Whether this is your first Finance Director role or you’re aspiring to be an FD, there’s no instruction manual unfortunately. As a result, there’s often varying degrees of success in the role. Via our inhouse CFOs, Headstar offer a mentoring service to both aspiring and newly-appointed FDs to help them make the transition more effectively and guarantee success.
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Mentoring for FDs and CFOs
A newly-appointed FD will likely have to shift from the ‘doing’ to ‘leading’ the finance team. Not only that, they may come across major tasks of which they have little or no experience. There could be some resistance to change from other board members and/or pressure from peers to demonstrate the promotion without alienating them.
Like with any walk of life involving significant change, a mentor can help to prepare the individual for these challenges and be a sounding board as they make their way through them.
What We Offer
Headstar offer a CFO/FD mentoring service to either aspiring FDs or newly-appointed FDs, giving the business and the individual a greater chance of a successful appointment. Discussions are based on real situations rather than theory where possible, including experience of the FD Mentor, who is available at all times outside the formal sessions. The candidate will prepare thoroughly for each meeting, which is held either on Teams or face-to-face, as well as having work to do between sessions.
Benefits of FD Mentoring
The FD Mentor offers the following benefits:
– An external person with no agenda or politics;
– A confidential sounding board when the FD wants to discuss their peers or boss;
– Guidance on how to approach tasks or issues that the FD has never faced;
– A practical sense check on ethics, compliance and risk;
– “Been there, done it”. It’s likely that no matter the challenges faced, our FD Mentor has faced the same at some point and can advise from experience;
– Ability to help build a network of relevant third parties for the FD.
The FD Mentoring Programme is typically a 12-month engagement, with monthly sessions.
Each session will have a structured plan but we have flexibility to adapt to current pressing issues if needs be. The initial 6 months would look as follows:
Session 1 – Mentor/candidate/company introduction. Starting level and end goals established.
Session 2 – Using financial information to set the agenda.
Session 3 – How to establish a different sort of relationship internally and externally.
Session 4 – The relationship with the MD. Public support, private challenge.
Session 5 – Influencing strategy and aligning the goals of the business and its owners.
Session 6 – Be the conscience of the business – ethics, compliance and risk.
Progress is obviously important and our approach largely includes subjective measures such as strength of relationships, influencing skills, clarity of forward thinking and perception of ethics, risk and compliance. Results can be fully open and transparent or just with the Managing Director. We recommend transparency of course, and that the views of external stakeholders (e.g. lenders, brokers, accountants) on progress are sought.
Assessment of the candidate is held at the beginning, middle and end of the 12-month process.
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