Company overview

SandpiperCI is the largest retailer in the Channel Islands, with a high-quality portfolio of brands covering food, clothing and specialist products. In food, it operates franchise stores for Morrisons, Iceland and M&S Jersey, along with its own chain of convenience stores. Non-food brands include Apple, Costa Coffee, Burger King and George.

The company operates over 80 stores across Jersey, Guernsey, Gibraltar and Spain as well as the Islands’ largest covered shopping centre, Liberty Wharf. It employs 1,100 staff, conducts 280,000 transactions a week within the Channel Islands, and supports more than 50 local suppliers.


After almost twelve successful years with the business, the incumbent CFO, Stephen Harrison, approached Directorbank’s George Heppenstall to identify a successor to enable him to make the transition to a NED role within SandpiperCI. The successful candidate would lead the finance function of the business whilst supporting the CEO, Tony O’Neill, with investor relations and future strategy.

The position required a proven CFO with experience of working for large international retail businesses and a track record of leading corporate transactions.


George – with support from Faye Middleton, Head of Research – undertook a thorough mapping of the grocery retail sector encompassing both Private Equity backed and listed businesses whilst leveraging Directorbank’s network of advisors and business leaders from the target sectors. Suitable candidates were pinpointed and their experience qualified against the Client brief. Following a successful interview process, Tony van der Hoorn was appointed to the role.


Tony is a hugely experienced retail CFO having worked for several blue chip organisations. With broad commercial and governance understanding, he has a proven track record in improving business performance and implementing change.

Most recently he was the CFO of Farmlands, New Zealand’s largest retailer and distributor of products and services to the agricultural sector with 82 stores. Prior to this Tony held the role of Director of Corporate Finance for Sainsbury’s Supermarkets UK where he was responsible for providing support for all M&A activity. As a member of the Investment Board he was also responsible for an investment programme of over £1bn per annum. Other notable past roles include the CFO of Foodstuffs, NZ’s second largest business spanning grocery wholesale, retail, food services and logistics.