Meet our employees

Kevin Sumner

Kevin Sumner is not your typical run of the mill financial careerist. In fact, he is quite the opposite. Expatriate. Globetrotter. Professional basketball player and all-around nice guy with a talent for accounting and IT. As Financial Business Controller in Falck, Kevin has found the perfect place to align his interests in data and analytics with his passion for accounting and IT.

Kevin Sumner has always had a knack for numbers. Growing up in North Carolina with a mother who worked in banking, Kevin grew up in a world of numbers and finance – and finance seemed the obvious career choice.

“I love numbers. And finance was something I was familiar with. It was the easy choice,” remembers Kevin.

Kevin’s love of numbers also led to an interest in data and computer systems. And, in joining Falck, Kevin has come full circle professionally, so to speak.

“In college, I started out as a major in Computer Information Systems. And I finished in finance. And now my job is financial systems,” laughs Kevin. “And the funny thing about my job here at Falck is that the job I applied for is not the one I got hired for. And the job I’ve got now is not even the one I was hired for.”

Kevin initially applied for a job as Financial Business Advisor in a business unit. During the recruitment process, he was offered another position in Falck, and less than a month after he started, he was offered his current job. According to Kevin, quite amazing. But no coincidence.

“The ability of people to recognize where I would fit best was really something. I’ve seen it happen to others as well. Falck hires great people and move them to other departments where their expertise can be used better. It’s a constantly evolving culture. Full of brilliant people you can learn a lot from.”

But before Kevin could come full circle in Falck, he had to take a detour.

Finance or Basketball

Fresh out of university with an MBA and a degree in Finance, Kevin seemed all set for a classic career trajectory, headed towards the corner office. He landed a job with Lockheed Martin in Washington DC, got into their Financial Leadership Development programme – an acceleration to leadership-programme for key talents – and sat comfortably at his desk as Invoicing Manager for one of Lockheed Martin’s programmes when the basketball bug got the better of him.

“I had completed the Leadership Programme, done three year-long rotations in various financial roles and had just been appointed invoicing manager. Everything was going my way. But then I decided I wanted to go overseas to play professional basketball,” recalls Kevin.

Pro in Peru

While living in Washington DC, Kevin had started to play basketball for a semi-professional team. The owner of the team had played professional basketball in Peru and took the team there to play a series of exhibition games.

“We did that two years in a row. After the second trip, I decided I wanted to go to and stay in Peru. I wanted to quit my job in DC and go play basketball in Peru and see what happened. And that’s what I did,” laughs Kevin.

Thinking basketball is a young man’s game and you only live once, Kevin left behind the comforts of a career in corporate America for a Peruvian adventure. No back-up plans. Zero return ticket.

“It was not only the basketball. I was also intrigued by the prospect of experiencing other cultures and ways to live. To explore the world,” says Kevin.

The Danish connection

After a full season of pro basketball in Peru, Kevin had a rethink. While in DC, Kevin had also played basketball on a mixed team. And on the team was a Danish girl who had gone back to Denmark, when Kevin left for Peru.

“When the season was over in Peru, I texted her and asked what basketball was like in Denmark. She said it wasn’t very big, but that I was good enough to make a pro team. If I came, I could stay with her. And no, it was not a romantic relationship. I’m not a love refuge,” laughs Kevin.

Kevin booked a flight from Lima to Copenhagen and gave himself three weeks to find a team – which he did. So, in August 2013, Kevin arrived in Denmark to play for basketball team BK Amager.

Back to finance

But with professional basketball follows injuries. And if you’re not on a super high level and a long-term contract, injuries are costly. Professionally, and financially. So, Kevin started to look for a way to give himself a bit of financial stability outside of basketball.

“I got a job as a business controller, working with the CFO for a Danish company called DISA.”

The company wanted the CFO and Kevin to go to the US to start up a subsidiary. But Kevin didn’t want to leave Denmark.

“I wasn’t ready. As long as I can play basketball on a high level, I want to continue to do that. I’m still only 35. I believe I’ve got at least five more years or so before I hang up the high-tops.”

The CFO gave Kevin a letter of recommendation and was off to the US. And Kevin applied for a job with Falck.

Coming full circle

In Falck, Kevin has been instrumental to the rebuild of the HFM System for integrating financial reports across the Falck Group.

“We’ve rebuilt the system from the ground up. New accounts. New entities hierarchy. New rules. It’s been a very exciting project. And it has enabled me to really understand everything that happens in the financial consolidation process,” says Kevin.

The rebuild is part of a project to reduce the number of days it takes to close the books in Falck and speed up financial reporting.

“We’ve cut down the time it takes to close the books from six days to three days. That enables our Finance Department to operate more forward-looking, using financial insights to make strategic decisions on the future faster,” says Kevin. “And I’m very proud to have been part of the project. It was fun. It was frustrating. It was creative. It was strategic – and it was meaningful. It ticked all the boxes.”

Making a positive contribution to society

In joining Falck, Kevin has joined a company that essentially is all about saving lives and keeping people safe. How does a finance guy feel about that?

“On a day to day basis, I don’t think about it that much. I’m on the technical side, somewhat removed from the core side of the business. But if the financial side of the business isn’t working, there are no funds to keep our front liners going.”

But it is important to Kevin that Falck is contributing to the greater good.

“I’m the kind of person who probably thinks about this a lot more than the average person. I would never work for, say, a tobacco company. And at the end of the day, I like to know that I work for a company that makes a positive contribution to society,” smiles Kevin.

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