Group Head of Commercial Finance & Business Partnering

Walker Hamill
West London
£120,000 - £140,000 + bonus + benefits
12 Sep 2018
18 Sep 2018
Department Head
Accounting, Analyst, Finance, Strategy
Contract Type

Our client is a professional services company that helps organisations across 180 countries to realise their full potential through both their people and their products. They have a strong heritage and a very successful track record in embedding excellence into a variety of companies by showing them how to improve performance, reduce risk and achieve sustainable growth. Their clients vary from some of the world's largest and most successful brands to local small businesses the world over. The company have enjoyed significant growth in recent years and have doubled in size to circa £500 turnover. As part of an initiative from the executive board, the business is aiming to implement a strategy to help continue to drive growth and improve customer retention.

As a result of a structural shift back to a matrix set up, we are looking for a new senior Head of Commercial Finance to support the COO of Assurance and the Group Commercial Director. This is a new position to head up commercial finance for the Assurance stream which is a c.£350m business across the Group and the largest revenue stream in the business. You will be tasked with building and leading the Group finance business partner team and will provide support to the Group streams and sectors and to act directly as a finance lead for the Assurance stream. The role will report into the Group Head of Finance, but will work closely with key stakeholders within the applicable business streams and sectors, in particular supporting the Group Assurance Director, Group Commercial Director, the Heads of Sectors and their central teams. The role is also responsible for co-ordination with the Regional stream members, comprising the Regional COOs and their related finance business partners, the Regional CCOs and for collaboration with sector FP&A teams located in the regions.

You will be a key lynchpin in the Group Finance leadership team and will help drive a finance business partnering approach and commercial finance excellence. As a key and highly visible role in the development of the strategy for the Group’s largest stream, there is significant opportunity for the role holder to demonstrate future potential and move internally within the business.

In addition, your key responsibilities will include:

  • Managing proactive finance involvement and challenge in all key business stream decisions
  • Overall responsibility for the Financial Planning and Analysis aspects of assurance and working with the business revenue streams in consolidating Financial Planning KPIs and MI
  • Review, analyse and understand current and past trends in key performance indicators including all areas of sales, revenue, gross profit and contribution to highlight trends and analysing causes of unexpected variance
  • Support the Executive team management in monitoring the performance in each of the business’s key products/markets
  • Present sound business insight and analysis to the stream leadership team, proactively suggesting commercial improvement opportunities
  • Support the Group Assurance Director, the Group Commercial Director and the sector heads in the development and articulation of a short and medium term strategy and providing the financial input required to that process
  • Responsible for the guidance, review, challenge and approval of Budgets and forecasts for the stream, prepared in conjunction with the Regional FDs,ensuring that Assurance budgets across the Group are consistent with the stream strategy
  • Leading a team of finance business partners through coaching, guiding and where necessary instructing towards best practice finance business partnering
  • Represent finance in stream meetings, including forecast, budget and strategic plan review meetings with the Group Executive
  • Develop a culture of continuous improvement aimed at improving commercial awareness and better / well informed decision making through business/industry/market analysis     
  • Review financial evaluations of new products/projects/business decisions & alternative scenarios, providing insight to the commercial leaders
  • Control and manage development of financial models and analyses to support strategic initiatives
  • Challenge month-end performance and work with the streams to address gaps or initiate improvements
  • Work with the regional FP&A and accounting teams to ensure correct and best practice accounting for the stream and take joint responsibility for the outcome
  • Identify Risks/Opportunities and provide plans/ideas to mitigate them
  • Responsible for in-depth analysis to be provided to Senior Management Team and Departments heads
  • Prepare presentations for Senior Management Team meetings
  • Engagement in the review of potential acquisitions and subsequent integration
  • Work collaboratively with Regional finance stream and sector FP&A teams
  • Where required to act as a Finance Business Partner directly for a stream, then the responsibilities will be assumed of the specific finance support role for that stream

The ideal candidate will be a graduate qualified accountant (CIMA, ACCA or ACA) with significant post-qualification commercial finance experience, ideally gained in a professional services environment. You will be a confident and exceptional communicator with the ability to business partner across finance and non-finance leaders. You will ideally have International experience and have worked in a similar sized or larger business with a matrix structure. We are looking for a strong leader with the personal ability to build and lead the finance business partnering team and ideally with previous experience as a manager of business partnering teams. The business is going through some significant change and transformation so they require someone who has previously had significant involvement in a change environment and has been instrumental in delivering on a growth strategy. You will be a team player with a hands on ‘can do’ proactive attitude with a consultative and collaborative approach and style. You will need to be confident in building processes and procedures coupled with the ability to build lasting relationships with business leaders and managers. 

Walker Hamill has been a specialist finance and strategy recruiter for almost 30 years. We have an extensive client group, including major multinational listed companies, private equity-backed businesses and privately owned, early stage ventures. We recruit across all sectors, but have particularly strong client relationships in media, retail, pharma/biotech, technology, property/real estate, leisure and business services. We have offices in the UK, Switzerland and Australia. For further information, please see

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