Allen Pheiffer Apr 2013 – present
Currently a partner in a small corporate finance and buy-out business based between UK and Netherlands.
Allen is a founding partner of the Anglo-Dutch Heligan Capital Partners. Allen has extensive experience in international growth, restructuring and mergers & acquisitions. He was running a small boutique advisory business based in The Netherlands. His client base was local and international banks, private equity funds and corporate clients providing due diligence, portfolio management, turnaround and restructuring advisory activities.
He has extensive M&A and private equity experience and has turned around the under performing Netherlands based private equity fund ‘Fashion Fund One’. A key aspect of his role was to restore stakeholder confidence by implementing strong corporate governance and to ultimately create shareholder value. He turned around most of the entities from loss making to profitable businesses and then acted as the lead advisor on the sale of the portfolio.
Allen takes a very hands on approach and has worked with many companies, in a CFO capacity, directing company strategy, direction, revising business plans and developing cash management and monthly reporting controls and implementing international growth strategies of both listed and private equity backed companies.
Allen is a Chartered Accountant and a Member of the ICAEW. He has degrees in Commerce and Accountancy.
Work extensively with private equity funds, companies and financial investors on businesses
I am an active manager who communicates with people on a regular basis and keeps his fingers on the pulse of the business. I spent my time “hands on“.
Sounding board for a CEO and actively guide the implementation of strategy into the business. Work with the CEO on creating the right culture into a business that has been created by the merger of companies into one. The sounding board and critic for the management team to create the right atmosphere and sound business logic. Creating a new cohesive management team to ensure the continuity of the business. Mentoring and coaching of middle management is a key aspect of the role during this phase.
KRC Capital/FR2 Capital/Fashion Fund Oct 2009 – Apr 2013
Managed the day to day activities of the Fashion Fund a private equity fund based in The Netherlands.
Portfolio companies include(d):
- Joint venture in Russia (Topshop)
- Fashion Group in Netherlands (Secon)
- Global luxury brand in Geneva (Vilebrequin)
- Financial services
- Property companies
- Portfolio investments in leisure, hotels and real estate
A key aspect to the position was to restore confidence in the Fund to stakeholders, implement good governance and create shareholder value. Exercise governance over portfolio companies and serve on their board of directors. Was responsible for all stakeholder management and corporate governance including management of the relationship with the Supervisory board(s), preparation of board meeting material, the regular reporting to shareholders and newsletters.
Kept a close relationship with the banks involved in financing and investing.
Also directed all M&A activities which entailed disposing of the portfolio. Managed the entire disposal process of the various entities.
Actively involved in the companies including creating company strategy and direction, revising business plans and ensuring delivery to plans. Working with management teams in diverse environments. (Metrics under direct management: revenues in excess of $350 million, several companies in various countries with a global reach, currently disposing of the portfolio). The position involved turning around most of the entities which were moved from cash consuming loss making to cash generating and profitable businesses between 2009 and 2011.
Style and key accountabilities:
- Direct all M&A activities
- Fund management including reporting
- Joint creator of the vision with the CEOs
- Create sound business models
- Business partner in supporting the implementation of the strategic plan
- Execution of the strategy through both reporting and management actions
- In short, involved in managing the business to achieve results
- Business partner and focus on driving top line and bottom line results
- Internal control and team dynamics
- Drive qualitative and quantitative analysis of the business and effective management information
- Ecommerce and digital future
- Management of the finance function, supply chain, IT and property portfolios
Irdeto Group 2001 – Sept 2009
Chief Financial Officer
Irdeto, a subsidiary of Naspers (listed on the JSE and LSE) and is the technology segment, is a software company, which operates in the TMT Segment. Its main focus is the media and entertainment industry. It employs 900 people across 25 offices globally and has revenues in excess of $250 million with high EBITDA margin.Irdeto is based in Hoofddorp, The Netherlands but trades globally.
