Head of UK Operations

Consumer Finance
c£100,000 with outstanding prospects and package

Outstanding opportunity to join one of the world’s leading consumer finance businesses. Still not 20 years old, and in the UK for less than 5yrs, this impressive global organisation has seen exponential growth both in the UK, and across the globe, now sitting with a loan book of over €1.2bn.

They are able to boast a reputation for class defining ethics, customer focus as well as market leading, innovative, services & products along with globally renowned high-integrity customer service.

Positioned in this highly regulated sector, this recently NASDAQ listed business has built a strong reputation for ultimate integrity and exceptionally professional, customer-centred service, underpinned by highly principled humility and passion for what they do.

Replicating that human-focus internally, they have created an upbeat, friendly, innovative, and fast-paced environment with, crucially, market-leading opportunity for advancement.

They have consistently grown well ahead of their competitors and are primed for continued growth and enduring success. Growth in the past 3 years has been in excess of 100% per annum, fuelled by an aggressive M&A strategy, and shows no sign of slowing down.

This is an energised and innovative culture, which every employee works diligently to foster. They are an opportunistic growth company that delivers long-term prosperity to all employees. Career opportunities are as unlimited as any employees’ aspirations and hunger.

Combining the above with a business that has distinguished itself from competitors with quality product offerings, genuine customer service, robust operating systems, state-of-the-art call-centres, a commitment to Information Technology and a track record of new product innovation, this business has become an employer of choice across the world.

A key element to the UK growth and future positioning is the recruitment of a highly commercial and customer focused Head of UK Operations, a newly created role.

The role as Head of UK Operations an outstanding opportunity to not only take a key role in an exciting, market leading, consumer financial services business, but one that offers the chance to lead a critical central-function right at the heart of the business’ reputation as it continues in a time of unprecedented growth.

Reporting to the Operations Director, the role takes responsibility designing and developing strategies to maintain the long-term profit growth of the business through the commercial and customer/collection based performance of all UK Operation functions; leading the operational management of the business to achieve commercial objectives and deliver client expectations.

The focus for the role is the leadership, strategy and direction of all customer contact. The prime customer contact strategies are centred around, but not limited to, two large Contact Centres. With a split of inbound and outbound calls, the operational structure and processes are critical to the function, as is the development and motivation of the entire team.

As well as driving design & development, the appointee will promote awareness and understanding of group and client initiatives to positively impact all customer engagement, delivery, operational effectiveness and ultimately, commercial and financial performance, and will seek to re-engineer existing practices to eliminate low or no value activities, ensuring efficient work flows.

….but this is a strategic leadership role, not just operational management. This is a truly, very fast-paced, customer focused, consumer-finance business. Responding to that pace and focus and driving it, is a critical function of the role. The appointee will provide dynamic leadership to ensure maximum efficiency and effectiveness of all processes, refining and re-designing where necessary; crucially whilst complying with ever-increasing regulations. A reduction in ‘headless chickens’ will be a key target!

Understanding and successfully managing the various teams in accordance with ever-changing regulations will be vital for the long-term success of both the role and the business – not only in helping to ensure the business is compliant, but also to ensure the values, mission and vision of the organisation continue to be at the forefront of decision-making and strategy, along with resolute customer service and satisfaction. Strategic and operational intelligence will be critical, as will a natural solution finding demeanour.

Key Responsibilities

  1. Act as a deputy for the Operations Director; act as business decision maker for all Operation functions.
  2. Constantly evaluate the marketplace for best practice policies and systems. Direct and lead project and process improvement activity to constantly refine and improve performance.
  3. Work with the Sales and Investment team in winning new business and driving organic growth.
  4. Ensure that all aspects of applicable legislation and best practice are introduced and maintained to maximise customer service.
  5. Identify areas of risk and ensure that appropriate controls are in place. Actively protect the Company’s interest at all times in complying with statutory regulations and legislation, including areas falling within FCA, TCF, CSA and OFCOM.
  6. Key decision maker in the setting of collections and debt recovery policy. Lead the design and delivery of operational policies, driving industry best practice.
  7. Work closely with the Head of Compliance ensuring all collections work undertaken complies with current and new legislation, including, but not limited too, Data Protection Act 1998, Administration of Justice Act 1970, FCA, CSA code of Practice, the Consumer Credit Act 1974 and 2006, section 9 of the lending code. Address any issues on non-compliance.
  8. Develop and maintain an appropriate management structure in order to ensure that all elements of the debt collection operation are managed effectively to achieve the businesses commercial objectives.
  9. Ensure that objectives are set and monitored at each organisational level in order to support the achievement of the function’s key performance indicators. Ensure that structured performance development reviews are undertaken and that suitable training and development is provided across the function.
  10. Prepare and monitor budgets for expenditure, profit and planning. Construct comprehensive financial budgets in order to achieve the Company’s commercial objectives and to manage performance within those budgets.
  11. Develop a strong service culture and commitment to quality. Build strong relationships with clients and key suppliers.
  12. Deliver exceptional results by providing strategic direction and objective analysis for all Operation teams.
  13. Lead and motivate teams by creating a sense of purpose to meet the goals of the business through coaching and leading by example. Continuously review and assess targets and key performance indicators for each manager and their teams.
  14. Formulate management information that drives performance of the business.
  15. Work with the HR team to design, develop and agree reward schemes that encourage the right behaviours and support the delivery of Company objectives.
  16. Attend client meetings as and when required and support the Sales Team in the tender process when securing new business and client performance reviews / audits.
  17. Display high level operational management though coaching and leadership ensuring the teams are working at optimum capacity.
  18. Ensure all relevant internal and external guidelines, policies and procedures are adhered to and promoted. Address any issues of non-adherence.
  19. Implement, maintain and promote a culture of ‘Treating Customers Fairly’.
  20. Operate as part of a flexible Leadership team and undertake ad hoc project work as requested.
  21. Develop cross functional relationships and work collaboratively with all areas of the business to achieve collection goals.
  22. Manage own performance and personal development to ensure that all objectives are met.

