CFO Designate - London

Negotiable - Tech Startup - Executive
Ref: 19 Date Posted: Monday 23 Mar 2020
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My client, an exciting early stage startup, with plans to launch in 2020 is seeking a CFO designate to join the team on a temporary basis with a view to a subsequent permanent opportunity.

With an incredibly strong team from prestigious business backgrounds, my client has core competencies in management and raising capital as well the product, distribution and monetisation.  They have gathered some of the leading names in the media industry and although at an early stage, have developed a compelling proposition aimed at becoming a major player in the audio entertainment industry, internationally.

They will be well positioned for the professionalisation phase and plan to produce a large volume of content (downloadable, streamed and live) in place for 2021, with a launch planned in 2020 post raise (of investment / funding).

Role Description

  • My client is offering a unique opportunity for an exceptional individual at a pivotal moment in time in its evolution.  With many of the foundational aspects of launching the business in process, the company is seeking to bring in a highly competent CFO with strong analytical skills and global sector expertise.  The world-class founder management is at a planning stage requiring financial modelling and business planning to a high standard to satisfy prospective investors.
  • The CFO designate will invest their time and effort alongside other executives to complete the business plan and capital raise in 2020.
  • This role has the potential to evolve to full-time CFO post external investment and will switch to the normal management all financial, legal and HR affairs commensurate with becoming an active board and management team member.
  • The role reports to the CEO and is part of the Executive Committee of the company and will attend monthly Board meetings.

Pre-raise responsibilities will include:

  • Work with the CEO and other executive management to assess the market, the proposition and develop a credible financial business model and supporting business plan
  • Apply well developed analytical skills to assess a variety of contributing sources of revenue e.g. sponsorship, ad sales, licensing, subscription and commissioning
  • Support the CEO, Chairman and Board with all fund-raising activities (including the typical due diligence and legal documentation processes involved)
  • Support investor presentations and ongoing relations alongside the Chairman and CEO

Post-raise responsibilities will include:

  • Provide strong leadership and management of all financial, tax, legal and HR aspects of the business
  • Control and manage all cash and expenditure within the board approved budget
  • Identify cost saving opportunities wherever possible
  • Devise, manage and report on the KPIs of the business and support departmental managers in meeting their own KPIs
  • Input to company strategy and provide commercial and legal support to CEO and commercial leaders including visibility and management of margins
  • Implement cost effective reporting systems providing business intelligence and analytics in a rapidly developing environment
  • Deliver monthly Board and financial reports
  • Attend, present and contribute to all Board meetings as Company Secretary and FD
  • Supervise the existing / future, outsourced accounting services (payroll, controlling, management accounts)
  • Set up, implement and manage best practices in regards to the day-to-day financial operations of the company
  • execute all budgeting, forecasting, financial planning and strategic modeling (includes annual budget process) as may be required in a near term fundraising process
  • Manage all audit, tax, legal, banker, HR and office related relationships and matters

Finance Objectives

3 months

  • In the very short term work alongside Management to plan and build a financial model, 3 year plan and 12 month budget, identifying future capital requirement in support of an imminent capital raise for 2020
  • Develop financial and related KPIs
  • Ensure credible financial, organisational and governance measures are in place in readiness for investment. 

12 months

  • Support the capital raise and presentations to would-be investors
  • Deliver a successful raise and support the launch and production
  • Move to the routine creation and issue of board materials to board members
  • Continually update and refine the business model and associated budgets based on learnings and "in-flight" adjustments

Person Specification

An experienced, qualified accountant familiar with high growth VC backed businesses.

Additionally, the candidate must be comfortable working in a high pressure commercial organisation and have the gravitas to operate at board level and with media savvy investors.

In Summary


The ideal candidate:

  • Top four qualified chartered accountant (or equivalent) with first time passes
  • Strategic thinker with experience in media or marketing services and/or a technology environment
  • Experience in a small/fast growing company and comfortable with the challenges they face
  • International HNW/VC/PE fund raising experience
  • Be hands-on and use Excel regularly to an advanced level for forecasting, budgeting and modeling
  • Strong knowledge of other MS office tools and relevant on-line tools/services
  • Good systems knowledge combined with the ability to set up robust processes and controls for a growing business
  • Team player who can work effectively at all levels within the business
  • Able to work independently and demonstrate initiative
  • Outstanding communications skills, can ‘tell a story’ with numbers
  • Someone who believes in the mission with sound business acumen, proactive and results focused approach
  • Experience working in the technology sector with knowledge of advertising/media or content owner business and services


  • Previously worked in digital entertainment industries and audio entertainment
  • Working with content producers and creatives
  • R&D tax refund claims, as well as grant applications
  • Understanding of incentive tools as applied to early stage VC backed high growth technology companies e.g. options, bonus, commission
  • Knowledge of UK investments and rules and related e.g. EIS, EMI, VCT, ECF etc.
  • Exposure to commercial contracts and revenue recognition e.g. GAAP


Equity and subsequent salary negotiable for the right candidate.