Livingston James retained to recruit CFO for PE backed business in South East England

*Please note this opportunity is now closed to further applications. Should you be interested in similar roles and wish to have an exploratory discussion, please contact Mark Lewis at [email protected]


CFO, South East England, PE Backed B2B, £Excellent plus equity


Our PE backed client is in the process of developing an integrated building compliance offering including electrical, fire and water safety with the goal of becoming the UK’s leading specialist building compliance provider.

The Group currently has revenues in the region of £10m, having concluded four acquisitions up to the summer of 2021. The M&A strategy is targeted towards identifying bolt-on acquisitions that have a close strategic fit with the Group’s existing brands and can further expand the full-service solution proposition. There are several other acquisitions in the pipeline with a view to achieving revenues of £20m by the end of the year.

The overall aim is to build the Group to revenues of £75-100m over the next five years and exit for a valuation in excess of £100m. The Group Head Office is likely to be located in Bicester. The job itself will involve travel across the key locations in the south of England including Bicester, Saffron Walden, Norwich and London, so prospective candidates need to be dedicated to a flexible working pattern to support current and future business units.


The Opportunity

The Group has decided to introduce a commercially minded CFO to the business to work with the Board on key strategic initiatives, support ongoing M&A and establish a professional finance infrastructure to enable further growth and diversification. This will include the implementation of consistent financial systems, processes and reporting across the Group companies, ensuring the efficient integration of future acquisitions onto these platforms.

Whilst the technical expertise required to ensure success is incredibly important, the position demands a CFO with a positive mindset towards change, who is hugely capable, energetic and embraces innovation in a fast paced, high growth environment. Moreover, the CFO will possess a “can-do” attitude to other support functions, facilitating the implementation of robust structures in other areas such as IT, Procurement and HR.

With ambitious growth plans to expand via acquisition this role requires a CFO with an exceptional understanding of the governance, compliance and structures required in fast growth, private equity backed environments and the expertise to break into new geographies and establish operations.

The firm intention is to recruit a strategic CFO who has worked in other PE owned portfolio companies and, ideally, have taken them through a successful “buy & build” and exit process. With that comes the reward of being a key member and equity participant in the further development of the Group.


The Individual

The CFO position requires a professionally qualified, high calibre accountant who possesses a proactive and commercial approach to financial management and a genuine desire to drive sustainable value. The role requires a range of leadership and stakeholder management skills, along with the ability to build and motivate a high performing team.

The individual should be strategically focused but also very “hands-on” to ensure the creation of a finance infrastructure and accurate delivery of financial information, especially in the short term as the business scales. It is likely the individual will have operated in another entrepreneurial business undergoing rapid growth via a M&A led strategy. Key requirements include:


  • An experienced, commercial and appropriately qualified finance professional with a proven track record of success within a similar, challenging role
  • Full circle M&A experience, from target identification through to eventual company integration, is beneficial but not essential
  • Experience in a PE-portfolio business would be beneficial
  • Degree qualified with a professional accounting qualification (ACA, ACCA, ACMA, etc.)
  • Track record of delivering operational change in a high-growth organisation, from defining the strategy/requirements through to successful delivery
  • Strong commercial acumen with demonstrable experience in driving margin alongside the ability to input positively into commercial contracts, customer/supplier relationships and any other drivers that can boost financial performance
  • Experienced in working with investors, building their confidence in the reporting, financial models and processes/controls
  • Willing to take ownership for driving performance across all areas of the business, seeking involvement and engagement in all value drivers appropriately
  • Strong working capital and cash management experience
  • Systems and process orientated, with a mindset geared towards implementing technology solutions across the business to drive positive change
  • Experience in B2B “technology enabled” business environments would be advantageous
  • Strong leadership capability with a genuine focus on developing people


Livingston James is an equal opportunities employer and positively encourages applications from suitably qualified and eligible candidates regardless of sex, race, disability, age, sexual orientation, gender reassignment, religion or belief, marital status or pregnancy and maternity.

Can we help?

If you are looking for leadership advisory or recruitment support, please get in touch with our team of experts.

More Articles...

No Diversity, No Deal: Sixth Instalment

Sophie Randles recently held the sixth instalment in our ‘No Diversity, No Deal’ event series was a fantastic evening where we discussed the importance of gender diversity around the boardroom and its correlation with business performance.