Brian Nichol, Finance Expert in London, United Kingdom
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Brian Nichol

Verified Expert  in Finance

Finance Expert

London, United Kingdom
Toptal Member Since
May 20, 2020

Brian is a dynamic finance expert with broad experience, from being the 1st hire at a high-growth startup, navigating the chaos of rapid expansion, to steering companies through difficult times. Brian's ability to operate at startup speed and his proven track record in delivering immediate ROI through his experience, network, and knowledge make him a valuable asset to any business. Brian loves consulting as it allows him to share best-in-class practices with his clients.

Career Highlights

Finance Consultant
Toptal client

Education Highlights

Bachelor's Degree (Summa Cum Laude)
University of Kwa-Zulu Natal

Certification Highlights

Chartered Accountant
South Africa Institute of Chartered Accountants (SAICA)

Case Studies

Work Experience

Finance Consultant

2020 - PRESENT
Toptal client
  • Delivered a detailed marketing campaign analysis for an eCommerce startup, analyzing funnel performance against a benchmark and validating the business model. This analysis was used to raise further funding for the business successfully.
  • Conducted market research for a channel incentives company, generating proprietary industry research and an enhanced pricing model. This new pricing model led to a two-times increase in quoted prices and a proportional revenue increase.
  • Provided a non-traditional valuation of a novel social media asset, using novel methods to provide a valuation range in preparation for discussions with a potential buyer. The valuation added the necessary rigor to the successful sale of the asset.
  • Built a full-scale scenario-driven financial model and pitch deck for a SaaS startup in the outdoor media space in the United States. I leveraged cloud financial management and other tools.
  • Created a complex, multi-vertical financial model for a media distribution (VOD) startup in Canada. The model was used as a direct input in the seed fundraising round to raise $1 million to take the product to market.
  • Built a detailed financial model for a startup in the telehealth and RPM healthcare space in the United States. This model was used as the input for commercial channel agreements and multiple fundraising rounds, raising $2 million in seed capital.
  • Took the role of SVP of finance for a healthcare business, setting up their finance infrastructure, helping them to raise over $10 million, owning pricing and unit economic modeling, and delivering all reporting, including revenue cycle management.
Focus areas: CFO, Financial Analysis, Modeling, Proposals, Microsoft PowerPoint, Microsoft Excel, Valuation, Fundraising Consultant, DCF Valuation, Revenue & Expense Projections, Revenue Modeling, Pricing Models, Investor Presentations, Startups, Customer Acquisition Cost (CAC), Startup Funding, Seed Fundraising, Pitch Decks, Early-stage Funding, Early-stage Startups, Business Modeling, Business Models, Angel Investing, Financial Modeling, eCommerce, Marketing, SaaS, Retail & Wholesale, Pricing, Pitch Deck Consultant, Fundraising, eCommerce Platforms, Marketplaces, Digital Health, Telehealth, Video Streaming, Healthcare Services, Media, Blockchain & Cryptocurrency, Non-fungible Tokens (NFT), Cloud Financial Management

Senior Vice President, Marketing and Customer Relations

2018 - 2020
PG Group
  • Launched a startup with the corporate setting, offering a unique manufacturing as a service (MaaS) to create a new route to market for the industry. The concept pivoted to build out a national network of supply stores, increasing revenue by 12%.
  • Implemented a revised pricing model for a wholesale business, using data-driven customer segmentation to drive the model. The model led to double-digit growth for selected high-volume segments.
  • Utilized customer retention strategies (NPS, customer surveys, and OTIF) to increase customer loyalty and revenue by circa 8% for the year. Created dashboards displaying key metrics to provide C-level execs with the required oversight and visibility.
  • Implemented Microsoft Dynamics CRM as part of a digital transformation strategy. This led to double-digit increases in leads generated, customer acquisition, and revenue, for two consecutive years.
  • Performed market and competitor research that was used to create and modify sales strategies. Developed a market size estimate, market map, and competitor strategy from this work, leading to a circa 5% improvement in leads generated.
Focus areas: Business Intelligence (BI), IT, Interactive Dashboards, Financial Analysis, Data Visualization, Visualization, Modeling, Reporting, Proposals, Manufacturing, Valuation, Revenue & Expense Projections, Microsoft Power BI, Microsoft Excel, Microsoft Word, Emerging Markets, Revenue Modeling, Business Strategy, Board Decks, Integrated Sales & Operational Planning, Pricing Models, Customer Relationship Management (CRM), CRM Systems, Startups, Customer Acquisition Cost (CAC), Technology, Data, Enterprise Automation, Enterprise, Data Analysis, Building Materials, Industrial & Manufacturing, Distribution, Retail & Wholesale, Digital Transformation, SAP ERP, Africa, Financial Modeling, Enterprise Software, Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP), Robotic Process Automation (RPA), Digital Marketing, Customer Experience Management, Microsoft Dynamics CRM, Market Sizing, Data Analytics, Pricing Strategy, Market Segmentation, New Product Business Cases, Sales & Marketing, Strategy

