Interim Finance Director for a US invested company in the Industrial Sector


Our client is in the manufacturing of Optics and Photonics solutions serving blue chip customer in the Industrial, defense, telecommunications, testing and measurements, and medical industries. They design, manufactures and distributes optical and infrared components including bolded glass aspheric lenses and assemblies, infrared lenses and thermal imaging assemblies and fused fiber collimators. 

As this was a very niche market in China, the previous General Manager colluded with the Finance Director to re-engineer the accounts so as not to reflect the actual to HQ. The CFO in US had a hard time trying to get information on the financials. The two individual had also opened a parallel company to channel the business to their own company. The GM was replaced by an individual from HQ and Finance Director was fired concurrently. This left a big gap in their financial reporting and consolidation not only to the US but also to the China Tax Bureau. 


• There were no handling and taking over of accounts as such the Interim manager had to pick up from where the accounts were left off. 

• Finance policies had to be redesigned and implemented. 

• Reporting format and timelines in accordance to HQ requirements. 

• Tax issues had to be reviewed and settled. 

• Daily financial functions in terms of payment and account receivables had to be visited. 

• Financial approval process had to be redesigned. 

• Cleaning up of questionable invoices and suppliers. 

• Setting up of the social security funds in line with the government mandates and requirements. 

All these among others have to be completed and stabilized within the 3 months’ period. 

With the termination of the Finance Director the company decided to hire an Interim Finance Director to help clean up the mess, redefine the duties of the role while implementing processes and control measures. The client wanted someone with strong experience financially in the manufacturing industry with good values and integrity preferably with such experiences in disaster recovery. 


The interim manager first task was to provide HQ management and the existing GM confidence not only on his financial competence but also on his integrity as head of finance. As this was a rather difficult assessment he had to do it with his own character and show them his style and competence. He also had some experience in this similar type of situation. 

Subsequently he then had to quickly pick up from where the former finance director left off and spend time in redesigning the processes and set up the financial policies and mandates. An agreed 3-month plan with regular updates, actions and end results were defined to provide stability and confidence on his competency and also to prove on his integrity which was the hardest to show in such a short period of time. 

As a functional role collaboration with different BU and external parties were quickly established to gather information and manage corrective action so as to provide a more efficient and transparent cooperation with internal and external parties. The plan was followed diligently with quick results shown. 


The Interim Manager worked for nearly 3 months and had shown good results in what he had planned to do. He managed to gain the confidence of the CFO in HQ and had a good and transparent working relationship with the GM in China. His performance and end results were so significant that the client wanted to hire him on a full time basis. When the 3 months was due they re-negotiated and made him a permanent staff which he is now the Financial Director of the company. 

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Simon Wan