Breakfast seminar: How Paul Fineman took a leap of faith at 62

We were very pleased to welcome Paul Fineman, who we’ve known for many years, as guest speaker today in association with over-50s network Circle Square.

Our topic

As CEO at IG Design Group Plc, Paul Fineman guided its growth from a UK-centric Christmas-focused consumer gift packaging business to a global $1bn revenue multi-product provider.

In 2022, after 17 years as IG Design Group Plc’s Board Director and 14 years as Group CEO, Paul made the momentous decision that it was the right time to step down, for a new experience and that he felt ready for a different work/life balance.

Now, as a business investor, adviser and mentor, including to smaller fast-growing businesses, Paul is finding great enjoyment and fulfilment from applying his decades of experience with tomorrow’s leaders in dynamic work environments.

Paul told us all about his life in business, how he navigated career transition and the lessons he learned.

About Paul Fineman

Paul has over 40 years’ experience as a highly successful business leader and mentor. He led his family’s consumer products business, Anker International, through over 20 years of uninterrupted growth until its sale in 2005.

Three years later, Paul made a rare transition from his earlier experience as leader of a private family-owned business to becoming Group CEO of an AIM listed PLC , when he became CEO of Anker’s acquiror, International Greetings PLC. He led its complete transformation as IG Design Group and through a period of restructuring, reinvention and diversification which developed it from a UK centric, Christmas-focused business to a global, year-round c$1bn revenue multiproduct category/brand provider and partner to the world’s leading omni-channel retailers.

Paul’s experience also includes managing a worldwide and award winning rebranding project; overseeing the introduction of new product categories, customer channels and business models; and heading up significant M&A activity in Europe, Australia and the USA.

At IG, Paul’s leadership resulted in the Group being Turnaround Business of the Year in 2011. Such was the businesses transformation that its 2014 investment in its Wales operation was marked by the opening of its new facilities by HM the Queen and HRH Prince Phillip.

In 2015 the evolution of the group’s US business resulted in its Business of the Year award being acknowledged not only by Members of the US Congress, but later by the world’s largest retailer – Walmart – naming IG USA as Supplier of the Year in 2018 and 2020.

Paul’s achievements resulted in him being voted the AIM markets CEO of the Year in 2017.

About Circle Square

Founded in 2018, Circle Square is a network for people over 50. It endeavours to make a positive impact, inspire ambition and help people to thrive during their best years.

If you are interested in Circle Square’s career transition programme, Planning Your Next Chapter, to help plan your “what’s next”, Here is is a brochure with more details about the programme.  If you would like to discuss further, please feel free to get in touch via [email protected].



Sam Inkersole

In 2022, Sam won the Taxation’s Rising Star award at the Taxation Awards in and was named in the Accountancy Age 35 Under 35.

Jon Wedge

While Jon’s client work focuses on the financial services sector, he also oversees the firm’s assurance service, as well as supporting the trainees following in his footsteps.


Elana joined us in 2017 as an ACA trainee, after graduating from Durham University where she had studied languages. She is now a manager in our assurance team.


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