The first thing you need to know about Toby is that he’s a long-distance runner. He’s a strategic thinker who sets his sights on the finish line far off in the distance and doesn’t concern himself too much with the bumps in the road along the way. Toby’s eyes-on-the-prize mindset can be seen in his career trajectory, his leadership style and the way in which he overcame the obstacles he encountered as a profoundly Deaf person.
In Toby’s childhood, many of his teachers had low expectations for Deaf children and their future careers. Toby wanted to become a journalist, but his teachers told him it wasn’t possible because he wouldn’t be able to hear the phone. This made him ever more determined to achieve his goals.
Toby soon found his way to the media industry he’d set his sights on as a child, not as a journalist, but as a chartered accountant. Toby spent 11 years at The Economist Group, where he witnessed one of the most extraordinary business model transformations in the publishing industry. Ultimately becoming CFO of the publishing division, he was instrumental in the rebranding of the finance function – from accountants garrisoned behind filing cabinets to trusted partners at the forefront of commercial strategy.
When Toby joined Fastmarkets as CFO and COO in 2018, he saw the opportunity to drive growth in an already fast-growing business by transforming the finance function. His secret weapon was his skill as a storyteller. By telling the story of Fastmarkets’ growth and the opportunity in front of us through financial insights and analysis, Toby engages the entire workforce in the company’s commercial success.
“I don’t think I would have progressed so far in my career if I weren’t Deaf. It’s just one facet of a diverse society, alongside gender, race, sexuality and everything else that adds to the richness of experience. It’s not about wishing and wanting to be something that I am not. It’s about recognising our differences and celebrating them. We can only be the best when we embed diversity at all levels.”
Toby has a degree in mathematics and management studies from University College London. He’s fluent in Belgian Sign Language, British Sign Language, French and English.
Toby has been on the Board of Trustees for Royal Association for Deaf people, the oldest Deaf charity in England, for a decade, including five years as their Chair. At Euromoney, he is the executive sponsor for the Employee Resources Group Awareness of Visible and Invisible Disabilities.