Meet the founders – Travis Benn, FCA
|Author: Lumify Energy||Read time: 4 mins|
|Client type: All||Technology: all|
Husband and wife team, Travis and Freccia Benn are the co-founders of Accounting for Energy, over the next two weeks they’ll be giving us a little insight into why they started the business, what makes them tick and their vision for the company. This week we speak to Travis.
You’ve had a 10-year career as an accountant; tell us a bit more about that?
I began my career working as an auditor for two global accountancy firms. This allowed me to see the inner workings of a large number of businesses and charities. I enjoyed building relationships with my clients and learning about their organisations. Moreover, I loved the huge variety of working environments (such as offices, factories, hospitals, schools, farms and power stations) and travelling extensively across the UK to do so.
How and why did you start Lumify Energy?
The time came when I decided to make the change from practising as an auditor to working in industry - a well-known rite of passage trodden by many accountants before me. I was offered a position by the UK’s leading independent renewable energy power generator where, amongst other activities, he prepared the company for its London Stock Exchange listing. Whilst enjoying his debut in renewables, Travis identified an innovation opportunity, so went his separate way to pursue it.
Employee vs. business owner - what are the pros and cons for you?
I am incredibly grateful for having the opportunity to own and develop a business. It has provided greater freedom, flexibility and variety of work, particularly during the earlier days where one has to do the job of an entire team. It also teaches you to work around your strengths and weaknesses, and allows full control over your work-life balance. However, it can often be a lonely road, and the ‘ups’ and ‘downs’ are far more pronounced! Nevertheless, it has been an incredibly worthwhile journey!
I hope to leave a simpler and transparent sector than the one which we started with."
The best thing about working with your spouse?
Many people imagine it would be very difficult to work alongside their spouse. However, it has been an experience second to none, and I have found that a journey shared is indeed a journey halved. Among other things, working together has promoted singleness of purpose and vision, while enabling us to use time more effectively.
However, I think it’s crucial to recognise each other’s strengths, and to relinquish control over areas you know you’re not good at!
What’s your vision for Accounting for Energy?
The renewable energy sector is relatively new, complex, and ever-evolving I would like Lumify Energy to set new standards for how renewable energy is calculated and communicated.
City or Country?
Country! I was born and spent my first eight years in Guyana, the only English-speaking country in South America, and home of the world’s tallest waterfall and the Amazon rainforest.
My late grandfather was a pig and cattle farmer, and many of my best childhood memories include the school holidays spent on the farms. Although I currently live in London, I relish every opportunity to visit the countryside.