Xcede Group welcomes our new Chief Financial Officer (CFO), Steve Smith!
As Xcede Group's CFO, Steve will oversee and lead the company's financial operations, providing the business with opportunities to grow while continuing to deliver excellent service.
Having taken an interest in economics from a young age, Steve has always felt drawn to the mathematical side of the business world. Now, with over 20 years of experience within the recruitment sector that spans both the UK and international markets, Steve is starting his new chapter at Xcede Group.
We sat down with Steve to find out more about our new CFO.
1. You have had a successful career within the recruitment space. What has been your most significant achievement? What are you most proud of?
I was at CDI Corporation for 15 years, and in 2016 there was a management buyout. So my business partner and I, through the management buyout, came to own 70% of that business, and we gave the remaining 30% to the employee base.
In 2018, we sold the business to a UK recruitment group called Morson International. What made me proud is that because the team owned 30% of the shares, they were also able to benefit financially from the exit. To this day, people still say they remember what a great experience that was, so that is the proudest achievement of my career.
2. What attracted you to join Xcede Group, and what are your impressions so far?
For me, it is all about the people. Recruitment is a very people-driven business. I'm fortunate enough that I have known Andrew Goodman for 15 years. Andrew, the chairman of Xcede Group, highlighted this opportunity to me and through the process, I was introduced to the wider management team. This gave me a clearer idea of the business's potential and the fantastic people I would work with.
I had also previously worked within the same industry as Xcede and was familiar with the sector and a few of the clients we are currently working with, so that was a great point of interest for me. Through the merger that took place in 2020, Xcede Group specialises in two sectors that I believe to be real high-growth areas, technology and energy.
In terms of my impressions so far, there is a great deal of potential, and I think the international footprint we possess here offers us a unique and valuable advantage. We successfully compete at a global level, and moving forward, it will be imperative to continue to grow and strengthen that.
The company has a stimulating and dynamic environment. Working here amongst this incredible group of people makes me feel young again. I like to spend three or four days a week in the office. There are always many people here, creating a vibrant and energetic environment.
3. What contribution do you specifically want to make here at Xcede Group?
Something that is of high priority to me is to incorporate the company's values of Performance, Pace, Partnership, and Personality into the areas under my jurisdiction. I want to ensure that my team is passionate and continues to embody these principles in the way that the other parts of this business already do.
As I have mentioned, this company shows massive potential, and financially I would like to help us reach that potential. Xcede Group already fosters a communicative environment that collaborates well and is dedicated to achieving even greater success. Concerning my part in reaching these levels of potential, it will be about providing continued support to my team so that they can, in turn, provide excellent service to the rest of the business.
4. What advice would you offer to all the aspiring CFOs out there?
To be patient. What you have to remember is that it takes time. Another advantage would be staying and growing with a business when opportunity allows. That way, you come to understand what the company is about and what they need.
Finally, try and surround yourself with excellent people. People you can learn from. I have been fortunate enough to mentor employees and take them through their accountancy exams, which was a very fulfilling part of my job. So, if you can, try your best to work with A-grade people and attract them to your team. It makes a world of difference.
5. Lastly, business aside, what do you like to do in your free time?
I have three kids, one of whom is 25 and currently living in the United States, and I have been fortunate enough to go over and visit. My other two are currently coming up to their A-levels and GCSEs. They are both keen rugby fans, so I like to go and watch them play rugby.
My family and I live in the countryside with our cocker spaniel dog. I like to take her for walks and enjoy the scenery. I also really love skiing. I try to go skiing at least twice a year. Other hobbies I enjoy are playing golf and doing DIY around the house.
We look forward to seeing Steve's contributions to our company as we grow and provide excellent service to our clients, candidates and employees. His commitment to profitable growth and high-value client expansion aligns perfectly with Xcede Group's goals for the future.