Group Financial Controller opportunity in Edinburgh
Forth Ports
November 27, 2020
Edinburgh, United Kingdom
Job Type
Scotland:, - Edinburgh
Industry and Commerce
Financial Leadership and Control


Forth Ports has been operating for over 50 years and through continued investment and acquisitions has grown to be the 3rd largest port operator group in the UK.

Now with over 1,100 employees, Forth Ports Group has grown to be a major UK employer, key contributor to the national economy, and trusted partner to an ever-increasing number of industry leading customers. Their 8 ports handle 41 million tonnes of cargo each year, assisting in developing logistics flows across the UK and supporting many key industries. Their ports include the largest in London, Tilbury, which generates 50% of Group revenue, and the largest in Scotland, Grangemouth, as well as Leith, Rosyth, Dundee and three smaller Fife ports.

From a financial standpoint, Forth Ports is in extremely good health with current revenues of c£250m, EBITDA of £110m and significant investment plans very much underway across all areas of the portfolio which will deliver strong growth in the coming years. The business has been very resilient, including in more recent times through the pandemic, with a 20 year earnings CAGR of 6%.

The Opportunity

Reporting into the Chief Financial Officer, the role is based at the Head Office in Leith (Edinburgh), responsible for a team of nine and works closely with the Heads of Finance in Tilbury and Scotland.

During the course of 2020 the CFO has taken on a broader remit which includes greater commercial focus and responsibility. As a consequence, the Group Financial Controller role will grow even further from the current scope and will be tasked at taking on more of the day to day responsibilities that currently sit with the CFO.

This position represents an exceptional career opportunity for an ambitious, driven qualified accountant, who is able to provide first class financial and business support to the Executive Team and the business more broadly.

The Role

The Group Financial Controller will oversee the Group Head Office Finance Team and support the Chief Financial Officer in all matters relating to management and statutory reporting, business support, treasury, tax, financial systems and compliance matters.

Key Result Areas:

  • Provision of quality management reporting to the Board and Executive
  • Oversee the statutory reporting requirements of the Group
  • The refinancing of lending facilities as required
  • Delivery of the Group’s tax strategy
  • Management of the Five Year strategic plan and budget
  • Manage and develop the Group Head Office Finance Team

Primary Responsibilities:

  • Oversee the daily cash management of the business in line with the agreed Treasury Policy
  • Be the primary interface with the Lending Group’s Security Trustee (Agent) and Private Placement Noteholders and ensure all reporting and information requirements in the Facility Agreement and Note Purchase Agreements are met
  • Provide analysis and reporting to ensure the Group remains within all of its funding obligations and covenants
  • Ensure the integrity of the Head Office accounts
  • Provide financial support and modelling capability for capital and growth projects as well as post investment reviews and assessment of returns
  • Provide financial support for any corporate activity, e.g. acquisitions, disposals, joint ventures as well as providing ongoing reviews of these including assessing returns
  • Oversee, with the Group Tax Manager, the overall tax affairs of the Group
  • Manage, from a Group perspective, the annual external audit
  • Compliance with legislative requirements, including Data Protection
  • Assist with compliance of Corporate Governance Regulations, which involves regular investigation, analysis and reporting on risk

The Individual

This is a key position within a well-established, sizable and complex organisation requiring a qualified accountant of the highest calibre.

The Group Financial Controller should be comfortable executing the routine statutory and management reporting elements of finance, while ensuring that the more ad hoc analytical and modelling requirements of the Executive team are consistently met and exceeded as they arise. It is highly likely that the individual will have trained as a Chartered Accountant within a large or Big 4 firm and, as such, have an excellent technical foundation in the areas of audit, corporate governance and taxation. However, of particular interest will be those individuals who have further developed their skill set to include other strengths in areas such as M&A, Financial Planning & Analysis and providing support to fund raising exercises.

As this is a relatively small Head Office team, the appointed individual will be required to adopt a hands-on approach as required, but also be adept at training, coaching and/or mentoring others to ensure that tasks are delivered to the highest standards. As the business continues to grow, it is critical that the Group Financial Controller can further develop systems, processes, reporting and a team that allows them to support the delivery of shareholder value. First class communication skills and an ability to manage a wide range of stakeholders is essential in a multi-site, relationship led business.

On Offer:

  • Salary  £110-120k
  • £10k car allowance
  • Attractive bonus
  • Pension (12% employer contribution)
  • Family healthcare

What to do Next

To find out more or see a full Position Profile, please contact our retained advisor, Mark Lewis at Rutherford Cross by emailing [email protected]

Please note that any direct or third party approaches will be sent to Rutherford Cross for review and assessment.

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