HELEN Cowing has joined Scotch whisky distiller William Grant & Sons as chief financial officer, from the same role at financial services and energy group Octopus.

She succeeds Mike Lamont in the top finance job at William Grant, which produces The Balvenie and Glenfiddich single malts, Irish whiskey Tullamore Dew, and Hendrick’s gin. A spokeswoman for the family-owned distiller said Mr Lamont was retiring.

William Grant noted Ms Cowing had held chief financial officer roles at construction company ISG, food and drink vending group Selecta, and clothing retailer FatFace.

Simon Hunt, chief executive at William Grant, said: “Helen’s impressive leadership of global businesses, her international financial expertise and her commitment to values-based leadership...will make her a great addition to the executive board and the wider business.”

Ms Cowing said she valued William Grant’s “long-term thinking”.

William Grant raised pre-tax profits by 17 per cent to £304m in 2017.