Interim CFO – optimising your time between permanent roles – Andre Gaylard

Andre is a strategic and commercial executive who enjoys leading dynamic and growth-oriented organisations and teams. He has over 15 years’ experience gained in New Zealand listed companies in CFO and General Management roles. He has extensive global and local experience gained across Software / Technology, Oil & Gas, Energy, FMCG / Retail, and Financial Services sectors.

Andre is skilled in developing, communicating, and driving strategy and planning across all levels of an organisation. He is adept in identifying and executing commercial opportunities for value, building and leading high-performing teams, and communicating with all stakeholders.

Andre used the time between permanent employment to gain some valuable experience as an Interim CFO. We sit down with Andre to talk through his experience.

You’ve had a very successful career in permanent CFO roles. What was it that attracted you to consider an Interim CFO role?

Having worked in diverse industries, I gained a broad set of skills. After leaving a full-time CFO role, I wanted to evaluate my future and decide how to best utilise my expertise. Interim CFO roles offered a chance to apply my skills while allowing time for reflection.

Did you approach the Interim CFO role with a different mindset than how you would when starting a new permanent role?

Yes, interim roles are similar to consulting roles. There’s limited time to understand the business and industry. I always aim to add significant value to any company I work with, so this focus was heightened in an Interim CFO role.

What were the biggest challenges/learnings in the role?

The First Mortgage Trust opportunity was rewarding. I brought valuable skills and perspectives that were appreciated, which allowed me to focus my efforts on areas that added the most value. Getting to know the people and processes takes time, so I needed to avoid assumptions until I fully understood the situation.

In a limited timeframe, what was your approach to getting an understanding of the business and making an impact?

In my three-month Interim CFO role, I aimed to make a difference and prepare the business for a permanent CFO. I asked many questions to grasp how the business operated and what the key value drivers were. Listening and asking open-ended questions helped people share their knowledge with me.

What advice do you have for businesses who are thinking about taking on an Interim CFO?

Consider experience over age. Many skills are more transferable than employers may think. Approach the search for an Interim CFO with an open mind to utilise a candidate’s experience in your industry.

What advice do you have for any Accounting and Finance professionals looking to make a move into the Interim CFO space?

Interim CFO roles can bridge between permanent positions or provide variety. Be aware of the value you offer and ensure your interests align with the employer’s to make the experience worthwhile. Enjoy your short time working together.

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