Finance Director- Axis Studios
Axis Studios
June 19, 2019
Glasgow, United Kingdom
Job Type
- Glasgow
Industry and Commerce
Financial Leadership and Control


Rutherford Cross is delighted to be retained by Axis Studios in Glasgow to recruit a highly commercial and ambitious Finance Director.

Axis Studios is an award-winning entertainment company, founded in Glasgow in 2000 by CEO Richard Scott and partners Dana Dorian, Stuart Aitken and Graham McKenna. Since its inception, it has grown substantially, tripling its turnover to £15m between 2015 and 2018.

It boasts an international team of directors, visual effects supervisors, designers, artists, animators, and producers, working across three studios, in Glasgow, Bristol and London. As well as being the largest studio in Scotland, Axis also has one of the largest animation and visual effects teams in the UK.

Axis forged its worldwide reputation with the biggest video game publishers, producing many award-winning trailers such as the much-vaunted trailer for Dead Island (Deep Silver), which won a Gold Cannes Lion Award, The International Andy Award and many more.

Axis then moved into other areas of entertainment, such as television, film, and theme parks. Recent work in these areas has seen Axis win awards including a Daytime Emmy Award for Lost in Oz (Amazon Studios), an AEFA Award for Happy (SyFy/Netflix), a BIFA Award for visual effects on the feature film Earlyman (Aardman Animations/Studio Canal), and a Royal Television Society Craft Award for Kiss Me First (Channel 4/Netflix).

With a staff of over 250 across the three studio locations and ambitions for further growth in animated feature film, visual effects, and the origination of its own intellectual property, Axis Studios continues to look to an exciting future.

A Finance Director role has become available to bolster the Executive Management Team (EMT). The role needs an entrepreneurial minded candidate, who can fit in a creative focused world, and be able to influence and persuade a diverse range of personalities at owner and management team level.

The position will play a strategic part in the business in order to achieve its significant growth plans. Reporting to the CEO, the position will be a commercial and strategic one, requiring a motivated and experienced individual.

Also, key to the role is leadership of the existing finance team. Providing support, mentoring and growth opportunities for everyone. This needs to be balanced with an element of hands on work with that team.

As part of the EMT the role will involve working with the CEO, COO, and Head of 3d in defining the strategic approach to achieving the existing company vision and three-year business plan. The EMT work together on the effective day-to-day running of the business adapting to the needs of our clients, projects, and teams.


The Finance Director will be responsible for the following:


  • Provide robust strategic and financial direction, commercial insight and judgement; promoting and supporting actions and activities that ensure the long-term growth and profitability of the business
  • Work closely with the CEO and COO, to lead on the preparation and adaptation of strategic plans covering a 3 to 5 year timeframe. To provide advice to the EMT and Board on options considered.
  • Working as part of the EMT on business growth planning, particularly physical expansion both in the UK and internationally
  • Active participation at board meetings, leading the finance reporting, presenting core KPIs, metrics and forecasts
  • To lead and manage the Finance team and their development
  • Production of high-quality management and statutory financial reporting for the group
  • To carry lead responsibility for the accounting systems to ensure timely and accurate financial records are being maintained and that the relevant IFRS accounting standards, statutory and regulatory standards and requirements are being met
  • To develop and deliver improved financial systems and processes in conjunction with the COO
  • Ensuring positive working capital and cash management to maximise financial performance
  • To carry lead responsibility for the audited financial statements, in conjunction with the external auditors, ensuring that the information they require is accurate and available
  • To ensure compliance with all relevant statutory financial requirements including VAT, PAYE, NI, Pensions Auto Enrolment etc
  • Working with the Head of Business Development, analysis of new business opportunities, including commercial bids and contract reviews
  • Develop and maintain a strong network of relationships with Axis’ accountancy firm, national enterprise bodies, potential investors, bankers, auditors and all other appropriate stakeholders
  • Conducting feasibility studies on any company projects and involvement in both their monitoring and, where appropriate, implementation
  • Develop sophisticated understanding of creative industry specialized tax rules in multiple countries
  • Perform Company Secretarial duties


Experience and Qualifications:

  • Proven track record in leading and motivating teams within and across functions
  • Experience of developing outstanding relationships across the businesses
  • A background in organisations or environments with a high degree of complexity, ideally involving listed requirements
  • Experience in presenting at Board level
  • A proven relationship builder with the ability to increase co-operation across departments and sites
  • Strategic thinker and business enabler with the appropriate expertise and professionalism to influence senior stakeholders
  • Keen commercial acumen, assessing and maximising new business opportunities and able to demonstrate a degree of entrepreneurial flair
  • Degree qualified with a strong academic track record
  • Professionally qualified accountant, preference being a chartered accountant (CA, ACCA, ACMA) with a PQE consummate with a role at this level of responsibility
  • Knowledgeable on current accounting standards and any proposed changes that are applicable to the business
  • Ability to prioritise and adapt to workload
  • Strong analytical, organisational and decision-making skills
  • Excellent communication and problem-solving skills with an ability to influence key members of senior management
  • Ability to assess and drive business improvement projects
  • Excellent IT skills, with a proven track record in optimising finance systems

Please note Rutherford Cross are the retained advisors on this assignment, all third party CV's will be forwarded to be included and assessed in the process.

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