Profile: Virgin Galactic FD Elizabeth Rumsey

Profile: Elizabeth Rumsey, Virgin Galactic’s FD
Accountancy Age

But with every major project, there has to be someone tasked with keeping its financial feet firmly anchored to the ground and Virgin Galactic’s FD Elizabeth Rumsey has the ultimate responsibility.

At 30, Rumsey is one of the youngest FDs ever to grace the pages of Accountancy Age, but her relative youth masks her undenied pedigree in the business world. Her ultimate boss, Richard Branson thought enough of her to pick her brains for advice on a takeover deal one Saturday night when she had her feet up in front of the TV.

‘It was quite surreal. The phone rings. Richard is on the other end and he says:’I’m terribly sorry to trouble you, but what do you think about this deal?’ recalls Rumsey.

With Virgin already investing more than $100m (£60m) in a period where cash is tight even for global powerhouses, Rumsey provides a snapshot of the steely determination she brings to the job: ‘Sometimes an FD has to be the bad guy. Developing a spaceship is very expensive. You just have to say this is what you have to work with.’

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