Associates Q&A’s

Sep 13 2022 Join EFM


How is being a portfolio Finance Director different from being an interim? 

An interim FD is usually brought in to provide temporary help to one specific business that has a finance-related issue and needs to get back on track or wants support to hit a specific business goal. 

A portfolio FD, on the other hand, is a part-time specialist who works with several businesses but provides each of them with ongoing services that can be more diverse and comprehensive in nature. These can include improving business performance, profits, and growth, board-level advisory, support for funding and investment, management reporting, and much more. 

That said, a portfolio FD can often provide interim-style specific services by arrangement, whereas the opposite is generally not the case. 

Why would I join EFM and not just register with a recruitment agency? 

EFM does not operate in a way that a recruitment agency does. EFM spends extensive time equipping you with the skills you need to be successful in running your own portfolio career as well as marketing you as and when needed. EFM also focuses on portfolio and part-time roles rather than permanent and interim roles. 

I have only worked in one sector in my career – can I apply my skills to other sectors effectively? 

Yes, you will have transferable skills, and whilst knowledge of a particular sector is always helpful, bringing best practices across to other sectors can be hugely advantageous. We have many EFM Associates who combine multiple sectors and sizes of client in one portfolio very successfully. In our experience, most EFM clients select based upon style and personality rather than direct sector experience. 

If I join EFM, do I do so as an employee? 

No, we don’t tie you into an employment contract! You simply register your own limited company with Companies House before joining – or we can help you to do this – and then you join the team and immediately start enjoying all the benefits that come with that. 

We provide training, ongoing support, and access to the skills and resources that you will need to run your business and market yourself. You will also have access to our knowledge base for any information or help you may need from Associates who may specialise in in certain other sectors, or who have complementary skills, for example. Our central team has supported many of our Associates with starting their portfolio careers and we will provide as much help and support as is needed to get you up and running. 

Are there any compliance requirements I need to be aware of? 

You will need to have business and indemnity insurance, which we can help you source, and we ask you to complete an annual compliance questionnaire. We also offer you compliance support if needed covering areas such as anti-money laundering, GDPR and data protection, practicing certificates, IT etc. 

How often do Associates meet or speak to each other? 

We hold regular calls which are more intensive in the first 3 months, monthly virtual meetings, and an opportunity to meet in person twice a year at our annual national events.? Some of our Associates also have the opportunity to work on projects together.? We also run a buddy scheme where an established Associate will support a new joiner acting as a mentor and coach to new associates. 

If I have a client problem, technical or other, who do I ask? 

The central team provides comprehensive support for all our Associates. This includes administrative, technical, compliance and marketing assistance and advice. In the event we cannot answer a question or it is beyond our area of expertise, we will aim to put you in touch with a trusted person from our wider network. 


I’m not very good at networking/marketing myself – how can EFM help me with this? 

During your onboarding process, you will receive bespoke sales and marketing support. We will help you create marketing collateral that you can use to start your journey as an Associate so that you can use these as your building blocks for attracting and converting prospects into fee-earning work. 

My business contact network isn’t very strong, can I still be successful at selling myself? 

Yes, EFM will support you in building and developing your professional network and will support you to generate business leads. In fact, over half of our Associates’ work is generated by EFM centrally through referrals and our lead generation programme. Our regular events also connect you to other Associates who can share opportunities with you. We recommend you set up a LinkedIn profile if you do not already have one and actively use this platform as an economical and effective way of growing your network, including through engaging content that our marketing team will write on your behalf. 


How much can I expect to earn as a portfolio FD with EFM? 

You have unlimited earning potential – a number of our Associates regularly bill in excess of £100k per annum, often working less than full time. Our Associates typically commence billing within 3 months of start-up. 

Are there fees associated with joining? 

Yes, there is a one-off, competitive joining fee, but no annual renewal, and new Associates typically break even on their fee within the first six months of billing. 

How do I work out how much to bill? 

You will typically charge a day rate or retained monthly fee as per your contract, but we can advise you on typical market rates for clients in varying industries and of varying sizes. 

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