Head of Corporate Finance
Rutherford Cross
June 7, 2022
Edinburgh, United Kingdom
Job Type
- Edinburgh
Industry and Commerce
Financial and Statutory Accounting


The Company

For 150 years, the Dobbies name has stood for quality horticulture. During this time Dobbies have been proud to provide the very best products and expert advice to gardeners throughout the UK.

Today Dobbies is the UK's largest Garden Centre retailer with stores across Scotland, England and Northern Ireland. Naturally, Dobbies have one of the biggest and best ranges of quality plants and gardening equipment around. Dobbies currently have 74 stores across the UK, 69 of which are the well-known garden centre format encompassing our plants and gardening, home and food ranges, restaurants, and in some locations, soft play areas. Dobbies also have a number of concessions partner stores in most locations that complement the brand. Dobbies other five stores are little dobbies, which is a concept launched in 2019 with the opening of a smaller format store in Stockbridge, Edinburgh with others following in Bristol and London. This format store offers a miniature garden centre and gifting range in city centre locations.

Gardening remains one of the most resilient and fastest growing segments within the broader UK Retail sector. As a private equity backed business, Dobbies have doubled their garden centre estate in the last three years and have plans to sustain this going forward through both organic growth and further acquisitions. With over 3,900 employees, this is an exciting and vibrant place to work.

Background to the Opportunity

Dobbies Garden Centres is seeking to recruit a Head of Corporate Finance to support M&A and other strategic initiatives and projects. The business is making a number of acquisitions currently and targeting new opportunities to further strengthen its UK footprint and growth prospects. In addition, the Head of Corporate Finance will play a key role in future refinancing activities and any other corporate activity.

The Head of Corporate Finance will help deliver the strategic plan and, as such, will interface regularly with the Board of Directors and external investors. The role will be part of a small, dedicated team, liaising significantly with internal stakeholders and external advisors to manage and successfully conclude projects as they arise. As Dobbies emerges positively from a challenging period due to the pandemic, this role represents an exceptional opportunity for a corporate finance professional to help shape the future success of the business through a period of substantial growth.

The Role

The purpose of the role is to manage acquisition and investment projects from end-to-end and support the development of an ongoing M&A strategy, including the identification of future transactions. As a private equity backed business, there will also be significant involvement in refinancing exercises and other corporate activity in the coming years.

The Head of Corporate Finance will build a strong working knowledge of the current portfolio of sites, providing them with a platform to research new and current markets, and then identify potential acquisition targets to further increase the company valuation.

Key responsibilities and accountabilities are set out below, although this list is unlikely to be exhaustive given the nature of role and variety of projects than can arise:

  • Identification, review and analysis of acquisition targets and investment opportunities
  • End to end responsibility for the acquisition of new businesses/sites to add to the portfolio
  • Preparation of investment proposals for new sites
  • Development and management of complex financial models
  • Providing deal valuations, due diligence support and integration planning
  • Co-ordination of post-acquisition reviews
  • Significant involvement in refinancing exercises
  • Relationship building with external advisors and internal stakeholders, including significant interaction with the Board of Directors
  • Preparation of analysis and reports for the Executive and Board
  • Involvement and input into the annual strategic planning exercise
  • Involvement in the review and approval process for major capital expenditure
  • Management of a small team of Corporate Finance Analysts
  • Additional project work as required which is often high profile and complex by nature

The Individual

The role of Head of Corporate Finance requires an individual who has an established track record of success in a deals led environment. This experience may have been gained in a similar in-house Corporate Finance/Development department, or from an advisory perspective from within an Accountancy firm or Investment house.

In addition, it is essential that candidates display all the required personal characteristics, especially in demonstrating confidence, can-do attitude, and an ability to communicate with stakeholders at all levels across the business.

A summary of the key candidate requirements are as follows:

Education & Qualifications:

  • Degree qualified with a strong academic track record
  • Professionally qualified accountant (CA, ACCA, ACMA, etc.) and ideally will have trained with a large accountancy practice or corporate business

Skills & Experience:

  • Experience of managing the full cycle of M&A processes
  • Experience of preparing and analysing business plans
  • Strong commercial acumen and the ability to conduct methodical and insightful reviews of targeted businesses
  • Excellent financial modelling skills; ability to use Excel to develop complex financial forecasts, interrogate data, etc.
  • Experience of conducting commercial negotiations at a senior level
  • Ability to conduct company/market research analysis and studies
  • Skilled writing and delivering presentations/reports at a Board and Executive level
  • Experience of refinancing would be highly regarded

Key Characteristics & Behaviours:

  • Highly numerate with strong analytical skills
  • Strong written and verbal communication skills
  • High level of accuracy and attention to detail
  • Ability to interpret complex financial information to guide critical decision making
  • Creative thinker with excellent problem-solving abilities
  • Ability to build strong relationships and work collaboratively
  • Ability to work efficiently and to tight deadlines
  • High levels of drive and personal commitment to achieve success
  • Remains calm when under pressure
  • Anticipates stakeholder needs
  • Not afraid to challenge the status quo and evaluate/present alternatives as required


In addition to a very attractive basic salary (details available on application) there is a pension scheme with employer contributions up to 6%, attractive bonus potential, private medical insurance and 33 days holiday inclusive of public holiday. The company also operate a flexible working model.

What to do Next

To find out more or see a full Position Profile, please contact their 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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