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Group Head of Risk & Audit

Odgers Berndtson
Cheshire, UK (Hybrid)
Competitive package
Closing date
24 Nov 2023

Job Details

The Role

Headquartered in the North West, our client is a leading international speciality chemicals business with operations in 17 countries, serving markets across EMEA, APAC and the Americas. Following a strategic review, the business is now seeking to appoint a Group Head of Audit & Risk to create and lead a best-in-class function. This is a high-profile role, reporting to the Group CFO and interfacing directly with the Group CEO and Group Audit and Risk Committee (ARC). Through the implementation of an Enterprise Risk Management process and the operation of a risk-based audit programme, the individual will provide assurance to the ARC and Main Board that the systems of internal control and risk management are effective in mitigating key business risks. This role offers a rare opportunity to act as business partner and strategic advisor to the CFO and to help shape a global business as it continues to grow and mature.


The Individual

Our client is seeking a resilient and experienced individual who can grow and develop the Group’s Audit & Risk function, sell the benefits of internal audit and influence multiple stakeholders across territories and functions. Leadership will be essential to success in this role, in particular someone who is authentic, has the highest levels of integrity and is able to articulate an enterprise-wide vision, in a way that resonates with colleagues who are not used to a Group mentality.

This is a key role within a small Group Finance function of a large multi-national, ideal for someone with the vision to be able to build an effective global internal audit function from the bottom up, using both internal and external resources. Ideal for someone with the agility to be performing an audit or recommending process improvements to business management one week and then presenting on the strategic risk roadmap to the ARC the next week.


Key Experience

  • Qualified accountant with experience of auditing large, listed entities or of operating at senior level within an internal audit function within a company of similar size and scale.
  • Experience of establishing best practice and an ability to drive ongoing improvements.
  • Significant experience of risk management internationally.
  • Experience of compliance auditing and fraud investigation.
  • Demonstrated ability to make risk management and internal audit a value added, pragmatic business activity.
  • Evidence of developing strong internal and external relationships across a broad range of stakeholders, including at Board level.
  • A solid grounding in best practice finance operations within a world-class blue chip business or one of relevant scale (FTSE250)
  • A strong background in enterprise risk management and track record of driving risk management improvements.
  • Excellent ability to build and maintain stakeholder relationships, and influence effectively from local management to Board level
  • Proven expertise in evaluating risks and designing controls in accordance with the COSO Enterprise Risk Management framework
  • Knowledge / experience of Sarbanes-Oxley is preferred
  • Experience of working across multiple geographies with an appreciation for local and cultural nuances


Key Attributes

  • Strong technical credibility is essential, as are leadership skills to influence key stakeholders
  • High energy, low ego, hungry, hands-on, a ‘do-er’ with familiarity and appetite to thrive in a lean environment
  • Confidence to support and challenge the senior management teams & Board in equal measure.
  • Highly collaborative, a strong influencer, works well across different stakeholders
  • Ability to articulate and communicate complex topics and synthesize messages for a broader audience. Adept at simplifying complexity.
  • Demonstrates concern and interest in others, promoting a healthy and sustainable culture
  • Has humility and self-awareness of own strengths and weaknesses
  • Willingness to travel (estimated 30%)
  • Good sense of humour

Although headquartered in Cheshire, our client has adopted hybrid working.


We are a global executive search, interim management, talent assessment and leadership development firm. We have the scale, reach and experience to serve all major markets but we remain lean, flexible and innovative.

Being a challenger is at the heart of our cultural DNA. We have a track record of anticipating our client's needs and challenging the status quo. We are collaborative experts, located across all major global cities.

Our clients come from every shape and size of organisation, from start-ups to multinational corporations, and span the private, not-for-profit and public sectors, with expertise in business, government, academic and public life. Many of our clients work with us time and again. All our clients understand the value of finding the right person for the right job at the right time – and in the right way.

Company info
020 7529 1111
20 Cannon Street

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