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Finance Director - GBS and Global Finance

Location Cambridge, England, United Kingdom Job ID R-081671 Date posted 05/21/2020

At AstraZeneca, we’re not afraid to do things differently. We’re resetting expectations of what a bio-pharmaceutical company can be. This means we’re opening up new ways to work, pioneering cutting edge methods and bringing unexpected teams together. At AstraZeneca, we challenge the norm, and that means we expect our people to as well. In order to develop life-changing medicines, we approach problems in a different way – agile, nimble, and focused on what our people need to make ground-breaking discoveries.

We have an exciting opportunity to join our finance team as the lead Finance Director, partnering to the Global Business Services (GBS) and Global Finance organisations. This is a key role, providing financial input, guidance and challenging how we shape the strategy and development of operational plans, in order to maximise the achievement of business objectives, productivity/efficiency and return on investment aspiration.

This is an amazing opportunity to manage an opex/capex budget of $350m with an employee group of 1,800 AZ employees. You will lead financial risk analysis and decision support to key leadership teams, by generating innovative ideas and driving business cases to amplify the impact of the GBS and Finance functions in the organisation. You will be an integral member of the GBS Leadership Team and Ops & Enabling Finance Leadership Team (LT), working with a wide range of Senior Finance and GBS leaders.

While working together with the VP GBS, you will generate innovative ideas based on synthesis of qualitative and quantitative information, and be an influential change agent from ideas to execution. There will be key decisions to support in both value and impact including: strategic change programme business case development, sourcing strategies and capacity decisions, recharging principles, resource allocation, commercial and/or procurement decisions, etc…

It will be essential to understand the role of Finance in the organisation, our strategy and operating model as well as build internal networks to influence and shape the operating model as it develops over time. You will also need to use external networks to benchmark financial performance.

Key focus areas will include:

Business Performance

  • Management of financial business cases, including in-flight reviews, post project reviews and financial risk profiling.
  • Clear understanding of primary business KPIs, and these link to productivity and efficiency and financial planning.
  • Joint accountability with the business for the accuracy of forecasts and leveraging sound understanding of the business model and financial drivers to challenge and influence the key cost drivers.
  • In partnership with the respective VP’s, manage the P&L as appropriate.
  • Ensure team provides reliable operational and financial forecasts, and resources are allocated to maximize value
  • Lead the financial planning cycle for the business units, setting stretch but attainable performance targets, aligned to strategy and operational plans. Partner with the global Centre of Excellence to provide accurate reporting and ensure timely flow of information from the CoE to the business unit/ project/central finance. Highlight sensitivities and risks.
  • Proactively drive and capture efficiencies including seeking cross functional process solutions
  • Lead finance and cross-functional teams and drive initiatives leading to increased business improvements.
  • Manage the financial control environment in line with Group Finance requirements, ensuring financial processes within the area are executed appropriately.
  • Direct preparation of all presentations for key business and finance review meetings, by liaising with CoE for accurate data, VPs to shape messaging and our Central Finance team to ensure performance is aligned to expectations.
  • Through best practice stakeholder management techniques, explore needs with internal customers and external suppliers and utilize this information to improve business results leveraging significant commercial and business acumen.
  • Lead on various business initiatives, as a GBS LT sponsor

Continuous Improvement, Governance and Coaching

  • Coach and lead a small team of Business Partners and Business Analysts to excellent performance. Drive teams to focus more on decision support activities and less on routine components of Business Performance Management through a combination of standardisation, tools and rationalisation to release capacity. Develop the professional capability of the finance team and financial understanding of non-finance managers.
  • Coach business team members on finance planning and business cases. Coach both direct and indirect (CoE) Finance team members to understand needs of the business customer.
  • Initiate changes to improve working practices and processes in Finance and communicate these amongst the Finance Network.
  • Lead Finance role in communicating governance and compliance standards and statutory regulations to non-specialist in a way that is understandable and relevant and relays the risk of commercial decisions effectively.
  • Lead insightful and proactive risk management processes to ensure the organisation’s regulations, rules and process are adhered to; highlighting areas of concern

Education, Qualifications, Skills and Experience


  • Qualified finance professional operating at the senior level in a global business.
  • Significant experience in shaping and influencing business decisions and specifically Operating models
  • Experience of financial management of shared service/GBS organisations, including recharging models
  • Strategic, analytical, agile and innovative thinking
  • Excellent communication and presentation skills (oral and written)
  • Collaborative Impact and Influence skills
  • Working across boundaries with Centres of Excellence, remote teams and 3rd party vendors


  • Experience of working in a global pharmaceutical organisation
  • Experience of leading teams
  • Ability to apply governance, risk and compliance components
  • Organisational Awareness – demonstrates knowledge of corporate business context

AstraZeneca embraces diversity and equality of opportunity. We are committed to building an inclusive and diverse team representing all backgrounds, with as wide a range of perspectives as possible, and harnessing industry-leading skills. We believe that the more inclusive we are, the better our work will be. We welcome and consider applications to join our team from all qualified candidates, regardless of their characteristics. We comply with all applicable laws and regulations on non-discrimination in employment (and recruitment), as well as work authorisation and employment eligibility verification requirements.

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Great culture, great work assignments, supportive management. Rotation opportunity within the company. They value inclusion and diversity.