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.
for yourself could be the secret to happiness, a new report from Brighton
University’s Business School has suggested.
the nation's freelancers are happier, primarily because they don't have a
permanent boss and so don’t have to face criticism or unfair demands. Nor do
they have to battle it out with colleagues to get ahead, and they actually take
home a fatter pay check.
said that it was the ideal lifestyle, allowing people to work from home and a
variety of other locations, and work only for themselves.
many, freelancing is emerging as the ideal lifestyle, especially in creative
and digital industries where people can work from any location, including home,
and which demand high levels of innovation," Dr Jonathan Sapsed, who
headed the report, told the Sunday Times.
years, the number of self-employed people in Britain has swelled, as the UK
leads western Europe for self-employment. In August it reached the highest
level since records began, with 4.6 million people or 15 per cent of the
workforce working for themselves, according to official figures.
Dr Sapsed said,
"What we found was a very positive picture where freelancers act more like
entrepreneurs. They are professional, business-like, good at self-promotion and
managing multiple brands."
the culture, communications and creative industries minister, said the findings
of the study showed the vitality of the freelance economy.
self-employed play a key role in driving the culture of innovation in the
creative and digital industries and are a vital part of Britain’s economic
growth,’ he said.
reinforces the view that we're headed towards a dramatically different economy
in which most workers will be independent contractors. Freelancers will work on
demand for whoever needs their services rather than for fixed periods of time
for a single employer.
Economist describes, workers will be on a platform that matches them with
customers and provides verification, security and payment systems. This is the
world of Uber and will increasingly be the world of just about everything:
handyman services, cooking, laundry, shopping, scheduling, personal training,
coding, doctoring, lawyering, bossing and creating everything from television
ads to Ebola suits. As these services spread, they will create the
"on-demand economy" or the "platform economy."
Slaughter, CEO of The New American Foundation, believes The Economist missed a
deeper transformation, however: a set of forces that will reshape not only ways
of working but also patterns of consumption. The clue to this blind spot, she
says, lies in the following sentence: "The on-demand economy is unlikely
to be a happy experience for people who value stability more than flexibility."
For middle-aged professionals and everyone else who must combine breadwinning
and caregiving, flexibility is the Holy Grail.
allows lawyers, businesswomen, bankers, doctors and many other professionals to
continue to advance in their careers or at least stay in the game while being
the kind of parents they want to be. As a result, the economy will become
on-demand by the providers of services as much as by the consumers.
important dimension of this flexibility is that it allows workers to have both
a job and time to do other things they care about. Now you can spend your money
on experiences, which psychologists have long known make us happier than
material things. Those experiences for young and old include sports, travel,
the arts and the ability to make all sorts of things. It will be an economy
that allows people time to both make a living and do what they most care about.
The lucky ones care about their work not just as a source of income but for its
own sake, as something that we enjoy doing and/or are deeply committed to as
part of our life's purpose. Even so, however, we are one-dimensional and boring
if we care only about work.
working freelance can improve our quality of life whilst also ensuring a better
work life balance – and that has got to be a good thing.
9.30am – 3.30pm, Thursday 12th February 2015
Donington Park, International Exhibition Hall
If you are
a business owner or manager, you can’t afford to miss Love Business 2015. Be a
part of this huge record breaking FREE EVENT & give yourself an explosive
start to 2015!
biggest and best FREE business event in the region has moved into The
International Exhibition Hall at Donington Park - 12th February 2015. 12 Amazing
new premium attractions to guarantee everything you need from one event.
the most of the opportunities plan your day!
times larger than The Paddock Suite, Love Business 2015 is going to be huge!
With the support of the East Midlands Chamber as main sponsor- the biggest and best FREE business event in
the region has moved into The International Exhibition Hall.
12 New Amazing Reasons To Visit
World Record ‘Speed Networking’ Attempt
Midlands Chamber, Love Business Village Global, National & Regional Brands
together with a 'one stop shop' GROWTH HUB access to the different grant,
growth and funding opportunities!
Networking Hub - relaxed business networking in the cafe, restaurant &
licensed bar! FREE Listing on Love Business Networking Directory
Business Driving and Donington Stig Experience - Take a look at this new and
exciting area by Sturgess for business drivers, win a chance to race around the
famous track with the Donington Stig!
speakers to inspire, enthuse and motivate - gem106 Love Business Speaker
Theatre already has an amazing line-up and there's more to come!
FREE interactive sessions in the IOD Workshops Hub - Book your place today
because you'd typically pay £100's per seat for one of these sessions.
& Samsung Love Business Online and Mobile. Leading experts provide
mini-workshops on what's happening and how it impacts on business
of Exhibitors - A showcase of the regions business diversity Manufacturers,
logistics, food producers, and much, much more! Together with 1000's of
business owners and decision makers in one place it’s a golden opportunity to
make new contacts.
