Commercial Director - Sales & Marketing
Our client is a leading provider of niche consumer financial services products in the UK and overseas. Over the past twenty-years the business has offered a suite of products and services to over 60,000 customers including innovative App-based technology and solutions. As with other insurance-based propositions, all assets are placed into a Trust Fund and managed/invested accordingly. Our client has enjoyed significant growth under the leadership of the Group CEO who possesses an impressive track-record of growing and selling private equity-backed financial services businesses. The group currently employs c250 people across four sites with the Head Office in the North West of England.
The business recently went through a management buyout (MBO) with backing from Private Equity and has enjoyed a period of impressive expansion with ebitda growing from c£6m to over c£13m within just two years. This has been driven by strategies including direct-to-consumer digital marketing, an acquisition and the development of b2b affinity partnerships. Historically the business relied solely upon the more traditional sales and marketing methods, however the digital agenda, development of the brand and a new approach to lead-generation/customer acquisition has transformed our client into the fastest-growing business within its sector. Being Private Equity-backed the business is expected to seek an exit for its shareholders in the short-to-medium term. Unsurprisingly the rate of growth has seen a lot of interest from the larger international private-equity community and a secondary MBO is anticipated.
With the platform and strategy in place the CEO now requires a "right-hand-man/woman" to help deliver and maximise the five-year plan. The growth opportunities laid out above will continue to exist however this will increasingly be driven by the company’s ability to increase marketing traffic and brand-awareness in-order-to generate and convert more sales-leads both directly and via strategic partnerships. The ideal candidate therefore needs to be steeped in B2C and B2B Sales & Marketing experience and particularly where a lead-generation/customer acquisition/direct response dynamic exists.
As well as lead generation and conversion activities you will need to interface with “partners” and develop other routes to market. Back-office processes need to be optimised to ensure that any Sales & Marketing campaigns including: online, TV and print are maximised particularly from a customer conversion perspective. Another large element of this role is to ensure that engagement with partners including affinity relationships and third-party marketeers are profitable and successful. Currently around 90% of the firms’ customer-leads are “third-party” generated and given the associated costs of such arrangements, the business needs to move away from this dynamic/address an appropriate balance whilst controlling and pushing back on “lead-fees”.
The following experience is required:
- Strong consumer Sales & Marketing experience, particularly around “direct-response”, digital lead generation and customer acquisition.
- Experience of working with affinity groups and other b2b propositions – negotiating contracts and ensuring that partnerships and campaigns work.
- Financial Services experience would be beneficial and/or selling consumer products and services to the over 55’s.
- Significant demonstrable sales/marketing growth and value creation experience.
- Retail/Consumer experience essential.
- You must have experience of working with and developing “brands”.
- You will manage a team of four as well as all third-party relationships.
- Management and execution of successful ad-campaigns traditional and digital.
- Ability to deliver and hopefully over-deliver on the strategy set by the CEO and the rest of the board.
- Board level working experience.
The following personality traits are required:
- Whilst analytical, pragmatic and excited by detail this person must also be a “doer”. An ability to multi-task is essential.
- Growth orientated and commercial. You will be a self-starter. “You either find a way or make one”.
- You will have ambitions at some stage to step-up to CEO and will desire to quickly gain recognition as a potential successor.
- You will be prepared to make decisions and live by the consequences.
- You will be expected to take responsibility, make decisions and give the CEO the ability, confidence and freedom to focus purely on the high-level strategic priorities.
- Results driven and competitive.
- An understanding of Private Equity ownership and what this means from the perspectives of pace, growth and cash management.