Blue Sky Thinking

Head of Risk & Compliance

The Brief

The Avalon Trustee Company Ltd are a leading private-equity backed SME financial services business located in Cheshire. Founded in 1990 with the vision of providing transparent and affordable funeral plans that customers could trust. In November 2012 Lonsdale Capital Partners arranged for a group of investors to buy a majority stake and set about developing the business into a leading player both in the UK and in Europe. As part of their growth it was decided that stronger emphasis on compliance and better risk management would be key to achieving long-term sustainable growth.

The Search

Retained by the Chief Executive, Sherrington Associates were asked to conduct a thorough search of the financial services sector in the UK to identify highly capable senior risk and compliance leaders, preferably with a strong FCA background and experience of implementing risk and compliance strategy within a regulated financial services organisation. Finding someone that would match the culture of a private-equity backed SME would be pivotal.

The Result

After conducting a thorough search of the financial services sector in the UK, a longlist of candidates was identified however due to the client’s North West location, a number of them were discounted and we reviewed the remaining CVs with our client ahead of assessment. Affinity with the private-equity investors was crucial to securing the confidence to appoint so rigorous assessment of the candidate’s cultural competencies as well we their technical risk and compliance skills was carried out. We successfully secured an appointment for a senior candidate with a lengthy track record of delivery in senior risk management positions with RBS who went on to provide invaluable knowledge and expertise in regulatory compliance and risk management for the business as they continued to grow. The CEO said at the time…

Sherrington Associates performed because they took the time to listen and learn. Working in a rapidly evolving private-equity backed business requires agility and experience and we are delighted with the candidates Sherrington presented.

Steve Chambers - CEO, Avalon Trustee Company