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Lead Finance Business Partner, Research & Development

Date: Jun 25, 2022

Location: Philadelphia, PA, US, 19104

Company: Spark Therapeutics

Join the Spark Team


We were born of innovation, springing from the curiosity, imagination and dedication of remarkable scientists and healthcare visionaries. Our shared mission is to challenge the inevitability of genetic disease by discovering, developing, and delivering treatments in ways unimaginable – until now.


We don’t follow footsteps. We create the path.



The R&D Lead Finance Business Partner will be responsible for providing overall finance support to the Research and Development functions. The Position will be an effective business partner and trusted advisor to both the Chief Scientific Officer (“CSO”) and Chief Medical Officer (“CMO”) as well as their respective senior leadership team members.

The position holder will provide financial expertise and guidance to strategic and operational business decisions aimed at executing on the goals and priorities of the group/organization. This position will be responsible to gather critical data points that will allow for effective planning, reporting, and financial analyses. The R&D Finance Business Partner may also be involved in ad hoc projects that support driving the organization towards optimal efficiency and effectiveness.

Reporting to the Head of Financial Planning & Analysis (FP&A) the position holder will be a member of the FP&A Leadership Team and supervise a team of professionals (direct reports and contractors).  


Key duties will include:


•            Provide strategic and operational financial support to the CSO and CMO, Leadership Teams and broader function to understand and seek out business drivers and key operational issues; actively identify strategic and tactical opportunities.

•            Ability to support cross-functional leaders with deep data driven analysis which is intended to support operational and strategic decisions and drive business performance (e.g. business reporting, trend analysis, investment cases, ROI analysis).

•            Expertise in financial modeling and strategic planning combined with a deep analytical capability.

•            Drive the financial planning processes including the review and approval of consolidated functional forecasts and budgets.

•            Deliver timely, complete and accurate financial reporting and analysis that communicates progress toward attainment of financial plans & goals, as well as plans to identify trends in expense and other related areas to keep R&D management aware of the company’s financial status.

•            Communicate progress toward attainment of financial plans and goals, as well as plans to influence corrective action as necessary.

•            Identify, design and implement new approaches to address business needs, including management reporting, software development, and integration with the parent organization (Roche).

•            Be the single point of contact and responsible party to all financial statement inquiries, including capital expenditures; assist in financial modeling.

•            Recruit, hire, manage and mentor and team of high performing finance professionals.




Be a critical and strategic trusted advisor to the Research & Development senior leadership teams to understand, contribute to and enable the function’s strategic goals and operational objectives. This includes but is not limited to development of analysis methodologies to drive strategic and tactical decisions; and creation of new tools/solutions for program teams and functional leaders to support key strategic and program investment decisions.

Facilitate the financial portion of key company processes i.e. Long Range Planning, Annual Budget and Latest Estimates:

•            Facilitate the process

•            Analyze and challenge key assumptions

•            Create summary presentations


Additionally, the position will develop new approaches, processes and analytics to address business needs that arise during these processes.

Manage monthly financial accounting/review process ,responsible for consolidation of results:

•            Identify and explain material budget vs actual variances

•            Assess the impact of variances on the financial forecast

•            Develop and improve processes for collection and review of financial results

•            Integration cost tracking process


Foster Spark’s Culture.  Role model the Spark Values. Lead a team of professionals who thrive by living our truths, always in compliance with applicable laws and regulations. Emphasize to employees that “how” they achieve performance objectives is just as important as “what” they accomplish.

Lead ad hoc projects addressing business needs, and play integral part to the ongoing development of reporting software for effective and efficient management/corporate reporting


Education and Experience Requirements

•            Bachelor’s Degree 

•            CPA and/or MBA strongly preferred

•            Minimum 15 years of relevant financial experience; preferably in the biopharmaceutical industry

•            Working knowledge of automated tools/technology for budget preparation, consolidation and financial reporting

•            Extensive experience supporting research and development, specifically in a biopharmaceutical environment preferred


Manage the team to achieve business goals and objectives.

•            Foster Spark’s Culture.  Role model the Spark Values. Create an environment where team members thrive by living our truths, always in compliance with applicable laws and regulations. Emphasize to employees that “how” they achieve performance objectives is just as important as “what” they accomplish.

•            Hire & Integrate.  Know what skills, experiences and capabilities are needed to achieve current and future business goals. Take an active role in attracting and selecting talent who are inspired by our Mission, Vision and Values.  Consciously create a team with diverse backgrounds, experiences, skill sets and perspectives.  Help new team members successfully integrate into Spark so they can actively contribute and add value as quickly as possible.

•            Manage performance.   Ensure every team member knows what is expected of them, what it takes to be successful, and how they are progressing.  Provide team members with continuous and on-going performance feedback, holding everyone accountable to achieve results while demonstrating the Spark Values. Help team members understand how their work contributes to the overall success of Spark by continuously communicating priorities, decisions and changes; adjusting goals as needed.

•            Develop people.   Understand each individual team member’s career goals. strengths and motivators.  Partner with your employees to identify areas for development, conduct coaching conversations regularly and provide guidance on ways to develop through on the job experiential learning and stretch opportunities.



Key Skills, Abilities, and Competencies


•            Demonstrated success building long-lasting partnerships across an organization.

•            A proactive, critical thinker, who prioritizes decision support activities, initiates and drives productivity and continuous improvement.

•            Ability to frame issues, develop hypothesis, create analytical plans, conduct analytical plans, and present results.

•            Ability to develop and conduct sophisticated financial and business analysis.  Experience in scenario analysis, option analysis, valuation and complex modelling.

•            Professional maturity, business acumen and leadership necessary to effectively work with and influence non-finance colleagues across the organization.

•            High energy self-starter and proactive leader.

•            Seeks to continually improve business processes.

•            Ability to thrive in a fast paced and rapidly growing company, with experience in driving improvements, defining process and guiding business clients and partners.

•            Commitment to customer service with a strong


Please be aware that Spark mandates COVID-19 vaccination of all employees regardless of work location.  Accommodations may be made in accordance with applicable law.

Nearest Major Market: Philadelphia