Anne-Marie Bennett


An experienced Finance Director – Anne Marie has over 30 years’ experience working in large multinational groups, small privately owned businesses, international joint ventures and charities.  A significant proportion of her career has been in manufacturing, aviation, aerospace, electronics and defence businesses with long-term contracts where strong bid management, project reporting and understanding profitability and risk is paramount.  She has worked in areas as diverse as children’s animation, licensing and merchandising and higher education. In addition to strategic, operational and commercial responsibilities in numerous Finance Director roles, Anne Marie has experience in MBO’s, VC/PE fund raising, due diligence, acquisitions and disposals. As a Chartered Accountant who began her career at Ernst & Young, she can apply her experience, integrity and analytical skills to the businesses she supports. Anne Marie has a strong focus on controls, forecasting and understanding the numbers and what drives them.


Anne Marie qualified as a Chartered Accountant with Ernst & Young initially as an Auditor and later in Corporate Finance producing business plans and sales memoranda, liaising with banks, VCs and investors to raise finance, identify M&A opportunities and potential buyers.  She then moved to a large multinational group in the engineering and defence sector as part of the Head Office finance team, followed by a series of internal promotions within the operational businesses.  This culminated in a divisional Finance Director role at age 30.  Her various roles within the group provided extensive experience in budgeting, forecasting, cash management, staff management, strategic planning, commercial issues, business improvement, multisite management and leadership, as well as a short-term secondment to a business in Italy.

Anne Marie then moved to a struggling cash strapped SME in the manufacturing/engineering sector and, as Finance Director, played a significant role in turning the business around through improved financial controls, better reporting and forecasting, and increased financial awareness across the whole business.  She gained treasury and taxation experience, including international trade finance, currency forward contracts and R&D grants.  She participated in an MBO and was responsible for the production of the financial data, legal liaison, managing the various due diligence processes and data room.  She gained experience of working with a PE investor on board and managed a bank refinancing.  Two years later the business was sold to a US multinational and again she was the lead on many aspects of the deal.  She stayed on as Finance Director post exit and took on financial responsibility for one of the US businesses gaining experience of US GAAP reporting and US taxation.

Her next role involved supporting a business within the children’s media sector with their plans to obtain VC funding.  Anne Marie produced the forecasting models and managed the data room information, as well as preparing the business for extensive due diligence.  She continued post deal to manage the transition to new reporting requirements, changes in functional currency and a move to US GAAP reporting.

Head of Finance for a charity in the higher education sector was Anne Marie’s next role, which saw her take responsibility for all financial matters, including extensive returns to regulatory bodies and liaising with numerous member schools.

Flexible and a resilient self-starter, Anne Marie works well alone and as an effective team player.  She is a goal-driven individual, action-orientated with a can-do attitude and a fine eye for detail.

Over the course of her career, Anne Marie has:

  • Business Planning – Produced numerous business plans for raising finance, selling the business, completing an MBO, establishing overseas investments under international trade Offset Arrangements
  • Cash-flow – produced cashflow forecasts, including sensitivities for various purposes such as an MBO transaction and subsequent exit to a trade buyer, re-financing VC debt with bank debt, raising PE funding, adherence to banking covenants
  • Due-Diligence – for both acquirers and vendors, supported sale and acquisition of small and medium sized businesses. From initial meetings and high-level information reviews to detailed reports covering financial, commercial and other operational areas.  Vendor side included ensuring preparation of both physical and virtual data rooms and preparing the business for sale or investment.
  • Business Turnaround – Reviewed major loss-making contracts, costing and tendering processes to improve financial viability and ensure sustainable strategy.  Improved credit terms with key suppliers and re-negotiated credit terms with late paying customers.  Improved financial awareness of department heads outside the finance team.
  • Finance transformation – Designed finance and administrative functions to align with strategic vision, growth in business and effective implementation.
  • Exit planning – contributed to and subsequently implemented strategy for VC exit following an MBO which was achieved less than 2 years later at 20x investment
  • Buy/Sell Business – played a key role as a participator in an MBO and subsequent exit as well as advising on disposal of businesses and sale of equity to a VC investor