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Global CFO

Legal Finance
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Salary Description:
Norton Rose Fulbright
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Norton Rose Fulbright is seeking a global CFO as a senior appointment to the global executive team. This is a fascinating and challenging role for a skilled senior finance professional used to operating at the top table of a professional services organisation. 

The Role 

The global CFO will have finance qualifications and strong core finance skills established over time and will need to be comfortable operating with ambiguity. He or she will be an integral member of the top team of a global professional services business with strong local roots around the world.  The appointee will report to the global CEO (Peter Martyr) whose vision and delivery has led the firm’s growth. He leads a core global executive team of five including the global CFO, global director of people and culture, managing partner, integration and global director of marketing and communications. The global CFO will also be a member of the larger global executive committee (Excom) and the smaller group of global managing partners, which includes the five regional managing partners together with the core global executive team. 

Norton Rose Fulbright operates a Verein structure and each region remunerates its partners out of their own regional profit pools. Each region contributes to the central global costs of supporting the Verein. The global CFO will need to have strong interpersonal and persuasive skills. This will be crucial in order to both deliver business as usual and to stimulate and effect change. He or she will need to understand the dynamics and culture of partnerships and will need to build consensus for change, rather than operating through central diktat or mandate. This will be essential as the firm continues on its path to closer global integration.

A key enabler to the firm operating seamlessly is the 2020 transformation programme, in which the firm is presently part way through. This programme is being led full time by a managing partner responsible for integration. An outsourced global service centre (GSC) has been established in Manila and this is up and running with transactional activities being transferred progressively. A global practice management system (GPMS) operating on a SAP platform is due for launch worldwide in September 2017 and this will be a key enabler of firm inter-operability. Crucially it will enable a common operating and finance "language" through the organisation and common ways of working, so facilitating the path to fuller global integration. Much of the planning for the new organisation is complete, although there remain areas for input to the debate on the optimal finance structure. The managing partner for transformation is leading the 2020 programme and the global CFO will inherit a largely agreed finance, operating and reporting platform. The global CFO will play a key role in the implementation of GPMS and will lead on the development of the ongoing post implementation finance structure, working alongside the five regional COOs and regional CFOs. 

The global CFO has limited line management and operational responsibilities. With regards to the Verein the role is presently supported by a skilled and experienced senior finance manager (a Chartered Accountant) in London, who has been with the firm both in the UK and overseas, for 13 years. He is supported by a recently recruited finance assistant. The senior manager is a crucial asset and is the key financial and operating knowledge repository of the Verein. The global CFO has dotted line responsibility for finance in the regions through the COO/CFO network. The global CFO will also have accountability for the newly established Finance Community of Excellence. The group has been established to provide policy, business process and application expertise in support of the new global practice management system (GPMS). This team of 17 FTE is critical to ensuring the initial stabilization of the system and subsequently will be responsible for helping the firm make the most of the new capabilities the GPMS provides. It is anticipated that this group will grow over time as activities transition from the regional Finance teams.

The firm is presently debating how fast and how fully to integrate its activities globally. Therefore the global CFO will be involved in these ongoing discussions and informing the financial debate and decisions.  Thereafter the global CFO will be involved in implementing agreed changes on the path to integration. So the role is most unlikely to be a static one and in consequence will appeal to a candidate who enjoys and is stimulated by change, challenge and a level of uncertainty, but with an opportunity to shape an outcome for the better. The global CFO will need to really understand the nuances of global versus local decisions and operations and an ability to see what works best in each given situation that is encountered. The role will almost certainly not appeal to a candidate who is seeking a regular CFO role in steady state.  

The role could be based in London or New York. 

