There is no substitute for experience. All our virtual finance directors are qualified accountants and have bought or sold companies and raised funds for businesses. They all understand the needs of the business owner.
See also our new London & Bucks area
Virtual Finance Director – Profiles
A part time Finance Director or Virtual Finance Director provides you with years of sharp end financial and management experience, at a fraction of the cost of employing a full time person.
All our Virtual Finance Directors are Qualified Accountants and have:
- Minimum 5 years FD experience (most have 10 – 20 years)
- Fundraising experience
- Deal experience – Buying or Selling businesses
Our Virtual Finance Directors have had many years of commercial experience in business working alongside MDs, chief executives and Chairmen.
Click on a name to view their profile:
James Shand BSc FCA CF – Director
vfdnet is led by James Shand, a qualified Chartered Accountant with over 20 years of commercial experience, who has worked with entrepreneurial SME owners and managers as a Virtual Finance Director for the last 13 years, enabling them to achieve successful growth.
James has managed rapid growth situations, such as when he was Finance Director of the water cooler business Well Well Well where the business grew from £3m to £30m turnover in 3 years, involving 4 acquisitions and raising £6m in venture capital funding. James also gained invaluable commercial experience in the automotive engineering sector, and has significant technology and pharmaceuticals experience. In February 2008 James was awarded the Corporate Finance Qualification by the ICAEW in recognition of his recent achievements in negotiating and completing deals.
Outside of work, James is a great believer in the old adage that ‘if the body is fit, so is the mind’. Having proved his fitness and stamina in the London Marathon, he has moved on to the less physical, but perhaps more mind-challenging, pursuit of fly-fishing. When he is not taxiing children around he likes to enjoy tennis, watching rugby, gardening and even singing.
Chris F. ACA BSc (Econ)
Chris is a big five Chartered Accountant and has honed his management accounting and systems skills during 16 years as a Finance Director within SME business. He has been successful in several different industries from high volume/low value to low volume/high value manufacturing, project engineering, retail, logistics and even financial services. He has operated in both turnaround and high growth scenarios and relishes the change culture so much that he decided to become a virtual FD. Using the formula of gaining financial control and improving efficiency through procedure and systems re-engineering Chris has changed finance departments from processing centres into value adding teams that have contributed significantly to the growth of their businesses. It is this efficiency he considers that virtual FDs can bring to growing companies that have built their finance teams from the bottom up.
His project work has included exit strategies, turnarounds, installation and repair of integrated business systems with minimal cost, fundamental restructuring of organisations and investor liaison. His board responsibilities have included IT, Human Resources, Commercial Review and Supply Chain as well as Finance and Administration. Outside of work Chris is a big sports fan and heavily involved in community matters. He loves living in the countryside with the relaxation that brings.
Richard M. FCA
Richard is a Chartered Accountant with over 25 years’ experience in industry and commerce, including 15 years at Finance Director level. He qualified with Robson Rhodes in London and has since gained a broad experience in commerce and industry. He has worked extensively with the EMEA operations of US hi-tech companies, implementing financial procedures, controls and systems and establishing pan-European finance functions in high growth environments.
Most recently as Finance Director of a market research SME, Richard was responsible for the Finance, HR, Administration and IT functions, successfully establishing a number of international subsidiaries in a growing business and ultimately working with the CEO to achieve the sale of the company to an AIM listed group.
Richard is strong on making numbers relevant, meaningful and actionable for non-finance managers and directors, with a focus on profitability analysis, budgeting and forecasting, cost control and cash management. Other sector experience includes entertainment, publishing, consulting services, education and agriculture.
Richard acts as Honorary Treasurer for two small local charities and has recently started mentoring a small business owner in Malawi. He is married with three children, is a keen supporter of League 1 football and occasionally tries his hand at golf and cricket.
