Helene Sewell

Summary

A commercially focused and driven Finance Director Helene Sewell brings the finance function out into the business by building relationships and translating financial information into strategies to improve profit and cash. She has experience in FMCG, manufacturing and services working on business restructure, turnarounds and change management in international and multi-site environments. She is bi-lingual English/French.

Specialties:
– Strategic finance business partnering
– Continuous improvement
– Financial control trouble shouting
– Finance team structure and staff management


Experience

Helene completed a Masters in business studies in France with a specialisation in Finance and successfully ran her own accounting practice in Merseyside for 3 years. She then moved to industry working for Nichols plc and qualified with the Chartered Institute of Management Accountant in United Kingdom.  She then developed her career in finance business partnering working in cosmetics, manufacturing, gaining strategic experience in finance director roles in car care and biotechnology in international multi-site operations.

She is an energetic and a resilient self-starter, working well either alone or as an effective team player.  She is passionate about giving business leaders the tools to make informed decision, adding value through relevant, accurate financial information.

Over the course of her career, she has:

  • Business Planning – Implementation of budget and forecasting processes to improve predictability, support bonus schemes and improve relationship with shareholders/investors.
  • New business set up– Compilation of business plans to secure bank funding.
  • Cash-flow – designed and agreed new debt collection policy with sales team to reduce debtor days and improve cash by £1M
  • Business Turnaround – Finance lead of a $5.5M profit improvement project affecting every line of the Profit and Loss account to bring a business back to profitability in 1 year following an outsourcing program gone wrong.
  • Finance transformation – Design of finance and administrative functions to align with strategic vision, creation of road map, and effective implementation.
  • Business Performance Analysis – Development of dashboards and bespoke financial analysis to understand product, customer, market channel profitability

Case Study

Sales and Finance – Cash flow is King

This is long established business operating in agriculture with deteriorating aged debtors as customers are mostly operating at a loss because of the drop in milk price. case study Helene Sewell EFM Finance Director Cashflow

The cash flow is getting stretched and there is a risk that old debt is going to become bad debt. The sales team have a long-standing relationship with their customers and do not want the finance team to chase customers for money they prefer to do it themselves. There is one person working part-time on credit control but she only chases the sales people, not the customers direct.

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