London is the capital of the UK and in many respects the Capital of the World when it comes to finance. Huge amounts of foreign currency and stocks and shares are traded every day on the London currency and stock markets. London plays host a vibrant business scene with large numbers of technology and other start-ups choosing London as their home.
The role of the Finance Director
Getting the right FD or CFO in place at an early stage is important. If a company is raising equity, then Venture Capitalists and PE Houses will be looking for an FD or CFO with the right pedigree, someone with a background of success and ideally trained by the larger accountancy firms (known as the top 4).
Many fund-raising deals can only be unlocked once the right FD or CFO is in place, and having the right senior team is typically a condition of investment.
What difference will an FD or CFO make?
A good senior financial professional will make a significant difference to any business some examples including: –
- Managing and leading the finance team
- Dealing with external parties such as professional advisors and banks
- Raising equity finance through the VC or PE house channel
- Raising or refinancing debt finance from banks either legacy or new lenders
- Guiding the board on Strategy
- Leading on Mergers and Acquisitions
- Resolving legacy issues including areas of taxation such as VAT
Many FD’s and CFO’s will bring with them specialist skills from previous roles or sectors. These may include some of the following: –
- Bi-lingual skills
- Sector specific knowledge such as the Technology sector
- E-Commerce expertise, increasingly FD’s and involved in the technical sides of E-Commerce businesses and Search Marketing
- Turnaround situations and restructuring of businesses.
- Recruitment and Human Resources (HR)
- Company Secretarial, important in Plc’s who have large numbers of shareholders.
- Chairmanship roles.
Many clients are surprised when we present candidates who are qualified accountants, experienced finance directors but also Search Marketing specialists, but this is less surprising when you realise that many FD’s and CFO’s have owned and run their own businesses, in the technology and online market spaces.
How much does an FD or CFO earn in London?
Salaries vary by region and by the size of business. Here is our guide which is based on a survey in 2021: –
SME Medium Large
£110K-£150K £175K – £250K £250K – £500K+
There are several factors in determining the salary range, location and the size of the business concerned are the most important followed by experience and skill sets, having a particular expertise such E-Commerce of Turnaround expertise makes a big difference.
Where to find the best candidate for your business.
FD Capital Recruitment are a specialist London FD and CFO boutique based in Great Portland Street London. Their focus is on London and the Southeast and as they only specialise in FD’s and CFO’s they are very familiar with the demands and requirements of these roles and only have candidates with these backgrounds.
Does an FD or CFO have to be full-time?
The part-time market is growing, twenty years ago it was almost unheard of to recruit a part-time FD, but now in the PE space its common for an FD to spend one or two days per week with a client, then two or more days with another. This is known as being a Portfolio FD or CFO.
It’s a great way to access skills on a fractional time basis. As many start-ups are cash strapped at the same time as being active with fund raising this makes for a very attractive combination, having a highly skilled and experience professional onboard but without the full-time commitment that a 5 day per week roles costs.
How about on-site, remote or hybrid working?
The pandemic has made companies realise that on-site working is important but its not the only solution, remote and hybrid models are more cost effective and give a better quality of life to the senior team. Also, significant savings can be made by not having large offices in prime locations.
The future is likely to involve a hybrid of remote working for part of the week but combined with team building and meetings on a regular basis.
London is a very active place for business and is an excellent location to be based due to its large pool of skilled labour. Recruiting an experienced FD or CFO makes a big difference to a business and its prospects of success.