Company background

Longacre Medical Services comprises two businesses with a common ownership structure: Medical Screening Solutions and Pura Diagnostics.

Founded by industry experts Jonathan Benton and Richard Allison, Wokingham-based Medical Screening Solutions (MSS) is one of the UK’s leading providers of outsourced medical screening and testing services. Initially set up to provide a market-leading service to the protection insurance sector, the business has successfully expanded into the healthcare market. Gloucester-based Pura Diagnostics (Pura) is a provider of clinical laboratory services. It delivers routine and esoteric laboratory testing services such as haematology, biochemistry, virology and microbiology, and also specialises in biological monitoring and functional medicine.

Back in October 2019, both MSS and Pura underwent a Management Buyout and Growth Capital investment from Longacre Group. 

The brief

To further support their growth objectives, the leadership team recently decided to appoint its first Group Finance Director with full responsibility for developing and implementing the financial strategy, overseeing the day-to-day financial activities, leading a small finance team and providing a commercial sounding board to the Directors.

Stani Schmidt, co-founder of Longacre Group, has worked closely with Directorbank’s Simon Thomas on three CEO hiring projects and invited him to present to Jonathan and Richard on how he would approach fulfilling the role.

The business required a proven, commercial, finance professional with a track record in high-growth Healthcare/Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) companies. Experience in M&A and a PE and/or leveraged environment would be ideal as well as an understanding of regulatory/ insurance/ compliance requirements (both MSS and Pura are CQC certified). To further the Group’s high standard of product and service delivery, the appointee would bring financial structure, analysis, leadership and detail to the company and strongly support its collaborative and entrepreneurial culture.

The outcome

Upon winning the assignment, Simon identified a number of strong candidates from Directorbank’s well-established network, market mapping and referral sourcing. Eight candidates were presented for client interview including an internal recommendation for benchmarking purposes. Dawn Oatley was the stand-out candidate and appointed to the position.

Commercially-driven, Dawn brings extensive experience of financial, strategic and management leadership from several sectors including business services and manufacturing. She also has a strong track record in M&A, change management and process improvement, and is passionate about building a collaborative, open culture and strong communication links with stakeholders and other business functions.