Key results areas

  • Collection performance of the business
  • Financial performance of the business
  • Strong relationships with clients, suppliers, regulators
  • Onward development of new business wins / organic growth
  • Client league table performance

The appointee will be one of the most influential people, and personalities within the UK business – getting the personality, cultural and chemistry fit right will be of absolute and paramount importance. This is a high-profile leadership position as the person responsible for customer contact and collections, but even more importantly, a high-profile figurehead internally.

The appointee will have a strong background in Contact Centre Operational Management within Consumer Finance/Debt Purchase/Collections and/or have significant exposure to consumer credit/debt within a very fast-paced environment.

He/she will possess excellent interpersonal skills, have the ability to operate at a strategic level whilst still retaining the ability to be incredibly hands-on when required, possess strong process management abilities, and be a robust decision-maker and a ‘finisher’; but they will possess the ability and willingness to delegate and be willing to be delegates to from above and below. The role involves providing strategic and operational leadership as well as practical support not only to the contact centre but to the entire operational function and the business as a whole.

They will furthermore be, or become a regulation specialist and be a ‘go to’ person for all matters connected with the FCA, TCF, CSA and OFCOM regulations and guidelines both from a compliance but also commercial opportunity perspective.

Experience of managing and developing teams of contact centre and general operations based employees is strongly desirable, as is a proven track record of designing and overseeing the delivery of multiple processes and programmes.

The appointee will exude enthusiasm and demonstrate an outstanding work ethic – this is a culture where hard work is expected, celebrated and rewarded. This is not a 9-to-5 job. They will be constantly questioning those above and below them, but more importantly, constantly questioning (and challenging) themselves….

…..but the appointee will have gravitas. It will be immediately obvious to all around them why they have been selected and appointed. They will have the behavioural and technical skills to earn and retain respect. They will inspire not only their department, but everyone within the business. They will be motivating as well as motivated.

The successful candidate will have come from a Customer Centric, Consumer finance, Credit/Debt finance and/or Contact Centre leadership environment, most likely with Financial Services exposure, or at least understanding. They will have an interest in developing in-depth knowledge of regulations and take great pleasure in being able to apply commercial strategies around them to maximize the business’s position and performance.

KNOWLEDGE, SKILLS AND EXPERIENCE

  • Degree qualified or relevant experience
  • Numerically astute with ability to analyse and identify data and trends.
  • A high level of leadership skills with the ability to motivate and develop large groups of people through several levels of management.
  • Ability to work cross functionally with specific relationship management
  • Extensive experience of Call Centre operational leadership within the debt collection industry including outsource, legal, home collections, strategy, trace, collections operations.
  • Working knowledge of all regulations applicable to debt collection e.g. FCA, OFCOM, lending code.
  • Self-driven individual who is results-oriented with a positive outlook and a clear focus on quality and business performance
  • Experience of managing change and driving a high performance culture.
  • Financial management and budget setting and control
  • Excellent knowledge the technologies, policies and processes supporting Collections.
  • Extensive use of management information reports and KPI metrics as performance drivers.
  • Experience of defining policies and procedures.
  • Excellent communication and presentations skills, able to deal with internal and external stakeholders at all levels
  • Ability to influence Board Directors and other stakeholders to deliver shared objectives
  • Experience in devising and implementing collection strategies.
  • Excellent organisational and time management skills, with the ability to multi-task, prioritise and work to deadline.
  • Self starter with the ability to work under own initiative.
  • Strong influencing and negotiation skills.
  • Excellent decision making and problem solving skills

The successful candidate will already have a reputation and track record of success as an exemplary leader. They will be bright, dynamic, and possessing superior verbal and written communication skills coupled with an engaging personality to inspire and create excitement with their team, as well as across the entire organisation.

They will be strategic and innovative with an external awareness to understand the nuances of complex processes and procedures within a regulated environment. They will be a tireless, high-energy professional with an entrepreneurial flair and will possess a brand of confidence, which allows for delegation and empowerment to and from his/her team.

Finally, this executive must have a level of business maturity, flexibility and the instincts to adapt to a young, exciting, high-energy, dynamic environment characterised by high growth expectations and a collaborative culture…..and have a sense of humour and fun at all times.

To express an interest, please forward a full CV and details of current earnings to Gary Chaplin

Or complete the below:

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