Craig Baxter - Senior Investor Relations and Communications Manager


Talk us through your career journey so far?

Having attended university in the USA, I returned to Aberdeen and began my career at Hall Morrice, where I studied towards the CA qualification. Realising that I was better suited to industry than practice, I switched to CIMA and, following a stint at the Craig Group, I moved to Edinburgh to work for HBOS Corporate. I thoroughly enjoyed my time with the bank, and my career developed well within the fluid environment created by the merger with Lloyds Bank.

After seven years at the bank, and having met my now wife, I decided to relocate to Aberdeen and joined Accenture on their BP contract. That was a really good segway into the oil and gas industry at a time when oil and gas experience was very much a prerequisite to join an operator, and it opened doors for me in terms of future roles. I left Accenture to take on a business partnering role looking after CNR’s African assets; a role which involved lots of interesting travel and no shortage of personal development over five productive years.

I am now into my sixth year at EnQuest, having enjoyed roles in Business Partnering and Financial Planning and Analysis, including filling the role of Group Planning Manager until making the switch to Investor Relations in January 2022.

What do you enjoy most about your job?

EnQuest is a dynamic, agile organisation with a very entrepreneurial mindset and I very much enjoy the varied challenges that culture brings. My current job brings the added dimension of telling EnQuest’s story to a wide range of external stakeholders, which is a particularly fun challenge for someone who has always had a purely internal focus.

Did you always want to be an accountant? If not, what did you want to be?

Not necessarily, but I was always drawn to numbers. I studied finance and economics at university and the enjoyment of that experience reinforced to me that I was well suited to finance-based roles.

Do you see the job of an accountant changing over the next decade, and if so, what do you see?

I think change is inevitable and accountancy is no exception. I’d expect that finance professionals will increasingly be encouraged to constructively challenge operational norms and resist the temptation to be a back seat passenger in terms of performance management.

Has the COVID pandemic changed the way you view work?

Like many others, the line between work and family life blurred for me during 2020 and I worked harder than I ever had before. I did, however, stick to rules which actually created more quality time with my wife and young daughter; primarily by taking extended breaks from my workspace at times that suited them. Even on the occasions when I worked late, I did so having enjoyed a nice couple of hours with the family and participated in my daughter’s bedtime routine earlier in the evening.

Post-lockdown, I’m very pleased with the flexibility offered by EnQuest, and enjoy a hybrid working week between home and the office.

What advice would you give to an accountant who might be considering changing jobs?

I think accountants today have an added variable in their decision-making process when evaluating job opportunities; that of company culture. It is now very much part of the calculus to ensure that a company’s values, strategy and, increasingly, approach to hybrid working align to those of the individual before making any role change.

My primary piece of advice would be to embrace new challenges which feel instinctively right but don’t be scared to admit that you’ve made a mistake; there is no need to feel trapped in a role that you know is not a good fit.

If you could, what advice would you give your 18 year old self?

Not advice as such, but I’d certainly remind my 18 year old self that nothing in life is set in stone at that age, and that a career can evolve as long as an individual embraces change and development.

What do you still want to achieve?

I’m a relative newcomer to the Investor Relations world, having been in my current role for just over a year, so I have lots of short-term aims to make myself the best IR professional that I can be.

Longer-term, I’m intrigued by the challenges of senior leadership and would love to challenge myself as a CFO, or similar.

Being an accountant can be a demanding job with often long hours. How do you like to relax and what do you enjoy doing outside of work?

My wife and I have a six year old daughter and spending time with her is the best way to switch off from work, although her limitless energy is not what I’d describe as relaxing. We have also recently welcomed a puppy into the family and I’m delighted that she has become my personal shadow.

Away from home life, I am a confessed golf addict and love the challenge that the game brings every time I play.

Lastly, tell us something interesting that most people don’t know about you?

It may be hard to believe given our youthful complexions (!!) but I have actually known Andrew for more than 25 years, when we were friends and competitors in the North East of Scotland junior golf scene.

COVID scuppered several attempts for us to get together for an on-course reunion so I’m looking forward to my invitation to join him in Dubai for a round!