Senior Vice President, Finance

2010 - 2017
PG Group
  • Built financial models to support investment in new equipment and assets. The models included market sizing, market analysis, product reviews, and a detailed financial model to support the acquisition.
  • Developed and implemented a corporate strategy to grow revenue and profit through organic and inorganic growth strategies. This led to a 50%+ increase in revenue and expanding the business footprint into four new countries.
  • Drove various business turnaround initiatives, utilizing cost-cutting, site consolidations, and process efficiencies to move from a substantial loss-making operation to a profit within three years.
  • Conducted market sizing exercises for markets in Sub-Saharan Africa that supported the overall strategic vision for the PG Group and concluded in a five-year strategic plan to double the revenue and network footprint in Africa within five years.
  • Implemented a cash management program to optimize working capital and cash generation. The program reduced overdue debt, optimized credit insurance, utilized a hub and spoke inventory model, and used data to reduce obsolete stock.
  • Implemented an automated reporting system for senior and C-level management, using Power BI. This reduced the reporting cycle from four days to under two days and the headcount required to generate all management reports.
Focus areas: CFO, IT, Interactive Dashboards, Dashboard Design, Visualization, Sage, Reporting, Proposals, Board Presentations, Manufacturing, Market Segmentation, Discounted Cash Flow (DCF), Revenue Analysis, Financial Analysis, Building Materials, Industrial & Manufacturing, Microsoft Excel, Microsoft Power BI, Microsoft Word, Modeling, Budgeting, Capital Budgeting, Outsourcing, Cost Management, Sage ERP, Operational Finance, Pricing Models, Board Decks, Business Strategy, Forecasting, Revenue Modeling, Emerging Markets, Revenue & Expense Projections, Cash Flow Analysis, Cash Flow, Cash Management, Data Analysis, Financial Data, FPA, Distribution, Retail & Wholesale, Digital Transformation, South Africa, SAP ERP, Africa, Three-statement Modeling, Data Visualization, Analytics, System Implementation, Internal Control Evaluation, Credit Risk, Cash Flow Modeling, Cash Flow Management, Turnaround Management, Zero-based Budgeting, Budget Modeling, Capital Investment Appraisals, Accounts Receivable, Working Capital Management, Growth Strategy, Mergers & Acquisitions (M&A), Market Sizing, Strategy, Data Analytics, Financial Modeling, Valuation, Financial Planning & Analysis (FP&A)

Vice President, IT Advisory

2008 - 2010
  • Performed fraud risk analytics on the payroll data for a large mining entity, identifying likely ghost employees and reducing fraudulent payments for the entity.
  • Completed an IT project risk assessment for a listed investment service provider.
  • Conducted process engineering for a linked investment service provider (LISP) to reengineer its core trading platform.
Focus areas: Reporting, Business Process Flow Diagrams, IT Governance
2005 - 2006

Master's Degree (Cum Laude) in Accounting

University of Kwa-Zulu Natal - Durban, South Africa

2002 - 2005

Bachelor's Degree (Summa Cum Laude) in Accounting

University of Kwa-Zulu Natal - Durban, South Africa


Chartered Accountant

South Africa Institute of Chartered Accountants (SAICA)


Three-statement Modeling, Financial Modeling, Forecasting, Revenue & Expense Projections, Revenue Modeling, Zero-based Budgeting, Cash Flow Modeling, Budgeting, Business Intelligence (BI), CFO, Data Analysis, Cash Management, Cash Flow, Financial Planning & Analysis (FP&A), Pricing Strategy, Operational Finance, Valuation, Working Capital Management, Cost Management, Customer Acquisition Cost (CAC), Mergers & Acquisitions (M&A), Capital Investment Appraisals, Credit Risk, Capital Budgeting, DCF Valuation, Discounted Cash Flow (DCF), Weighted Average Cost of Capital (WACC), Accounting, Fundraising, Pricing, Startup Funding, Seed Fundraising, Angel/Seed Funding, Cloud Financial Management

Output Software

Microsoft Excel, Microsoft Word, Microsoft PowerPoint, Office 365

Industry Expertise

Retail & Wholesale, Industrial & Manufacturing, Building Materials, Technology, New Business Ventures, Sales & Marketing, Early-stage Startups, Video Gaming

Geographic Expertise

South Africa, Africa

Data & Analysis Software

Microsoft Dynamics CRM, Financial Data, NetSuite, Intuit QuickBooks


Manufacturing, Data Analytics, Microsoft Power BI, Emerging Markets, Digital Transformation, Business Modeling, Budget Modeling, Cash Flow Management, Analytics, IT, Proposals, Reporting, Modeling, Visualization, Revenue Analysis, Financial Analysis, FPA, Data, Cash Flow Analysis, Board Presentations, Distribution, Cloud Finance, Market Sizing, System Implementation, Customer Experience Management, Digital Marketing, Integrated Sales & Operational Planning, SAP ERP, Board Decks, Accounts Receivable, Dashboards, Market Segmentation, Business Strategy, Startups, Marketing, Investor Presentations, CRM Systems, Customer Relationship Management (CRM), Robotic Process Automation (RPA), Pricing Models, Strategy, New Product Business Cases, Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP), Enterprise Software, Growth Strategy, Turnaround Management, Internal Control Evaluation, Business Process Flow Diagrams, Dashboard Design, Interactive Dashboards, Revenue Strategy, Competitor Analysis & Profiling, Pitch Deck Consultant, SaaS, eCommerce, Angel Investing, Business Models, Early-stage Funding, Pitch Decks, Enterprise, Fundraising Consultant, eCommerce Platforms, Marketplaces, Healthcare Services, Media, Sage ERP, Outsourcing, Data Visualization, Sage, Sensitivity Analysis, Enterprise Automation, Funnel Optimization, Client Reporting, Insight Reporting, Social Media, Social Media Marketing (SMM), Social Media Analytics, Scenario Analysis, Digital Health, Telehealth, Video Streaming, Blockchain & Cryptocurrency, Non-fungible Tokens (NFT), Tokenization, Xero, IT Governance

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