Case Studies

Chief Finance Officer - Ergomed


Ergomed plc is a unique pharmaceutical services organisation based in the UK.

Ergomed’s offer includes clinical development, trial management and pharmacovigilance services to over 200 clients ranging from top 10 pharmaceutical and generics companies to small and mid-sized drug development companies.

Ergomed has also established a portfolio of co-development partnerships with pharmaceutical and biotech companies, using a shared risk model.

This profitable, UK headquartered company trade on the London Stock Exchanges AIM marketplace and have been established since 1997. 


Due to executive level changes within the business towards the end of the previous calendar year, RMG was commissioned to recruit a Chief Finance Officer for Ergomed plc as part of a wider recruitment project. The project commenced in February 2018.

Ergomed’s new Chief Finance Officer would work closely with their new Chief Executive Officer (who previously served as the company’s most recent CFO) to drive the business forward through a period of change and execute the company’s growth strategy – primarily driven through acquisition.

Thanks to the specialist nature of the business, Ergomed were unwavering in their requirements. Their new Chief Finance Officer must:

•    Have extensive experience as the CFO of a publicly traded company
•    Have extensive experience working within a service delivery business
•    Have extensive multi-country experience (multi-currency/multi-jurisdiction)
•    Have worked within a Topco/group format
•    Have worked in a company that had experienced extensive growth (through both acquisition and organically)

Given the specificity of the brief as well as the magnitude of the hire RMG were certain that a confidential executive search campaign was the only way to recruit the position properly.


RMG’s candidate identification process for this position was largely black and white (plc experience or not). If candidates didn’t have experience of operating within a public company, the other competencies were immaterial.

Our initial search centred on the major public markets. Following a thorough assessment of the different industries represented on the LSE and NYSE (as well as other, less prominent exchanges) RMG ascertained that industries such as life sciences, software and technology as well as offshore and energy sectors contained a dearth of organisations whose revenue was generated through the provision of services to their market. (This was supported with other, more sporadic successes but the bulk of RMG’s raw candidate material came from these industries).

Once our markets of choice were solidified RMG were able to set about identifying the relevant Chief Finance Officers within these corporations. RMG’s search yielded over 170 names. 

Approaching and engaging with candidates in board level positions is both time consuming and difficult. Over the course of approximately three weeks, RMG were able to identify, engage and ascertain interest from scores of candidates representing several sectors across the country and the broader continent. This required a variety of techniques and an intimate understanding of Ergomed’s value proposition as well as the ability to quickly move candidates into (and out of) the process as appropriate (not everyone in a plc fits the brief!). 

A long list of approximately 30 candidates was the end result of our search, identification, approach and early selection work. This list was hugely diverse and presented numerous interesting avenues but never wavered from Ergomed’s core and non-negotiable competencies (as mentioned above). 

A two-day interview schedule in Central London was RMG’s opportunity to solidify (or debunk) early thoughts/perceptions of candidates and form a comprehensive shortlist. During this packed scheduled RMG interviewed more than 15 candidates who were objectively assessed against Ergomed’s competencies and the resulting selection of four candidates was put forth in mid-March (5 weeks from commencement) with quantitative, evidence-based thoughts and comments from RMG.


Ergomed proceeded to interview the selected candidates, narrowing the shortlist of four down to their preferred two individuals. The interview process incorporated the CEO, Chairman and Executive VP (and founder) and took place in London and Zagreb, Croatia. Ergomed’s favoured candidate was unanimously approved by the interviewing team members and an offer was tabled in early May following the aforementioned process.

Following a comprehensive offer review and several negotiation discussions between the candidate, RMG and Ergomed all parties agreed to proceed in late May. The candidate will start with Ergomed on July 2nd 2018.

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