Alastair I. ACMA
Alastair is a Chartered Management Accountant with twenty year’s blue chip experience in financial and commercial leadership roles. His experience covers manufacturing, FMCG and Retail with companies such as WH Smith, Helene Curtis and Black & Decker. As FD of Helene Curtis UK, Alastair was responsible for Finance and IT, and he saw the business through start up to £25m turnover 5 years later. Alastair provides his experience and commercial strengths to clients, often refocusing their drive for revenue streams and delivering strong improvements to bottom line profitability. Alastair is also co-owner of a recently launched new clothing brand and Deputy Chair of Governors for his local primary school. He is married with three children and relaxes keeping fit.
Mark T. CA
Mark, is a New Zealand qualified Chartered Accountant, with over 14 years post qualification experience. He has operated at Finance Director level for over 6 years, prior to working as a virtual Finance Director. Mark has extensive software and high tech experience, having worked for several software and service businesses and also a hardware distributor. Mark has good experience of working with subsidiaries of US and Canadian companies and establishing European branch offices. In addition, having worked in both in venture capital and high net worth individual backed businesses, Mark has extensive investor relation skills. Mark is a keen skier and sportsman as is married with three children.
Pauline C. FCMA
Pauline is an experienced company director, both as Chairman, Finance and Managing Director, and a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants. She has concentrated for over twenty-five years on leading commercial change management projects and has performed leadership roles inside owner-managed businesses, from start-up to £20m turnover, as well as working closely alongside well-known VC investors; likewise she has led major change projects in subsidiaries of major multi-nationals, both UK and US-owned, ranging in size from £20 – £100m turnover.
She is passionate about delivering joined-up business strategies and processes with an integrated team approach which crosses traditional boundaries such as between Finance, Sales and Marketing. She has successfully turned around failing customer relationships and re-negotiated complex contracts and has most recently been working in close partnership with high growth creative and consulting businesses. She is expert at devising and delivering highest-quality management information for decision-making and presenting this in lucid, appealing formats and is equally strong in the area of computer applications and systems & process development. In parallel, she has coached and mentored a variety of award-winning CEOs.
William K. FCA
Will joined vfdnet in 2015 and is a qualified Chartered Accountant with 25 years of commercial experience. In his early career he worked in large multi-national organisations but more recently has spent the last 13 years as FD at a strategic Board level in a US family owned company with a remit working alongside the MD to grow their business in the UK & Europe. This was achieved both organically and through acquisition and the business grew from £15m to £50m in 10 years and saw year on year sales and earnings growth. In that time Will oversaw the successful acquisition of six owner managed SME businesses from the initial research through to completion including their subsequent transition and integration to form part of a larger group.
Will has a proven track record of making things happen in changing environments and provides great counsel, acting as a sounding board at all levels. Will provides support and guidance at a strategic and leadership level allowing businesses to reach their growth potential. He also has significant experience in handling key relationships, banks, audits, co secretarial, managing financial KPIs, board presence, implementing & improving accounting systems and managing the finance function including defining processes, controls and reporting as well as building strong teams around him and mentoring talent.
Alan M. ACA
Alan qualified as a chartered accountant with a top 4 firm having graduated from Cambridge with a Chemical Engineering degree. He has significant financial and commercial experience spanning over 20 years in both blue chip and small, privately funded organisations. Alan has worked for major energy companies where he successfully raised funds including £400m in private equity and debt for a UK wind farm portfolio, £90m for a gas pipeline, and funding for wind farm projects in Greece. He also spent 3 years working for an investment firm focussed primarily on infrastructure and property where his responsibilities included transaction structuring and execution, liaising with tax, accounting, legal and technical specialists, and managing financial modelling and economic evaluation. His more recent experience includes working with small privately funded businesses in financial advisory and interim finance director roles, as well as part time FD roles for owner manager businesses.
Alan has 3 sons and in his spare time enjoys all sports. He (still) plays football and tennis, cycles, and has coached junior football teams.
Barry K. FCA
Barry is a Chartered Accountant having qualified with a small firm of accountants before joining Price Waterhouse and then moving to the real world! Prior to joining the vfdnet team in 2016, he spent 18 years as FD of a US family owned multi-site company and had experience of working throughout Europe and Australia. The business grew organically but also by a significant number of acquisitions. Barry personally oversaw over 25 acquisitions in various countries and was involved in identifying targets, negotiations with sellers, the due diligence process, the subsequent legal transaction and, most importantly, the eventual integration into the business.
