MitreFinch

CFO leads Mitrefinch’s sale from LDC to Advanced (trade sale)
Ian Jefferson led the transition from hardware to SaaS, which resulted in impressive international growth and double revenue

Background

Mitrefinch is a SaaS business, which provides workforce management solutions to companies across the world.

LDC believed that the Management team, led by Debbie Guppy, could transition Mitrefinch from a hardware to a SaaS-first vendor, and take it on an accelerated growth journey.

Having received their first private equity investment of over £20 million from LDC in 2016, Mitrefinch was looking to appoint a CFO to:

  • Transition from a hardware focus to a SaaS platform
  • Establish the rigour, systems, processes and financial reporting demanded by LDC,
  • Support the Mitrefinch team to re-engineer the business model and associated company culture to a SaaS model
  • Join the Board and provide strategic direction

Rowan Executive Search was retained by LDC to search, assess and appoint a suitable CFO.

Journey

Working closely with LDC and Chair Ian Kelly, it was clear that Mitrefinch needed to change the whole board to allow a successful growth journey. 

Rowan, as an experts in Executive Search and SME Teams:

  • Developed a strong understanding of the challenge involved in the transition and delivery of LDC’s plan to transform Mitrefinch into a SaaS-first offering
  • After Rowan’s briefing meeting, it was clear that Mitrefinch required a “yo-yo” CFO
    • Someone who can provide the strategic guidance to the board & company…
    • Yet still be hands-on and into the detail when implementing solutions.

Through this Search process, Colin White was successfully appointed. Colin had relevant B2B experience of investment and exit with the Nanoco Group and others, where he had previously worked at the CFO level.

Given the desire to move to SaaS, it was important that the appointed CFO has demonstrable experience of:

  • Recurring revenue models
  • Re-engineering a business’ thinking & behaviour
  • Changing the way a business enters a market
  • …however, Rowan encouraged Mitrefinch to consider candidates that didn’t necessarily come from a software background – experience of recurring revenue was much more important, particularly within AIM listed companies and similar

Impact

Ian was a great fit for Mitrefinch and was part of the Board team, which, over a 4 year period:

  • Successfully led the company away from hardware and into SaaS / recurring revenue model
  • Established the rigour and reporting required by LDC
  • Represented the needs of the both the business and the PE House very well
  • Doubled revenues to £24 million (the majority of which is now recurring)
  • Increased employee count by 64%
  • Extended nternational presence through both organic & acquisitive growth
  • Sold the company to Advanced (the third largest British software and services company in the UK) for a significant (undisclosed) return on investment for LDC

“Ian [Jefferson] had exactly the right balance of detail and strategic ability for this type of investment. We would certainly see him as an ideal candidate for something of similar size in future”