‘The GREAT Employer Apprenticeship Showcase’ featuring the regions leading
businesses from a diverse cross section of sectors. Find out first hand how
they are growing, optimising their productivity and out performing their
Support Hub - Employer Incentives & apprenticeship facts. If you want to
know anything about how to get an apprentice to the added benefits available
from taking people on within this scheme - then no matter what you do or where
you are based you will get your questions answered.
Business Support Hub - A showcase of regional businesses and support from the
fastest growing to the most innovative - you can learn from these businesses
and how they have grown.
Showcase - Access £1000's in support & talk to others who have and find out
about the regions 'fastest growing' manufacturers and the grant funding helping
them break their barriers to growth.
Real FD Live from Real Business and Equity FD is a
conference designed for entrepreneurial finance directors at growing
These FDs work alongside the CEOs of high-performance
companies and have the power and control to really shape their business -
beyond just the numbers. They have to deal with everything from HR to IT,
managing a constantly shifting set of advisers and providers.
These entrepreneurial FDs need peer-level advice, quickly,
from a trustworthy source. That source of information is the Real FD Network,
which comes together at Real FD Live.
The event’s programme will drill down into practical issues
affecting FDs, with an agenda based on real problems and questions from the
audience both on the day and gathered in advance.
At hosted tables during lunch, FDs will share their
experiences and challenges by asking for solutions to their problems - or
solving them for others.
This training–led, interactive approach will be mixed with
inspirational war stories from big-name FDs, often those who started as an FD
before graduating to a CEO of a well-known company.
Full programme: -
9:10The big debate - Motion: The biggest threat
to the UK business lies outside its shores
Are geopolitical shocks and weak economic growth in Europe a
bigger potential threat to growing businesses in the UK than domestic
challenges including an impending election and uncertain monetary policy?
Two sides go head to head to win your vote.
9:45Keeping an iron grip: the art of managing
cash flow without a treasury function
10:20Tales from the trenches
An interview with ... Paul Viner, founder, Intelligent Goat
10:40A problem shared... IT
Delegates are invited to submit their real-life challenges
to a panel of experts
11:30Understanding your owners
Banks. Invoice finance. Crowd funding. Private equity.
Angels. The public markets.
What different ownership models mean in real life
12:15Management dynamics: getting the most out
of your board
12:50A problem shared... HR
Delegates are invited to submit their real-life challenges
to a panel of experts
1:15Working networking lunch…
Tables hosted by sponsors, knowledge exchange/networking
2:35Getting the model right – the art of
3:10 Tales from the trenches
An interview with....TBC
3:50The multiple dream: pulling off the perfect
4:25Where next? A masterclass in managing your
5:00Close and networking drinks http://fd.realbusiness.co.uk/
recent recession, when costs needed to be managed especially closely in order
to survive, one of the first things that many businesses chopped from the budget
as not mission critical was their training budget. The justification was that
belts had to be tightened; training was a luxury that business could do without
as the hatches were battened down. But was this thinking the right way to go?
economic times, where there is likely to be a freeze on new recruitment, then I
would suggest that it is all the more imperative that employers are able to get
the best out of the staff that they do have. And the only way to do this is by
identifying skills gaps and then closing this gap via training. In the West
Midlands we have a strong advocate for improving individual’s skill sets in
Lord Digby Jones, who regularly makes speeches encouraging skills training at
all levels across the region. And some of the statistics he quotes of skills
failings are truly frightening.
companies to stand a chance of survival, it is vital to have the best Board and
Management Team possible. As Jim Collins said in his seminal work, “Good to
Great”, employees aren’t your greatest assets, the “right” employees are. Get the right people on the bus, and in the
right seats, before you start your journey (vision/strategy). This will make
all the difference when the entire economy suffers a trauma such as the one we
have experienced in recent years and the business relies on its top level team
to navigate the Company around the rocks.
direction and success of almost every businesses is dependent on the quality,
experience and strategy of those executives at the top i.e. the Board of
Directors. But the entry level to be a Director in its simplest form is that
you just need to spend your £35 at Companies House on a new registration, or be
at the right place at the right time (next in line?) within a Company who may
be losing an existing Director to retirement, moving company or after a
transaction has completed. This can’t be right - neither of these options are
ideal for good and informed decision making and, in fact, can easily be
detrimental, knee jerk and destabilising to a business (let alone
‘strategy-lite’). Would you want an inexperienced surgeon with no
qualifications (and who hadn’t undertaken the procedure previously) operating
on you? No, I thought not. So why is this tolerated within the business world?
