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Virtual Finance Director - Profiles

A part time Finance Director or Virtual Finance Director provides you with years of sharp end financial and management experience, at a fraction of the cost of employing a full time person. Smaller businesses can not afford a full time Finance Director, and would not have sufficient work to keep him or her properly occupied and efficient. Our part time Finance Directors or Accountant resource could be your answer you are looking for!

All our Virtual Finance Directors are Qualified Accountants and have:

  • Minimum 5 years FD experience (most have 10 - 20 years)
  • Fundraising experience
  • Deal experience - Buying or Selling businesses

Our Virtual Finance Directors have had many years of commercial experience in business working alongside MDs, chief executives and Chairmen.   Click on a name to view their profile:

James Shand BSc FCA CF

Alastair I. ACMA

Mark T. CA

Chris F. ACA BSc (Econ)

Malcolm W. FCMA

Pauline C. FCMA

Peter M. FCCA

Gary R. FCA

Richard M. FCA

William K. FCA

Alan M. ACA

Barry K. FCA

Peter F FCA BA (Hons) FCMA

David G. BA (Hons) ACMA

Virtual Financial Controllers (VFCs)

James Shand BSc FCA CF - Director


vfdnet is led by James Shand, a qualified Chartered Accountant with over 20 years of commercial experience, who has worked with entrepreneurial SME owners and managers as a Virtual Finance Director for the last 13 years, enabling them to achieve successful growth.

James has managed rapid growth situations, such as when he was Finance Director of the water cooler business Well Well Well where the business grew from £3m to £30m turnover in 3 years, involving 4 acquisitions and raising £6m in venture capital funding. James also gained invaluable commercial experience in the automotive engineering sector, and has significant technology and pharmaceuticals experience. In February 2008 James was awarded the Corporate Finance Qualification by the ICAEW in recognition of his recent achievements in negotiating and completing deals.

Outside of work, James is a great believer in the old adage that 'if the body is fit, so is the mind'. Having proved his fitness and stamina in the London Marathon, he has moved on to the less physical, but perhaps more mind-challenging, pursuit of fly-fishing. When he is not taxiing children around he likes to enjoy tennis, watching rugby, gardening and even singing.


Alastair I. ACMA

Alastair is a Chartered Management Accountant with twenty year's blue chip experience in financial and commercial leadership roles. His experience covers manufacturing, FMCG and Retail with companies such as WH Smith, Helene Curtis and Black & Decker. As FD of Helene Curtis UK, Alastair was responsible for Finance and IT, and he saw the business through start up to £25m turnover 5 years later. Alastair provides his experience and commercial strengths to clients, often refocusing their drive for revenue streams and delivering strong improvements to bottom line profitability. Alastair is also co-owner of a recently launched new clothing brand and Deputy Chair of Governors for his local primary school. He is married with three children and relaxes keeping fit.

Mark T. CA

Mark, is a New Zealand qualified Chartered Accountant, with over 14 years post qualification experience. He has operated at Finance Director level for over 6 years, prior to working as a virtual Finance Director. Mark has extensive software and high tech experience, having worked for several software and service businesses and also a hardware distributor. Mark has good experience of working with subsidiaries of US and Canadian companies and establishing European branch offices. In addition, having worked in both in venture capital and high net worth individual backed businesses, Mark has extensive investor relation skills. Mark is a keen skier and sportsman as is married with three children.

Chris FitzGerald virtual finance directorChris F. ACA BSc (Econ)

Chris is a big five Chartered Accountant and has honed his management accounting and systems skills during 16 years as a Finance Director within SME business. He has been successful in several different industries from high volume/low value to low volume/high value manufacturing, project engineering, retail, logistics and even financial services. He has operated in both turnaround and high growth scenarios and relishes the change culture so much that he decided to become a virtual FD. Using the formula of gaining financial control and improving efficiency through procedure and systems re-engineering Chris has changed finance departments from processing centres into value adding teams that have contributed significantly to the growth of their businesses. It is this efficiency he considers that virtual FDs can bring to growing companies that have built their finance teams from the bottom up.

His project work has included exit strategies, turnarounds, installation and repair of integrated business systems with minimal cost, fundamental restructuring of organisations and investor liaison. His board responsibilities have included IT, Human Resources, Commercial Review and Supply Chain as well as Finance and Administration. Outside of work Chris is a big sports fan and heavily involved in community matters. He loves living in the countryside with the relaxation that brings.



