Ref NoGB1752.UNI/FG
Alt Ref NoOFR:
TitleFinancial Group
Description[Please note that a significant proportion of this collection remains uncatalogued and that we therefore hold more Financial Group records than are represented here. Please contact for more information about the records we hold.]

A Finance Committee was set up by Lord Leverhulme in the 1910s with a number of other committees to administer the growing Lever Brothers business. The Finance Committee was referred to in letters from Lord Leverhulme to his son William Hulme Lever in July 1914. His son was chairman of the committee and Lord Leverhulme set out the purpose of the committee - to consider capital proposals put before it by company directors and if they were accepted, to consider how the finances could be provided or raised.

The committee was re-convened at intervals to study and report on a particular problem.

During the post-2nd World War period Finance Department played an important part as it was heavily involved in the creation of documents which ensured control in the Unilever structure. These documents included annual operating plans (AOPs), annual estimates (AEs) and capital expenditure budgets (CEBs). AOPs and AEs enabled the operating companies and departments to estimate sales and costs and discuss them with the relevant personnel. Once the estimates had been accepted by Special Committee it was the responsibility of the operating companies and departments to carry out their plans as specified in the AOPs and AEs.

The CEBs catered for the provision of new plant or the renewal of existing facilities. These documents meant liaising with other departments and led to a focus on long term policy. This system also led to the use of Long Term Plans (LTPs) and Five Year Plans.

In August 1957 the Accounts Section of the former UK Margarine Executive was transferred to the Unilever House Accounting Service (UHAS). In September 1958 the Finance Department and Accounts Department formed the Financial Group, which was enlarged in August 1959 when the Taxation Department was added.

An organisation chart compiled by the Finance Committee for a report in 1961 indicated the following staff and sections reporting to the Head of Financial Group - Chief Accountant, Overseas/UAC/Plantations, UK, Banking/Foreign Exchange, and Taxation. The Chief Accountant was responsible for Private Admin, Unilever House Accounting Service and Concern Accounting.

A 1970 organisation chart indicated five Financial Group sections - Accounts, Banking/Foreign Exchange, Commercial Advisory, Overseas Advisory, and Taxation. The Finance Group structure was simplified and altered in May 1971 to provide Overseas Committee and UAC with a more extensive service. A full time Commercial Officer was appointed to Overseas Committee and the overseas section of Financial Group was transferred to Overseas Committee.

By 1979 an investor relations section had been set up in Financial Group.
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