Case Study
Footwear & Accessories

Chief Financial Officer


The Client:

A complex and hugely successful northern European footwear and accessories brand, headquartered in Switzerland and distributed globally through more than 1200 stores and 3000 shop-in-shops in 90+ countries. In addition, it has a thriving B2B division developing leathers for some of the world’s biggest luxury brands.

The Brief:

They needed to appoint a Chief Financial Officer to ensure complete integrity in all fiscal matters across their 20 European subsidiaries. The brief insisted that the successful candidate not only had to be based in Switzerland already (and moreover be willing to live in a small German speaking town) but they also had to have global experience, i.e. to have lived and worked abroad at some point in their careers.  In addition, they had to be fluent German speakers working in the premium/luxury goods industry with a good understanding of European culture.

As well as providing financial guidance and advice to the CEO and senior leadership team, this person would be responsible for accounting, budgeting, financial analysis, credit collection and local taxes. Too, they would have to lead and develop a team of 13 finance professionals, maximising the performance of each team member.

The Search:

Following the stringent parameters of the brief, our consultant conducted a thorough search in Switzerland and, incredibly, shortlisted eight potential candidates, including one who lived in the next town and who was managing a similar sized business.

The Placement:

Everything progressed smoothly until an issue arose regarding the successful candidate’s contract – he had two, one from his native country and one from the subsidiary in Switzerland where he now lived and worked.  He had to travel back to his native country to sever the original contract, resulting in a number of legal complications, but we were able to settle this and the individual is now successfully installed in his new job.