Julien Lecerf, founder of Sextant Finance;

Chronicle.lu recently had the opportunity to speak with Julien Lecerf, founder of Sextant Finance, to learn more about this Luxembourg-based startup.

This article forms part of a series of interviews with "newcomers" hosted at the Luxembourg House of Financial Technology (LHoFT).

Chronicle.lu: Please introduce your company and the products/services it offers.

Julien Lecerf: At Sextant Finance, we are experts in corporate finance for entrepreneurs and for SMEs. This includes what I refer to as "inside looking finance" setting solid metrics and processes covering accounting, reporting, cash management and financial planning as well as "outside looking finance" like relations with fund providers and the execution of M&A transactions. We serve three types of clients: entrepreneurs, whom we support as "on-demand CFO", on a long-term yet very flexible basis like a few days a month and a few hours the next month; non-regulated holding companies, for whom we handle portfolio performance monitoring and investment reporting, we assist in transaction execution, we drive financial process improvement at operating subisdiaries, and I sometimes serve as Director; small cap investors for whom we execute financial due-diligences on potential investments as well as on portfolio companies.

Chronicle.lu: What led to the creation of your company?

Julien Lecerf: From 2006 to 2017, I was the CFO of three scale-ups. Each time, I was the first CFO hired by the company, and I wished I had been hired sooner to implement solid financial processes and contibute to more data-based decision making. So I created Sextant Finance to enable entrepreneurs leverage advanced financial management, even at an early stage of their journey, when they don't need a full time CFO.

Chronicle.lu: What brought your company to Luxembourg?

Julien Lecerf: I arrived [in] Luxembourg in 2015, prior to founding Sextant Finance. Luxembourg offers one of the best ecosystems worldwide where to base investment entities. I believe that Sextant Finance can contribute more to the further development of this ecosystem, because for non-regulated investment holding we provide a set of services complementary to that of accountants, private bankers and tax lawyers. Additionally, I enjoy the quality of life and of business environment here so the question of where to base Sextant Finance really was a no-brainer.

Chronicle.lu: What makes your company and its offer unique?

Julien Lecerf: Prior to being a CFO, I started as a banker in Sydney then worked with Arthur Andersen and EY in Paris. I was a senior manager with a focus on midcap transactions services. I am an investor myself and a member of LBAN [Luxembourg Business Angel Network]. It is important to me that Sextant Finance keeps bringing to the table this ability to look at KPIs, prioritise among development opportunities, prepare a business plan, or discusses the terms of a transaction with a double entrepreneur/investor mindset.

Chronicle.lu: What is next for your company?

Julien Lecerf: Just doing more of what we do well: helping entrepreneurs and investors have the right figure at the right time to make a good decision. Hiring senior officers on a part-time and flexible basis is a growing trend for startups, and I think a lasting one. It's a great way for entrepreneurs to lay solid foundations and accelerate growth, at an affordable and adjustable price. As contractors, we are making sure that we focus on actions that bring a ROI. For us, more business means more people; if younger professionals with an entrepeuneurial mindset wish to bring their skills to entrepreneurs and help them succeed, in a manner that large firms are not able to deliver, please contact us!