is looking forward to renew this plan for the upcoming years:

“We recently set a 2020 vision with specific targets relating to turnover, net assets and increased profitability, which I’m proud to report are very much on track. Two of these three targets should be achieved by the end of this year, so now we set about thinking of rolling forward this five-year strategy.”

Another ongoing exciting venture for Stephen is the implementation of a new Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system. After months of laying the groundwork for the new software, the system went live this year within the construction division of the Group. This was quite a feat and took a lot of preparation, because different software companies had to be consulted to identify the ideal product for the Group.

“We used to work with what was purely an accounting package, and like all other systems we grew out of it. This new software is a building block and in the near future we will integrate payroll, human resources and the commercial departments within the same system, something that our previous software did not cater for,” Stephen explained.

He continued to highlight: “We’re doing well with it so far. Implementing the new system involved retraining the personnel, but I think we’re already reaping some benefits.”

The new system will allow for better speed of execution, providing his team with a greater capability to deliver information quicker and in a more structured manner. The quality of the reports issued with each query – in terms of layout and reliability – should also improve.

The system will now starting being implemented within the catering and property divisions and later on within the care section.

All in all, it has been another important year for Vassallo Group. “We recently celebrated Nazzareno Vassallo’s 50th anniversary as Chairman of the Group. I’ve been here for much less – 17 years – so I have only walked a small part of this journey with him. It’s been a pleasure because I’ve learnt something new every day.”

“I had once told Mr Vassallo that the minute I stop learning would be the beginning of the end of the challenge.”
As the companies grow and the Group continues to diversify, Stephen believes there is always something new to learn. “The spark is still there,” he adds.