Head of Finance
Prodigy Finance, Cape Town
Funding shouldn't be a barrier to education, so they're revolutionizing international student loans.
Head of Finance
Prodigy Finance - Who we are
Prodigy Finance is a platform that enables financing for international postgraduate students at the world’s best universities, whilst delivering competitive financial and social returns to alumni, institutional and private investors.
This borderless and innovative model enables education loan financing to students from across the globe, whilst using predicted post-degree affordability rather than present-day salary. Since 2007, Prodigy Finance has extended over US$500 million through the platform to fund over 12,000 students from over 120 countries.
Our team of over 140 (and growing) is already truly global. Our head office is in London with much of the team being based in beautiful Cape Town. We also have an office in New York plus team members based across Europe and Asia.
We are funded by some of the best, pre-eminent institutions in the world including Index Ventures, Balderton Capital, AlphaCode, Credit Suisse and Deutsche Bank.
Why this is an amazing opportunity
This role is perfect for an exceptional finance leader who thrives in a complex environment, who wants to supercharge their career by experiencing first-hand what it is like to be part of an energetic, extremely fast growing company.
The sense of impact and reward will be huge. You will help to build a business which makes a very real difference in the world. Be a part of delivering socially responsible financial services to tomorrow’s leaders; make it possible for students from more than 100 countries to obtain the finances to fulfil their dream of studying at the world’s top universities and schools.
We are a non-hierarchical team; this means that you are going to get exposure to all aspects of our business immediately. You’ll own the role and its responsibilities and will work closely with the broader team. The opportunity to gain as much accountability as you can handle, and to have a huge influence on scaling the company, is completely in your hands.
Our team is very international and very sociable; you will interact with stakeholders in the business around the world on a regular basis. Being an organisation that’s passionate about education, we place a high value on learning and personal growth.
One of our goals is to build one of the top FinTech teams and cultures anywhere in the world. This means putting a lot of time into ensuring we only hire people with exceptional potential, and creating the best working environment possible. If you want to work somewhere where you're learning from some of the best brains in Fintech, this would be a good fit.
Why join Prodigy Finance
- Be a part of a pioneering global growth company
- Experience the excitement and learn from being part of an incredibly fast-growing young company. No kidding - exponential growth. Happening right now
- Be pivotal in scaling the business by identifying smart solutions and partners with tech at the heart of it
- Enjoy the agility and flexibility offered by a startup culture. A sociable, relaxed and friendly work environment (with a serious coffee culture where you can wear shorts to work)
- We will help you make your mark. Make a real impact on the business and experience a steep learning curve with huge opportunities to grow and develop
- Gain an inside perspective on the functioning of a venture-backed Fintech startup, backed by top VCs, learn day-to-day management and build functional expertise
- Build a platform that helps to make a very real difference in the world
What you will do in the role
Reporting to the Chief Financial Officer, you will have primary day-to-day responsibility for planning, developing, managing and controlling all finance-related activities and resources across the group.
You will provide the senior financial leadership and international expertise that enables improved decision-making and stakeholder reporting, while implementing and managing the formal processes and controls that are expected of a growing highly-regulated international business.
We will look to you to provide high-value technical accounting, tax and commercial insights and advice, and protect and grow the core value and profitability of our business by ensuring our financial controls, systems and processes are best in class on a global scale.
