MPM – Finance Controller (promoted to CFO) – Rowan Case Study

Financial Controller appointed by Rowan, promoted to CFO and led MPM to PE sale for 4.4x return (from ECI Mar 16 to 3i Nov 2020). David Millward appointed as FC after first stage ECI Private Equity investment.


MPM are a fast growing branded products business in the pet food space. With turnover increasing year on year by 25%, they took PE investment from ECI in early 2016 in order to:

  • Capitalise on growth opportunities in the UK
  • Increase international sales presence
  • Solidify internal processes to support growth

Rowan were initially retained by MPM COO, James Bracewell, to appoint a Financial Controller to support the business through their PE journey.


Rowan worked closely with COO, James, in order to understand the key challenges and opportunities that MPM faced post-investment:

  • Significant growth opportunity in the USA
  • Foreign exchange strategy required
  • New SAGE system implementation also required
  • Change management environment

As experts in Executive Search, Rowan:

  • Saw past what the CV should look like & understood the core attributes & skillset needed –ability to support a dynamic, change management culture; rather than an on-paper, sector-experienced FC
  • Leveraged our network of Finance professionals with PE experience
  • Assessed candidate ability to manage teams through changes of ownership


David Millward was appointed as Financial Controller with a strong candidate from the outset of our Search & Assessment process with experience of:

  • Supporting the PE transaction of a national, leading medical provider through a period of unstable change
  • Leading finance functions through change of ownership
  • Implementing strong systems – operationally & financially
  • Since joining, David has:Built the company’s full financial model which has been the cornerstone of their further PE development
  • Given the business & investors the confidence to expand internationally
  • Achieved promotion to CFO within 4 years at MPM.
  • Supported MPM’s sale to 3i group (Nov 2020) at 4.4x return for eci

Quote: James Bracewell, COO, MPM Products

“The Rowan team has supported MPM for a number of years and has consistently demonstrated a clear understanding of the business and its needs. MPM is a fast-paced organisation and Rowan has always matched that pace whilst also running a thorough and thoughtful process.  The wider Rowan team is well-established and always proves to be a sensible sounding-board around people decisions. Rowan led the recruitment of our Group Financial Controller and displayed a clear grasp of the role and the cultural fit required. The calibre of candidates generated was consistently high with the candidates well-briefed on the business and the role.”

Quote: David Millward, CFO, MPM Products

“Having first used Rowan as a candidate I found it refreshing that they not only listened to my career aspirations, they took the time to challenge and understand the rationale behind them. Once this was understood, Rowan only recommended relevant roles to me and were extremely supportive during the recruitment process, including reviewing and making recommendations on a presentation to the Board which formed part of the interview process. Following my experience of using Rowan as a candidate, I have used Rowan to recruit for roles within the team.”