Chief Financial Officer (interim)
I am delighted to be appointed exclusive partner to recruit an interim Chief Financial Officer for HS2, one of the most high profile and far reaching CFO opportunities in the UK.
Managing £multi-billon spend, we are looking for a board level, ExCo operator in complex, large-scale businesses with political savvy and sensitivity. We seek someone able to land promptly and seamlessly into a business that provides long-term opportunity, infrastructure and accessibility across the UK. Following a recent Parliamentary update, HS2 is now supporting over 22,000 jobs and progressing within budget and on schedule, hitting major construction milestones in delivering the earlier phases.
Reporting to the CEO, sitting on the board and forming part of an intimate executive team, the interim CFO will manage several different functions and provide leadership and gravitas during a period of change as the business embarks on a new phase in its journey with particular focus on project spend, financial control and construction. It is embarking on the most intensive construction phase of its existence over the next phase including building and developing stations along the route. As well as the Finance function, the CFO will manage the CIO, Project Management Office (driving all reporting), Company Secretariat, Facilities/Estates, Legal and the Sponsorship Team – forming and maintaining close alliances with political and private organisations.
With an energetic, values-aligned and highly motivated leadership team reporting to the CFO, its direction and management will form a significant component of the CFO’s role. As well as leading this team, the presence and influence with board members and the executive team is critical. The interim CFO will have authority, authenticity and a calm, measured personality when engaging with peers as well as political partners. A history of navigating Government relations or understanding of managing public money will be advantageous but is not essential.
The next 12 months present unique challenges for the interim CFO. The role requires a strong understanding of performance, associated cost pressures and driving efficiencies. Of particular concern is dealing with inflation across the programme and the repercussions of this based on the funding set against pre-inflation pricing.
The business is also having to manage change in light of the design and delivery 'partner' model it has adopted for part of the next phase and a new alliance structure bringing in a number of contractors into a single entity and ensuring all commercials and reporting work correctly in the new structure.
The interim CFO will be required to start as promptly as possible but by no later than September and is expected to be in post until late 2023 and possibly beyond. Interested candidates should send a CV with a brief supporting statement (no more than one page) to firstname.lastname@example.org and all applicants will be responded to and regarded in confidence. Please do not phone to register your candidacy as there will be a high level of interest and it will be difficult to adequately respond to each individual.
Essentially, candidates must be available (or have potential) to start by or before 1st September 2022. To apply, you must be a qualified accountant, having recently operated as a board level CFO in a large-scale (at least 2000+ staff), complex and high-profile business – preferably with a construction or infrastructure focus. You will ideally have experience working with Government partners or in Government.
- Supporting statements should provide insight on this last point.