Back to all jobs
Executive Ford & Stanley logo

Ford & Stanley Executive

Opportunity Brief: Managing Director:

Ford & Stanley Executive Search (Part of the Ford & Stanley Group) are specialists in Executive Interim and Permanent appointments to the UK, European, US & North American Engineering, Rail, General Manufacturing, Digital & Tech Industries.

We have been exclusively entrusted and appointed by Dellner Polymer Solutions on a retained search for a Managing Director.  

Below you will find an ‘opportunity brief’ developed from notes taken during the scoping meetings (Situational Discovery) held between the Executive Search Director, Business Manager of Executive Search and the Dellner Executive Leadership Team. This brief is designed to give candidates deeper insight into the opportunity inherent within the role, the challenges the role presents and provide access to the detail that sits behind the job specification.

Client Opportunity Quotes:

“The core objectives of our new MD will be Sales, Growth, Profitability, Operational excellence and the alignment of the three sites in the Dellner Polymer Division to Dellner Group”.

“We like a strong communicator (good news or bad news – that’s ok), some might say ‘over communicator’ and there is an expectation of our MD’s to know their financial numbers. I.e – How/where is the business making money, where is it losing money and areas for marginal gains and increase profits”.

“With the alignment of our three sites to the group in mind, culture is of paramount importance to us. It is vital that our leaders come with a flair of entrepreneurship and an ability to engage, motivate and lead those in their teams”.

About Dellner Group

Dellner Polymer is a division within the wider Dellner Group, ‘Polymer Solutions’ provide technologically advanced vibration control rubber fabrication and bonding solutions for a global market supplying rail, off-highway, defence, marine and other industrial industries. They have three sites, one in Burton upon Trent (Headcount 58), one in Littlehampton (Headcount 73) and a production facility in India (Headcount 12). The combined turnover of all three sites is circa £28m.

They form a part of Dellner Group, a Swedish organisation which also includes Dellner Bubenzer Group, an industry-diverse global leader in the design and manufacture of hydraulic and braking systems and solutions. It was only recently that the Dellner Group was formed, but it consists of companies with long traditions. The Group has a revenue of 175 million Euro and approx. 1000 employees in 15 countries.

The Opportunity:

Main Challenges the role Presents:

  • As the MD of the Polymer Division, you will be tasked with ensuring that the relatively recently acquired Ferrabyrne & Indian sites (Acquisitions completed 1 year ago) are successfully integrated into the wider Dellner Group and adopt their way of working. The challenge will be engaging the existing team members and bringing them ‘onboard’ for the journey.
  • The expectation will be that you can place significant emphasis on the sales and increased profitability of the division (With a focused effort around the OEM market within Europe). This will be a challenge in itself, jugging operational excellence whilst ensuring suitable resource is allocated to drive growth.
  • You will be tasked with setting a new operational structure that sets the business up well for growth, allowing it to be scalable and agile enough to capitalise on opportunities.

Top three deliverables in 1st year:

  • Driving increased sales and profitability, specifically within the European OEM market and the US.
  • Successfully aligning all three sites with the Dellner Group and ensuring all three work collaboratively together to achieve the best results. This includes the successful transition of some capacity from the Burton upon Trent site down to Littlehampton.
  • The successful planning, execution and ‘bedding in’ of a new structure that allows the business to scale for the future.

Candidate Essentials:

  • Sales oriented with the ability to get out the projects on time and to right cost, preferably with an understanding of how the European OEM market works.
  • A good understanding of business financials, it’s the expectation of the group that MD’s are well aware of their business is financially including P&L, Balance sheet and Cash Flow.
  • Important to understand manufacturing but not a manufacturing expert.
  • Experience from OEM-production and growth with sustained profitability (Key).
  • Live within 1 hour commute of site and willingness to be a present leader ideally 5 days a week (Occasional work from home can be discussed) with flexibility to visit clients, suppliers or ad hoc remote working.
  • Advantageous if the candidate comes from a rail background, alternatively within manufacturing in UK. Other transferable OEM industries considered.
  • Sales / Growth focussed MD with demonstrable track record.
  • Entrepreneurial mindset – a problem solver who in a natural way build relationships both internally and externally.
  • Proven experience as MD or other managerial position and in previous roles has grown the company with profitability.
  • The right candidate has experience from previous roles including developing strategic – and business plans and to full fill those plans.
  • Excellent organizational and leadership skills and a clear communicator with presentation skills.
  • Analytical and problem-solving person with a natural “sense of urgency” attitude.

