Sarah Harvey e1652793982819

essensys appoints CFO from Virgin Media O2

The AIM-listed flexible office software provider has appointed Sarah Harvey, former operations finance director at Virgin Media O2, as CFO.

Harvey will take over from Alan Pepper who has now assumed the newly created standalone role of COO. He was previously CFO and COO of essensys.

Jon Lee, the company’s non-executive chairman, said: “Sarah’s appointment and Alan Pepper’s move into the new standalone COO role concludes the evolution of our senior management team, creating capacity to fulfil the growth ambitions we set out at the fundraising in July 2021.”

essensys raised more than £30m last summer “to take advantage of the significant opportunities presented by the growing flexible workspace industry”.

Priorities included:

  • Targeting a “significant land grab opportunity” that has arisen from a growing demand for flex space
  • Growing essensys’ market share in North America, the UK, Continental Europe and Asia Pacific – with a long-term plan to increase its market share by 10% across those regions
  • Expanding its customer base by developing “key, high value, strategic accounts”
  • Accelerating the company’s product development to strengthen its market position

Since then, essensys has appointed CEOs For APAC (Eric Schaffer from WeWork) and for UK and Europe (James Lowery from British Land).

Before joining essensys, Harvey spent five years at Telefonica UK (now Virgin Media O2) as commercial finance director and two years as CFO of giffgaff.

She qualified as a chartered accountant in 2002 with PwC, where she was later a director in the firm’s transaction services, capital markets team.

Lee said: “Sarah brings a wealth of relevant expertise and is extremely well qualified to oversee the continued financial management of the group.”

Recent half-year results revealed a slowdown in growth for essensys, despite the continued success of its US business. In the UK, recurring revenue fell 13.5% in the six months to January 2022 off the back of a longstanding customer going into administration.

Total revenue, however, rose 2.8% to £10.9m, and CEO Mark Furness said he was “increasingly optimistic” about long-term global opportunities.

In those results, he said: “If anything, we consider that our market opportunity is growing more rapidly than previously anticipated.  Whilst the first half of the year was more challenging than we expected the medium- to long-term outlook for the business remains very positive.”

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