“I’m a Corinthia man, born and bred. My working life started with Corinthia. I was still studying for my Association of Chartered Certified Accountants degree (ACCA) and sitting for my Advanced Levels when I joined Corinthia. I continued my studies during work.” That was David Camilleri, Director of Finance of Corinthia Hotels Ltd (CHL), the hotel management arm of the Corinthia Group.
Still a 32-year-young warranted accountant, David’s work presents a great challenge. CHL is thriving since it mirrors the Corinthia Group expansion in hotel management in different parts of the world.
“I often find myself juggling between different tasks; I suppose it cannot be avoided. Different requirements or necessities crop up, which require immediate attention. I also gladly assist others who require my help and guidance. My team and I prepare a five-year projections and also compile an even longer-term exercise. I am naturally in charge of the cash flow of CHL and its subsidiaries and prepare a budget for the CHL Group. I also assist in coordinating the hotels’ budgets process and collecting the hotels’ budget documents, which are in turn presented to the executives of CHL and stored centrally for further use. The subsidiaries reflect the growth of CHL’s operations, and now add up to 11 companies registered in differnt countries where CHL has a presence. Naturally, our work also requires us to report to IHI.”
It’s undoubtedly a demanding job, but David has passed through an effective learning curve with Corinthia. He joined CHL in 2013 and spent three years as an accounts executive; then, a vacancy for an Accountant appeared, and he was chosen for that post. Later, he was promoted to Financial Controller, then Senior Financial Controller and finally, this year, he was appointed Director of Finance.
But what led him to choose Corinthia? “I was looking for a job and came across a vacancy advert. Corinthia’s name is captivating; I applied and never looked back.”
But was he never tempted to take up another profession? David did not answer immediately. He confessed that he had started studying IT at secondary school, but his heart and mind were never there. “I took up accounts for my ‘O’level, and suddenly, I felt I matched up. When I look back, I credit my teacher for this. He was charismatic and knew the subject well, but most of all, he could explain and deliver his knowldege impeccably. So, I chose it as my main subject.” David stopped and looked blankly for a couple of seconds. “I confess I liked marketing and physics as well.” There was a hidden smile on his face. “But then, I am interested in almost everything. However, accounts have remained my number one interest.”
Interested in everything? So, does he manage odd jobs, even at home? “Oh, yes.
I firmly believe that we set our own limitations. Evereyone has the capability to do whatever they desire. Doing these other odd jobs helps resetting your mind from the daily hectic lives we live.”
“I’m all game for a new experience. That is how I am at work, too. New experiences excite me, and I try to convey this feeling to all my colleagues. I am quite a transparent person. At least, I try my utmost to be so. So, they know me; no surprises! I feel it is important to be honest and frank with colleagues to retain a good rapport. I will never hold grudges and am always ready to clear the air if I sense some problem is affecting a good relationship and cordial camaraderie at work. I believe active discussion is paramount. I suppose I am a frank person and will naturally say what I feel without arrogance or bitterness.”
David suddenly remembered to include his duties as Treasurer of the Corinthia Social Club. “It’s a refreshing experience. We organise summer parties for the staff, Long Service Awards, and football tournaments and assist some voluntary organisations in their needs, including cleaning and revamping their premises. It’s very different and also rewarding.”
For some reason, I expected David would always remain assiduous in his hobbies or relaxations. But I was utterly wrong. “I have touched and practised many pastimes which I discontinued. I used to play squash and stopped. Then I took up cycling, and I stopped that too. Running followed, and I stopped that. I also started trekking, which is something I cannot stop because of Harry.”
And who’s Harry? “My Golden Retriever. He’s about seven months old and quite a handful!”
“My perfect relaxation is when my wife, Shannon, and I can spend time together. We have known each other since 2010, but we married a year and four months ago. She’s British but has lived in Malta since 11, so she’s practically Maltese. Shannon works as a nurse in the Emergency Departement of Malta’s main hospital. It’s very hectic and demanding, but she is passionate about her vocation despite the number of problems she encounters daily. And that is key to one’s serenity at work. ”
When David had a glance at his mobile, I knew very well that some other problem was calling. I was tempted to ask what had cropped up, but that would have kept him away from the glitch. So we parted.