Managing Director - Independent School



£90,000 to £95,000

Successfully filled

Canford is one of the UK’s leading independent schools providing an exceptional all-round educational experience for pupils aged from 13 to 18.  Situated in a magnificent 250 acre park, the school combines academic success with a diverse range of sporting and cultural activities.  The school is an HMC co-educational boarding school with 635 pupils, including 420 boarders, and a team of 148 teaching and 312 support staff.  Revenue exceeds £18m per annum and generates consistent surpluses which are used to enhance a high quality educational programme and an ambitious development plan.

Key to the school’s sustained success is the recruitment of a high calibre Managing Director who will report to the Headmaster and support him in the ongoing development and implementation of the school’s vision and strategy.  The successful candidate will hold the most senior support role in the school with overall responsibility for finance, estates, HR, IT and catering and housekeeping operations.   The Managing Director will also have P&L responsibility for the school’s trading subsidiary which generates revenue for the school through the letting of sports facilities and hosting of events.

We are looking for a commercially aware leader who commands respect and demonstrates the highest levels of personal integrity.  Previous experience should have been at board level with input to strategy and responsibility for the successful and effective delivery of a broad base of general management operations.  This should include P&L and cashflow responsibility and experience of leading and motivating a multi-disciplinary team. This experience is most likely to have been gained in a sizeable business or professional services environment, although applications from candidates within the education sector will be welcomed providing they can demonstrate a commercial focus and evidence of generating additional income streams.

It is essential that the successful candidate shares the school’s passion for independent education and can embrace the nuances of working within a school and how this differs to the commercial world.  He or she must be able to build and maintain strong and effective relationships with a diverse range of people and be keen to play an active role in school life.    Candidates must be able to work within a highly regulatory environment with a sound understanding of legal and compliance matters and how these must be implemented.  Excellent project management and time management skills plus a good understanding of, and ability to interpret, financial information are essential.

An attractive package will be negotiated with the successful candidate but is likely to include a salary of £90,000 to £95,000.

The demands of the role will require the Managing Director to live on site or within a short travelling time from the school.

Canford School is committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children and young people. The successful applicant will be required to undergo child protection screening.

Group HR Director



£65,000 - £80,000 plus car and benefits

Successfully filled

My client, ICS Cool Energy Limited, is the market leader in temperature control solutions.  The business is multi-site and international with seven sites in the UK and operations in seven European countries.   The broad customer base ranges from small local companies to international brands and the group’s success has been built on an excellent reputation for understanding and delivering each client’s specific needs.

The business has enjoyed particularly strong growth in the past few years as it has broadened its range of solutions based services and continued its successful expansion into European markets.

The group is profitable with an annual turnover in excess of £45m and employees 250 people.

Future plans for growth involve doubling the workforce over the next five years and a significant shift in culture and management styles as the business continues to evolve from a manufacturing based operation to an international, solutions-led group.

Key to this is the recruitment of a Director of Group Human Resources whose main objective will be to develop the HR strategy to support the next phase of growth development.  The successful candidate will also be responsible for ensuring the group achieves its HR objectives:   recruiting and retaining the best available talent; training and developing people so they stay with the business long term; and communicating with staff on a regular basis so that everyone knows how they fit into the group.

This is a new role in a well-managed and highly successful privately owned company.  We are looking for a CIPD qualified senior HR professional with a proven track record of leading change and delivering HR strategy in an industrial or commercial group with operations in the UK and overseas.

The successful candidate will need to be robust, capable of driving through new policies and procedures, self-motivated, highly organised and be able to cope with the challenges of working within a multi-site business which operates across many different countries.  Over and above this, the role requires someone who is commercially focussed and thrives as part of a forward looking business.  There will be a requirement to travel in the UK and overseas.

Company Accountant / Finance Director Designate




£65,000 to £70,000 plus benefits

Successfully filled


Our client, Stewarts Garden Centres, is a very successful family owned business which has been in the gardening industry for over 270 years.  The company runs two large garden centres which are supplemented with a diverse range of complementary operations including commercial gardening and landscaping, a nursery for cultivating and growing its own plants, on-site retail concessions, coffee shops, herds of cattle and reindeer, and a children’s play area.

Green issues, protecting the environment and involvement with the local community are at the heart of the company.  The business is well run and profitable with over 200 employees and turnover of c£10m.  The small Christchurch headquarters is relocating nearby this summer to newly built premises which will also provide the business with additional warehousing enabling it to maximise the growing online retail market.

The Managing Director, who is eighth generation family owner, is supported by a loyal and hard-working team, a quarter of whom have been with the business for over ten years.  This includes the highly valued Finance Director who is retiring after thirty years.  We are looking for a replacement who will continue to provide the high level of financial competence and sound advice to support the Managing Director and who will safeguard the financial security of Stewarts for many more years and generations.  The successful candidate will initially be appointed as Company Accountant before promotion in the near future to Finance Director.

The ideal candidate will be a commercial and meticulous qualified accountant who has either previously worked at Board level or has the clear potential to grow into a Finance Director role in the near future.  Previous experience should include leading a finance function where strong financial controls and cash management are essential to success.  This is likely to have been gained in a small to medium sized customer focused business with different facets to its operations.  We are particularly keen to identify someone who will understand and embrace the nuances of a family owned and run business where strong professional relationships are based on trust and mutual respect.

Chief Financial Officer



£80,000 plus bonus and benefits


Successfully filled


Our client,Poole Harbour Commissioners, are responsible for the operation and long term sustainability of one of the world’s largest natural harbours and for the profitable running of a busy 60 acre commercial port.  One of the country’s largest Trust Ports, it is an independent statutory body governed by legislation and has no shareholders. It is self-funding and any surplus is reinvested into the harbour and port for the benefit of its many stakeholders.  Turnover is c£10m, it is profitable and employees some 90 people.

The trust is about to embark on a major development project to deepen and extend its commercial quays to enable the port to diversify its activities by providing facilities for larger ships and drive substantial increases in revenue.  The £10m project will be followed by other commercial and infrastructure developments.

Key to the ongoing success of the trust is the appointment of a Chief Financial Officer who will be responsible for all aspects of financial strategy and management and for ensuring the financial security of the organization during the next exciting stage of its development.

We are looking for a commercial and pragmatic qualified accountant with previous finance director experience or the very clear potential to step quickly into the role.  Excellent interpersonal and communication skills, together with the ability to contribute and influence at Board level, are essential.

Previous experience should include leading a finance function where strong financial controls and cash management are essential to success.  This experience is likely to have been gained in a small to medium sized customer focused business with many different facets to its operations ideally within the logistics or service sectors.  Exposure to raising finance and managing major investment projects, business restructuring and assessing new revenue streams will be of particular interest.

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Mark Butterfield
Woodfield Associates

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