Case Study

Bonhill Group – Transforming the finance function

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In Summary

Bonhill Group PLC (Bonhill) was an AIM stock market listed leading B2B media company providing business insight, events, data and analytics propositions to international technology, financial services and diversity business communities. It was located in central London, with offices in New York, Hong Kong and Singapore.

The Situation

Bonhill was focused on building a market leading brand within its chosen business communities, expanding beyond the UK and into large, or fast growing, international territories, and developing a high value core proposition. To enable them to deliver on their wider business objectives, Bonhill was looking for a talented interim Finance Director to further build on and strengthen its finance function.

The successful candidate was David Griffith, an experienced interim Finance Director, with significant expertise from across a variety of industries. Having worked extensively for high net worth individuals, private equity and plc (AIM), David brought a depth of experience which perfectly suited the opportunity with Bonhill.

The Challenges

David was required to work closely with the CFO and GFC to make a number of improvements within the finance team. These included implementing further integration of completed acquisitions; building additional functionality into already implemented systems; settling a relatively new finance team into their roles, providing clear objectives and KPIs; while also ensuring the invoicing of the current business was brought up to date.

He needed to take line responsibility for credit control specifically, with a particular emphasis on reducing cash tied up in debtors, with the end result of having processes and people in place to ensure those gains would not be subsequently lost. He also needed to conduct an independent review of the existing finance team, their roles and the suitability.

It was also imperative that David found a way to bring the team together successfully to implement the changes needed.

The Outcome

David made a significant impact, delivering on all targets outlined. He introduced a reliable daily cash forecasting process and discipline. All invoicing was brought up-to-date and systems were put in place to ensure it was maintained.

He provided clear structure and responsibilities for staff to work within, which led to increased motivation and greater efficiency. There were significant improvements in communication and cooperation between finance and business heads, both in the UK and overseas, as well as improvements in basic systems brought into operation.

Trade debtors werereduced by 40% (£7m to £4.2m). On-going trading was reduced to 53 days DSO and a systematic plan wasimplemented to recover residual historic debts. A systematic process of credit control and review was introduced, with clear targets for finance staff.

Candidate's View

"The team at BIE are highly professional and diligent. They presented a clear brief, which was well articulated, and provided regular communications during the assignment. They have good payment systems in place and are refreshingly straightforward to do business with."
David Griffith, Interim Finance Director

Client's View

“After a busy two years of transformation and acquisition the Bonhill Group finance function wanted to finalise the implementation of new group wide systems and practices and improve our credit control and cash management. BIE understood our requirements and rapidly produced a number of relevant candidates. We chose David because of his track record and his ability to fit within the business. David delivered results which far exceeded our expectations and left internal processes and credit collection disciplines much improved. His achievement was all the more remarkable given it was all conducted remotely due to Covid-19. I highly recommend David Griffith for his results oriented and practical approach, expectation management and communication skills with his team and peers."
Simon Stilwell, CEO at Bonhill Group PLC

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