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Claire Mason

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Claire Mason

Head of Corporate Finance

I head up our specialist disciplines division within finance, recruiting for roles within accountancy practices across the following service lines: M&A (transactions, valuations, restructuring), consulting and forensics. 

I work with organisations in the professional services sector, from leading global accountancy firms such as the Big 4 to specialist boutiques. Having worked in international recruitment for a number of years, I have a substantial network of contacts around the world which allows me to tap into both UK and global talent pools. 

Pro-Finance is a well-respected brand that aims to build long-term relationships with candidates and clients. We do that by offering unbiased advice, being proactive and ultimately by delivering results.

Outside of work, I love travelling and have set myself a goal to visit 40 countries by the time I’m 40 (nearly there!). I also enjoy photography, cooking, and wine and recently adopted my own vine at an English winery! 

My favourite holiday to date was a trip to Laos. It has all the best bits of SE Asia amazing food, temples, jungle, elephants but no mass tourism – perfect! 

claire's latest roles

  • Corporate Finance Manager - TMT

    £60000 - £70000 per annum + bonus + bens

    Are you a Corporate Finance Manager seeking a new challenge in 2019? I am assisting one of my clients, a Top 10 accountancy firm, to hire a Corporate Finance Manager for their rapidly growing TMT sector team...

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  • Financial Modelling Manager

    £60000 - £70000 per annum + bonus + benefits

    Modelling professionals - looking for a new challenge? I am working with one of the UK's leading Business Advisory firms, assisting them to hire new team members for their Project Finance, Financial Modellin...

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  • Corporate Finance Manager, Birmingham

    Negotiable

    Are you a Corporate Finance Manager seeking a new challenge in 2019? I am assisting one of my clients, a Top 10 accountancy firm, to hire a Corporate Finance Manager for their Birmingham office. This is a fa...

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What people say about Claire

Claire is the best, most efficient, friendly and caring recruiter I have ever come across. She goes way beyond the extra mile and absolutely blew my mind.


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Companies Claire has worked with

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claire's articles

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60 Seconds with: Stephen Moore, Managing Director at Princelet Partners

Posted by Claire Mason

Stephen Moore, Managing Director at Princelet Partners has completed a number of transactions in advisory, Venture Capital and corporate M&A. He has managed the generation and execution of deals including sell-side, buy-side and private placements in a number of sectors Prior to founding Princelet Partners, Stephen was the Managing Director of Motorola Ventures, the second largest TMT Corporate Venture Capital group and participated in 9 exits, 10 board roles and 10 investments including cash to cash experience. - What career advice would you give yourself 10 years ago? I would recommend working in a smaller business asap - at the time I worked for Motorola and whilst I had very interesting roles I think that small companies are where I should be working - on the other hand however large company experience has been invaluable so, like many things, the balance of both is important. - If you were able to invite 4 people to dinner (alive or dead), who would you invite and why? Winston Churchill (pm) William Booth (founder of the Salvation Army) Seamus Heaney (Irish poet) My wife Why - I think the mix would be fun and interesting and I like the drive for positive change from these people (and I have to invite my wife :-) - What does Princelet Partners do well? Princelet works hard on what we believe are the right things in corporate finance. Detailed compelling market leading materials (in our opinion) are produced for clients. In these materials and research, we work out the key selling points for the business and where the emphasis needs to be in conversations with counter-parties. Thorough buyers lists are produced with at least 65 -70 names and every call or meeting has appropriate focus. Corporate finance is best served well through thorough processes and very hard work rather than the odd contact or introduction. That is what princelet does well. - How would your team describe you? Focused - Who is your hero and why? I like people who are ordinary and flawed yet do extraordinary things in trying circumstances. I would like to think I would be inspired to do the same but doubt I would be so brave. Oskar Schindler was one of these kinds of people and as such is one of my hero-like figures. - What is your biggest superstition/fear? I fear not getting enough done in life - What is your morning routine before work? Check emails and messages first thing and try to get to the gym if I have time - What is your life hack / top tip? Remembering priorities - There are things more important than work and it's always important to get perspective. faith, in spirituality, humanity or organised religion can be very valuable - If you were not doing your current job, what would you like to have done? I would like to have worked in socially focused development activities (hopefully I can still do so at some stage) - What is the biggest challenge facing the finance world at present? Like other industries, finance is proliferated with increasing amounts of data. Using this data effectively and not being overwhelmed by it remains a significant challenge.

