16th December 2015

Financial Controller for Valentina, an eight-strong chain of Italian family restaurants and delicatessens.

About Valentina

Today, the Valentina team, spearheaded by third generation family members, Fabio, Gabriella, Antonio, Marco and Carmine not only offer an extensive delicatessen range, including fresh hams and salamis, cheeses and traditional antipasti, but also a complete range of store cupboard essentials – as well as specials, cooked from the finest ingredients every day in our their own kitchen. Having opened in Tower Bridge earlier this year, they are about to open their ninth restaurant at Clapham Junction in November.

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Valentina is a chain of eight Italian family restaurants and delicatessens based in South London founded in 1991. There is also a wholesale division in the group.

The company needed to recruit a financial controller to improve standards of financial management and reporting.   Up until this point, all of the day-to-day processing was being carried out by bookkeepers, with management accounts and salary preparation for 90 staff carried out by the external accountants. However, the company had an immediate requirement to recruit for the new role as it was growing and needed stronger financial management and control.

The business was successful and established with clear expansion plans. As there had been no senior finance person in the business before, there was a need to get it right first time, and find someone who could take charge. In fact, they had already initiated the process themselves; however, they had been unable to identify any suitable applicants.


From the outset we worked with the CEO and the MD to understand the issues and challenges in the business which included taking into account existing staff and how the new person would integrate. An initial meeting was held where we agreed the job description which covered the key priorities of the role and initial targets of bringing the management accounts and salary preparation in –house to reduce costs and increase control. Additionally the new financial controller would be responsible for reviewing the systems and procedures, supporting management and developing the team.

After agreeing an exclusive approach we carried out a search and identified a number of potential candidates who we met and interviewed face-to-face. After our initial interviews we selected a shortlist of candidates who we believed would be able to deliver on the job description, the initial targets and lead and develop the team to put forward to our client. CVs were then sent to the client along with our notes as to why we considered them suitable.

Following a robust three-stage interview process, a successful candidate who had a stable job history and experience within a similar role was selected.

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