In Summary

BIE was approached by a French recruitment company to support them with the search for an interim Finance Consultant. 

Their client had recently been appointed CFO at a biotech business and required support to build a best-in-class finance function. The business is a leading provider of software solutions for the management of blood, plasma, tissue and cells, offering solutions for healthcare organisations in France and internationally. With a £50m turnover, it had recently been taken out of family ownership by a private equity firm and was looking to move its headquarters to London.


A representative for the French recruitment team travelled to London on 11 March, on an almost empty Eurostar train, to introduce BIE to the client and to discuss the specifications of the role.

The remit was to find a talented Finance Consultant, with significant experience in private equity investments, who was also fluent in both English and French.


BIE sent a shortlist of four candidates that afternoon. At the same time, in response to the COVID-19 outbreak, France went into lockdown and self-isolation preparations ramped up in UK, inevitably stalling the process.

However, all partners involved were agile enough to adapt quickly to the changing situation, putting in place the necessary technologies to continue with the recruitment process.

A week later, BIE was contacted by the French recruitment partner to arrange interviews for two of the shortlisted candidates. Interviews were subsequently conducted with each candidate via Zoom.  

The successful candidate, Tony Smith, is English and a fluent French speaker, who had undertaken a similar interim position 12 months previously. He was offered the role, accepted and started on 26th March. 

Onboarding - Success

Full onboarding has taken place remotely. The candidate is using his own technology but has been given access to all relevant business systems. In extraordinary and challenging circumstances, the client has been able to effectively source the talent required to progress, and the candidate has been able to successfully commence work remotely.

Candidate's View

“I was very impressed by the service that BIE provided on this position. Shortly after contacting me about the opportunity the seriousness of Covid-19 became apparent and the process became very different to any I’ve experienced before. Alex guided me through these changes, kept me informed and I started the assignment remotely last week with interviews taking place on Zoom.

It’s early days but there’s lots to be done and I feel like I’m making an impact already.”

Tony Smith, Interim Finance Consultant

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