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5 Need to Know Tips About Dealing With Your Sunday Night Blues

Posted by Claire Mason

The weekend is coming to a close and that regular feeling of dread starts to creep in. Your head hits the pillow and thoughts of full inboxes, tight deadlines and demanding bosses are inevitably going to keep you awake half the night… Sound familiar? Most of us have felt this way from time to time. However, research suggests that over 75% of us suffer from extreme Sunday night blues which manifests into severe anxiety and depression about work the next day. This is a worrying statistic when it comes to the health and wellbeing of the workforce. This phenomenon doesn’t just affect senior executives; it can and does impact people at all levels of the employment hierarchy from Trainees to Partners. Even people who love their job can feel anxious about Monday mornings. Want to avoid this feeling? Try out the following tactics to reclaim your well-earned day of rest: 1. Don’t check work emails With technology at our fingertips 24/7, checking and rechecking your inbox can become an obsession. Research suggests that work emails can increase your heart rate as well as elevate your stress and cortisol levels. This can interfere with your body’s digestion and immune system, among other things, which is clearly not good for your health. Why not consider removing push notifications from your phone or closing email on your computer over the weekend? If you really must check them, try setting yourself a time limit. 2. Plan for Monday on Friday You may be desperate to run out the door for that first G&T but take some time to plan for the week ahead. Review and prioritise your calendar, write a to-do list, tie up as many loose ends as you can. 3. Understand the triggers It’s important to identify the root cause(s) of your feelings of dread. Is it your boss? Unrealistic targets or expectations? The commute or work environment? Try to figure exactly what’s making you anxious so that you can do something to resolve it. 4. Do more of what you love on Sunday Whether it’s your favourite activity, visiting somewhere new or simply hanging out with friends or family, try to make the most of your downtime with the people you enjoy spending time with. Exercise is also a great way to release feel-good endorphins and distract you from the blues. 5. Still not improving? – Time to change your job Life is too short to constantly feel a negative impact from work. If you have tried the above and things have not improved, it could be time for a change. That’s where we come in. Write a list of what you enjoy most and least about your role then contact a member of the Pro-Finance team. We can help you find solutions that will not only benefit you but also the people around you and your career!

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Why you won't succeed in accountancy without soft skills

