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Commercial Finance Manager - FMCG

Role Summary

The Finance department exists to provide both strategic directions / guidance to the management and the organization of Japan Group (the “Group”) and operational finance services the Group in order to support its achievement of its business plan. The department also monitors the Japan Group finances, overall financial performance and provides periodic updates to Japan group management. Broadly, the Finance function consists of two groups: (i) Corporate Finance, which provides business planning, business performance forecasting, statutory reporting, as well as tax/treasury services; and (ii) Commercial Finance, which works as a business partner for Marketing and Supply Chain, providing such advices on resource allocation, business case preparation, benefit tracking of investments, channel and brand analysis, and budget management. This position resides within the Commercial Finance group, which is headed by Commercial Finance Controller.


Key Responsibilities

1. To contribute to the development and execution of strategic planning and decision-making process of the Marketing department e.g. in respect of Investments and Pricing.

2. To help establish clear goals for the Commercial Finance team in line with company vision, mission, and strategy; and focus self/team efforts in meeting these goals.

3. To actively contribute in meetings, activities and projects with other members of the senior Marketing team, for planning and review of key initiatives undertaken by Marketing department to achieve the Marketing strategy.

4. Lead Commercial Finance Brand/Trade in evaluating the effectiveness/efficiency of Marketing programs & touchpoints through financial analysis to support better decision-making and resource allocation; lead the process of benefit realization and tracking. These analyses include:

  • Product/Brand Profitability

  • Cost implications of product specification changes

  • Pre- and Post-Implementation Review for new brand/SKU launches

  • Evaluation of investments in key Marketing initiatives (promotions etc.)

  • Trade Marketing Region/Area Profitability

  • Financial evaluations, business cases – NPV, IRR, ROI.

  • Payback, sensitivity / scenario analysis

  • Secondary Supply Chain Costs

  • Review of competitors’ marketing activities

5. Lead the Company Plan & quarterly budget processes for Marketing. Management and monitoring of expenses and providing meaningful expense variance analysis to marketing and ensuring expenses are in line with planned budgets. Ensure effective budget controls through a robust governance structure

6. Drive spend efficacy and smart cost management within the Marketing team. Ensure resource allocation decisions are based on enhancing shareholder value and in line with company strategy.

7. Contribute as a key member of the pricing & excise committee. Lead financial evaluation and scenario analysis of pricing & excise and its impact on portfolio strategy. Evaluate impact of pricing & excise on competition.

8. Carry out financial and business analysis of key competitors and share key findings with executive committee.

9. Ensure accounting and governance procedures for Marketing are in place and operating effectively. Identify ways to improve the current control environment & business processes and lead the changes without compromising creativity and enterprising spirit, both within the department and where appropriate within external parties working on our behalf e.g. creative agencies.

10. Ensure Commercial Finance contributes as an effective business partner to Marketing. Ensure quality service/guidance in all relevant areas of work is provided to all sections (Brands, Trade, Research, Merchandizing, Product Development, and Innovations) of Marketing department, as well as to external customers/suppliers such as distributors and creative agencies.

11. Lead the process of enhancing/raising the financial awareness of entire Marketing community through formal and on-the job trainings.

12. Challenge the status quo, becomes an agent of change and proactively manage and motivate team and peers to build commitment to implement changes that improve the business.

13. Act as a key member of the finance leadership team and provide coaching/leadership support to the team members. Seek continuous learning and development opportunities for self and the team members. Serve as a key development role for finance talent.

Potential Career Path

  • Commercial Finance Controller

  • Corporate Finance Controller

  • Finance Director in small-mid size market outside Japan

Leadership & Management / Behavioural Competencies

  • Understanding of the relationships / interfaces between departments and functions.

  • Complexity and subjectivity of marketing requires high commercial approach and strong management and interpersonal skills.

  • Strong leadership to introduce new systems and procedures.

  • Ability to work with all levels of staff within the company and handle relationships with external parties.


Personal Characteristics

  • Proactive, persuasive, creative and prepared to challenge existing ideas


Qualifications & Requirements

  • 7-10 years Finance/accounting experience (FMCG industry experience an advantage)

  • Financial analytical skills such as ROI and NPV to perform/review financial analyses together with the capability to provide commercial insights

  • Understanding of excise and pricing strategy, company planning process

  • Understanding of marketing strategy, principles, and relevant analytical tool background as well as knowledge on commercial aspects of the business such as Trade & Brand Marketing activities

  • Thorough understanding and knowledge of financial management and systems

  • Fluency in both English and Japanese

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