Essential Responsibilities 

  • Lead the agreement and implementation of an agreed financial strategy for the firm
  • Ensure an appropriate organisation structure, roles and governance are in place for the Finance function globally
  • Lead the Finance Community of Excellence and ensure the effective end to end operation of all financial processes
  • Oversee and advise on all the Firm’s financial, accounting, and banking activities
  • Oversee and make recommendations regarding all significant financial arrangements, global pricing agreements, complex global procurement and contracts etc. under consideration by the Firm
  • Establish, implement and maintain policies, procedures, and instructions to safeguard the Firm’s assets, integrity of the Firm’s financial information systems, implementation and maintenance of proper controls, ensuring compliance with corporate policies and applicable laws and regulations
  • Establish, implement, and maintain financial risk management policies and procedures, and secure adequate business insurances
  • Provide timely and accurate financial information to management, ensuring such information is maintained according to GAAP, tax regulations, and corporate policies
  • Provide accurate financial planning/reporting including revenues, cost, profit, WIP, balance sheet and cash flow budgets, forecasts and capital expenditures. Provide financial updates to the Firm’s Global Chief Executive and the Excom as required
  • Manage and maintain an effective global business planning and budgeting process
  • Analyze actual results versus budget and goals; provide early identification of problems and opportunities, and recommend appropriate action
  • Actively participate in long-term and short-term strategic planning activities
  • Maintain training and development plans for direct reports and the overall department
  • Maintain focus on continuous improvement through researching and sourcing innovative, efficient, cost-effective business solutions

Skills and Experience

  • Educated to a degree level (desirable)
  • Relevant professional finance qualifications
  • Strong track record in Finance and Accounting, including at a senior level in a large global law firm or other large, complex global professional services organisation
  • High degree of comfort with change and ambiguity
  • Proven track record as a high-performing and proactive self-starter who can accomplish personal, group and organisation objectives on-time and within budget
  • Strategic, with experience developing and implementing short and long-term plans for business growth
  • Highly organized, with strong planning and project management skills
  • Detail oriented with strong analytical, problem solving, and conflict resolution skills
  • Able to integrate, collaborate, and communicate effectively, orally and in writing, with all levels of the organization
  • Ability to foster positive relationships, build trust and credibility, foster strong internal/external partnerships
  • Player/Coach management style with the ability to build consensus
  • Team builder with a focus on accountability, empowerment, and creativity
  • Knowledgeable of best practices to enhance the quality, accuracy and relevance of work produced.
  • Highest level of integrity and ethics
  • Experience of building strong relationships with senior stakeholders across an international network
  • Excellent client service orientation skills
  • Outstanding communication skills both verbally and written, effective at all levels
  • Excellent organisational skills with the ability to prioritise workload effectively
  • Attention to detail with a high level of accuracy

At Norton Rose Fulbright we welcome receiving direct candidate applications via our careers page. 

If you would like to ask any specific questions beforehand, please contact Tracey Austin at  


Opening Date 26.06.17

Closing Date   28.07.17

Competitive Package 

Diversity and Inclusion 

At Norton Rose Fulbright we value difference and promote a culture of respect for each individual. We encourage workforce diversity in all aspects and at all levels and in doing so create an environment where everyone can realise their full potential and career ambitions on the basis of merit and skill. 

To find out more about Diversity and Inclusion at Norton Rose Fulbright please click on the following link  

Norton Rose Fulbright 

Norton Rose Fulbright is a global law firm. We provide the world’s pre-eminent corporations and financial institutions with a full business law service. We have more than 4000 lawyers based in over 50 cities across Europe, the United States, Canada, Latin America, Asia, Australia, Africa, the Middle East and Central Asia. 

Recognized for our industry focus, we are strong across all the key industry sectors: financial institutions; energy; infrastructure, mining and commodities; transport; technology and innovation; and life sciences and healthcare.  

Wherever we are, we operate in accordance with our global business principles of quality, unity and integrity. We aim to provide the highest possible standard of legal service in each of our offices and to maintain that level of quality at every point of contact. 

Norton Rose Fulbright LLP, Norton Rose Fulbright Australia, Norton Rose Fulbright Canada LLP, Norton Rose Fulbright South Africa Inc and Norton Rose Fulbright US LLP, each of which is a separate legal entity, are members (‘the Norton Rose Fulbright members’) of Norton Rose Fulbright Verein, a Swiss Verein. Norton Rose Fulbright Verein helps coordinate the activities of the Norton Rose Fulbright members but does not itself provide legal services to clients. 

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