Grocery Retail – Chief Financial Officer (CFO) – Toronto


About the Company

In a recent review, one shopper said, ‘I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE THIS PLACE’! Another gushed, ‘best Natural Food Grocery in the city with a huge array of natural foods, organic options and unique choices. Eat Clean and Enjoy!’

Launched as a passion project in 1981, our client has grown into a thriving health products retailer with 13 stores across Southern Ontario and plans for many more. They exist to help people live longer, happier and healthier lives by providing the highest quality product offerings, a unique focus on education, and exceptional customer service. They assist their customers navigate the confusing world of health and nutrition to craft a plan specific and most beneficial to their individual needs.

Since their very beginnings, our client has also been dedicated to building community through food. They partner with local communities, from farmers to businesses, neighbours, artists and artisans that share similar values. They source responsibly with a commitment to the highest quality and healthiest product standards in the market. They advocate tirelessly for honesty in food and a positive impact on the overall ecosystem. Our client leads the way to great health for people, their communities, and the planet.

To help fuel the pursuit of its purpose-driven mission, our client has begun preparing the company to go public. Driving and coordinating this collective undertaking will be the responsibility of the newly created role of Chief Financial Officer (CFO).

Scope of the Position

Reporting to the CEO, the CFO will be responsible for overseeing all financial reporting and results of the company. This will encompass the administrative, financial, IT and risk management operations of the company, including the continuing refinement of its financial and operational strategy, metrics tied to that strategy, and the ongoing development and monitoring of control systems designed to preserve company assets and report accurate financial results.

In addition, the CFO will lever the company’s positioning, momentum and growing markets to help take the company public. The individual will bring experience in capital markets and a driving, hands-on, ‘lead from the front’ approach while nurturing a collaborative culture of excellence. The CFO will also serve as the chief financial spokesperson for the organization.

This is an outstanding opportunity that features:

• Strong industry and company growth
• Committed and well-funded ownership
• Transparent, open, friendly culture
• Purpose driven organization
• An opportunity to make a real difference

Functional Tasks

  • Work with the Board of Directors and members of the senior management team to refine the strategic plan, priorities and options.
  • Act as a key business partner to the CEO and the operating team providing financial guidance and counsel on all matters relating to the finance function including strategic business planning, budgeting and forecasting, business analysis, and corporate growth strategies. Take ownership for results along with the management team.
  • Oversee and manage the accounting, tax, insurance, budget, credit and treasury and capital structure functions ensuring that the interests of all stakeholders are served.
  • Support the ongoing direction, performance management and developmental support of the finance team. Continue to build capabilities and organizational maturity. Focus the team to support and enable the growth of the business, new market development, sector leadership and profitability.
  • Report regularly and proactively to the board of directors on results and plans going forward.
  • Leverage a detailed understanding of ‘what’s driving the numbers’ to act as a key strategic and operational contributor to the overall growth of the business.
  • Ensure appropriate internal controls are in place for the benefit of all stakeholders.
  • Manage relationship with audit firm for annual audit/income tax activities and all related matters.
  • Oversee the management and coordination of all fiscal reporting activities for the organization including: organizational revenue/expense and balance sheet reports.
  • Serve as a champion for enterprise excellence and the maximizing of value creation.
  • Ensure that finance organization is structured and sized so as to be optimally aligned to the needs of the business.
  • Oversee all purchasing and payroll activity for staff and participants.
  • Manage banking and other stakeholder relationships.
  • Manage financial relationships/contracts with investors, suppliers, customers and partners along with the CEO and other team members.
  • Effectively manage the company’s cash and securities positions and drive any supplementary initiatives deemed necessary by the company.
  • Remain informed about the business, put measurements and reporting dashboards into place enabling real time assessment of performance and ‘what’s over the horizon’.
  • Ensure that IT is not only aligned to the needs of the business but enables its growth.
  • Attend Board and Subcommittee meetings; including being the lead staff on the Audit/Finance Committee.
  • Ensure adequate cash flow to meet the organization’s needs.
  • Spearhead the process of listing the company on the TSX exchange
  • Ensure audited financial statements are in place and aligned with requirements for listing
  • Ensure that governance requirements are in place and compliant with Bill 198 including Board of Directors composition and responsibilities pertaining to the audit committee, compensation committee. Ensure that nominating committee is comprised of independent outside directors
  • Ensure that well-designed, documented and monitored disclosure controls and procedures are in place as well as internal controls over financial reports, including all relevant policies, procedures and operating principles at company locations
  • Ensure that a capital structure is in place suitable for public markets
  • Ensure that any related party dealings are identified, documented, and reviewed with attorneys and lead underwriter to ensure that they avoid or anticipate problems that could delay the TSX registration process or make the shares unattractive.
  • Ensure that an investor relations strategy is in place and diligently executed upon
  • Ensure that an effective communications plan is in place including press releases and other information pertaining to company and industry developments
  • Develop high level brand strategy around positioning the company in the financial community