Specific responsibilities include:
- Manage and grow a high-performance finance team - on-board, develop and retain top professionals through training and mentorship, thought leadership and timely feedback
- Create, monitor and enforce appropriate financial frameworks, policies and procedures to ensure international accounting and business best practices are adhered to across the group
- Provide input on our financial, accounting, treasury, fiscal and regulatory strategies to optimise group financial performance, global corporate structure and strategic position
- Work with multiple internal and external stakeholders and advisers, and partner with cross-functional teams to deliver a world class finance function
What you will be accountable for
- Internal Financial Reporting & Budgets – lead and supervise all financial reporting processes, including the preparation and ongoing management of all budgets, financial models and consolidated management reports for all teams and entities in the group
- Cash Flow & Treasury – develop and implement appropriate processes and controls to manage cash and other liquid assets in a manner that best supports strategic objectives
- Revenue, Cost & Profitability Analysis – work with other senior colleagues to develop rigorous data and financial analysis capabilities to support decision-making across all functions
- Procurement – develop rigorous procurement processes for negotiation and ongoing account management of suppliers, including all banking, overhead and other operational relationships
- Stakeholder Reporting, Audit & Tax – full responsibility for the delivery of and compliance with the group’s external reporting requirements, including annual accounts, taxation and other regulatory financial returns across multiple international jurisdictions
- Financial Operations & Compliance – ensure that the group’s financial systems and controls are robust, compliant and support current activities and future growth plans
What you need to be great at
- Strategic and innovative thinking; can build a best-in-class functional roadmap, set high quality standards and strive for continuous improvement, strategically plan for expansion
- Capable of making decisions using sound judgment, ability to balance long-term thinking with short-term execution across multiple priorities
- Personal stature, gravitas in commercial decision-making, exceptional presentation skills and composure; able to influence, with strong communication and interpersonal skills across a number of stakeholder groups
- Problem-solving aptitude; able to define problems, listen well, be biased to action and find solutions, prepare responses to anticipated obstacles or risks, predict and avoid future problems or potential errors. Possess an outstanding ability to synthesize the essence of the business problem and present it in a clear and concise way to all stakeholders
- Functional team leadership; able to give clear direction and support to team members and gain the cooperation of individuals across the organisation whilst remaining calm under pressure
- Outstanding analytical thinking capability; highly numerate, execution and results orientated with strong attention to detail; logical, systematic, relentless focus on 100% accuracy
- Start-up DNA; resilient, gets things done, 80/20, carpe diem, adaptable to change, huge capacity for hard work in a relentlessly fast paced environment
Who we are looking for; track record must haves
- Qualified Chartered or Certified Accountant (ACCA preferred, CA(SA) or CPA)
- Up-to-date technical accounting knowledge and recent application of IFRS in a complex Financial Services reporting environment, preferably with a UK focus
- Significant experience liaising with international tax advisors and applying global tax principles in a multi-national group environment, preferably with a UK HMRC focus
- Solid experience growing and managing finance teams of 10 or more
- Considerable experience working in a group financial reporting role within a highly-regulated Financial Services environment (ideally Investments, Lending, Payments or Banking)
- Proven track record as an outstanding leader capable of developing, mentoring, retaining and driving a high-performance finance team
- Proven experience developing and managing new frameworks, processes and procedures across a growing business to ensure rigorous compliance with external and internal policies
- Strong general financial background with proven skills in financial accounting, budgeting and reporting, treasury and cash flow management, taxation and external stakeholder reporting
Experience that would be nice to have (but we’ll trade off if everything else fits)
- Multi-entity consolidation reporting experience within a multi-national group structure
- Practical and technical knowledge of corporate finance (equity and debt funding) and securitisation structures, principles and practices
- Start-up experience. Sometimes the earth moves beneath your feet at Prodigy Finance so you've got to be comfortable with ambiguity, able to wear lots of hats, and adapt easily as we continue to grow
The Prodigy Finance fit; attributes which run true in everyone at Team Prodigy
To be an A player at Prodigy Finance, you need to possess – in spades - the following attributes:
Innovative + Smart
Be curious enough to want to know more, think out the box, maybe even break the box, show initiative and be smart about it to find implementable, impactful solutions.
International + Accountable
Push yourself to be better every day. Work with others across the world, be resilient, add value and then hold yourself accountable. Encourage and celebrate each other.
Energetic + Fun
Sense of humour = survival. Bring energy and fun. Wear your heart on your sleeve. Work hard and find the time to play. We’re in this together.
Do you want to be our next Head of Finance? Here’s what to do now
If this sounds exciting and you'd like to have an informal chat, get in touch below and tell us why you want to work at Prodigy Finance.
About Prodigy Finance
The Prodigy Finance Story
Prodigy Finance was started by three INSEAD MBA graduates who experienced the difficulties of financing an international degree first-hand. In 2007, we decided to solve this problem.
Our innovative platform offers loans to international postgraduate students attending top universities. Through our community platform, alumni, impact investors, and other private qualified entities invest in tomorrow's leaders whilst earning a financial and social return.
To date, more than $318 million in Prodigy Finance loans have been disbursed to over 6,800 students around the world. Over 80% of our borrowers tell us they had no other way of financing their studies, so we like to think that we're helping educate the world.
We believe funding shouldn't be a barrier to education.