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In Conversation with Fi Wallace, Associate Director at Renoir

In Conversation with Fi Wallace, Associate Director at Renoir

Fi Wallace is Associate Director at Renoir leading interim general & specialist finance placements within treasury, tax, M&A, investor relations at Renoir operating from our London office.

 

1. Who is Fi Wallace? Tell us a bit about yourself and your background.  

 Originally, I’m Scottish, but spent most of my childhood growing up in England. I went to Kingston University in London studying Human Geography and Business – post travelling the world and graduated in 2012.  

I fell into recruitment in July 2013. I’ve worked for a FTSE 250 for 9 years and 2.5 years working for a boutique specialist finance firm leading and developing desks in interim specialist finance across the UK.   

Outside of work, I’m a retired rugby player, I played for Rosslyn Park in London for 10 years, so I spend more time watching rugby now than playing. Other passions of mine include wine, food and travel and I love to spend time with my family and friends. I recently got married and we’re based in Southeast London.    

 

2. What inspired your focus on interim leadership in finance, and what unique value have you seen it bring to organisations?   

My initial interest in finance stemmed from my degree. 

That has evolved over the last 11 years in finance recruitment. I love supporting businesses in finance that are going through growth, challenges and transformation. For me finance sits at the heart of a business and so to partner with individuals that drive not only change but contribute to continuity of businesses is incredibly interesting and exciting.  

I love partnering with finance leaders that drive forward and accelerate value businesses it could range from refinancing a business, creating things like cash visibility through to creating new teams and overall seeing individuals and teams succeed.  

 

3. What are the key qualities of effective interim leaders in C-suite and board-level positions?  

  • Strong Leadership and Decision-Making  
  • Adaptability and Crisis Management  
  • Strategic Vision and Execution 
  • Communication and Interpersonal Skills 
  • Experience and Expertise
  • Problem-Solving and Analytical Abilities 
  • Financial Acumen
  • Operational Efficiency 

 

4. What is your approach to matching interim CFOs with the specific needs of private equity-backed businesses?  

 In an increasingly tough economy, we have seen the competition for seasoned Interim CFO’s heighten especially in private equity.  

Specifically aligning the needs of the business and ensuring technically the Interim CFO is able to navigate areas like geopolitical uncertainties, challenging fundraising markets and areas like transformation, digitialisation & change.  But equally making sure they’re culturally aligned with the business and in most cases if possible, finding an interim CFO that has private equity experience before always helps. 

 I think also as much as possible they can into the office to be front and centre with stakeholders.  

 

5. What advice would you offer leaders looking to make the transition into interim or fractional work? 

I would seriously think about it first! In my experience it’s a major shift especially if you’re moving across into interim or fractional work from a permanent role.  

It can be a leap of faith – it can be uncertain and it’s challenging but with the caveat that it can be incredibly rewarding. Especially in a leadership role and in businesses that are going through change and challenge, and I would be prepared to immerse yourself quickly. Without sounding like a cliché recruiter, you need to be able to hit the ground running and be confident in what you’re delivering. Speak to your network, people that have made the move into interim and understand firsthand what you’re letting yourself into.  

 

6. Why did you join Renoir? 

For me it was the opportunity to be part of further building and developing an interim business within a wider highly successful global platform alongside an interim industry expert. Putting all of my knowledge from the last 11 years and broadening into wider interim general finance as well as still actively recruiting within the Interim Specialist Finance space. The other part that really stood out were the people that interviewed me! 

If you would like connect with Fi for any advice on your finance hiring, please contact fi.wallace@reniorinterim.com.


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