Director of Retail Finance

Market Leading Retailer
c£100-125,000 plus exceptional benefits

Career-defining opportunity based with one of the UK’s most exciting and highest performing retailers. Long standing, multi-award winning and perennially market-dominating, this business has seen its sector defining position grow from strength to strength for over 2 decades.

They have long been the subject of case studies and revered within their sector as an example of how retail is done ‘right’. They have a deserved reputation for doing things differently from store format, product proposition, customer experience and employee care/environment. Replicating the commercial reputation they have within their core sector, their humanistic focus is as well-known as their brand.

Generations of innovation and ‘out of the box’ strategic development, coupled with the ability and resource to rapidly grow through both organic and acquisitive means, has seen their top-flight market position cemented further.

Recent growth-led reorganisation has seen the creation of a new executive structure, and as part of that, the clear need for the newly created role of Director of Retail Finance.

This role is an exciting opportunity for an ambitious, focused and innovative finance professional with the skills, experience and personal attributes needed to make a difference in a market leading, high growth retail business; and it’s people.

Reporting directly to the Group CFO and with a strong dotted-line to the Retail CEO, this senior finance role will be responsible for the finance function of the entire Retail division of the Group. But equally important will be their voice and commercial input on the Retail Senior Management Team.

This is a Strategic Leadership role. With a sizable finance team supporting them, and a high-performing management team as direct reports; leadership is key to ensuring this role, and the entire business is a success. Financial rigour and the accurate production of detailed figures and metrics is essential, but this role will be as much about understanding those figures, explaining and relating them to non-finance executives and taking a lead on operational and commercial decisions based on the analysis of the figures.

As the overused phrase dictates, Retail is Detail, and whilst this role will major on the ‘bigger picture’, the solidity and resolute nature of that detail will be the foundation from which all decisions are made. This role will be the kingpin to such decisions. Accordingly, this role will have the ability to parachute in and become hands-on where and when it is deemed beneficial and necessary. Developing the ‘what if’ strategy will be a key component of the role.

This is an executive appointment with total responsibility for the entire Retail finance function; a finance function that is most definitely not broken, but does have room for innovation, greater performance, improved efficiency and increased commercial advantage.

Key Responsibilities

This exciting role will be responsible for providing financial expertise, control and business support & oversight for the Retail division. Working closely with the Retail CEO and the Retail operational team, this role will provide financial control, decision support and analysis across bricks and mortar retail stores, multichannel operations, trading, DC and logistics, supply chain, marketing and key customer/commercial relationships.

More specifically, responsibilities include:

  1. Team
  • Leading a large team (c40) of ambitious colleagues to deliver a world-class Retail finance function.
  • Grow engagement within finance through the development of a Retail finance team to support the Retail division and building close relationships with the Group Finance team to ensure seamless provision of financial information across the Group.
  • Provide challenge and development for colleagues, ensuring that colleagues understand where their role fits within the Group and what impact they have.
  1. Financial Control and Reporting
  • Provision of regular and timely financial information to the Retail business including the preparation of periodic management accounts.
  • Provide financial support and challenge to each area of the Retail business and ensuring appropriate accountability of budget holders.
  • Ensure compliance with all Group accounting policies and procedures.
  • Maintenance and development of the control environment to effectively manage risk and ensure compliance with Group policies and approval processes.
  • Monitor and control capital expenditure within the Retail business ensuring compliance with Group policies and adherence to budget/forecast.
  1. Commercial Support Functions
  • Provide financial insight, quality analysis and commercial recommendations to support informed decision-making across the Retail business.
  • Key finance representative at all relevant meetings and ensuring that finance has a presence in all regular business review meetings and in all decision-making with financial implications.
  • Highlight cross business dependencies in all projects to ensure that challenges are identified early in projects to allow solutions to be identified and planned.
  • Support and develop stock monitoring and control processes and other working capital reduction initiatives.
  1. Financial Planning and Forecasting
  • Preparation of annual budgets, reforecasts and rolling forecasts for the Retail business.
  • Representing the Retail business in the annual Group Strategic Planning process.
  1. Transactional Functions
  • Supporting the transactional functions (cash and banking, purchase ledger and payroll) in the development of fit for purpose processes to exploit the investment made in systems and to deliver efficiencies.

You will have a formal accountancy background with ACA, ACMA or ACCA qualification (or equivalent), with a minimum of 5, but more likely at least 10 years post-qualification experience. You will be on a focused career path to CFO, but will not have got there, yet. You will appreciate the importance of time spent building relationships within your past and current businesses, as well as the time taken to fully appreciate the customer, understanding how that alone can have significant leverage on commercial decisions taken. This will most probably be your first director-level appointment, but you will have strong leadership experience within an innovative, fast-paced true retail environment where you have been given the chance to do things differently, and encouraged to do so.

The appointee will have had exposure to leading a large finance function, although will have relied on direct reports for more detailed management of their team(s). But they will not be ‘too big’ to get their hands dirty. They will appreciate and relish in the knowledge of the detail. Their skill, however, will be in the use of that detail to provide operational and commercial insight for the broader business, and be a key part of decision-making based on such insight.

It will be immediately obvious why you have been appointed. You will possess gravitas to inspire, but also be rich with humility, respecting the fact that 360 relationships are critical in any leading business. You will already grasp that the key to this role, and the benefit it can bring, is to gain trust and confidence with the entire team, from the boardroom to the stock room. You will also appreciate that the route to trust and confidence is to listen, understand and learn from all around you before even beginning to design your own action plan.

Personal profile

  • Proactive nature, must thrive in a challenging, dynamic and commercial environment and be able to make things happen.
  • Strong interpersonal and motivational skills, strong leadership and team building skills.
  • Ability to work closely with and build strong relationships with the Retail CEO and his team, understand the business issues and challenges and to provide proactive solutions and support.
  • High level of analytical and financial skills, and ability to stand back and interpret trends as well as detail.
  • Operates at the highest level of professionalism and personal integrity.

 Other skills

  • Fluent English (both written and spoken).
  • Excellent PC skills in Excel, Word, Power Point and Outlook
  • Solid problem solving skills, excellent oral and written communication.

For further information, or to apply, please contact Gary Chaplin by email: gary@garychaplin.com. Or complete the below

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