Afzal Ismail, Audit Director

Job title: Group Audit Director with two direct reports (head of Internal Audit and Head of Insurance)

Employer: Orbit Housing Group Ltd (OHGL)

Time spent to date: 5 years and 2 months

Responsibility for: Internal Audit, Insurance and Risk Management

Briefly describe the organisation you work for

OHGL is a provider of housing within the mainstream Housing Sector. It provides products and services which range from rented accommodation for families and couples, to housing single and vulnerable young people, and older people in sheltered accommodation. We also provide support of wardens/scheme based staff and shared ownership where we own and the tenant owns a proportion of house with view to full purchase. We also provide housing for key workers such as teachers, NHS staff. OHGL is a Group consisting of a number of subsidiaries with a turnover of £100M. It is geographically dispersed in England spanning from the South-East, Midlands through to East Anglia with a total portfolio of about 30,000 homes.

Explain what you do on an average day at work

On an average day I spend a lot of time in focused meetings with clear objectives rather than meetings for the sake of meetings. Meetings centre around the provision of internal audit, risk management and insurance services which I am responsible for. Feedback from the Head of Internal Audit and Head of Insurance about progress in delivering their objectives as part of my directorate.

What do you like most about your job?

Being part of the Group Executive Team so that I can play a role in the strategic direction, vision and service delivery to our customers

When and why did you become interested in maths?

I became interested in maths because I always found it rewarding to find a solution to a particular problem. I seemed to be reasonably good at it and so pursued a degree in mathematics. Since then I qualified as an accountant and then specialised in Audit and Risk Management. At the time accountancy was the rage.

Do you have any advice for someone considering your career path?

It’s hard work but very rewarding once you get your qualifications. Maths is a very good path into a lot of things in the employment world. Get the best result that you can, that will help.

What does the future hold for you?

I am aiming to be Chief executive one day, which would be the next natural step for me in the housing sector. I currently report to the Group Chief executive with a dotted line to the Group Audit Committee.