Case Study: Azura Search partners with global technology platform to deliver VP of Finance

Case Study

by Jason Shaw, Consultant, Azura Search

Azura Search partners with global technology platform to deliver VP of Finance

Earlier this year, Azura Search was approached to partner with a global private equity backed technology platform, headquartered in London, to deliver the search for a Country VP of Finance based in their Nordic subsidiary. The VP of Finance would lead a team of four people and work closely with the leadership team, including the Group CFO. With the client operating in approximately 20 markets across Europe, to be successful each candidate would need to showcase their approach to this.

The Process:

    • Brief: Azura Search has a very strong relationship with the Group CFO which enabled us to quickly understand what our client’s values and aims were and what good looked like for them. This was done over video conference due to the Group CFO’s travel commitments
    • Search: Being an international search business, Azura Search was able to utilise our technological capabilities to map and engage with our global network virtually in order to build a high calibre longlist of candidates quickly.
    • Assessments: Through both formal and informal video conferences, assessments and candidate profiling we were able to build good relationships with a longlist of candidates and assess them against the search criteria for this role.
    • Shortlist: The shortlist was sent prior to the meeting and presented to the client virtually via video conference.
    • Interviews: The client held the first and second rounds of interviews virtually. It was only at the final stage interview that the preferred candidate went to the office to meet the Group CFO in person.

The Challenge:

This search had multiple stakeholders across different locations and time zones. Most of the search process was delivered virtually which meant the search moved at speed.

The Solution:

Azura Search assigned a centralised research and delivery team to execute this search. This approach ensured we were able to apply an agile and thorough process that could be delivered at the pace required by our client.  

Due to the international nature of this search our client leant on the Azura practice partner to ensure cultural fit and to manage the full process including coordinating all logistics.

The Outcome:

Our centralised research and delivery team ran a hugely successful search process that was well coordinated and completed virtually until the final stage. Following the final face to face interview the preferred candidate was offered and they accepted.

Azura’s role in this process was fully remote. From taking the brief from the client, to longlisting and shortlisting candidates, gaining feedback from both sides and finally to managing the offer and referencing process.

A search of this nature often requires a unique approach to assessing candidates but through effective assessments, communication and strong management of the search process it can result in a successful experience for all parties.

To find out more about how we are helping companies to deliver virtual searches please contact us today - [email protected]

Operating effectively in the wake of COVID-19

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An update from Melanie Clark

Operating effectively in the wake of COVID-19

Businesses are having to become more flexible and creative in order to continue operating effectively as the Government response to COVID-19 escalates.

Azura Search has taken steps to ensure that we are prepared to support the changing needs of our clients over the coming months. We have built a reputation for delivering a thorough and agile approach to executive search and this is what we will continue to deliver for our clients.

During a time of social distancing and remote working we can leverage our digital capabilities in order to facilitate the hiring process remotely. Azura Search already has a proven track record in this having delivered over 160 searches in 26 countries, many of these through digital processes.

In order to operate effectively business must have the right support in place in order to continue delivering projects and keep their finance functions running. Azura Search and our sister company Altum Consulting have set up a 24/7 service to deal with the demand for interim support during a time when workforces are being affected with sick leave and self-isolation.

We have met and interviewed many CFO, senior finance professionals and board level executives that have the experience in helping businesses through changing times. All candidates are being proactively assessed for their remote working abilities as this becomes a requirement for clients.

We understand this will be a difficult time for businesses as we are required adapt to the changing advice from the Government. Azura Search is operating business as usual and our teams in both London and Amsterdam are able to support clients with their evolving needs until things are back on track. Please get in touch with us if you would like to discuss a plan of action.

As a business, Azura Search is following Government advice and we continue to keep the situation under review.

24/7 Contacts:
Melanie Clark, Managing Director : +44 77 4762 1384
Edward Nash-Steer, Partner: +44 7540 142 720
David McDowell, Partner: +44 7920 533 351

In an evolving digital era, how are boardrooms hiring and succession planning?

the modern leader

Event News

An update from Paul Thompson

In an evolving digital era, how are boardrooms hiring and succession planning?

Earlier this month Azura Search hosted a roundtable in Amsterdam for board level executives based in The Netherlands. The discussion was chaired by Vijay Talwar, European CEO of Footlocker and Peter Rademaker, CFO of S4 Capital. They orchestrated a lively discussion exploring how boardrooms in multinational and scale-up businesses are having to adjust within an evolving digital market.

A key theme that emerged was ensuring businesses have a robust data strategy in order to futureproof the business thus making it more valuable. The attendees felt that often businesses over prioritise data as a strategic point rather than reacting to the data ‘real-time’ to make informed decisions to increase revenue.

The roles of the CEO and CFO were discussed in detail. It was very apparent that regardless of the sector the attendees worked in, digital played a crucial part in helping businesses run more efficiently and help to increase profitability. In order to benefit from the increased use of digital in businesses the structure and capabilities of the management team needs to be assessed. It was questioned whether a Chief Digital Officer is needed or whether businesses would benefit greater if VPs were in place responsible for ecommerce, data and digital marketing instead.

It was identified by the attendees that more junior members of their teams may have greater digital capabilities than their leadership – which lead to an interesting discussion about reverse mentoring in the workplace. It was proposed that the leadership teams could benefit from being mentored by more junior team members with strong digital capabilities.

This roundtable discussion was an excellent opportunity for board level executives to get together to share and challenge their current processes in order to progress their internal strategy discussions.

Thank-you to the co-chairs for navigating such a thought-provoking session!

If you would like to find out more information about Azura Search’s events in The Netherlands please contact Paul Thompson on [email protected].

Azura Search, part of Altum Group, marks International Women’s Day

Latest News

An update from David McDowell

Azura Search, part of Altum Group, marks International Women’s Day

When we started Altum Group in 2013, we wanted to create a company with a difference. Lots of people say that but we really meant it. Altum Group was founded with the purpose to give people the power to fulfil their promise – and that to us that meant all people. 

Today, on International Women’s Day, we are proud to say that our workforce consists of 70 per cent female staff members, with female leaders making up 50 per cent of the leadership team. 

In order to give our people the power to fulfil their promise we have ensured there is a transparent career path and salary structure which allows everyone the equal opportunity for progression. We work closely with our teams to enable them to thrive in the workplace and offer solutions such as flexible or part-time working to overcome any barriers there may be to work. 

Altum Group believes that an equal world is an enabled world and we are driven to create opportunities for everyone, whether it’s for our colleagues, clients or candidates, or through our charitable foundation, Altum Foundation.

We all take our role in creating an impact on equality seriously, we know our actions, conversations, behaviours and mindsets can influence our larger society. We are marking International Women’s Day in the office today by celebrating the success of our female colleagues and opening the conversation of what more needs to be done both in business and society to achieve equality. 

Altum Group comprises of Altum Consulting, Azura Search and Altum Foundation.