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Oxford Direct ServicesExecutive Director of Finance

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Welcome from our Managing Director

Dear Candidate,

Thanks for taking an interest in ODS. As the Managing Director I probably would say this wouldn’t I…. but this is an incredible business. Well, two businesses actually. £70m plus turnover, 500 good souls, undertaking a huge range of public and commercial services. Since 2018 we have exceeded business plan expectations and proudly returned almost £40m in value to our shareholder. We build, maintain, fix, shift and clean across the Oxfordshire region.

Check us out on Companies House; Oxford Direct Services Limited and Oxford Direct Services Trading Limited. Although Covid threw a bit of a spanner in the works and so did a rather challenging financial systems implementation – that’s all behind us and we are growing. The plan is simple. Provide high quality, value for money public services on behalf of our shareholder, Oxford City Council. And grow a profitable business-to-business enterprise at scale. Over the next four years, our ambition is to grow the trading business from £13m revenue to £40m revenue. And we need a Finance Director to help us.

So, what do we want, is that you, and what do you want?

We need a finance professional to join our Executive Team. This is the team that runs ODS. Let’s assume this person is you. You have worked in finance in successful businesses. Probably at least two or three different organisations – profitable and growing – where you can draw from a range of situations and issues that you have helped fix, and you can apply this experience to a new context. Let’s be clear, you are a very experience finance expert and you are qualified. FM business experience would be very interesting to us, or somewhere that sells different services with different pricing strategies, some under contract, others as projects – in other words a mixed portfolio.

Our whole mantra of “Doing Good” is likely to resonate with you. How we do things is really important – we care a lot about profit (which gets reinvested back into public services) but also how we treat our people and our impact on the planet. Ideally your stakeholder management experience includes an understanding of the public sector and its nuances.

You must be an accomplished leader of people. The finance team is newly assembled so my challenge to you is make them the best team out there. We want someone who has a natural style which means that people follow you.

You will also be part of our executive team which leads the business, so you will need to look beyond finance. This is a hugely significant part of the job because whilst I am the MD, I will draw on the collective skills and experience of this team to deliver. I need someone with a voice and a rich tool kit of professional experience, to help us drive ODS hard and realise its ambition.

And an understanding of how local authorities work will really help you navigate in this environment and appreciate the pressures our shareholder faces.

What do you want? Well firstly a good package if I were you, including a strong salary, good holiday allowance, and a great pension. It’s an FD role – maybe your first – and you’ll have an opportunity to be a company director. You are hungry and on your way up, but to get to grips with the sheer complexity of the business it is going to take you a while, so the job is not a short-term stepping stone.

You like a fast-paced job with lots to do. I can promise you a high degree of professional autonomy with an expectation that you can lead the finance service in best practice. But you will need to collaborate – our success is built on working together. I can also promise you there will be frustrations – but that’s any job, right?

What do you think then? Do have a look at the information on the website, and I hope to meet you later in the process.


Simon Howick, Managing Director