Senior Commercial Finance Analyst

Finance and Compliance Edinburgh, United Kingdom


Location                       Edinburgh, UK
Position Status            Full-time, initial fixed-term 6-month contract with potential for extension
Salary Level                Market Competitive plus benefits, depending on experience
Reports to                   Head of International Finance, Mercy Corps Europe
Travel                          Up to 20% of time

About Mercy Corps

Mercy Corps is a leading global organisation powered by the belief that a better world is possible. In disaster, in hardship, in more than 40 countries around the world, we partner to put bold solutions into action — helping people triumph over adversity and build stronger communities from within. Now, and for the future.

Mercy Corps Europe (MCE) has grown rapidly both in terms of the volume of activity and its complexity. With offices in Edinburgh, London, The Hague and Geneva, we now attract over £100m in income, and employ more than 100 domestic and expatriate field team members. The breadth and impact of our programmes makes Mercy Corps a unique and truly rewarding place to work. Our teams are proud of what we achieve in the field and we are always looking for talented individuals who share our passion and commitment. 

Position Summary

Mercy Corps Europe has adopted an ambitious growth strategy that seeks to build more strategic partnerships with bilateral and multilateral donor agencies to increase our income, influence, and programmatic impact. MCE's revenue now stands at around £100m - a portfolio which has doubled in size over the past two years. As the agency expands, we are exploring new partnerships and funding opportunities, and commercial contracts are one of these areas of focus. The Senior Commercial Finance Analyst (SCFA) sits within the International Finance team and will be responsible for developing Mercy Corps’ financial management tools and processes for commercial contract opportunities. This will include involvement in pre-positioning efforts, supporting the bid development process and start-up activities during inception phases. He/she will work with colleagues in the Programmes, Compliance and New Initiatives teams, as well as with in-country teams. He/she will also be responsible for developing tools, guidance and institutional knowledge on commercial contract bid development and the financial management processes of such bids. The role will include conducting financial due diligence on these opportunities (and potential partners), and assessing commercial viability and risk on a case-by-case basis.

Essential Job Responsibilities

  • On specific bids:
    • Bid Pre-positioning
      • Tracking and Approvals: Participate in bid tracking and discussions around Go/No-Go decisions, especially including cash flow analysis, risk and competitiveness.
      • Engagement: Where appropriate, attend information-sharing meetings on potential opportunities e.g. DFID Early Market Engagement Events.
      • Develop draft budgets: Work with relevant HQ teams and in-country teams to develop draft budgets and commercial offerings.
      • Due Diligence: Participate in any Due Diligence of Lead Contractors or Subcontractors, to protect the organisation from any finance-related risks of association.
    • Bid Development
      • ITT analysis: Participate in analysis of Invitation to Tender packs, with a focus on finance-related requirements and finance-related evaluation criteria.
      • Budget development: Lead on developing Commercial Tenders, including support on development of internal budget, as well as translation into donor format (e.g. rolling up into fee rates) – working with relevant HQ teams and in-country teams, to ensure all bids are both competitive and commercially viable.
      • Commercial narrative: Lead on developing narrative sections of Commercial Tender, including financial plans, financial methodologies, value for money etc.
      • Bid development workshops: Where appropriate, participate in bid development workshops, or consortia meetings – either face-to-face or through conference calls.
    • Contract Implementation and Management
      • Financial monitoring: Support relevant HQ and in-country teams in the delivery of Contacts, with a focus on monitoring the financial position, and actively and adaptively planning to ensure the commercial success of a given Contract.
      • Analysis: Where appropriate, provide insightful analysis, develop KPIs and guide reporting requirements, in order to drive operational performance.
      • COG participation: Participate in regular Contracts Oversight Group meetings.
      • Field visits: Where necessary, undertake field visits to train, support and monitor implementation teams.
  • Development of policies, procedures and tools
    • Strategy: Support the development of a corporate strategic financial model to allow evaluation of risk and strategic options.
    • Policies maintenance: Maintain and where necessary feed into the development of policies related to the organisation’s engagement with Commercial Contracts – e.g. Commercial Contracts and Cost Allocation; Commercial Contracts and FX rates; Applying Management Margin on Subcontractors’ fee rates.
    • Tool development: Develop and refine relevant tools to enable the organisation to make informed decision about pursuing contracts and to successfully implement them – including cash flow projections, risk assessments, budget-to-fee rate translators, rate cards.
    • Standard language: Develop relevant standard sections of Commercial Tender bids, e.g. Value for Money, Financial Methodology.
    • Training and orientation: Develop training and orientation sessions on relevant areas of commercial contracting and deliver them to appropriate audiences – including HQ and in-country teams – to ensure adoption of best-practice.
  • External Engagement
    • Negotiations: Contribute to negotiations with both potential and actual partners, as well as with donors, particularly on finance aspects including, but not limited to: payment by results, fee rates, budget allocations.
    • Partner support: Where partners are unfamiliar with Commercial Contracts, provide orientation and guidance to the extent that it is mutually beneficial.
    • Sector groups: Engage in sector platforms to contribute to relevant advocacy points and share information with peer organisations, e.g. through BOND Funding Group/Contracts Working Group.
  • Organisational learning
    • Organisational Learning: As part of our commitment to organisational learning and in support of our understanding that learning organisations are more effective, efficient and relevant to the communities they serve - we expect all team members to commit 5% of their time to learning activities that benefit Mercy Corps as well as themselves.
  • Accountability to Beneficiaries
    • Mercy Corps team members are expected to support all efforts toward accountability, specifically
      to our beneficiaries and to international standards guiding international relief and development work, while actively engaging beneficiary communities as equal partners in the design, monitoring and evaluation of our field projects.

Knowledge and Experience

  • Extremely strong commercial acumen and understanding of building fee rates, as well as financial modelling of profit and loss analysis, cash flow and NPV forecasting, planning, budgeting and management reporting.
  • Very strong communication skills, both verbal and written business English. Able to communicate clearly to staff in different functions across the agency.
  • Proficiency with MS Office software required (Outlook, Word, Excel, PowerPoint) - with an advanced proficiency in Excel preferred.
  • Experience of computerised accountancy packages is required.
  • Qualified Accountant is desirable
  • Experience in humanitarian or development aid sector is desirable.

Success Factors

  • Demonstrates a clear empathy with the organisation’s aims and values.
  • Highly analytical.
  • Able to build effective and lasting relationships with colleagues and external partners. Able to motivate others and lead with energy.
  • Strong in negotiating solutions. Proactive and thoughtful in identifying and resolving issues.
  • Effective organisation and planning skills.
  • A self-starter – able to work both independently and as part of a team.
  • Able to prioritise in a fast-changing environment and to work well under pressure.
  • Willingness and ability to travel internationally as required.

Living/Environmental Conditions

The position is based in Edinburgh. The Commercial Finance Manager can expect to travel internationally up to 20% of the time to areas with limited access to medical facilities and amenities.

Mercy Corps’ team members represent the agency both during and outside work hours when deployed in a field posting. Team members are expected to conduct themselves in a professional manner and respect local laws, customs and MC's policies, procedures, and values at all times and in all in-country venues.

Please apply via our careers site with your CV (and a cover letter if desired). Applications will be assessed on a rolling basis. Please note that applicants must have the right to work in the UK at the time of application.