This opportunity has now been filled

Finance Director

About the role

Known the world over as experts in cashmere and fine woollens, Johnstons is one of Scotland’s most iconic businesses (see  Johnstons is a truly exciting business: privately owned and with over 200 years of great history and heritage, strong commercial performance and around 1000 employees, based at their mills in Elgin, Moray and in Hawick, in the Scottish Borders.  Additionally, with sales offices in Tokyo, New York, Paris, London and Dusseldorf and clients that include the world’s foremost fashion houses, this is a truly international luxury brand and manufacturer.

Their values of Trust, Craftsmanship, Innovation and Community are very important to them.  The family owners of the business see themselves as custodians of the business, aiming to pass it on to the next generation, building on their predecessors work to continually improve the business.  That means investing in the textile skills that are at the heart of their capability and that support employment in their communities of Elgin and Hawick, and in process and design innovation that ensure we are always able remain relevant to our consumers.

Sustainability is at the heart of Johnstons business model.  Their products are all manufactured in the UK and as the only fully vertical textile manufacturer in Scotland, they have complete control of the process from fibre procurement to finished product.  This allows them to ensure their manufacturing takes place with fair wages and conditions (living wage foundation employer), they only use chemicals which do not harm the environment and that we avoid waste and maximise the quality of their products.  This results in garments made from natural materials that will last for years and degrade naturally at the end of their long life.  They are a ‘slow fashion’ brand.

Following strong results in 2019/2020, including export growing 9.5% and gross margin up to 31.1%, the organisation has gone through the necessary arrangements to stabilise throughout the pandemic and looks to 2021/2022 positively with key investments being made across the business.

The Opportunity:

Following the Finance Director’s promotion to Chief Executive we are now looking for an exciting, commercially and growth minded Finance Director to join the Board.

This is a very exciting opportunity to bring a balance of hands on financial and commercial business partnering skills to a role aimed at managing and developing a growing finance function, deputising for the FD as appropriate, and join a world leading cashmere brand as it continues its international growth.

The Finance Director is one of three executive directors on the main board, alongside the Chief Executive and Sales Director.

The Finance Director (FD) will be a leader within the business and a key leader of and contributor to strategy development. As well as possessing pre-requisites from a technical, control and accounting perspective, the FD will also be expected to be a strong influence commercially and operationally through the provision of data and insight.

Johnstons sells wholesale to Johnstons branded and private label customers and retails through physical stores and on-line, operating across c50 countries through a combination of these routes to market. A myriad of different products are manufactured across our two mills, and our vertical integration means that we have a particularly complex process. The financial performance of the company depends on clear metrics being delivered from the selling and making processes so that they can be optimised by our commercial and operational teams.

We are therefore looking for a commercially astute strategic business partner, who has a track-record of leading finance as an enabling function; creating a more financially literate and sensitive organisation; spotting and creating opportunities for growth, cost reduction and innovation; and leading and contributing to wider teams and initiatives than purely finance.

Key Responsibilities:

  • Contribute to the leadership of Johnstons of Elgin as a member of the Board ensuring delivery of strategic objectives
  • Lead the Finance function, and all finance related matters, across the organisation in support of our overall company strategy and to support future growth. Including oversight of management and statutory accounting, audit, treasury, pensions, insurance and risk management, legal, property, procurement, company secretarial and compliance activities
  • Lead the IT team and the information strategy of the company, including cyber-security and data compliance
  • Deliver the company’s annual operating budget and longer term financial planning
  • Support the commercial organisation with insight into profitability of product areas, customers and sales channels
  • Support the operational organisation by the provision of accurate and timely analysis on the effectiveness of manufacturing and its supporting functions
  • Develop systems for reporting on sustainability alongside profitability

Contact Us / How to Apply

To request the full candidate brochure, apply or arrange an initial conversation to find out more, please email or send your CV and covering letter to Michael Dickson at