- Responsible for finance function, legal activities, M&A activity, strategic business development, IT and facilities
- Direct report to CEO with dotted line to parent company CFO. One of two executive directors and statutory director of all the Irdeto Group companies. Deputise in CEO′s absence
- Managed the EMEA region directly as CEO is based in Beijing
- Lead person on 4 of the top 15 accounts, actively involved in client relationships
- Led key M&A activity in line with vertical and horizontal expansion strategy in core areas of expertise, resulting in a group of companies with new expertise in broadband, software and middleware areas. Key acquisitions including the Philips similar business (Cryptoworks) and Cloakware acquired for $75 million
- Trebled revenues through organic growth and acquisitions, taking the company from losses to profits around $40 million in four year period
- Transformed company from being inwardly focused with key customer being the parent company′s PayTV business to being an externally focused, customer driven organization with an innovative culture. Expansion activity includes the emerging markets, IPTV and mobile content distribution, as well as extending revenue channels from EMEA to Asia
- Survived dot.com crash by reducing head count by 20 %, cutting costs by 35% and identifying new revenue channels
- Post dot.com period managed a sustained growth period and created a climate that allows for strong internal controls yet flexible business capability to “make it easy to do business with Irdeto”
- Created a central shared services centre in the Netherlands with strong local internal processes within the regional presence.
- Merged the Philips business into Irdeto and ensured customer retention
- Subsequent key cost cutting/rationalization processes in 2008/09 period
- Rationalized 5 companies into one
- Leading IT function from perception of cost centre to a business driver, implemented systems to support international growth and currently undergoing transformation to become a unified platform using advanced tools
- Instrumental in the creation of business models for the growing group of companies, such as service and recurring revenue streams versus once off licensing
- Lead negotiation teams on very large account and complex deals
- Manage analysts and shareholder relationship in capacity as CFO of the Technology Segment
CONLOG/CET/INTELLA 1999 – 2001
Various executive management positions (CXO level) within a group of IT related businesses.
- Initially managed finance function as the Intella Group was created by acquisitions and had no infrastructure
- Created a finance team and implemented accounting systems
- Active in raising finance and cash management
- Later acted COO to a small collection of IT companies
- Planned and executed the acquisition of a small listed company on the JSE (Conlog)
- Acted as CEO of Conlog for 6 months after the acquisition, managing the transition
- Managed difficult dissenting minority shareholders
- Served on the boards of two listed companies (Conlog and CET)
- Participated in roadshows and analyst presentations
- Gave numerous presentations and interviews to the press
SELF EMPLOYED CONSULTANT 1998 –1999
Self employed consultant in the IT and banking industry.
- Ran a team of 7 IT specialists focusing mainly on cash technology in the banking sector
- Client base was in South Africa, United Kingdom and India
- Consulted to Abbey National on cash systems
- Advised Post Office Counters on cash handling
FIRST NATIONAL BANK 1993 – 1998
Head of IT Finance and Planning (CFO), IT Division
- Implemented an IT charging mechanism
- Drove IT cost awareness in the Group
- Implemented a new management reporting system
- Reduced finance staff from 50 to 28 by office automation
- Managed a cash flow of R1.2 billion
- Reduced IT spend by significant amounts through a variety of programs (approx R50 million per annum)
- Managed key supplier relationships such as IBM and ICL
- Led negotiation teams for large IT acquisitions especially software or large items such as mainframes
- Created structures for IT acquisitions and outsourcing to maximise additional value
- Created technology joint ventures for point of sale and cash handling
- Managed an offshore development centre in United States
KPMG 1991 – 1993
Served articles in the Banking and Finance Group
Providing a variety of banking, accounting, auditing, insolvency and M&A activities to a variety of KPMG customers within the banking and finance industry.
- Key clients were Nedbank, Standard Bank, Discount House, Futures Exchange
- Worked on the team liquidating Cape Investment Bank
- Appeared in court and arbitrations as an expert witness in “white collar” matters
FIRST NATIONAL BANK 1988 – 1991
Finance Manager, Group Financial Control Division 1990 – 1991
Management Accountant, Group Financial Control Division 1988 – 1989
BARCLAYS NATIONAL BANK 1986 – 1987
Management Accountant, Card and Electronic Services Division 1987 – 1987
Assistant Management Accountant 1986 –1987
SOUTH AFRICAN ARMY 1984 – 1986
Compulsory National Service, attained rank of Lieutenant.
BARCLAYS NATIONAL BANK (SOUTH AFRICA) 1984 – 1984