Key Performance Deliverables

In light of the identified responsibilities, the following are specific deliverables that the position is designed to achieve.

  • Specific performance measures will be discussed and agreed upon with the successful candidate.

Competency Profile

The following competencies listed below define the role of CFO at our Client:

Strategic Approach
Develops a strategic plan to realize the vision. Revises strategy in light of changing circumstances. Takes a long-term view of organizational success. Works to clarify long term organizational goals. Able to stand back from immediate problems in order to focus on more far-reaching ideas.

Role Expertise
Demonstrates critical technical or professional knowledge/skills related to the role. Has thorough knowledge of relevant products, services and methods. Expands technical knowledge/skills and keeps up-to-date in own area of expertise.

Commercial Acumen
Applies appropriate commercial and financial principles. Understands situations in terms of costs, profits, added-value and return on investment. Appreciates the commercial impact of own work on the organization’s total expenses and revenues.

Results Orientation
Focuses strongly on achieving agreed upon outcomes and ensures that key objectives are met. Conveys a sense of urgency and drives issues to closure. Aims to improve upon past performance. Establishes aggressive personal targets and strives to achieve them.

People Management
Establishes and communicates clear priorities and sense of direction. Clarifies roles and responsibilities. Adapts management style to achieve optimum results.

Integrity & Sincerity
Inspires trust and supports others through own authenticity and following up on commitments. Maintains high ethical standards both personally and professionally. Shows consistency among principles.

Information Seeking
Consults widely for business or technical advice, probes for facts and obtains information from a wide variety of sources. Differentiates the critical from the irrelevant or trivial.

Team Skills
Helps to create a sense of team spirit and harmonious relations through cooperation and support. Balances personal goals with those of the team. Fosters collaboration among team members.

Preferred Experience and Education

The following indicates specific industry, academic and functional experience/qualifications that are important to the successful achievement of the identified responsibilities and performance deliverables:

  • A highly intelligent, strategically minded executive with superb communication and interpersonal skills and a willingness to roll-up his/her sleeves.
  • Knowledge and experience in being the CFO of a publicly traded company
  • CA or related financial designation
  • Regulatory/Compliance expertise/Investor Relations experience
  • Experience working with public boards
  • Strong team orientation well-suited to building consensus in a growing concern.
  • Southern-Ontario based or willingness to relocate to Southern Ontario.
  • A charismatic, inspirational leader rather than manager.
  • A minimum of 10 years of senior financial management experience preferably in a retail setting
  • Numeracy and fluency with numbers and their relationships. Attention to detail critical.
  • The ability to lead, to communicate clearly and articulately, to monitor and express strategy to both inside and outside constituencies
  • Solid operational skills and experience
  • The ability to put value creation into perspective and know what makes the business tick – a strong business understanding
  • Experience managing the IT function and with implementing new systems within the finance mandate
  • M&A experience.

Remuneration & Benefits

  • Highly competitive compensation package for the successful candidate.

If interested, please contact:

Robert Hebert
StoneWood Group
Bus: 416-365-9494 Ext. 777
[email protected]  

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