Lives may not be directly at risk, but jobs and livelihoods most definitely
Thus, at the
senior level, to support previous business experience (and preferably
professional functional qualifications), there is one training route that
stands out above all others – the Institute of Director’s programme in Company
Direction leading to the Chartered Director qualification. Here, the new Board
member undertakes courses on ‘The Role of the Director and the Board’, ‘Finance
for Non-Finance Directors’, ‘The Director’s Role in Strategy & Marketing’,
‘The Director’s Role in Leading the Organisation’ and ‘Developing Board
Performance’. Remarkably, this is still the only qualification route for
training professional Directors, and the only designation in this field that
can help investors gain confidence that the Chartered Directors running a
particular Company have been suitably trained for the role that they are
Train as a
Chartered Director to give you the tools to do the job at Board level and gain
the credibility and marketability that this professional qualification will
give you in your business career.
Hooper-Keeley (who qualified in 2000 as the IoD’s 25th Chartered
Director and is now an Institute of Director’s West Midlands Ambassador)
Christian will describe the social and environmental challenges facing modern
businesses and the way in which integrated reporting can help businesses meet
these challenges and indeed add value to the business. He introduces the
principles underlying integrated reporting and discusses the content and
presentation as mooted in the framework.He finishes by suggesting how a business might approach implementing
integrated reporting. During the presentation, Jack will emphasise the
contribution to be made by management accountants and in particular the role of
environmental management accounting.
also see details of the CGMA Thought leadership report on integrated reporting
via the following URL address: -
Christian served with the Royal Corps of Signals and on leaving the Army, he
started work as a cost clerk eventually qualifying with CIMA in 1982. He was
awarded his MBA by Henley Management College in 1991. He joined Manchester
Metropolitan University Business School as a full time lecturer in 2007 and qualified
as a Master in Research in 2009.
becoming a lecturer, most of his career has been spent in SMEs and has included
posts such as financial director at Elton Cop Dyeing Co. Ltd, a manufacturer in
Bury; European financial controller for Whiford Corporation, a small American
multi-national; group accountant for the RSW Group, an importer and wholesaling
and retailing group; and regional finance manager for Groundwork UK, a national
environmental regeneration charity.
find ourselves in 2015 and just four months away from the next General Election
that will determine who will be governing the country for the next five years
(or, perhaps, which party will get the first chance to try and put a coalition
The main political
parties have already started their campaigning, sloganeering and political
rhetoric, and some of it is really quite concerning.
Cameron has already committed the country to an in/out referendum on Europe,
one of business’s most important trading markets, if the Conservatives win an
overall majority (apparently only a 16% chance of this). Furthermore, his “Red
lights flashing on the dashboard of the global economy” comments aren’t very helpful
if his main purpose is to frighten the focus of the electorate on to the
economy (and away from the NHS) – business is all about confidence, and when
that goes then the hatches get battened down, CapEx is put on hold, bank
lending dries up (not that we have seen a deluge in recent years anyway), and
many business lock down into ‘wait and see’ and ‘survival’ mode. It can take
some time to turn this around and see any tangible benefits.
As bad as
that seems, we then have Ed Miliband and his left leaning ideology of wealth
(re)distribution and his hankering to meddle in business. So far, he has
suggested freezing energy prices by the big 6 firms for two years whilst making
no provision as to what their supply chain might do to them in the meantime
(there’ll be no investment in energy infrastructure, that’s for sure).
Construction companies can expect to have to sell their land-banks in
double-quick time if they don’t get a move on and start building on them.
Landlords will be in for a hard time if they want to put rents up after Labour
have come to power, banks will see another swingeing tax placed on them, and
for the rest of the country the 50% top/top rate of tax (yes, we have an extra
tier of top rate tax since Gordon Brown’s poison pill on his way out of Downing
Street which rarely gets mentioned) will return to the UK (probably without increasing
the tax take; in fact statistics show that it may even reduce it).
the UK to leave Europe, but haven’t really produced much of tangible note
regarding business so far, and the Liberal Democrats appear to want to be
Kingmaker and cling on to power again (but may end up smaller than UKIP, the
SNP and even the Greens). If the SNP all but wipe Labour out in Scotland, but
then join a Westminster coalition with Labour, there will certainly be mutterings
of constitutional issues and a destabilising effect that may result in another
general election before the year is out (which will certainly add to
instability in the markets).
times, it has seemed like the political goal of all parties to take as many
people out of income tax at the lower end of earnings as possible, and in many
ways this is an admirable thing to do (although the jobs tax of National
Insurance constantly remains). However, with the top 1% of earners now paying
30% of all income tax, and with the treasury not able to significantly reduce
the deficit due to the reducing amount of tax receipts taken, we could be
heading for serious trouble. And if the tax and spend party return to power,
that could get much worse as the public sector swells and bloats once more (and
it has even been mooted that the 20% and 40% tax bands may have to go up if
this scenario plays out).