Posted by Claire Mason

The accountancy profession is changing – fast. There has been a profound shift in the role of accountants in recent years, from bean counters to strategic business partners. Firms are now embracing new technology, providing services that deliver added value and helping their clients beyond just the numbers. As a result, the way employers define top talent has changed. No longer are qualifications and technical skills the sole focus. Whilst these requirements remain important, equally as valued are skills such as commercial acumen and entrepreneurialism. So, what does this mean for professionals seeking to progress their finance career in today’s market? One key point is to work on your soft skills. Take a look at any job description these days and you are likely to see a request for ‘excellent communication skills’ or ‘ability to build strong relationships’. These are soft skills. They are not new by any means but are more important in the workplace now than ever before. However, unlike hard skills which can be proven and measured, soft skills are intangible and difficult to quantify. There are a number of different skills within this category but, based on feedback from senior business leaders on the lookout for their next rising star, here are two key skills we suggest focusing on. Business Acumen Sometimes referred to as commercial awareness, this often takes a back seat in accountancy in favour of technical competency. However, organisations are now looking for their accountants to act as strategic business partners, being proactive in identifying solutions to complex problems and new ways to add value. Business acumen takes effort to acquire but often comes at no other cost than a bit of your time. Try the following: · Follow key developments in your industry, reading up on emerging practices and successful business strategies. Try setting Google Alerts so that you receive breaking news directly to your inbox · Follow industry experts and commentators on social media that foster strategic thinking and recommended tactics · Learn from others. Perhaps seek out a mentor who can help you better understand how a company and sector works Communication The official definition of the word communicate is to ‘share or exchange information, news, or ideas’. Well, we can all do that but how effective a communicator are you? Did your parents ever tell you ‘it’s not what you say, it’s the way you say it’? Strong written and verbal communication skills are vital in accountancy as you will often be required to collaborate with multiple departments and stakeholders. Successful business development is also achieved by making new connections and nurturing relationships. Here are some tips to help you improve your communication skills, which you should find useful both in the workplace and in an interview scenario: · Listen. Really listen. Pay attention, put away the distractions (phones, tablets) and engage with what the other person is saying · Adapt your communication style to your audience. Whether you’re talking to your boss, a co-worker or the CEO of a global organisation – adjust how you speak according to who you are speaking with · Ask questions and repeat back some of what has been said. This shows you are listening and interested in what the other person is saying · Be aware of your body language. Even when you are not saying anything, you are constantly communicating. Making eye contact, avoiding crossed arms and not fidgeting are a good place to start These are just two of the vital soft skills required to perform well in a modern accounting firm. If you would like to stay ahead of the game by polishing up on these skills, get in touch with Pro-Recruitment for further tips and advice.

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Moving into Corporate Finance as a Recently Qualified Accountant

Posted by Claire Mason

I talk to a lot of Newly Qualified Accountants that are keen to move out of Audit and pursue a career in Corporate Finance. Playing an active role in the commercial success of a business is both exciting and challenging and can be a very rewarding career choice. But what is it and how easy is it to make this move? What is Corporate Finance? The term Corporate Finance covers a broad range of activities. Primarily it is concerned with transactions in which capital is raised in order to create, develop, grow or acquire a business. Specific types of transaction include: · Mergers, demergers, acquisitions or the sale of private companies · Raising start-up, development or expansion capital · Management buy-out or buy-in of companies · Financing joint ventures, project finance or infrastructure finance · Raising debt and restructuring debt What roles are on offer? There are a number of professional roles that fall under the umbrella of Corporate Finance. I predominantly work with accountancy firms and M&A boutiques that are seeking professionals to act as Advisers on the above transactions. The same firms require people to provide financial support, known as due diligence, which ensures the financial workings of the target company are in order. These roles are often referred to as Transaction Services. Other highly sought-after roles such as M&A Banking and FP&A (Financial Planning and Analysis) exist in large corporates and investment banks. What skills/experience will I need? Making a move into Corporate Finance is an extremely popular choice for a lot of Chartered Accountants. Not only is the market swamped with your fellow Audit / Advisory colleagues, there are also existing employees of banks, boutiques and Big 4 M&A teams that may well rank ahead of you as ideal candidates for that dream job. However, the good news is that there are steps you can take to get ahead in the race. · Get a big-name firm on your CV, such as Big 4 or Mid-tier accounting firm · Focus on your qualifications – if you have not yet sat your final exams, be mindful that many future employers (such as banks and boutiques) will seek first-time exam passes. For those already qualified, perhaps look into doing supplementary qualifications such as the CFA · Seek relevant experience in your current firm – if you work for a company that has a Corporate Finance division, find out if it would be possible to secure a secondment or transfer. Gaining 12-18 months in the Transactions Services team, for example, will stand you in good stead for your next move · Focus on your soft skills – to pursue a career in Corporate Finance, you will need to demonstrate the following key skills: strong commercial acumen, analytical skills, problem-solving, interpersonal skills and attention to detail · Speak to a specialist recruiter – not only will they be able to consult with you on the most suitable roles/firms to target, they will also help you to prepare for interviews and CF case studies Find out more about how Claire Mason can help with your recruitment needs by contacting her on +44 (0)20 7269 6339

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