ForFarmers
Finance Director The Netherlands

  • Industry
  • Finance
  • Other ownership

Closed assignment

General Description

The ForFarmers Group is an ambitious feed company, active in North-West Europe in the sectors swine, ruminant and poultry. The company offers Total Feedsolutions for conventional and organic livestock farming. By working side-by-side with the farmers the company aims to deliver better returns, healthier livestock and greater efficiency. This is achieved by offering tailored solutions to each client based on a targeted approach with specialist and expert support.

Over the last decade the company has grown substantially, both autonomously and through acquisitions. Currently, ForFarmers has 40+ production sites in the Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, the UK andPoland and employs approximately 2.700 FTE. The company’s head office is based in Lochem (the Netherlands).

With annual sales of around 10 million tonnes of feed ForFarmers is the European market leader in compound feed. However, in order to maintain its leadership position ForFarmers does not seek a strong market position in compound feed alone, but also in other feed products. Optimal service to the customer is the key to further growth.

Recent acquisitions have not only led to an in-house broadening of knowledge, skills and innovation potential, but have also helped to grow the – international – knowledge network of the organisation. It enables ForFarmers to provide customers with the best feed solution, to support the livestock farmer in achieving his business objectives and to make a contribution towards economically profitable and sustainable food production. To express its enhanced capabilities, the slogan ‘the total feed business’ has been added to the ForFarmers brand.

Vision

Our vision is to be the leading live stock nutrition company in Europe by supplying economic and sustainable Total Feedsolutions on farm, which enable farmers to achieve their goals. Our feed solutions support farmers in optimizing their businesses in terms of profitability, feed safety and ease of working. This makes us an essential link in the food chain. – Yoram Knoop, CEO

Mission

Working side-by-side with farmers, ForFarmers aims to deliver better returns, healthier livestock and greater efficiency. The three pillars supporting that goal are product, performance and people. As a leading company, not only do they have the opportunity to play a key role in improving the efficiency and sustainability of livestock production, they also feel it as their duty to do so.

Strategy

Increases in scale and the level of complexity of farms will result in a growing demand for customized solutions. ForFarmers will adapt product offer, support and monitoring tools and services to meet the specific needs of each farm.
ForFarmers supplies integrated nutritional solutions to meet all the needs of customers in terms of their specific business objectives and feeding systems. Together with strategic partners, ForFarmers’ offer includes compound feed, as well as specialties for young animals; single raw materials; co-products; grass and maize seeds; and fertilizers.
ForFarmers wants to continue to expand in order to be able to provide ever more added value in an efficient way. It’s strategy concentrates on organic growth, as well as international expansion in Europe and its border regions in order to establish Number 1, or 2 positions wherever it operates. M&A is one of the key strategic pillars for growth.

One ForFarmers: This means the need to use knowledge and scale to increase customer value and efficiency in systems and processes. Across the Group to enhance’ reputation and appeal as a European marketleader and international employer.

Purpose and context of the job:

The Finance organization is organized in line with the country responsibilities. The Finance Director (FD) is the financial business partner of all the Business Units within the cluster Netherlands and member of the country management team.

The FD reports to the ForFarmers Group Finance Director and leads the Finance activities within the country. In the matrix organization the FD has a dotted reporting line to the COO of the cluster. The COO is board member of ForFarmers NV. The country management team consists of 8 members. The administration of all BU is outsourced to the ForFarmers continental shared service center.

The Finance Director

  • is responsible for the implementation of the finance road map in the country on Business Control (Supply Chain and Commercial), credit control and financial control. All these activities are headed by a team leaders
  • acts as a gate keeper, by guarding financial processes and ensure the availability and reliability of adequate financial information, all at the most efficient and effective manner (‘operational excellence’)
  • partners with the COO of the cluster and BU Directors of different species to create value and shape the strategic agenda by providing analysis, insights, forecasts, asking right questions and managing risks
  • proactively improves the business by identifying new opportunities and initiates action. ForFarmers is continuously looking for M&A opportunities which need to be integrated in the current organization
  • manages his/her team (10 FTE), consisting of two financial controllers, two business controllers and six FTE active in credit control.

The position is based in Lochem.

Key accountabilities:

  • Implement the Group’s financial road map, underpinning the business strategy of the Business Units cluster as a whole and corporate guidelines, which results in short- and (mid) long term plans. Business is steered on EBIT, but the Finance Director has responsibility up to Net Profit.
  • Establish and optimize financial structures, processes and systems, with the aim to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of financial administration processes
  • Implement Group’s Credit control policies and processes and manage the credit exposure of the cluster and reduce the overdue exposure
  • Organize financial systems and structures that enable efficient and smooth integration of financial administrations of (potential) acquired organizations and enable the transition to the shared service centre in the Netherlands for the ForFarmers activities on the continent
  • Ensure compliance of all processes within the cluster to the Internal Control Framework and the Enterprise Risk Management approach of ForFarmers
  • Ensure smooth year end closing process and good cooperation with the auditor;
  • Ensure compliance with regulations and internal and external reporting standards
  • Support on the information flow regarding the sustainability KPI’s.

Management advice (Business Partner)

  • Proactively advise management in decisions with substantial financial consequences, and takes care of financial analyses to support these decisions, to ensure financial awareness in decision making and to minimise financial risks
  • Involved in M&A activities
  • Responsible for mitigating possible (financial) risks of strategic business partners
  • Ensure timely and accurate availability of financial plans, reports and budgets, in order to give management adequate insight into the financial situation

People management

  • Develop a world-class finance team, stimulates personal growth for the members of his/her team.
  • Coach, motivate and direct employees
  • Operate in the matrix structure regarding Shared Service activities, tax and treasury.

KPI’s

  • Client / employee satisfaction
  • Quality of management support
  • Compliance with ForFarmers F&A policies and risk policies
  • Timely, correct and complete delivery of management information
  • Transparent forecasting with a clear picture of the risks and opportunities
  • No real adjustments proposed by the auditor
  • No breaches of ICF and Enterprise Risk Management.

Critical competencies for success

  • Entrepreneurial and leadership capabilities (a.o.: to balance the interest of local business and the ForFarmers Group)
  • Financial stewardship and analytical skills
  • Ability to develop management reporting infrastructure, reliable forecasting and standardisation within a growing business by taking a hands-on role in analysing/interpretation of business performance, demonstrating expertise around forecasting/KPI implementation
  • Demonstrating the ability to drive standardisation across process, control and systems, in an international environment
  • Promoting improvement in the operational performance of the business
  • Thinks and looks several steps ahead
  • Good communication skills and ability to network and influence at all levels within the organisation
  • Self-aware, self-critical and constantly seeks to increase knowledge
  • Fluent in Dutch and English.

Profile

  • University level
  • 8- 12 years of relevant functional experience in the broadest sense, working in global operating companies with a complex financial operating model
  • Experience in a complex environment with different flows of goods, raw materials, production, supply chain dynamics et cetera
  • Experience in a commercially driven company
  • Experienced in M&A is a plus
  • Solid project management skills
  • Leadership capabilities
  • Analytical skills, driver of change
  • Decision making skills
  • Strong personality; communicates well and convincing
  • Experience with different types of reporting standards (a.o. IFRS)
  • Knowledge of / experience with SAP (preferably has been involved in a SAP project)
  • Nice person to work with, accessible, empathetic
  • Understands that not all processes with ForFarmers are state-of-the-art yet; eager and ambitious to bring those to the next level.