Established in 1995, SMS Plc is a leading independent provider of multi-utility infrastructure connections, energy management and meter asset management solutions. Their professional services are delivered to UK gas and electricity suppliers and directly to end customers in both the I&C and domestic markets.
SMS provides a fully integrated service from beginning to end, from project managing the installation and connection of the utility infrastructure through to the procurement, installation and management of the meter asset, data collection and on-going energy management solutions. There are no other UK organisations in a position to offer all these services in house simultaneously, meaning customers do not have to worry about finding multiple partners to deliver their energy-relates projects.
The SMS vision is to be at the heart of the low-carbon, smart energy revolution that is pivotal to realising a greener, more sustainable world. With over 25 years of heritage and experience, SMS has an exceptional understanding of the UK energy market and how it is changing. As leaders in delivering and funding smart energy infrastructure and the zero-carbon technologies required to decarbonise, SMS is playing a critical role in achieving our nation’s climate targets. A trusted partner, SMS are uniquely positioned to help effect real and enduring transformation.
SMS’ purpose is to serve its customers and protect the environment. The immediate goal is carbon reduction, with the ultimate target of net-zero carbon emissions.
SMS uses its technology, data, finance and engineering skills and knowledge to provide innovative energy solutions for its customers. Through their services SMS are changing how businesses and consumers access and use energy. In doing so, SMS is delivering value to consumers, generating long-term sustainable and recurring revenue streams for the company and, above all, reducing carbon emissions. Their strategic investment in emerging carbon reduction (’CaRe’) asset classes helps to carve out new market segments that align with these goals.
It’s an exciting time to be part of SMS. The business has grown rapidly in recent years, both organically and via acquisition, and has an ambitious strategy which will continue to build market share. Financial performance has been excellent; for the year to 31st December 2020 statutory PBT increased from £5.5m to £195m with a similar EBITDA growth. This was due to a disposal of a minority of the Groups meter assets, representing c187,000 assets and £18.4m gross ILARR. The total gross cash consideration received by the Group was £290.6m representing x16.4 net EBITDA and reinforcing the inherent value of the Groups meter assets, which generate highly stable and long-term index-lined cash flows.
EPS growth last year rose from 3.56 to 171.65per share and Shareholders also saw an increased dividend award rising from 6.85p in 2019 to 25p per share in 2020. SMS recorded a strong liquidity performance with a positive cash position of +£40.3m coming from £219.2m in the prior year, as a result of the sale of a minority portfolio of meter assets.
Background to the Opportunity
The Head of Group Financial Planning & Analysis is a key role, developing and leading the FP&A practices across the Group. In doing so, the post holder will closely collaborate and business partner with stakeholders from across the Group as well as having significant interaction with CEO, COO and CFO.
The Head of Group FP&A will have an opportunity to directly influence budgeting, planning and strategy processes. This individual must be intellectually curious, detail-oriented, and be able to identify solutions to complex problems, then roll-up their sleeves to drive implementation.
The post-holder will take ownership of all forecasting and budgeting, including timetable management, presenting to executive management, preparing the supporting board papers and collaborating with executive management to ensure appropriate targets across the business are set and monitored.
The Head of Group FP&A will drive forward improvements to the function such as establishing and producing commentary on key trading areas and forecasting. They will also support stock market / investor relations with financial analysis that underpins external narrative and messaging and be responsible for all forecasting used to guide the stock market.
The post holder will perform ad-hoc financial and non-financial analysis to evaluate the quantitative and qualitative aspects of investment opportunities or business cases. They will work in collaboration with the wider finance team to ensure messaging and reporting is consistent across the Group.
The Head of Group FP&A will help drive working capital efficiency through management of aged debt and cash flows in conjunction with the commercial teams and divisional finance teams. They will also support any M&A, any other strategic opportunities and the development of business cases.
