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Case Study: Finance Director

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An impressive SME with growth plans for the future including further investment and growth in the APAC and South African markets. With an established business already dealing with 150 clients and working with the majority of the biggest pharmaceutical business it gained investment from Investec which shows the ongoing plans the business has are a sound investment. The business had a strategy for continued growth with a view to a 5-7 year plan that could include options such as an Exit, IPO or trade sale. 



A very much “hands on” and strategic Financial Director role responsible for the management of the Finance function together with IT and HR departments. With the impending ERP implementation there were other projects that the individual would be involved with and take responsibility for running. Salary indicated was £100,000 - £120,000 range dependant on the level of the individual.

We established the person would need a wide range of skills and experiences including:

  • Well-developed commercial acumen

  • Effective communicator especially with non-financial stakeholders

  • Able to build and maintain trusted relationships

  • Good team management skills

  • Happy to stand up and be counted and able to defend their corner

  • Diplomatic individual who listens to senior management and offers solutions in an inclusive way and brings on board changes with the buy in of management

  • Ambitious to add significant value personally

  • An ability and background of improving processing and solve issues

  • Historical experience of working with Senior Management / Stake Holders / CEO levels

  • International experience

  • Understanding of US and international Tax

  • Experience and understanding of factoring agreements

  • Ideally previously experience of a transaction/exit

  • ERP systems implementation experience



After meeting we assisted in writing the job specification with the CEO of the business.

We started by contacting our extensive network, utilising this both directly for candidates but also referrals. Wade Macdonald have been successfully recruiting finance professionals in the area for 30 years and we have compiled an extensive data base of candidates. We undertook a traditional headhunt approach using traditional methods of advertising and more technology-based options such as LinkedIn Recruiter which allowed to target specific people based on their profiles.

Initially we engaged with c200 people, identify a long list of 50, met the most appropriate 10 candidates face to face and submitted a shortlist of 5 people who best fit the job brief and be the right personality fit for the business.



Week 1 -  Formalise job description and commenced search

End of Week 2 - Deliver CV Shortlist

Week 3 - 1st interview stage

Week 4 - 2nd interview stage

Week 5 - Final interview and offer


The Result

Both the client and the candidate were exceptionally pleased with the process especially as it could have been complicated by lock-downs. The process which they initially anticipated was a long and drawn out one, but became a much more simple and structured one allowing then to them to also be able to do their normal day to day jobs.

18 months in and both people appointed into the roles are very happy with their decisions to move and enjoying life in their new positions. The business is also continuing its growth strategy and now feels it has a structure within Senior Management that will not only support that growth but also be instrumental in driving the direction of the growth as the business moves forwards.


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