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Phillips is an international auction house, conducting sales of Contemporary Art, Photographs, Design, Modern & Contemporary Editions, Jewels and Watches. Phillips is currently seeking a highly organised, pro-active, numerate and motivated individual to fulfil a full-time Business Manager, Finance position.
Based in the heart of London, with travel to our other Phillips locations as required, the primary focus of the position will be to act as a business partner to the 20th Century and Contemporary Art, Photographs and Editions departments with the remit to realise commercial and financial objectives, ensuring success in driving and maximising growth and profitability across the Europe region. To achieve this, the Business Manager, Finance will report to the Chief Financial Officer and Chief Operating Officer, Europe and work closely with the International Commercial Deals Manager and the legal team to ensure profitability and compliance of deals and transactions, ensuring that Company sale processes and procedures are effective and efficient, reviewing and implementing as necessary, in alignment with best practice.
This Business Manager, Finance will also be responsible for providing leadership, guidance and assistance to the departments, primarily to the 20th Century and Contemporary Art department, on logistical, financial and organisational tasks. The department’s London based Business Coordinator will have a dotted reporting line to the Business Manager, Finance, and both roles will lead the monthly Administrator meetings company-wide in Europe, maintaining an environment of solid administrative communication and organisational excellence and effective cost management throughout the sale process.
The candidate will be responsible for:
Business Coordination – Deals / Financial Terms
· Working with the Heads of Sale and Specialists on special consignment terms; liaising with the Department Heads directly on requests to deviate from standard terms and conditions of sale, approving terms for general consignments and IC’s and providing a business review of non‐standard contract negotiations;
· Coordinating the extended payment terms in conjunction with Head of Department, CEO, and CFO and advanced terms directly with the CFO, providing specialists and clients with simulations, showing alternative revenues for alternative terms;
· Overseeing the department Administrators, ensuring they have sent and received consignment contracts from clients before each catalogue goes to print;
· Tracking all deals and Auction Projections throughout the consignment process;
· Partnering with all specialists and Administrators to articulate and implement auction needs, by working with the support functions to maximise the output of each department;
· Ensuring that all statistics are available for each sale, to enable adequate and accurate debriefings post sale, including sale statistics of competitors as requested by department, client development, proposals, CFO, and all other corporate stakeholders.
Financial Management, Reporting and Planning
· Regularly monitoring and reviewing the performance of the department, ensuring budgets and deadlines are met, including catalogue production, sales and travel and entertainment, escalating any deviations to senior team members for strategic review;
· Maintaining profitability of auctions through monitoring deals and sale related costs, deploying deal cost calculator analysis for consignments with costings against them in order to maintain a P/L deal cost ratio in line with the CFO target;
· Facilitating the quarterly reviews of Auction P&L and transactions with the Head of Department, Sale teams and CFO, providing insight and information to enable annual budgeting, forecasting, sale P&L and other reporting for accurate debriefings post sale with client development, proposals, CFO, and all other corporate stakeholders;
· Compiling and analysing market data, providing the senior team members with raw data to inform strategic decisions including suitable sale locations for works, sale composition blend, trending artists and estimating strategies;
· Collaboratively meeting with the Department Heads to break down the annual budget targets into individual auction targets for Net Revenues and costs, planning Travel and Entertainment and Highlights tour costs. Working directly with the Head of Marketing to plan and allocate expense budgets for the different auctions, ensuring all budgets are adhered to and all administrators are informed to ensure logistics are arranged on schedule and all costs are captured and approved.
Process and Department Management
· Supporting the Department Head with the post-sale sales and consignment allocation, maintaining pricing runner and keeping track of lost property;
· Proactively leading on and effectively managing, the day to day operational and client issues, upholding the highest standards of client service across the warehouse, gallery, and office and partnering with the COO, Europe, to implement and maintain improvements to operational systems, policies and procedures to assist the department in establishing and following best practices;
· Liaising with the operations, shipping and client accounting departments on a regular basis ensuring all processes run smoothly and efficiently and coordinate bi-annual reviews of department aged inventory with the local operations team;
· Maintaining successful relationships with other departments to ensure all functions run effectively, discussing allocation of resources and property movement to maximise strategic opportunities and facilitate effective and efficient communication between specialists and support teams;
· Attending and providing input to the monthly administrator meetings, focusing on the administrators’ awareness of priorities, efficiencies and responsibilities, troubleshooting issues and streamlining procedures as they arise and continue to provide support and guidance on complex consignments, multi-sale or departmental consignments, managing contracts, working closely with legal, client accounting and the relevant Department Head, as necessary, to ensure complex issues are resolved in a timely manner;
· Leading, managing, and communicating any department changes, as necessary, in conjunction with the Head of Department;
· Working with the Department and HR team on staff development and retention for all Administrators and Cataloguers, as well as any issues, in conjunction with Head of Department, alongside managing the recruitment for Cataloguers, Sale Administrators, and the department internship programme, ensuring adequate Sale Administrator coverage in the department at all times, working alongside the team to approve Annual Leave requests as well as keep track of departmental holiday schedule;
· Approving the departments purchase orders, account adjustments and all local expense reports and travel for Heads of Sale and junior level staff in compliance with company policies and approval matrix, addressing unusual variances with the CFO.
Departmental Risk and Legal Management
• Monitoring, identifying and mitigating all departmental risks and compliance, escalating to the appropriate senior team member where necessary and facilitating then implementing the resolution;
• Consistently ensuring that the Department is compliant in all respects.
With a master’s degree in Business Management or a related field being desirable, the successful candidate will have a minimum of 6 years’ experience in a similar role, with prior business and finance experience being essential. The candidate will be able to demonstrate past experiences in improving company processes and data base management.
They will be highly organised and resilient with the utmost discretion, and the ability to keep calm while dealing with multiple tasks in extremely high-pressured situations, consistently prioritising to meet strict deadlines and achieving targets. Alongside this, the candidate will have admirable leadership skills, strong project management skills and sound commercial knowledge with superior numeracy and budget management skills.
With a positive, infectious attitude, they will have the ability to communicate in a professional manner with a wide variety of people demonstrating strong influencing skills. The candidate will be adaptable and flexible and will have remarkable verbal and written communication skills, in order to explain complex information clearly. The candidate will have excellent time management skills, superior attention to detail and will be able to work on their own initiative as well as working as part of a team. A fluency in the English language is essential with additional languages being desirable.
Hours of work are 40hpw (9am to 6pm) with the flexibility to undertake additional hours on evenings and weekends as required.
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