Case Study: Combined Interim and Permanent CFO Search

CHALLENGE:

Our client, is an international retail and manufacturing company which also markets a wide range of ancillary interior products. The Company employs over 650 people, mainly in the UK, and has international operations in New York, Chicago, Paris and Dubai.

The organisation had recently appointed a new Group CEO which formed part of an ambitious growth plan. The new strategy included driving the existing brands, partnering with core customers, investing in people and growing key geographies – UK, Northern Europe and USA.

The current CFO had been in the role for over 5 years and the Group CEO was keen to ‘upskill’ the position and bring in a more commercially rounded finance leader to help execute the newly formed strategic plan.

SOLUTION:

After an initial briefing with the Group CEO it was clearly evident that the shareholders had already lost faith in the existing CFO and that the CEO-CFO relationship was becoming more and more untenable.

It was agreed that the best solution for the shareholders would be for the current CFO to be replaced, however the CEO was concerned that with suitable CFO’s typically on 6 months notice, it could potentially take 8-9 months for a new CFO to be properly onboarded.

We advised our client that they should run a combined Interim and Permanent process. Under NDA, we would identify a suitable Interim CFO quickly, which would then allow the CEO to reach a suitable compromise agreement with the current CFO. Once the Interim CFO was in place Norman Broadbent would then commence a thorough permanent search process.

OUTCOME:

Within 72 hours, we had provided our client with a shortlist of 3 candidates for the Interim CFO position. Due to the confidentiality of the search, all candidates were placed under NDA, and were available to start immediately. After 2 separate interviews, the preferred candidate was identified, offered and accepted the position, with a 6 month commitment on both sides.

The existing CFO agreed a compromise and was put on garden leave whilst the Interim started.

The Permanent search then commenced and 5 external candidates plus the Interim CFO were identified within 8 weeks. After 4 separate interviews and psychometric testing a permanent CFO was identified, offered and accepted.

KEY POINTS:

An International retail and manufacturing company was looking to ‘upskill’ and replace it’s existing CFO quickly to allow them to execute an ambitious growth plan.

Norman Broadbent Research & Insight team identified 3 suitable interim CFO’s within 72 hours which enabled our client to replace their existing incumbent within a week of being briefed.

This ultimately facilitated a more efficient and cost-effective permanent CFO search process, with a permanent CFO subsequently being offered within 10 weeks of the Interim CFO starting.

Jonathan Stringer | Director Interim Management jonathan.stringer@normanbroadbent.com

+44 (0) 7483 015 307

Marcus Blackburn | Director CFO Practice  marcus.blackburn@normanbroadbent.com

+44 (0) 7483 015 595