A typical Week for a Portfolio Finance Director

Well to start this blog post off, one of the attractions of being an Portfolio FD is the sheer variety of the work. To give you a flavour of it though here is my week so you can get the idea.  I have to say there is rarely a typical week, unless you settle down to working for a group of clients long term, typically that doesn’t happen you find the average assigment lasts for maybe three or four months,  my longest was just over two years and my shortest four days.

Monday – Driving for an hour to my client South of Birmingham – Its bank holiday week so I expected the traffic to be lighter than normal, that said I know better than to risk it so I leave the usual time 6.45am arrive at 8.30 due to an accident and road works on the M5!  The traffic reminds me that I am glad not to work for the same client every day and being stuck or slowed down by the traffic is OK if it isn’t all of them time.

Client is a few weeks out of a Management buyout, they need to put in place a finance function as their previous one was supplied by their former parent in Austria. The day is busy setting up budgets, Management Accounts, and a covenant compliance matrix. It’s a steep learning curve, I’ve only been with this client for a week and the deadline for stats, Management Accounts and private Equity information pack is 1st March. I work for this client two days a week at the moment, so a lot to do in in the next 3 working days.  The funder is a private equity house and I am new to them also, so it is important to get their pack 100% right and on time, which is one of their key requirements, plus of course to gain the confidence of the client and begin building relationships with their executive team.

Tuesday – With my public sector client today, they have setup a solar farm and need management accounts for it, they dont have a limited company as it is part of their general assets, but they are considering spinning it off, so I need to extract the relevant information and turn it into a commercial set of accounts, Public sector accounting is different from standard UKGAAP so this needs some thought and digging around.  I am a former biologist and keen on enviromental actions, so this project is right up my street.  It really is interesting to see the contrasting work styles between the public and private sector.  Of course being public sector this role is within the scope of IR35.

Wednesday – its Half term this week so I take the kids out for the day and do some shopping in Bham while I am at it. Great to have free time like this, ordinarily mid week is my day for networking, chasing up leads and developing my leads from prior weeks but make the most of quality time.  One thing you learn being a porfolio FD is that often work comes and goes, feast and famine, so you need to dedicate time each week and certaintly each month to networking.  I try to devote a day per week to meeting people and developing my network.  Now I work with FD Capital I get a lot of my client work through them, but I also find work on my own account.  It’s a two way street with FD Capital which I like, so if one of my contacts needs help and I am busy, then FD Capital can cover it and I earn a % based on the time billed. So it makes it rewarding to find work even if I can’t do it myself.

Thursday – Supporting a Ecommerce business in Shrewsbury, this is a great client near to home and with a very interesting proposition. I ran my own Search marketing business so I have a lot of knowledge to share, I present January Management Accounts to the Board and we talk about issues they are having with their website, I spend about 45 mins sharing my views, they listen intently. Doesn’t even feel like work this client.   Nothing is better for me than talking about online marketing and using my skills and experience to help clients reach their online potential.  I spent 12 years of my life playing cat and mouse with Google, who constantly are changing their algorithmn, its always a challenge but the changes are always designed to drive up quality so whilst its never good to be pushed down, often the reason is due to the user experience being less than that of the competition.  Increasingly online marketing is about keeping up with the competition in terms of user experience, though of course link building and social media marketing are important aspect also.

Friday – back in with my client South of Bham, focussed all day with hardly a moment to spare, working up a Cash Flow Available for Debt Service (CFADS) model to support their pack to their private equity backers. I am on target to get everything done ready for the deadline next week, but not much time to spare, probably will have to use some of Wednesday next week to make sure I get it all done. I don’t charge for extra hours like this as I prefer to get the job done and done well. I may need to do more days as this is important and time pressured for all concerned.   Its always worth putting in extra intial effort as that get noticed and noted by the client, I get feedback via FD Capital which is really positive, I also give feedback myself to the PE house, they are hands off, but at the same time are ready to require changes if they feel that is in the interest of their investors.

Hopefully that gives you a flavour, it is certainly varied, busy, demanding but enjoyable!

If you need a Portfolio or Part-Time FD for your business give us a call on 07528969471 and we’ll be delighted to match you to one of our experienced team.   We principally cover London, the South East and areas in the West Midlands, so if you are a business or an entrepreneur within our coverage we would love to talk with you.

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