GPT Finance Director

Posted 9 February by AstraZeneca Featured
At AstraZeneca, we’re not afraid to do things differently. We’reresetting expectations of what a bio - pharmaceutical company can be. This means we’re opening up new ways to work, pioneeringcutting edge methods and bringing unexpected teamstogether.

The Project Finance team is a dynamic team focused on supporting the Global Product Teams and senior governing bodies (Late Stage Portfolio Committee (LSPC), Therapy area leadership team (TALT) and SET) with R&D project and portfolio decisions. A position in this team offers an individual an exceptional opportunity for direct exposure to senior management across the organisation, combined with exposure to business issues affecting the Group’s current performance and strategic initiatives.

Part of a Global team of finance professionals, this role will be flexibly deployed to provide financial advice, support and challenge to Global Product Teams (GPTs).   Working with several GPTs, this role is accountable for the robust evaluation of projects by providing high quality financial & commercial input to product investment decisions and expert financial analysis of key risks and sensitivities. Project decisions involve substantial financial commitments (typically in excess of $300m R&D expenditure, capital investments and substantial sales and marketing expenditure) and often require complex risk and scenario planning to enable the LSPC, TALT and SET to make informed pipeline decisions, the building of which is one of AZs critical strategic objectives.  Where the product is in-licensed or part of an external collaboration, this role will also be responsible for the critical post-deal management activities.


As a member of the GPTs you will provide strategic financial advice, support and challenge to project strategy, plan and investment decisions. You will also provide proactive and innovative financial analysis & scenario modelling to support the GPTs in assessing the value impact of critical project development options, including shaping clinical trial design, launch strategies, pricing and market access implications, lifecycle management opportunities, and impact of manufacturing on products value. 

This role will be responsible for ensuring that all investment decisions have a robust financial case supporting them.  This will require the identification, review and challenge of the key forecasting assumptions across the whole value chain (R&D, Operations, Commercial).

A key component of the role will be to champion good cost management during the planning and execution of clinical plans and ensure teams are engaging and leveraging productivity initiatives in design of clinical programmes as well as to provide input to all governance body papers (including LSPC, SET), leading the preparation of the financial sections and ensuring Global Finance functional support of the forecasts and recommendations as appropriate (e.g. US, GPPS, Operations).

The role will also be expected to provide general broad business input to the paper as a whole, including the non-financial sections and ensure senior finance leaders are appropriately briefed ahead of key decision points, including the Group CFO and other Finance VPs as required.

You will also co-ordinate and lead a Finance Network for the product, both within R&D and across other SET areas to ensure appropriate sharing of information and consistency of product forecasting assumptions and approach and establish joint accountability with the GPT for the long term R&D cost forecasts and values and monitor the impact of any key changes to project development assumptions & key deviations from plan. You will also provide the GPT with analysis of options to assist in bringing project plans back to original timetable and to ensure future project milestones are met. 

In addition this role will provide Post Deal Management finance support for deals that fall within the responsibility of the GPT. Depending on the nature of the deal, this may include the following:

  • Providing input to the closing stages of negotiation on impending deals
  • Establishing reporting and operating mechanisms for new deals
  • Establishing effective relationships with the Third Party finance contacts, sometimes sitting on joint finance or product committees.
  • Monitoring and forecasting of milestones, royalties and cost-sharing arrangements
  • Conducting impairment reviews for intangible assets held on the balance sheet, providing recommendations to management and GFR.
  • As part of the post deal management team (legal, finance & business lead), monitor compliance with the contractual arrangements and manage any issues arising.

Minimum Requirements – Education and Experience

  • The role holder will be a qualified finance professional with significant post qualified experience (or equivalent)
  • Broad business / financial experience
  • Good experience of project / product evaluation
  • Extensive experience of working in a global pharmaceutical organisation / deep understanding of the drug development life cycle and/or commercial aspects is required
  • Experience of working globally within multi-disciplinary, cross-cultural teams
  • Demonstrated knowledge of global and corporate business context

Key skills and capabilities related to this role

  • Analytical thinking - ability to collate & analyse data and identify key drivers of value
  • Strong Excel financial modelling
  • Financial evaluation techniques (projects, investments, etc.)
  • Presentation skills / communicating financial recommendations in a way that is both impactful and easily understandable by a financial and non financial audience
  • Ability to interact and engage with senior managers in the business
  • Strategic thinking and influencing - big picture view but eye for detail; Provision of independent challenge to influence decisions
  • Focus on delivery – work well under pressure, meets tight deadlines
  • Sets high personal standards, takes personal responsibility for delivering top class service and product.
  • Maintains high ethical standards and demonstrates high personal integrity
  • Flexibility - to respond to fast changing business needs on short notice
  • Teamwork - effective in leading / being a member of multi-disciplinary teams.Excellent interpersonal skills</
  • Reference: 34184256

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