Company background

One of the fastest growing technology companies in the UK, Tharsus is an award winning designer and manufacturer of advanced machines and robots.

Providing innovative end-to-end solutions, they work with global businesses to discover and capitalise on opportunities, transform performance, enhance customer service and drive commercial success. Tharsus has delivered robust and progressive automation solutions for some of the best businesses around the world, including Automata, BMW, DHL, Ocado, Rolls Royce and Small Robot Co.

The brief

Tharsus is at an exciting inflection point in its development as it prepares for the introduction of its own logistics automation product range alongside its established service offerings. To help drive this ambition, the business required an exceptional CFO – a successor to the retiring incumbent – to oversee the finance function, support the growth strategy, and provide a commercial sounding board to the Directors.

Through Simon Thomas’s relationship with Tharsus’ NED Martin McCourt, Directorbank was invited to pitch for the assignment and were mandated to undertake the search.

The successful candidate would be a proven, commercially-minded finance professional from a B2B technology design and manufacturing business. Experience in a private equity-backed, fast growth environment was also ideal.

The process

After a thorough mapping, network referral and assessment process that involved profiling more than 100 candidates, six individuals were presented for interview. Richard Laycock was offered the position.


Richard is an Arthur Andersen-trained Chartered Accountant who assisted Stobart Group on their IPO before joining them as Group Financial Controller and later Group Finance Director. During his tenure, the business grew to become a FTSE 250 business with a £250m annual revenue and a £800m market cap. Richard’s sector experience includes aviation, logistics, civil engineering and renewable energy.