Company background

Headquartered in Leeds, Bailie Group is a family owned group of professional services agencies and consultancies with the collective mission to invest in people and ideas that make a positive difference and properties that inspire. They work on projects which keep people safer, help the UK transport system move more effectively, connect citizens with social services in their local area, provide content channels for industries like the automotive sector, and get equipment to the front line so it’s safe to use and trains our military to be the best they can be.

Bailie Group has a keen focus on operating ethically and responsibly. It continues to invest in new technologies and growth opportunities, both organic and through the acquisition of complementary businesses, to improve its customer offering.

The brief

Committed to delivering unparalleled service to its clientele, Bailie Group required an experienced CFO to oversee the strategic financial function and shared services of the Group.

The role would work closely with Fergus Bailie (Bailie Group’s CEO), the other family owners and the Group MDs to ensure financial targets are being set and achieved to help drive shareholder value and sustainable profitable growth.

The ideal candidate would bring strong financial expertise, commercial acumen and experience of driving high performance teams and a growth agenda.

The process

Directorbank’s James Searby conducted a full executive search process to identify potential candidates through a combination of research, referrals and network assessment. Ultimately, Kieran Eblett was successfully appointed to the role. 

The result

Kieran is a young, dynamic and accomplished commercial and operational CFO with a breadth of sector experience from high growth SMEs.

Most recently Kieran was at Harrogate-based Lights4Fun, a leading online decorative lighting retailer with millions of customers worldwide. As CFO, he led a successful management buyout with private equity partner NorthEdge Capital after which he stepped up to the Managing Director role.

He was also FD of Microgard, a PPE equipment provider, where he professionalised the finance function and managed the acquisitions of a key customer and key supplier before leading the financial side of a successful sale to Ansell.