The organisation represents an excellent opportunity for a motivated and proven finance leader who wants to work in a high growth, AIM listed business environment. In addition, the business will provide a firm career platform with good opportunity for personal and professional development as well as the mandate to shape and define how the FP&A function evolves. It is envisaged that over time this role will develop and grow and therefore it is key that applicants are flexible and adaptable to those changes.
This is an exceptional opportunity to join a growing business which is leading the way in its field and to contribute to its future success by playing a key role in its journey.
The role of Head of Group Financial Planning & Analysis requires a professionally qualified accountant who possesses excellent analytical skills, the ability to build productive relationships and the determination to play a key role in a fast-growing Plc. It is likely that the individual will have demonstrated a high level of achievement in their career to date, showing an eagerness to develop exposure to FP&A responsibilities in a previous role.
It is critical that the Head of Group FP&A can effectively support the Group Financial Controller, budget holders across the business and members of the Executive Team, whilst taking a “hands-on” approach to producing the information that these stakeholders require.
A summary of the key candidate requirements are as follows:
- Qualified Accountant (CA/ACA/CIMA/ACCA or equivalent)
- 3 years + experience of working in an FP&A or analyst role, including experience of preparing budgets and monthly forecast reports
- Strong financial modelling skills including advance Excel and knowledge of financial reporting systems (preferably D365)
- Strong accounting skills and a good understanding of finance function in a group setting. Ideally with plc experience
- Excellent communication skills and confident at getting out into the business to articulate financial matters to a non-financial audience
- Ability to drive results, having a track record of high performance and examples of delivering improvements to the top and bottom line
- Self-motivated, must be able to organise and execute work independently and with minimal supervision
- Able to operate in quickly changing environments whilst being well organised, pro-active and deadline driven
- Highly developed analytical skills, able to provide insightful, accurate analysis of complex financial data
- Strong presentation skills, able to use Powerpoint or similar products to develop high quality reports appropriate to a range of audiences
- Experience of problem solving and implementing process improvements, particularly in relation to internal reporting (e.g. efficient design of Excel reports)
The Head of Group Financial Planning & Analysis is a key role in the business, developing and leading the FP&A practices across the Group. The Head of Group FP&A will have an opportunity to directly influence budgeting, planning and strategy processes.
The main duties and responsibilities will involve:
- Oversee with ultimate ownership of the yearly budgeting processes covering timing, communications and reporting
- Setting and managing the timetables for the production of budgets and regular reforecasts for the Group, ensuring consistency of approach and alignment with strategic planning processes
- Driving accountability through functional budgets and targets, providing support to divisional teams to ensure changes to budget are appropriately reflected in reforecasts and ensuring effective communication to executive management
- Responsible for the reforecasting of the business – formally on a quarterly basis
- Analysis of both financial and non-financial information, identifying patterns, trends and opportunities for business growth or cost reduction
- Provide business partnering support to the senior leadership team and the Head of Group Reporting whilst establishing strong and effective relationships across all levels in the business
- Controlling cash including weekly and monthly cash flow/forecast reporting on variances and providing suggestions for ways of improvements and always providing tight control of cash
- Planning, building, and maintaining reporting structures within Power BI/D365 to ensure timely and accurate information is available to facilitate data-driven decisions
- Implementation and support to other departments for financial modelling providing financial analysis and guidance on activities, plans, targets and business drivers
- Developing relationships around the business to further develop the role and the profile of the finance department
- Provide ad hoc analysis and support to finance projects, as and when required
- Assess the financial risk of any and all business operations, investments, and innovations
Basic Salary: £60,000 - £70,000 per annum, depending on experience
Pension: 4-5% matched company contribution
Healthcare: Private medical cover (personal)
Holiday Entitlement: 25 days per year plus 8 statutory days
Working Hours: 38.75 per week
Location: Glasgow office (Hybrid flexible model being trialled)
First round interviews are with our retained advisors at Rutherford Cross.
Second stages will be with Group Financial Controller.
Final stages will involve meeting the CFO.
Applications should be sent to [email protected].
Please note that any direct or third party approaches will be sent to Rutherford Cross for review and assessment.