Good to know:

  • Dellner Polymer will close out 2023 at circa £28m turnover with aspirations to grow significantly when they break into the European market.
  • The role has a team of Operational and Sales specialists reporting into it and ultimate responsibility for 143 staff in three locations- 73 in Littlehampton, 58 in Burton and 12 in India.
  • Candidate being based within a commutable distance of Littlehampton is essential – For candidates willing to relocate, a post probation relocation considered and may be supported financially for the right candidate.
  • The role is newly created due to a restructure in the business, this is a new role and significant handover is available from the current holder of the responsibilities.
  • Being present on other sites in Burton Upon Trent (weekly/fortnightly) and India (As required). 
  • Excellent people leadership and management skills required to turn strategic plans into operational activity.
  • The role reports into CEO. Colleagues include MD’s / Business Unit Managers of other Dellner entities.                     
  • The role has 4 direct reports. Draft Org chart available however, this is draft as it is expected the appointed candidate will have a view on the structure.
  • The client is preferably wanting someone with UK Rail Industry experience.
  • The expectations is that the incoming MD will have a strong understanding of business financials including P&L, Balance Sheets and Cash Flow. Important to note that the Group CEO has a background in finance.
  • The role being a leadership role is expected to be present on site. There is flexibility with the role, but the preference is very much that of being a present leader.
  • The ownership group is Scandinavian, and role may require some travel to areas Europe (once or twice a year).
  • Dellner group have ambition to make further acquisitions after the successful acquisition of Ferrabyrne in 2022.
  • The CEO’s preference is for their MD’s to communicate well (good or bad) know the numbers, how/where is the business making money, where is it losing money / areas for marginal gains and increase profits. Proactive, innovative, solutions minded. Considering the geographical positioning of the C-suite – regular communication is key. Increase in autonomy is to be expected as trust and understanding grows.
  • The retention of the business is strong, a good culture of hard-working people but perhaps lacking direction / common mission / vision. There is a lot of knowledge and capability and as such – potential in its people. Would benefit from some stability as a result of recent leadership changes.
  • The Littlehampton and Indian sites were acquired in August 2022, with the Burton site being acquired around 4 years ago.
  • Core objectives for the new MD are Growth, Profitability, Structure, People Engagement & Stability.
  • 2-stage interview process.
  • This executive search assignment has been exclusively retained with Ford and Stanley Executive Search who will be managing all direct and indirect interest.


  • £120k – £130k Base Salary (dependent on experience)
  • Car Allowance (£6k per annum)
  • Pension
  • Life Assurance
  • Private Healthcare
  • 25 days Holiday + 8 Statutory
  • Sick Pay (attractive)
  • Annual & Ad hoc Salary Reviews
  • Annual Bonus (to be defined)

Likely Job Titles:

General Manager, Manufacturing Director, Managing Director, Operations Director, Business Unit Manager, MD.

Executive Search Delivery Team:

  • Dan Taylor – Search Director (Headhunting, Client Recommendations/Advisory, Offer Negotiations)
  • Tom Norton – Business Manager (Headhunting, Networking, Research, Search, Longlisting, Interviews, Data & Market Intel)
  • Cat Lane – Executive Assistant (Diary Management, Coordination, Candidate Experience)

About Ford and Stanley Executive Search:

At Ford & Stanley Executive Search we go beyond a recruiting transaction with our core mission being that of every interaction we have with clients and candidates is best in class. We are select in the opportunities we represent, as such, work under strict exclusivity or retained agreements with forward thinking and proactive Rail companies that place their trust in our ability to deliver a winning shortlist at the first time of asking.

Our Search Directors (who are themselves members of the F&S Group Board) and in-house research team invest time at the front end of process with our client’s leadership team or stakeholders to consult, understand the opportunity inherent within the role, business need, map and agree timescales with supporting delivery plan well in advance of conducting the search.

All candidates both active and passive (head-hunted) can expect full and professional engagement from the Executive Search team in addition a timely, thorough and engaging recruitment process from a committed employer that seeks to secure ‘cream of the crop’ from a busy and noisy Global Rail candidate market.

Ford & Stanley Group Ltd is committed to a policy of equal opportunities for all opportunity seekers and approach all opportunity with a mindset of who is right for the job irrespective sex, sexual orientation, gender reassignment, marital or civil partnership status, age, disability, colour, race, nationality, ethnic or national origin, religion or belief or political beliefs and we place an obligation upon all staff to respect and act in accordance with the policy. We shall adhere to such a policy at all times and will review on an on-going basis all aspects of recruitment to avoid unlawful or undesirable discrimination

    • Job type: Permanent
    • Location: Littlehampton
    • Date posted:
    • Pay:£- £