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By | February 1, 2023

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What is a senior equity controller?

Senior investment controllers are responsible for the investments that a company has made or intends to make in the course of its business activities or outside of its actual business activities, or from which a company wants to divest. They mainly work in larger companies and corporations, often also in those that have subsidiaries in Germany and abroad.

As part of their work, they advise management on the (pre-)selection of company investments or takeovers in Germany and abroad and plan and organize the process from making contact to signing the purchase contract.

You track their operational results, point out (mis)developments, draw conclusions and recommend measures that contribute to improvement.

Together with the group management, you set the goals for subsidiaries and holdings, plan and manage measures to achieve goals and monitor success.

You will be responsible for implementing the corporate strategy in subsidiaries and holdings and will monitor the implementation of the group’s goals.

The most important things in 5 seconds

  • Education: Economic studies with a focus on controlling, accounting, accounting or comparable qualifications as well as several years of professional experience in investment controlling (company or consulting firm)
  • Starting salary: €78,000
  • Top salary: €145,000
  • Opportunities for advancement: Assumption of management tasks – leading position in (group) management, both in finance and in the operational area

Why are senior corporate controllers becoming increasingly important?

Internationalization, specialization, outsourcing of parts of production, tying suppliers to the company – there are many reasons why companies invest in other companies or take them over. Most of the time it is about achieving cost-reducing synergies in production, organization and administration in order to secure the future of a company and increase its value.

The same applies if an investment is to be abandoned and sold – then it is part of the responsibilities of senior investment controllers to survey the market, identify prospects and find a buyer and convince them of the value of the investment.

The rapid, sometimes revolutionary development of new technologies shows the growing importance of holdings and thus of those who manage them – examples are the use of software in almost all production and service areas, the advance of 3D printers for the production of small and medium-sized ones Numbers, but also many SMEs and start-ups that attract attention with their ideas and arouse the desires of ‘established’ companies – today behind many delivery services, repair shops and car and other transport sharing services are large companies that do not miss out on entering new markets or at least want to test. Against this background, it becomes clear

The fields of activity of the senior investment controllers also include the preparation and implementation of the takeover of competitors – a difficult area that often causes a stir in the media, even if it ultimately leads to a win-win situation, because otherwise the future of a company could not be saved.

Integrating and controlling holdings requires motivation and sensitivity

Investment controllers are people whose world consists to a large extent of balance sheet analyses, target/actual comparisons and the assessment and interpretation of series of figures and statistics. Your reports create comparability and provide information on the development of existing holdings and subsidiaries; their contributions help management to evaluate and control performance. They draw management’s attention to ‘interesting’ companies, discuss the pros and cons of an acquisition or investment and manage all the necessary steps.

If they do their job well, they become senior corporate controllers.

Senior investment controllers not only have more (quantitative) experience in handling investments; they should have further skills to integrate participations, as long as they are not purely financial in nature, into the company. Dealing with the management of company holdings requires a high degree of sensitivity and can be a balancing act – the holding gives a say, but this should be understood as a motivating aid and not as undue interference.

(Also) for this reason, senior investment controllers are expected to seek personal dialogue – which, in addition to a willingness to travel, often means that they can use their communicative strengths in several languages.


What does a Senior Investment Controller do?

  • Regular performance reporting and commenting on company investments
  • Participation in the budget and forecast planning of the subsidiaries
  • Planning, introduction and consistent assurance of uniform processes, tools and reporting standards in the holdings
  • Implementation of target/actual analyses, reviews and special evaluations
  • Communication and cooperation with the management of the subsidiaries
  • Opinion on medium and long-term market developments and ‘investment scouting’ (detection of investments that contribute to increasing the value and securing the future of the company)


How does one become a participation controller?

  • Economics studies with a focus on controlling, accounting, accounting or comparable qualifications
  • Several years of professional experience in investment controlling (company or consulting firm)
  • Safe handling of MS Office, especially Excel, ideally also knowledge of SAP and experience with an ERP system
  • Very good knowledge of spoken and written English, other languages ​​are an advantage


What does a Senior Investment Controller earn?

from 78.000€

up to €145,000

Salaries vary greatly – experience, the industry, the investment portfolio, the size of the company and the degree of internationalization all play a key role.


What do you expect from the Senior Investment Controller?

The position is often a staff position reporting directly to the CFO or CEO.

The extensive knowledge of the senior investment controllers in all areas of company valuation and the assessment of management qualities enable them to take on management tasks in companies – leading positions in (group) management, both in finance and in the operational area, are therefore by no means excluded.


Opportunities for advancement as Senior Investment Controller

A step up the career ladder for a participation controller can be a management function in controlling in a larger company. In a rather small, growing company, on the other hand, the team leader role would be a goal.

Depending on the company structure, staff positions are not the rule, but they are possible options. It is therefore conceivable that tasks could be expanded in the area of ​​the CEO or, in a more traditional organization, in the area of ​​the CFO.

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