Head of Finance - Projects

London Permanent £65,000 - £75,000
  • Work for one of the leading universities in the World
  • Lead a finance business partnering team on key projects across the organisatio

About Our Client

Founded in 1826, UCL is one of the UK's leading universities, a world-class multi-disciplinary research and teaching institution with over 13,000 staff and 45,000 students from 150 countries across the globe. UCL has an annual turnover exceeding £1.6bn.

UCL is ranked 1st in the UK for research, 10th in the world university rankings and has 30 Nobel Prize laureates amongst its alumni and current staff. UCL is an institution with an important role in a time of great change for the UK and wider world, and with a new President & Provost at the helm it aims to ensure its continued influence and excellence.

UCL's £1.3bn 'Transforming UCL' strategy is transforming our spaces into innovative buildings and world-class facilities. Projects include UCL East, a new UCL campus located on the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, along with next-generation research laboratories and research facilities, IT and operational improvement projects.

The Finance Division is part of Professional Services (PS) and incorporates Financial Services, Finance Business Partnering, and Financial Planning & Analysis, headed up by the CFO. The CFO is responsible for the management of UCL's financial performance and strategy and for the provision of services and advice.

Job Description

This high-profile role sits within the Business Partnering Function of the Finance team. The post holder will lead and direct a team of permanent and temporary staff who support the programmes and major projects, flexing their time across projects as they move through their life cycle. Whilst this role will give direction to the team, it is also an active role and will be required to own projects in the portfolio. Alongside the team, this role will provide financial and commercial advice to capital and major projects from inception to completion and beyond. This will span from idea planning and prioritisation, business case development, senior committee support, cost challenge, and the delivery of post-investment benefits.

  • Lead and deliver the provision of financial support to all Major and Capital Projects in the UCL portfolio, supported by a team of permanent and temporary pool resource.
  • Provide the resources to enable sufficient financial support for programme/project teams including preparation, management and monitoring of financial business cases, post-investment reviews, ad hoc analysis and support.
  • Provide analysis to support fact based decision making by UCL Senior Management
  • Oversee the financial delivery of projects to ensure they are managed in a robust and transparent manner to provide value for money for the university. Review, challenge and assure costs (capital and revenue), and ensure that spend to date, projected spend and commitments are transparent to relevant stakeholders.
  • Support UCL management discussions on financial strategy and investment. To include development of Estates strategy and prioritisation of investment across the capital portfolio.
  • Provide senior finance representation on all relevant Project Boards, including Steering groups, Operational groups and Executive groups.
  • Provide support and direction to all finance staff within the team and ensure that professional development needs are identified and addressed.
  • Working alongside the Financial Planning & Analysis function and the Planning team, deliver a comprehensive, timely and fit-for-purpose financial and management reporting service to include full investment portfolio analysis.
  • Drive continuous improvement in the business case and financial modelling process and ensure improvements are implemented in future business cases.

The Successful Applicant

Given the high-profile nature, the size of the portfolio of projects this role encompasses, and the regular interactions with senior UCL and external stakeholders, we seek applicants with high commercial acumen and excellent communication skills with financial and non-financial colleagues. You will be a fully qualified accountant (ACA, ACCA, CIMA or equivalent) with experience of financial planning and business partnering within a projects capacity. You will need to have a very strong understanding of how finance can support and help drive success within a complex project life cycle. In addition, you will hold first class budgeting, forecasting, financial modelling and presentation skills and must be comfortable operating and influencing at senior management level.

Higher education experience is not essential, but experience working in a large, complex organisation would be highly beneficial.

What's on Offer

  • Salary c£70,000
  • Excellent pension and up to 34 days annual leave

All applications will be reviewed by Joe Harris at Michael Page


Joe Harris
Quote job ref
Phone number
+44 207 269 6236

Job summary

Contract type
Consultant name
Joe Harris
Consultant phone
+44 207 269 6236
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