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Regional Finance Director- Malaysia

ISP Malaysia
Mutiara Damansara, Selangor, Malaysia
Date Added: Jun 30, 2022

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The Company 
The International Schools Partnership (ISP) is a growing group of committed colleagues, in financially responsible schools around the world, all of which aim to be the school of choice in their local area. Learning is at the heart of     everything we do for our students, colleagues, and parents. We are committed to getting better, all the time.


ISP was founded by an experienced team of committed educationalists and operators who have worked together over many years. Our growing group of private schools located in the UK, the USA, Canada, Spain, Italy, Switzerland Costa Rica, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, India, Malaysia, Mexico, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador and Peru and Vietnam educate children and students from 2–18 years of age.  We have now expanded to 60 schools in 16 countries that employ over 8,000 employees and deliver multiple curricula to over 50,000 students.


We believe that successful schools are the ones that put learning at the heart of everything they do, always aiming to create rounded individuals that can forge successful careers and lives, in a rapidly changing world. Our goal is to enable our schools to be the leading school of choice in their local area. At ISP we continue to engage with schools around the world that are interested in becoming part of our global group of schools and look forward to welcoming more students and staff to the group.


ISP in Malaysia: ISP operates Asia Pacific Schools, Straits International Schools and Tenby Schools where we are strategically located covering the Klang Valley, Perak, Penang and Johor within Malaysia. Our experience in education excellence helps us provide amazing learning experiences for students as young as 3 years up to 18 years old.  The nine (9) ISP schools Malaysia follows the international school curriculum comprising IGCSE and A-levels, starting at kindergarten level, while five (5) of the schools also offer the Malaysian National Curriculum.  While the national and international schools and classrooms are separated, facilities and non-curricular activities are shared between the schools.  With over 8,000 students, we have a 60-year history in the country providing education to students and have gained a reputation for excellence and high standards in education.


What unites all ISP schools is a common purpose of enabling moments of Amazing Learning, where a student goes beyond the level they thought possible and amaze themselves with the progress they have made. We believe that by providing our students opportunities to learn through a good struggle, they will develop the perseverance and resilience necessary to independently overcome any challenges that lie in their way.

Our Vision is to be an international schools group of quality and scale recognised across local communities and the education sector for amazing learning, ambition and growth. We believe that successful schools are the ones that put learning first, always aiming to create rounded individuals that are able to forge successful careers and lives in a rapidly changing world. Progressively, our goal is to position our schools as the leading School of Choice in their local area.



All our schools:


  • Help children and students learn to levels that amaze them.
  • Inspire children and students to be successful now and equip them to be successful later.
  • Are truly international, working in partnerships within and across regions, cultures and languages.
  • Aim to be the schools of choice for children, students and their families, wherever we are.



The organisation is looking for a Regional Finance Director, reporting to the Regional Managing Director, with a dotted line to the Divisional CFO - Asia.  The individual will be responsible for business partnering with the Regional Managing Director and have full responsibility for all aspects of reporting (management accounts, budgeting, KPIs, consolidation, cash, tax and statutory reporting) for this region.
Main Responsibilities:
  1. Commercial business partnering with the Regional MD
  • Setting budgets, forecasts and targets for the region
  • Monitor performance such that budgets and targets are achieved
  • Identifying opportunities for growing enrolments
  • Ensuring schools costs are controlled within agreed budgets
  • Drive understanding and accountability of financial performance across region
  • Set up of the new regional office and associated functions
  1. Management Reporting
  • Consolidate and review the regional monthly results and reporting on variances against budget and prior year for all schools in the region
  • Reporting on KPIs with commentary, making clear link to the key drivers, impacting the P&L performance versus budget assumptions
  • Lead on the financial aspects of integration post-acquisition of new schools
  1. Cash Flow
  • Responsible for ensuring that local cash management is optimised
  • Cash pooling is in place where possible
  • Working with the Group Head of Corporate Finance (Treasury) to ensure that cash flows are forecast accurately, and that surplus cash is repatriated to the UK
  1. Statutory Reporting
  • First point of contact with Group and local auditors
  • Ensure that the Statutory Reporting of all legal entities is completed on time
  • Regular balance sheet reconciliations / Appropriate internal controls
  • Maintain a reconciliation between statutory and management reporting
  1. Capex
  • Full ownership of Capex process for the region, including reporting to Group, tracking of actual spend vs. budget and coordination of regional budget submissions
  • Work closely with regional functional directors in preparation and submission of project capex papers
  1. Tax
  • Work with schools to develop strategies, policies and plans to ensure that the schools are fully tax compliant
  • Work with Group Head of Tax on group tax matters such as transfer pricing and to ensure that the tax profile of the region is optimised
  • Ensure the policy, procedures and practices relating to taxation comply fully with all legal and regulatory requirements and codes of practice /conduct
  • Liaising with external tax advisors as appropriate
  • Maintain a good technical knowledge of relevant tax policies and processes
  1. Systems
  • Support the Group Financial Systems team in maintaining fit-for-purpose Management Reporting Systems, for the region.
  • Provide feedback, suggestions and input from the region to help develop the systems and facilitate efficient and consistent finance processes and reporting across the region.
  1. Team Leadership
  • A key representative for ISP in the region
  • Provide leadership across the region together with the Regional Managing Director and the Regional SMT team members, including Heads of Schools and functional directors
  • Provide leadership to all finance personnel in the region (including school finance managers) and ensure that finance capability in the region and schools is continually improved
  • Work alongside Regional Managing Director to mentor and coach other regional functional managers and staff.
  • Member of ISP’s Group Finance Leadership Team
  1. Other
  • The Regional Finance Director will take regional responsibility for the ISP Procurement programme, working with the Group Procurement Lead and the Regional Procurement Champion to embed sound procurement processes and procedures in the region, report on any regional initiatives and track actual savings vs. target
  • Additionally, the Regional Finance Director will work closely with the Regional HR Director on staffing efficiencies across the schools, including the monitoring of staffing ratios and use of appropriate tools to calculate and assess appropriate levels of staffing.
Candidate Profile:
  • Qualified accountant, ideally Big 4 qualified with significant experience of operating at a senior level in a commercial environment, ideally in a senior financial role reporting into an overseas Head Office structure in either the USA or UK
  • Fluent in English and Malay or additional Asian languages will be a plus
  • Comfortable in setting policy and direction and influencing others in the achievement of objectives, also in areas other than own expertise area
  • Demonstrable success in previous roles requiring commercial, business and strategic understanding
  • Experience of working in a fast paced environment in a growing business
  • Resilient and independent, with the ability to challenge and push back when appropriate
  • Strong understanding of tax and statutory accounting issues in the region
  • Knowledge of IFR
  • Strong interpersonal skills with the ability to build relationships at senior levels of the organisation and influence key stakeholders. Ability to understand the business context to draw an appropriate balance between control and giving schools freedom to operate
  • Strong people management skills and emotional intelligence. Comfortable with ambiguity
  • Oracle/NetSuite experience desirable but not essential
  • Ideally will possess some international experience
  • Flexibility and a willingness to travel across the region
Safeguarding & Safer Recruitment
ISP is committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children and young people and expects all staff and volunteers to share this commitment. All post holders are subject to appropriate vetting procedures and satisfactory Criminal Background Checks or equivalent covering the previous 10 years employment history.
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