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Spotlight

  • 04/08/2019
    International Case Study from SMW: Interim CFO for European Real Estate Developer

    The client, a family-owned European commercial real estate development firm based in Brussels that focused on large project in retail and hospitality. They were executing a large Real Estate development project in retail and hospitality in Istanbul of more than 500M€. The Turkish subsidiary had been set up with local partner. After a few years, the Turkish subsidiary had opaque financial accounts and the headquarters team decided to use the services of an external CFO to regain confidence in the situation and in particular, the numbers that were reported.

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  • 09/06/2019
    International Case Study from SMW: CFO for a fashion retailer based in Germany

    The client was a well-respected family-owned French retailer that is very active in the fashion industry, with distribution in 35 countries with over 800 points of sale and 6000 employees. The company had decided to close down their German hub, which covered both Germany and Austria, in order to reduce the ongoing losses in the region. The sales volumes had decreased about 10%, partly due to higher competitive pressure associated with local management weaknesses and turnover.


    The company was looking for a French CFO who was not only fluent in German, but also able to manage the specifics of German and Austrian accounting and legal requirements. This manager would need to be on-site and have a strong operational background and be able to be local in the affiliate for some months without compromising with the international French reporting and mentality of the company which remained very strict on internal reporting. One of the key priorities was to finalize the redundancy plan (10 FTE) of the subsidiary and closing the remaining outlets while keeping alive the finance and accounting department.


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  • 29/05/2019
    International Case Study of SMW: Food Production Group

    In 2018, our SMW-Partners from the Netherlands and Germany worked together in finding an Interim Manager in the South of Germany, near Munich. The firm is one of the major food production groups in the Netherlands, with also factories in Belgium, France, Germany and several other European countries.

    This client had acquired a small but renowned German family owned company in 2016. The main goal was to integrate this company in the big organisation, making it a production site instead of a complete company with its own sales etc.

    In 2017, our SMW-Partner in the Netherlands had placed a new Operations Manager at the firm, who had the right background and energy to change the company in this way. But, as in many cases, staff resisted the changes, compounded by several of the family members who still worked in the company. The company, established 50 years ago, is in a small village, where everybody knows everybody.

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  • 03/03/2019
    General Manager for US Subsidiary of Italian Manufacturer

    The company, an Italian-based family owned business with minority investors, began placing more attention the performance of its US division. The company has a strong global presence with factories in Europe, US, and China. A recent gap in leadership created 12-month slide in EBIT, Cash Flow and on time delivery. This resulted in rampant quality problems, customer complaints, and low employee morale.

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  • 03/03/2019
    Senior Project Manager of Austrian Automotive

    The client, a large automotive supplier, needed help with their Austrian subsidiary. The plant had a new product (motor engine module) that was in production for 6 months. Due to the complexity of this new module and the production requirements, at the plant the production ramp-up was difficult. The financial targets and the production goals were clearly missed.

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