Part-time FDs & CFOs

Growing businesses are increasingly recognising the benefits of a part-time FD in helping them shape the right financial model and improve their decision-making. Rewind to 1986 and Headstar were one of the first companies to offer this service to SMEs. Our in-house FDs can quickly assess your requirement and advise on the right solution for building out your finance team, with a part-time FD often installed on a flexible basis to partner with the board.

Trusted by industry leaders

Part-time FD & CFO recruitment

The name may have changed (we call it portfolio but “fractional” appears to now be de rigeur!) but what remains the same is the fact that a part-time FD can transform the running of an SME. From turning things around via a refinance to recruiting the first finance person into the business, a part-time CFO has the ability to understand how a business makes its money and then quickly install the right processes to protect cash and build shareholder value.

How our process works

With Headstar, you’re not getting the hard-sell. 

One of our in-house Consultant FDs will happily come out to see you and discuss the business over a good old-fashioned cup of tea. They’ll ask you questions about the history of the business, the ambition and the people before they even mention “the numbers”. 

We’ll happily dispense advice on what we think is the right way forward. If it results in an engagement with us then great. If not, that’s also fine – as long as we’ve left you with a clearer picture on what you actually need to help you realise your company’s goals.

The way forward might be to recruit a more permanent solution, in which case our FD will partner with one of our recruitment consultants to bring you the right solution. If they feel a part-time FD can help, then they will either offer their own time if they have capacity, or they will suggest one of our associate FDs. These are tried and tested FDs that we’ve worked with, referenced and vetted deeply over a prolonged period of time. Some of these relationships even date back to our inception in 1986! 

Working on a flexible basis, you’re not tied to things like notice periods. Our FDs can work with you from as little as 2 days/month. 

Our part-time FD/CFO recruitment network 

Developed over decades, our network of portfolio FDs and CFOs reaches far and wide. We’ve helped many FDs transition from the grind of the permanent position to the variety and challenge of a portfolio FD career. In many cases, we’ve worked with these people as clients and candidates in their permanent career, so have first-hand experience of working with them, as well as strong references from previous employers.

We’re often the first port of call for people exploring this career option so are lucky to have access to some of the brightest minds and industry specialisms that the portfolio FD world can offer.

Case Studies

From credit management to pricing strategy, read how Headstar’s portfolio FDs benefitted clients in a range of industries.

Meet our consultant FDs and CFOs

James Roach

Managing Director

James initially joined FDYL in 2013 as a portfolio FD, joining the business on a full-time basis in 2014 to help launch the recruitment division. James led the MBO into Headstar in 2020 and combines his FD consultancy work with ongoing recruitment assignments. In his spare time, he enjoys things like cycling down the Death Road in Bolivia.

Simon Webster

Director – Advisory and Portfolio

James initially joined FDYL in 2013 as a portfolio FD, joining the business on a full-time basis in 2014 to help launch the recruitment division. James led the MBO into Headstar in 2020 and combines his FD consultancy work with ongoing recruitment assignments. In his spare time, he enjoys things like cycling down the Death Road in Bolivia.

Sue Moul

Portfolio Finance Director and Lead for West/North Yorkshire

Sue is a highly experienced Portfolio Finance Director who specialises in supporting owner managed SMEs to develop and manage their business growth and stabilisation. A straight talking, hands-on pragmatist, Sue is equally at home guiding acquisitions and funding as she is developing and mentoring the finance team and being a Board advisor and confidante. In her spare time, Sue likes to keep active and can be found pounding the pavements with her local running club.

Michael Barnes

Portfolio Finance Director

Michael is a Portfolio FD and CFO with a breadth of experience spanning 30 years in both corporate and SME environments. That experience has encompassed sectors such as media, leisure, FMCG, home improvements, apparel and others with a blend of B2B and B2C both in the UK and US.

Whether the need relates to start-up, growth, turnaround, sale or acquisition, Michael’s range of operational and financial expertise can add value to a successful outcome.

Outside of work he is passionate about football, rugby and cricket and loves nothing more that heading for the hills with his inexhaustible schnauzer.

Darren Bellwood

Portfolio Finance Director
Leeds, Goole, Howden

Darren is a commercially astute Finance Director who moved into the world of Portfolio FD in 2022 bringing with him over 35 years of experience across a diverse number of industry sectors, working closely with business owners to achieve their goals. He has a proven track record in M&A, setting and delivering strategy, turnaround / restructure, re-financing, commercial contract negotiations, mentoring and HR.

Leeds-born he has gained experience working with a number of entrepreneurs and in the corporate world, including private healthcare, waste management, property, leisure, drinks industry, managed services, print, manufacturing and recruitment to name a few. Darren is an individual who is very approachable and easy to talk to and is able to quickly understand what his clients’ and their business requires. Away from the desk you will find Darren either in the garden, carrying out something in DIY or at a music gig which is his passion.

Lee Bowers

Portfolio Finance Director
Chesterfield, Nottingham, South and East of Sheffield


After 20 year’s board experience in the SME environment, Lee became a Portfolio Finance Director in early 2019. Over those times he has worked across most sectors with a leisure, retail, and business service bias, whilst helping various companies through high growth, fundraising,  flotations , sale exits and, when necessary, restructuring and crisis management      

Lee has recently joined the Headstar team to help the drive into the East Midlands region. When not working with his clients, Lee strives to be an active sort, and will spend as much time as possible walking his (slightly demented) spaniels around Sherwood Forest, cycling or in the gym.

Kevin Cooke

Portfolio Finance Director
South Yorkshire, East Riding and Lincolnshire

Kevin is a highly experienced, commercially focused, Portfolio Finance Director and CFO with over 30 years experience in a number of industries including retail, large scale investment property, Information Technology and professional football. More recently, Kevin has worked with a variety of SMEs in a diverse range of sectors including social housing, international consultancy, charities, rail industry, commercial kitchens and a number of others.

Kevin’s diverse range of experience in fundraising, treasury management, financial management, plus his all-round business background, have gained him the valuable insight needed to advise and help SME business owners to understand and grow their businesses sustainably. Outside of work Kevin is kept busy by his hyper-active dalmatian dog and watching football and F1.

Mark Woodward

Portfolio Finance Director
South Yorkshire (Sheffield, Rotherham, Barnsley, Doncaster)

Mark has been a Portfolio FD since 2010. He specialises in working with entrepreneurs and families who want to get more out of their businesses. Succession planning, fund raising, exit strategies or simply aligning businesses with personal goals are Mark’s bread and butter. His expertise covers manufacturing, FMCG, distribution and retail, including a busy stint with a high growth e-commerce giant. In his spare time, you will find Mark playing the Double Bass or supporting and mentoring young musicians.

Need help with finance recruitment? Get in touch today

We’ll help you find the best solution for your business with the help of our experienced recruiters and qualified Finance Directors.