things back to the basics that Lord Digby Jones so rightly included within his
Fixing Britain book, it is business that creates employment. Investment and
entrepreneurship, in the wrapper of a trading organisation, creates jobs. Jobs
require staff who then get paid but also contribute to the country via direct
and indirect taxes. Without these taxes there would be no public sector; no
nurses, no doctors, no police service, no fire service, no army/navy/RAF and no
civil servants (as the government would have no money to spend).
sector business plays an important part in the UK economy, so it is incredibly
disappointing to see business people vilified as ‘fat cats’ and the like when
it is these very people who put up and risk their own money (and houses) to
pursue an idea that may crash and burn, but also might just succeed and grow
and create significant employment (and tax receipts) in the meantime.
that it is near on impossible to stop a politician from saying the things that
they believe you want to hear, which they constantly do in an attempt to win
votes and achieve their short-term goal of power. But for once it would be
encouraging, in the run up to a general election, for a political party to acknowledge
the importance of the Private sector to the UK economy and treat the business
community more like a valued partner than a pariah. And if one of the political
parties is able to do that, then they can certainly count on my vote.
Director General John Cridland on the
challenges and changes that 2015 will bring.
political parties position themselves ahead of the election, John Cridland, CBI
Director-General, will spelt out in his New Year message how to create a
stronger economy, deliver a better future for our young people and secure
Britain’s place in the world.
on three areas of action, he reminded politicians of all shades that reducing
the deficit and cementing the UK’s reputation as one of the best places to do
business must remain top priorities for the next government. He issued a clarion
call to radically reform the education system by scrapping GCSEs, and urge
political leaders to place facts first amid the increasingly fevered debate on
the UK's membership of the European Union.
Mr Cridland said:
A year of
change and challenge beckons for us all as we hurtle towards the general
election. It has been a successful year for the UK economy, and we have emerged
stronger and more able to tackle the challenges ahead.
economy is among those enjoying the fastest growth among the G7 nations, with
1.2 million jobs created this year and employment set to grow in every region
of the UK in 2015.
political and economic risks at home and abroad represent a clear and present
danger. As the election countdown accelerates, I urge politicians of all hues
not to take their eyes off the economic ball.
sustain the best launch pad for the UK economy and our young people. Cementing
Britain’s reputation in the world as one of the best places to do business has
to be a top priority for 2015.
On creating the best conditions for
future economic growth, Mr Cridland focused on the importance of deficit
reduction to delivering sustainable growth:
business leaders, deficit reduction is a must for the next Government.
political parties are in agreement on the need for action but seem reluctant to
be upfront on the major structural changes needed to prevent public services
suffering decline through a thousand cuts.
political parties need to give as much attention to how they will run
Government as to what Government should do.
Statement, the same approach to public service reform is no longer an option.
Much of the low hanging fruit is long since gone and only radical solutions
the integration of health and social care, and a significant increase in
services available online.
On creating a better future for our young
people, Mr Cridland said:
young people are streetwise and impressive, but our education system doesn’t
always serve them well.
average is gently improving, we see too many left behind, and others who could
be high achievers not fulfilling their potential.
We need to
get the basics right first time in primary school and then provide a personal
menu of tailored learning plans for all 14-18 year olds offering high quality
academic and vocational ‘A’ levels, and encouraging young people to mix and
match, depending on what's right for them.
involve the eventual abolition of GCSEs at 16, as peak level testing would then
take place when students are 18.
boosting skills we will see productivity rise – along with earnings. And
business will play its part by improving competitiveness, and creating
opportunities for young people through apprenticeships, and for older workers
through workplace retraining.
On the future of Britain’s place in
the world, Mr Cridland said that the majority of CBI members want the UK to
remain within a reformed EU.
fundamental choice here is whether Britain wants to be a global citizen or
retreat behind national borders. The needs of the modern world increasingly
don’t recognise either the Berlin Walls or the Hadrian’s Walls of the
isolationism would leave us poorer. The majority of CBI member companies of all
sizes want to remain in a reformed EU.
But the EU
has to reform and needs to be more competitive, outward looking and open. It must
sign more trade deals, like the Transatlantic Trade & Investment
Partnership, which could be worth at least 120 billion EUR every year and would
create a combined market of more than 800m people, bringing more choices for
consumers at cheaper prices.
also need less EU – no more lifestyle regulation on matters like employment,
such as the working time directive, which should be left to member states, and
no more damaging regulations on UK financial services that are vital to
fuelling growth across Europe.
Britain will continue to progress
much more to do but the signs are positive. UK growth is expected to hit 2.5%
wage growth will help more people feel that they are benefitting from the
recovery, but the upsurge in productivity required will only follow on from
increasing skills across the piece.
optimistic that we can grow living standards, spread the benefit of growth for
the country and move forwards with confidence if we make the right choices.
Let’s get on with it.