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Head of Financial Planning & Analysis

Who we are

FirstGroup plc is a FTSE 250 company and leading transport operator in the UK and North America. During the last year around 2 billion passengers relied on us to get to work, to school or college, to visit family and friends and much more. Each day every one of our 100,000 employees works hard to deliver vitally important services for our customers.

We are one of the UK's most experienced rail operators, carrying around 140m passengers across our three franchises and our open access operation.

Purpose of role

The Head of Financial Planning and Analysis is responsible for the budgeting and forecasting across First Rail, along with ongoing performance analysis and insight.  The Head of Financial Planning and Analysis is also responsible for providing reporting to the plc board and for the monthly business reviews with the Group CEO and CFO as well as other directors and senior members of the Group Finance team.

Key accountabilities

  • Responsible for assisting the Finance Director/Divisional CFO with delivering annual budgets, performance targets, key performance indicators and a five-year plan for each business planning cycle
  • Leads and coordinates the planning, forecasting and performance reporting cycle, presenting robust operational insight and strategic recommendations, guiding and influencing decisions made by the First Rail Leadership Team
  • Reviews the portfolio of businesses and challenges the performance, evaluating any business opportunities and threats
  • Drives the reporting of financial, performance, milestone and headcount information in board reports, other related documents and business unit(s) planning, forecasting and performance cycle reporting outputs, including clear strategic prioritisation frameworks
  • Drives the sharing and use of the appropriate financial, performance and milestone information utilising business and finance intelligence to enable strategic finance partnering reporting and challenge
  • Builds the company's five-year plan and annual financial budget working with the Senior Finance Leadership team and ensuring all Train Operating Companies (TOCs) are aligned to the divisional budget
  • Controls the three-year planning, forecast and budget process
  • Provides input to external stakeholder reporting
  • Works with Group Finance to provide sensitivity analysis on guidance and potential outcomes
  • Critically review and analyse larger Capex ahead of submission to NC/RM for approval
  • Provide insight and analysis on potential acquisitions
  • Provides reports to external stakeholders, rating agencies and regulators as and when required

Qualifications and memberships

  • Educated to degree standard or equivalent
  • Qualified accountant (i.e. CIMA/ ACA /ACCA) or equivalent

Job specific knowledge and skills

  • Interpretation and Analysis of Financial/
    Performance Information
  • Management reporting and external reporting
  • Business Planning and Performance Reporting Processes
  • Continuous improvement
  • Systems and software
  • Risk and control
  • Commercial acumen
  • Professional accounting principles and standards
  • Cost accounting

Relevant experience

  • Significant previous experience in FP&A, at a group, divisional and / or entity level
  • Experience within Rail would be useful but is not essential
  • Head office / group finance experience would be advantageous but is also not essential

What you'll get in return

· Minimum of 10% contribution to your Pension (5% employer and 5% employee)

· 25 days Holiday plus National Bank Holidays

· Travel Offers for Bus and Rail*

· Free Bus Travel on your local FirstGroup Operated Network

· Payroll Giving – donate directly from your pay to a Charity of your Choice

· Shopping Discounts including discounts and cashback on electrical goods, your weekly shop, holidays, cinema trips, car insurance, upgrading your mobile and lots more

· All employee Share Schemes* 

o Save as You Earn - gives you the opportunity to save a regular amount each month for three years. At the end of the savings period, you can use your savings to buy shares at a discounted price set at the start of the Scheme, or take your savings as cash.

o Buy as You Earn - allows you to buy shares each month, with 2 free ‘matching' shares for each 3 shares you buy. You can vary the amount you save, or stop it at any time. You need to participate in the scheme for at least 3 years in order to receive the matching shares.

· Employee Assistance Helpline – free, confidential employee support service provided by an independent provider

*after 6 months of employment

FirstGroup plc welcomes applications from a diverse range of candidates regardless of background, gender, race, religious beliefs, disability, sexual orientation or age. We aspire to be a diverse and inclusive organisation because we believe that diversity brings benefits for our customers, communities and our people. Valuing our differences and drawing on our collective knowledge and experience helps us develop new services, open up new markets and broaden our customer.

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Capital House London
Capital House, Chapel St, London, England, NW1 5DH
  • Ref:
  • Company:
  • Website Skillset:
    All Other Roles
  • Contract Type:
    Permanent - Full Time
  • Full Time / Part Time:
    Full Time
  • Contracted Hours:
  • Location:
    Capital House London
  • Closing Date:
    16 December 2019
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