Purpose of Position
Our client, a worldwide leading player in the renewable energy business, is rethinking its German Operations and structures with a new strategy for the next decade. To accomplish this significant shift, we have been asked to find the right Chief Financial Officer.
The renewable energy business is driven by national regulatory and performance excellence in a variety of disciplines: risks, tax, environmental aspects, and compliance. Due to the market dynamics and its growth potentials, but also the complexity of the projects, our client decided to adjust the country organization to gain more agility, increasing the speed of decision-making, and improve overall performance and transparency.
The organization is profitable. The critical challenge will be to start in an environment with old structures and operations, beginning with around 30 Mio. EUR turnover and 30 employees and quickly create a new holding structure including setting up a team and procedures that can achieve 150 Mio. EUR turnover with 400 people. The core management team has already developed a strategy to secure growth for the coming years. The Chief Financial Officer will join the core management team to adjust (if necessary) and implement this road map with a particular focus on creating the holding for all relevant operations including financial performance, controlling, cash management, the reporting system of KPI's to enhance transparency and reliability of the accounts to improve decision making. This position will be based in Germany, a willingness to travel (25%).
2. Major Roles and Responsibilities
Strategy & Leadership:
- Develops and proposes to management the agenda to set up and run the German holding, including strategy, structure, and KPI-improvement of the holding.
- Guides and shapes the third-party services landscape (tax and accounting companies) with a “make or buy” approach.
- Participates in German management meetings to discuss projects, operations, and productions. Assists management in the preparations of investment files for projects that require the authorization of the Executive Committee on a group level.
- Responsible for drawing up the budgets and five-year plan for German businesses and assisting management in compiling the overall budget.
- Optimizes and leads financial operations with 300 suppliers, 190 customers, and a team of five employees and third parties.
- Anticipates and forecasts future growth markets, regions, or business segments (M&A). Handles and executes the change in the renewable energy sector; strong growth in Germany.
Execution & Operations:
- Leads the German organization to achieve business goals. Ensures continuous improvement of efficiency in all generation plants and services while optimizing KPI. Systematically monitors progress made, evaluates performance, defines best practices, and introduces corrective measures.
- Manage the holding performance in a significant transformation process. Build your team and move quickly into all relevant operations to identify, structure, and win regional business, in line with the strategic road map defined for Germany.
- Define the formulation of performance and reporting standards/systems in compliance with the company's policy and audits. Systematically evaluates the performance of the systems/procedures.
- Ensure German harmonization of reporting data for the business.
- Manages the German budget for capital investments (CAPEX) and systematically monitors progress. Steers major projects; organizes the transfer of experience in projects to improve performance consistently.
- Challenges the status quo in the renewable energy sector by transforming operational business closer to customers, relocate, set-up, and optimize activities and define and execute state of the art financial performances to lead the team into the future.
3. List two or three of the most complex decisions indicative of this function and its impact on the role, department, and/or corporation.
- Creates and executes the German holding strategy with a strong focus on relevant KPI; cash flow, working capital, RoE, etc.
- Builds the German reporting standards for financial performances, takes care that people understand the importance of that change, takes care that systems are in place to cope with rising demands in the future.
- Optimize the use of capital and working capital related to renewable energy projects. Ensures that all regulations, risks, and investments are covered.
- Demonstrate ongoing visibility within related businesses and consistent interaction with staff and contractors at all levels.
- Rolls out and executes the improvement program as a leader who touches base with local management and workers.
4. Describe significant links with other parts of the organization:
- C-Level (status quo reports, financial excellence, sparring-partner, operational-strategic-guidance)
- All Senior Managers (German-Team-Approach, People-Performance work hand-in-hand) Local MD's of subsidiaries (leads, guides, and wins local Managing Directors to improve processes)
- Report to the finance department at group level
- Head of financial performance (be a "hands-on" CFO)
- Matrix-Structure (think global, act local, and ensure that all colleagues follow)
5. Skills and knowledge requirements:
- Degree in Business Finance, Accounting or Controlling
- Minimum 10 years of cross-functional experience in similar positions in the renewable energy, real estate, or project investment environment.
- International openness, multicultural experience, leadership, and sound German and English language skills are needed.
- A personality that likes to win and drives change to build future.
- Expert in German GAAP and IFRS tax regulations.
- Experience in Excel, ERP, and an analytical mindset to set up an SAP structure.
- Able to transform people, teams, and business units to make them more competitive, innovative, and acting/thinking like a great team.
6. Core Questions you will be dealing with:
- When will we have consolidated reporting in place, and what is it you need to set it up ASAP?
- Where do you see significant financial improvements in our businesses, and what plan do you have to reach the low-hanging fruit ASAP?
- The renewable energy business is a business with medium- to large-scale projects. Where do you see improvements from a financial, risk-driven, and entrepreneurial point of view?
- How do you want to shape the best team in your department, and why is it that people want the success of the company?
Ready to build a better holding in the renewable energy business?
CALL: 01783138069 Dirk Ohlmeier