Malcolm W. FCMA

Malcolm is an experienced Finance Director with considerable manufacturing and engineering experience. Malcolm is particularly profit and results oriented with strong strategic, analytical and implementation skills and significant experience in developing, motivating and leading diverse, international teams in European and USA accounting environments. Malcolm has achieved considerable success in organising and running the finance function for smaller businesses – either in- house or outsourced.

Malcolm is married with three children and his hobbies include electronics, photography and public speaking. He is the 2006-7 Governor for Oxfordshire and Warwickshire Toastmaster Clubs.



Pauline C. FCMA

Pauline is an experienced company director, both as Chairman, Finance and Managing Director, and a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants.

Her career initially spanned a broad range of industries in the commercial function of high-ranking household name businesses, including J Sainsbury and the global Unilever concern where she initiated some key high profile projects. In the last twenty years she has worked in marketing services, pharmaceuticals, IT, retail property and publishing, in companies facing major market challenges and with significant internal issues to resolve. Having chosen to specialise in the SME sector, she has performed financial, commercial and general management roles inside all types of company. These include small owner-managed businesses up to £10m turnover, where she has worked closely alongside VC investors. She has likewise held the senior financial or change management position in subsidiaries of multi-nationals, both UK and US-owned, ranging in size from £20m - £100m turnover.

As a longstanding governor, she has recently also spent eight years as an Officer of The School of St Helen & St Katharine in Abingdon which, early in her Chairmanship, was named the Sunday Times “Independent School of the Year” for its first-class financial, academic and pastoral track record.

Pauline is 47 years old with three children and has bases in south Oxfordshire and Yorkshire. In her spare time she is a keen local historian, tries to keep the garden under control, and is currently learning to sail.



Peter M. FCCA

Peter is a fellow of the association of certified accountants who has over 20 years successful FD experience in a wide variety of industries. Peter’s experience covers manufacturing, FMCG and retail with such companies as British American Tobacco, Safeway, Lillywhites and Booker Food distribution.

Peter’s experience has covered both large companies and the SME sector with turnovers ranging from £4m to £1.7bn. The large company experience of good financial control, excellent management reporting and assisting management teams to achieve rapid profit growth, through organic growth and acquisitions, are skills that Peter’s SME clients particularly value.  Peter’s project experience includes MBO’s, acquisitions, raising finance, turnarounds, and post acquisition integration.  Peter also has strong experience of cost reduction, managing system implementations and business exits.


Peter is a member of the local Institute of Directors, Federation of Small Businesses and the Chamber of Commerce.

Gary R. FCA

Gary is a Chartered Accountant and Finance Director with 20 years experience both in practice and as FD with an emphasis on the financial services sector. Has been involved in several acquisition and disposals including the purchase and subsequent sale of his own brokerage company MBO.

With a solid finance background (including governance and audit functions) plus substantial experience of M&A, and MBOs Gary could add value to an SME board in most business sectors but most particularly in the services industry. Notably one of his current appointments is with a mortgage broker. As an FD he has the track record and experience to prepare a company for a sale.

Richard M. FCA

Richard is a Chartered Accountant with over 25 years’ experience in industry and commerce, including 15 years at Finance Director level. He qualified with Robson Rhodes in London and has since gained a broad experience in commerce and industry. He has worked extensively with the EMEA operations of US hi-tech companies, implementing financial procedures, controls and systems and establishing pan-European finance functions in high growth environments.

Most recently as Finance Director of a market research SME, Richard was responsible for the Finance, HR, Administration and IT functions, successfully establishing a number of international subsidiaries in a growing business and ultimately working with the CEO to achieve the sale of the company to an AIM listed group.

Richard is strong on making numbers relevant, meaningful and actionable for non-finance managers and directors, with a focus on profitability analysis, budgeting and forecasting, cost control and cash management. Other sector experience includes entertainment, publishing, consulting services, education and agriculture.


Richard acts as Honorary Treasurer for two small local charities and has recently started mentoring a small business owner in Malawi. He is married with three children, is a keen supporter of League 1 football and occasionally tries his hand at golf and cricket.



William K. FCA


Will joined vfdnet in 2015 and is a qualified Chartered Accountant with 25 years of commercial experience. In his early career he worked in large multi-national organisations but more recently has spent the last 13 years as FD at a strategic Board level in a US family owned company with a remit working alongside the MD to grow their business in the UK & Europe. This was achieved both organically and through acquisition and the business grew from £15m to £50m in 10 years and saw year on year sales and earnings growth. In that time Will oversaw the successful acquisition of six owner managed SME businesses from the initial research through to completion including their subsequent transition and integration to form part of a larger group.