With significant experience of supporting and challenging his senior colleagues, building strong and effective teams and having the ability of seeing the wider picture, Barry offers a mature and balanced approach to the FD role. He has a thorough detailed experience of dealing with banks, auditors, actuaries, lawyers as well as the ability to build relationships with financial and non-financial members of staff.
Paul M. BSc ACA
Paul joined vfdnet in 2017. He has a degree in Management Science and is a qualified Chartered Accountant with over 30 years of commercial experience. He worked initially in the Telecommunications industry, reaching senior positions at Telewest and Storm. For the last 20 years he has worked largely with Private Equity (PE) backed SME owners and managers as Finance Director / CFO. Paul helps companies grow, drive profitably & realise the personal objectives of their owners through the preferred exit strategy of the shareholders.
Paul is skilled at developing effective MI, forecasting and managing cash & working capital, developing and executing strategic plans, and supporting business transactions such as buy outs, trade sales, and acquisitions.
Paul is experienced in a variety of systems and recently implemented an ERP platform for a property company.
Paul is currently a portfolio FD for a number of companies.
Richard K FCA
Richard is a recent recruit to the VFDnet team with nearly forty years’ experience since qualifying as a Chartered Accountant with KPMG in Birmingham in 1978. Twelve years in the profession with Grant Thornton, KPMG and PwC were followed by several Finance Director roles in SME size companies working closely with owners and their boards of directors.
For the last seventeen years Richard has been Finance Director for a helicopter aircrew training facility at RAF Benson in Oxfordshire. A subsidiary of CAE Inc, a Canadian flight training company of 8,000 people , quoted in Toronto (www.cae.com). The project at Benson involved complex dealings with banks, investors (www.hicl.com), sub contractors, and other group companies. Richard was a founder member of the small team of seven in the project company that established and ran the facility.
Carl T ACA
Carl is a Chartered Accountant with 25 years of commercial experience. As a seasoned leader within Operations, he has seen business from all angles. His Finance skills provide a barometer and a backbone to decision making. Carl’s clients value his broad practical business experience which includes: recruiting and growing teams; property transactions; assessing, as well as preparing, businesses for sale; and raising mortgages, bank loans and asset finance. He can handle banking and audit relationships. He develops KPIs which make sense of the business. Carl has a Masters in Coaching and Mentoring.
Carl has set up an overseas manufacturing subsidiary from scratch, and is also a skilled linguist, fluent in Spanish and French, with a working knowledge of German.
Since February 2021 Carl has been the leader of the vfdnet London & Bucks hub.
Neil W FCA
Neil is a recent recruit to the VFDnet team with nearly forty years’ experience since qualifying as a Chartered Accountant with Rowland Nevill (now merged into BDO) where he dealt with a mix of SMEs, partnerships, and Plc’s. Neil joined Taylor Woodrow in 1984 and worked in a variety of corporate and operational roles during this period, quickly earning a reputation as a robust finance leader, who could drive the businesses forward. These roles ranged from financial leadership in international construction across Africa, Asia, Europe, and North America to broader commercial roles in the UK. In 23 years Neil worked in over 30 countries.
After leaving Taylor Woodrow following their merger with George Wimpey in 2007, Neil spend a brief period with the private mixed-use developer, Dandara, before starting his own consulting business, which has mostly dealt with change management & development projects in construction, both in the UK and overseas. As well as his finance expertise in these industries, Neil is also comfortable with the detail of the other non-financial processes and has taken on broader commercial and operational leadership roles.
Neil has led the financial aspects of both acquisitions and disposals of businesses. On acquisitions he has led activity on target identifications, integration planning, deal structures, due diligence, and integration implementation. On business sales he has unlocked value from undervalued businesses, prepared data rooms, managed relationships with purchasers enabling the deals to happen. He has also dealt with a variety of accounting issues which have arisen from the deals