Intervallum is a
provider of Interim Finance Director services, working at the sharp end of
industry by acting as the FD on the clients own site, normally 5 days a
week (although this is flexible and client led). One thing we are not is a
recruitment agency for FDs. I have been providing these interim services
for almost 11 years now, focussing on the SME environment (from start-up
businesses to £300m turnover) and working anywhere in the UK as required.
As principal of this business, I have a track record of working within
Finance departments since 1983, a directly employed Finance Director since
1996, and in an interim capacity since the beginning of 2004. I am a Fellow
of CIMA (and their West Midlands’ Chairman), the IOD's 25th Chartered
Director, a Chartered Manager and have an MBA from Edinburgh Business
School. As an Interim FD service provider. Intervallum offers fast and
flexible solutions to our clients.
What exactly is an
Interim Finance Director?
Many business people are not totally clear on exactly what an Interim
Finance Director is, when you would need an Interim FD and how an Interim
Finance Director can add value to your business. An Interim Finance
Director is a highly experienced and qualified professional who would
parachute in to your business to act as your FD, working through their own
Limited Company and with PI insurance in place, to assist you at short
notice with a number of issues (and be able to add value to your business
When would you need
the services of an Interim FD?
This can vary from client to client, but the 3 main requirements are:-
1. A safe pair of hands - when a company's permanent FD resigns, he can
often be gone within a month. The search and selection process,
interviewing routines and successors notice period can on average, be a 5
to 9 m month period. An interim FD can quickly enter this company at the
point of original resignation to spend almost a month with the outgoing FD
to quickly understand his knowledge and experience of the business in order
that projects can continue and that the valuable company knowledge from the
original FD can be kept warm and the baton can be effectively handed over
to the incoming permanent FD. In circumstances where the incumbent FD is
removed at short notice, an Interim FD can pick things up from day one to
ensure that there is no immediate danger to the business.
2. Turnaround situations and cash issues - as the credit crunch took hold,
and the economy tanked, several businesses found themselves reducing in
activity levels and strangulated by a lack of cash. Several Private Equity
companies moved from potential outward investment to an inward look at
their portfolio of businesses, as some of these came under pressure - which
was exasperated by the debt funding that had to be serviced. Therefore I
have been called into such businesses in a “dash for cash“ scenario to meet
loan repayments, followed by a restructuring and cost cutting exercise (and
in most cases a refocus on strategy) in order to turn the company around
and allowing them to continue as a going concern.
3. The owners of the business want to sell their company and therefore need
a financial professional to get their business in order, assist with the
preparation of the sales memorandum, take the company through the due
diligence process and then assist in the negotiations to achieve a
satisfactory deal and take it to legal conclusion. In 2005 I sold a
Telecoms business to Lord Young for £21m, and on 3rd April 2008 (just hours
before Capital Gains Tax rule change) I helped a £200m t/o construction
business to go through a £154m secondary buyout, assisting the 6
owner/directors to become multi-millionaires. In 2014 I led an Engineering
business through a sizeable secondary MBO that created an Employee Benefit
Trust in the post transaction company.
How can an Interim
Finance Director add value to your business?
The fact that the company is maintained as a going concern after the
extreme scenario of a turnaround means there is still value of some
description for the business owners (and employees and creditors for that
matter) as compared to a total wipe-out and liquidation. Successful
negotiations with the crown by an interim can effect a time to pay
arrangement and give valuable breathing space to get cash in. A good Interim
FD will quickly get a grip on the cash management, effecting a daily cash
report and forecast to highlight any future pinch points and navigate the
business around the rocks.
Once the position is stabilised, the financial process and systems will be
reviewed and “best in sector“ solutions will be applied i.e. to ensure the
most efficient collection of cash. Weekly flash reports will be quickly
introduced in order that the senior management team have a view of the 5 or
6 key performance indicators (KPIs) that allow them to see if their actions
are having a positive or negative affect (without having to wait several
weeks for a set of Management Accounts to be produced). A graphical
dashboard will accompany the monthly reporting in order that non-Finance
professionals in the senior team can quickly see the trends across the
various parts of the business and allow incisive decisions to be made.
During this time, the strategy of the business will be reviewed and refined
to ensure a successful course is plotted and executed.
In a sale situation, an experienced Interim FD can quickly prepare the
necessary financial reports to support the sales memorandum, oversee the
due diligence process and resulting negotiations, and ensure that the best
price has been attained at deal conclusion.
Acting as a safe pair of hands protects valuable company information and
ensures its safe transfer to an incoming permanent FD, rather than leaving
a finance vacuum at the top of the company and a very steep learning curve
for the new incumbent, which can prove very costly.
In summary then, “What is an Interim Finance Director?“ He or she is a
vastly experienced financial professional, often overqualified for the
role, who can parachute into your business at very short notice to assist
with a specific issue, project or transaction and deliver results quickly.
At Intervallum we pride ourselves with the delivery of high quality interim
service provision combined with the ultimate flexibility - you turn the tap
off at the point when you have had all the required targets and services
delivered, and your thirst has been quenched. No notice period, no
settlement agreements, no further costs.
Whether you are looking to sell your business, have a need for a safe pair
of hands between permanent Finance Directors, or require urgent assistance
with getting cash into your company fast, Intervallum will add value to
your business from day 1.
We are the sledgehammer to crack your walnut - remember, when you need and
Interim, choose Intervallum.