Our client is a at the forefront of change in online retailing. Founded in 2000, they have grown to over 160 employees working internationally across three offices and partner with some of Europe’s most successful retailers and brands deploying their deep expertise and proprietary technology to enable their clients to trade successfully online.
Earlier this year, our client announced a new partnership which will open up the business to a truly global opportunity. Thus the CEO has identified the need to hire a peer level COO/CFO to work with him to transform the business into an effective international operation .
This person will be an initiator of change , a thinker and a doer, a shaper of tough strategic decisions and an executor of them .They must bring with them the wisdom of experience as well as counsel , guidance, support and challenge to the CEO ensuring that between them they evolve in the best way ensuring that the business really does go global whilst never losing sight of the successful proposition that the business has today and how it has been achieved .
The COO/CFO will also be responsible for the financial and risk management operations of the business as a growth strategy can only be truly effective if underpinned by these disciplines..
The culture of the business is at its heart and has been critical to its success. Success in this role will be achieved by being able to operate and develop operational ,financial and commercial disciplines seamlessly as part of the cultural framework of the business.
The new COO/CFO must be naturally comfortable and able to thrive as part of a driven, ambitious demanding and energetic team with a “can and will” do attitude and equally happy in the strategy as in the detail .
Specifics and Requirements of the Role
The business operates from London, Yorkshire and Prague and the role will thus involve extensive travel and leadership of teams based in different geographical locations including weekly travel between London and Yorkshire.
A real interest in the market in which the business operates in as well as demonstrable experience in launching/scaling an international operation will be essential. Candidates’ experience is likely to include professional services , retail/ecommerce/digital /technology/ delivery of technology services ( in particular experience of monetising data/tech).Candidates must be able to demonstrate an affinity with an agency style culture.
Detailed specifics of the role will include:
- Working as CEO’s partner to create a strategic operation plan that will shape the future aligned to business objectives and an evolving service proposition.
- Input into the design and development of the objectives and overall business strategy
- Lead overall business operations driving efficiency and effectiveness
- Initiate and manage change in the business as they transition to a global proposition
- Support all operational areas in the business coaching and developing direct reports
- Responsibility for a finance team of 4 and the risk management operations of the company
- Ensure overall leadership of company accounting and financial management function underpinned by effective financial controls
- Formulate financial plans in accordance with the strategy determined by the Board
- Develop KPIs that support the company’s management and development
- Ensure accounting policies comply with relevant accounting standards and that company policies are up to date and followed
- Oversee preparation of statutory and monthly management accounts, including cash and performance forecasts
- Oversee 12 month rolling P&L and cash flow
- Ability to deliver fast ‘helicopter view’ commercial financial analysis as well as detailed modelling
- Manage and develop key relationships with the company’s shareholders, bank and auditors
- Ensure compliance with group and general corporate governance
- Lead on the implementation and improvement of operational and financial systems
- Overall responsibility for all contractual matters in the company including client and supplier contracts
- Fiscal responsibility for tax strategy and compliance
- Maintain appropriate company policies and insurances including Professional Indemnity
Key Skills and Experience
- Likeable , bright , quick minded, charismatic and with energy
- Strong leadership through good people skills and rolling up sleeves approach to support the team as required – ‘walk the talk’
- A fully qualified accountant (ACA, CIMA, ACCA or equivalent)
- Will enjoy the “detail” of running the business
- Experience of 10 years or more working in a broad hands-on role (peer level to CEO in an entrepreneurial environment)
- Demonstrable experience of launching /scaling and operating an international business (likely within retail,ecommerce, digital tech ,professional/technology services) ;
- Strong knowledge of, and practical experience in, contractual negotiations
- Exceptional interpersonal skills, including the ability to work closely and effectively across all areas of the business
Ability to think and act commercially and sometimes entrepreneurially (managed risk)