Preparing an agile Fintech for an IPO
World RemitLondon, UK
Length of EA assignment
Number of EA Consultants provisioned
The shareholders issued a mandate to Exco to ensure the business was better prepared for a potential transaction.
Readying the organisation to fulfil such obligations was recognised as a significant task. This successful scale up business was entrepreneurial at its core, as a result, documentation and controls were somewhat lapse, undoubtedly not suitable for a US listing.
EA were selected as the organisation to manage the finance functions transition and to centrally control the full e2e programme, inc the associated governance framework.
We set about assessing the maturity of the organisation and its likely resistance to change. In close unison with the CFO, we met with his leadership team, probing on their understanding of the asks, evaluating their need for support and any desire for coaching.
Once we’d better understood the people challenges, we set about designing a governance framework that best suited the programmes objectives, paying very careful attention to the client’s propensity to veer away from bureaucratic controls. Once designed, we walked it through with all impacted parties and then set our collective focus towards planning.
Our immediate requirement was to capture and clarify scope, this was to be based on a high-level assessment of baseline requirements for a US listing. We did this through a process of having each vertical workstream define and document their mandate for change. With support from the EA team, we sought cross functional sign off for each requirement, ensuring major dependencies were captured, categorised, and accepted in the process.
The outcomes allowed us to dive into detailed planning for each area. To do so, we established an approach to planning that started with a collective understanding of milestones and their respective levels, e.g., level 1 (reported at Group Board), level 2 (reported at Steerco). This categorisation allowed us to wrap simple reporting and governance around the appropriate milestones, in addition this approach enabled the business to clearly understand the programmes true critical path.
Establishing the Programme Management Office (PMO), inclusive of Risk Management, Reporting, Planning, Financials, Assurance, and Governance was a simple process, but also one fraught with occasional resistance. We recognise that PMOs can be un-nerving, over-bearing, worse still, a blocker to progress. As a result, we sought to establish one that had light touch controls, simplified cadence (no duplication), but one where the plan was central, therefore critical to the programmes narrative. We were willing to adapt and accept give in some PMO areas, but never in the management of the plan.
Once the programme was mobilised in earnest and all teams were focussed on delivery execution, we were asked to provide additional capability into 5 core Finance Functional areas. Senior Consultants were deployed into Financial Control, Finance Operations, Process Improvements, Treasury, and Reconciliations. The SMEs were engaged to fully support the dedicated workstream leads, both with content rich advisory and analysis, and the management of their vertical plans and associated dependencies. The EA team became engrained within the wider organisation as engaged, and empowered specialists, often remediating, or documenting new processes in pursuit of a potential US listing or trade sale eventuality. In parallel, the EA Senior Managing Partner supported the CFO with the narrative for the Board and provided oversight to the wider teams as required.
Result / Impact
Financial Controla) Year-end statements produced to a suitable standard to allow conclusion of audited accounts, b) Implemented key controls designed to minimise risk of material misstatements, c) Accelerated the accounts close process from 37d to 20d
Financial OperationsA pre-requisite to a timely close was an ability to reconcile correspondent balances faster. EA supported the revised Fin Ops OD changes in support of manual recs, in parallel, we project managed the implementation of a new tool designed to enable more accurate posting of FX revenue
Financial ReportingImplementation of all identified key controls & known deficiencies – Especially the red flags identified through Audit
ProgrammeTransitioned support under a knowledge transfer basis back to the organisation, and elegantly moth balled programme activity for a potential future event
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