Finance Manager Job in Kenya

About Novastar

Novastar is a venture capital fund manager dedicated to finding and growing the “new stars” of East and West Africa. We back early and growth stage businesses led by entrepreneurs with the capability and ambition to transform markets and sectors. There is a vibrant ecosystem of fast-growing businesses offering low-income households access to affordable goods and services such as healthcare, agriculture services, energy, housing, education and safe water, or access to new opportunities as employees or producers.

If successful, these businesses have the potential to transform the lives of millions of people by satisfying latent demand, expanding market access, reducing costs and improving the quality of essential goods and services.
However, many of these businesses struggle to find investors who are willing to finance them both while they test and develop their business model and then pursue scale. As one of the early venture funds at scale in the region Novastar addresses this need, supporting businesses as they test their business model and growing with them if they are successful.
We also provide ongoing support (beyond financing) to the businesses to help them reach their full potential. In so doing, Novastar aims to generate attractive returns for our investors and large-scale benefits for low-income households.
Novastar was formed in March 2014 and, having raised our second fund in October 2018, we are looking to expand our team accordingly. We are therefore seeking a Finance Manager to support us and our portfolio companies.
About the role
As Finance Manager you will both manage our internal finance systems and support our portfolio companies’ finance functions.
Internally, you will lead our internal finance systems and initiatives, oversee a Senior Accountant, manage relationships with auditors and fund administrators, as well as support on investor reporting.
As our portfolio companies grow rapidly, they need to constantly upgrade their finance functions; you will proactively support them with these challenges, and where needed, provide advice on finance systems and best practices. You will build a network of proven and trusted finance service providers available to our companies when the needs arise.
Manage Novastar’s Financial Systems (50%)
  • Manage and oversee the finance team, which includes a Senior Accountant
  • Ensure the smooth running of the finance function in both our Nairobi and Lagos offices
  • Proactively liaise with auditors and manage the relationship to ensure timely completion of Novastar entity audits
  • Oversee the performance of our service providers in Kenya, Mauritius, and the UK (eg fund administrators, accountants)
  • Supervise creation of annual budgets
  • Support on quarterly, annual and ad-hoc investor reporting
  • Lead key fund operations such as (but not limited to) the valuing our investments, allocating our remaining reserves to portfolio companies and monitoring the long-term performance of the fund
Portfolio company support (40%)
  • Develop an understanding of the finance challenges our individual portfolio companies face
  • Provide project-based finance support to portfolio companies as and when needed
  • Support portfolio companies with recruitment in their finance function, (including but not limited to mapping out technical role requirements and involvement in the interview process)
  • Identify patterns of frequent finance challenges and design and then lead portfoliowide scalable solutions.
  • Identify best practices within the portfolio and facilitate the sharing of these across the portfolio
  • Continuously keep abreast of market trends, proactively gather learnings and share insights with the Novastar team and portfolio companies
Build a dynamic pool of finance providers (10%)
  • Develop a deep understanding of finance service providers across the markets we operate in to understand: their expertise, value, differentiating factor, quality of delivery, and understanding of fast-growing businesses
  • Dynamically adjust the list of providers as they leave and enter the market and as we gain experience working with them
  • Act as the matchmaker that efficiently connects our portfolio companies with the right finance support
  • Advice the companies in selecting the best and most relevant provider based on their needs.
  • Closely oversee delivery and assess quality of outputs.
  • You have at least 8-9 years of work experience in a finance function and are a qualified accountant. You have experience preparing management and annual accounts, managing ongoing accounting and finance activities (e.g., payroll, filing taxes)
  • You have built financial systems in a fast growing organization and understand the challenges faced
  • You have experience in managing people and teams, including an accounting team
  • You love the culture and dynamics of fast-growing organizations. Preferably you have been an entrepreneur in the past, have worked in a fast-growing organization, or are in constant contact with entrepreneurs
  • You have a proven track record in building impactful and efficient accounting and finance functions
  • You easily build rapport and relationships with ambitious entrepreneurs
  • You are a keen listener with great ability to “hear beyond the words”. You are naturally able to sense issues in a team and what individuals need
  • You have proven track record, creating, building and influencing diverse stakeholder relationships to achieve a common goal
  • You are conversant with using excel skills to build financial
  • Your written communication is strong, and have the ability to write proposals
  • You have worked in East or West Africa, are conversant with local business practices, and have a good understanding of how businesses run
  • You have worked in multicultural and diverse environments
  • You have a proven ability to quickly connect dots, see patterns, identify causes and propose impactful solutions
  • You have the proven ability to create and execute result-oriented projects in a highly demanding environment, and manage multiple projects at a time
  • You are able to monitor ongoing projects and produce regular reports to various stakeholders
  • You are a fast learner, who is comfortable with ambiguity and able to adapt and thrive in frequently changing environments
  • You are known for your strong ability to make things happen
You will love working at Novastar if:
  • You believe in the potential of ambitious entrepreneurs to transform millions of lives and are committed and eager to help shape this dream.
  • You love and value working and growing your career in a culturally rich and diverse work setting
  • You enjoy working in small teams where openness, flat structure and meritocracy are key drivers for collaboration
  • You listen carefully and respectfully to differing views and embrace constructive criticism
  • You are results oriented go-getter with an entrepreneurial approach to everyday challenges
  • You are not surprised or deterred when things go wrong.
Wondering why you should join us?
  • Work at the cutting edge of venture capital: We find and support exceptional entrepreneurs, proving that large-scale benefits to low-income households and attractive returns to investors are possible.
  • Join a movement: We and our entrepreneurs are stubbornly optimistic, believing that solutions to large challenges can be found and work relentlessly towards building the future.
  • Incredible exposure and a steep learning curve: We are a small and agile team, and you will be involved in a wide range of projects and activities. You will be deeply engaged in and partner on the journey of our entrepreneur rockstars and gather experience and networks of a lifetime!
  • We take care of the team! Our Nairobi office is a beautiful place to work at and reflects our ambition to do things differently.
  • Our flat hierarchy gives you a voice: From day one you will be part of all conversations and decision meetings. We expect you to participate fully, as your insights count. This also comes with autonomy, as you chart your own journey in the firm!
How To Apply
  • Tailor your CV to this opportunity, showcasing your relevant past roles clearly. The File name of your CV should start with your first name followed by your surname e. g Anita Miles CV, saved in PDF Format and not more than 3 pages long. Only CVs in the right format will be considered
  • Prepare the application and submit as outlined under this link (includes video submission)
  • Apply AS SOON as you see this. Selection will take place on a rolling basis.
  • This role is based in our office in Nairobi.