Will has a proven track record of making things happen in changing environments and provides great counsel, acting as a sounding board at all levels. Will provides support and guidance at a strategic and leadership level allowing businesses to reach their growth potential. He also has significant experience in handling key relationships, banks, audits, co secretarial, managing financial KPIs, board presence, implementing & improving accounting systems and managing the finance function including defining processes, controls and reporting as well as building strong teams around him and mentoring talent.

Alan M. ACA

Alan qualified as a chartered accountant with a top 4 firm having graduated from Cambridge with a Chemical Engineering degree. He has significant financial and commercial experience spanning over 20 years in both blue chip and small, privately funded organisations. Alan has worked for major energy companies where he successfully raised funds including £400m in private equity and debt for a UK wind farm portfolio, £90m for a gas pipeline, and funding for wind farm projects in Greece. He also spent 3 years working for an investment firm focussed primarily on infrastructure and property where his responsibilities included transaction structuring and execution, liaising with tax, accounting, legal and technical specialists, and managing financial modelling and economic evaluation. His more recent experience includes working with small privately funded businesses in financial advisory and interim finance director roles, as well as part time FD roles for owner manager businesses.

Alan has 3 sons and in his spare time enjoys all sports. He (still) plays football and tennis, cycles, and has coached junior football teams.

Barry K. FCA

Barry is a recent recruit to the vfdnet team having had over 30 years experience. He is a Chartered Accountant having qualified with a small firm of accountants before joining Price Waterhouse and then moving to the real world! For the past 18 years he has been FD of a US family owned multi-site company and has experience of working throughout Europe and Australia. The business grew organically but also by a significant number of acquisitions. Barry personally oversaw over 25 acquisitions in various countries and was involved in identifying targets, negotiations with sellers, the due diligence process, the subsequent legal transaction and, most importantly, the eventual integration into the business.

With significant experience of supporting and challenging his senior colleagues, building strong and effective teams and having the ability of seeing the wider picture, Barry offers a mature and balanced approach to the FD role. He has a thorough detailed experience of dealing with banks, auditors, actuaries, lawyers as well as the ability to build relationships with financial and non-financial members of staff.

Peter F. FCA BA (Hons) FCMA
Peter joined vfdnet in 2016. He has a degree in accounting & finance and is a qualified Chartered Management Accountant with over 30 years of commercial experience. He has worked with entrepreneurial SME owners and managers as Finance Director / CFO for the last 20 years. Peter helps companies grow, drive profitably & realise the personal objectives of their owners.

Peter’s recent achievements range from raising over £5m for SME clients; negotiating the sale & overseeing the due diligence process for an energy procurement business sold to Accenture Plc and in-sourcing the finance function of a national chain of health clubs.  Peter has bought & sold over 20 business in locations all over the world including a major garment manufacturing operation in Sri Lanka (now part of Next Plc).

Peter has helped implement complex OLAP data reporting tools that process millions data items in real-time.

Peter is currently a part-time FD & NED for a numbers of business in the South East.

David G photoDavid G. BA (Hons) ACMA David has recently joined vfdnet in 2016 and is a qualified Chartered Management Accountant with over 30 years of commercial experience. David has experience of the high demands of AIM Listed businesses and also private equity backed high growth businesses.


David was UK FD of an £60m turnover AIM listed Electronic Point of Sale business (EPoS), where he managed the integration of two separate large businesses following a stock market acquisition. With this AIM listed company, David was responsible for development of reporting (10 business units) to meet the scrutiny of AIM, banks, brokers and a demanding strategic investor. David was also heavily involved in significant business restructuring including carrying out strategic reviews of two European subsidiaries, leading to one loss making business being closed and the other repositioned and sold to a management buy out (MBO).

David was a key driver of a Management Buy In (MBI) of a software business operating in the UK. David was responsible for all aspects of fund raising, bank relationship and acted as commercial director alongside his finance role. Leading the transformation from a UK business to a Global company with 10 fold growth over 14 years, while expanding it’s geographical market to the USA ($8m revenues), Europe, Middle East and Australia. The business dealt with large often listed businesses with deal sizes of up to $2m / £1.5m. David managed the business sale process from end to end with a specialist M & A house.

Virtual Financial Controllers

Our Virtual Financial Controllers all have considerable commercial experience and in many cases are also fully qualified accountants. The  advantage of the Virtual Financial Controllers or Management Accountants is that they are focussed on producing excellent management information, accounts which are accurate, timely and above all meaningful.  Virtual Financial Controllers are also typically strong in systems selection, report design and systems implementation.

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