Job Title: Group Chief Financial Officer
(Group) Grade: Senior Post Holder
The post is responsible to the Vice-Chancellor and CEO, and through him / her to the Board of Governors, for the provision of Financial services across the Coventry University Group (defined as the University, its subsidiaries and companies). A senior post holder and member of the Group Leadership Team with responsibility for developing and supporting strategy, planning and change management across the Group and, with specific focus on the impact on the Group’s financial position, achievement against the corporate pillars, to support its growth and sustainability. The post provides leadership to fundamental elements of the Group’s Corporate Plan and the provision of expert professional advice on all financial issues, strategic and important governance matters.
The post-holder is responsible for the Group’s financial strategy, ensuring that it supports effective delivery of the Corporate Plan and the future sustainability of the organisation. The post-holder will work with senior leaders to develop new sources of income, grow existing income, reduce costs and improve surpluses through innovative methods.
The role is Coventry based; however, the post holder will be expected to spend time in other locations in the UK and internationally working closely with a wide variety of stakeholders to influence the strategic direction of the University Group in support of the Corporate Plan. The Chief Finance Officer is part of the Executive and Group Leadership Team. The post holder will work regularly with the Board of Governors as well as attending relevant Committees such as the Audit and Risk Committee and Strategy, Finance and Resources Committee as well as attending subsidiary Company boards. As such s/he is expected to develop an effective working relationship with the Chair of the Board and other key members of the Governing body.
The income for the University Group for 2020/21 was circa £438m.
- Develop and lead the Group’s financial strategy both within the UK and overseas, advising the Vice-Chancellor and Group Leadership Team, ensuring robust delivery.
- Ensure that the Group’s financial affairs are properly planned, managed and controlled.
- To lead on developing financial strategies relating to major corporate projects including longer term forecasting, budgeting and scenario planning.
- Ensure the right financial processes are in place to meet the financial strategy, corporate plan and statutory/regulatory requirements, delivering value for money.
- Develop a strategy to ensure growth and diversification of the University’s income sources. Advise senior leaders and Managing Directors of subsidiary companies on investment and development opportunities.
- Develop strategies and plans to manage liabilities within the Group, such as pension liabilities.
- Ensure financial processes and controls are robust for secure financial stewardship of the Group’s assets.
- Identify financial risk within the Group and develop strategies to mitigate risk. Manage business risks inline with the Group’s risk appetite, ensuring auditor requirements are met and sustained.
- Keep abreast of relevant legislation, Office for Students requirements and developments in accounting standards and adjust financial strategies accordingly. Advise senior leaders including Managing Directors of subsidiary companies accordingly.
- Provide motivational and proactive leadership for managers and staff in Finance, developing and sustaining a results oriented high performing team.
- To have oversight of finance policies, practices and procedures providing guidance to the Deputy Chief Finance Officer as required.
- To have oversight of the budgeting process, estimates, forecasts and final accounts providing guidance and support to the Deputy Chief Finance Officer as necessary.
- To oversee treasury and investment policies and decisions, working with the Deputy Chief Finance Officer.
AND other such duties within the scope and spirit of the job title, purpose, and it’s grading.
Post Responsible To
- The post holder reports to the Vice-Chancellor and Chief Executive Officer of the Group.
Supervision Given Deputy
- Deputy Chief Finance Officer
- Degree or equivalent.
- A qualified accountant from one of the major recognised accountancy bodies or equivalent professional experience.
- Status of Fellow with one of the major recognised accountancy bodies.
- Leadership/management qualification.
- Industry experience.
- Significant post qualification experience or equivalent.
- Experience of delivering in a global group context, aspects of tax, regulation and financial compliance.
- Proven experience of working at a senior level in a commercial environment with complex decision making processes and an international focus.
- Experience of translating the vision of an organisation into an effective financial strategy and implementing it successfully.
- Knowledge of the regulatory framework related to a dynamic Global operation and issues that might affect it.
- Experience of engaging effectively in a collaborative manner with senior stakeholders and external partners.
- Experience of advising senior leaders/stakeholders on a range of investment matters, being comfortable in making and owning a recommendation.
- Experience of preparing high quality clearly worded reports and advice for high-level meetings.
- Experience of successfully managing budgets and staff teams which are responsive, efficient and agile in an international Group Structure.
- Experience of enabling transformational change.
- Experience of the HE or public sector funding models.
- Experience of operating in a large complex Group structure.
Job-related Skills, Abilities, and Competencies
- Proven ability to provide decisive advice and innovative solutions.
- Capable of being a role model and sponsor of change who can encourage individuals to find innovative solutions and seek out new opportunities.
- Clear understanding of risk management in relation to financial strategy and broader corporate projects and initiatives.
- Exceptional organisational and planning skills, ability to multi-task and a pragmatic approach to problem solving.
- Ability to thrive in a fast-paced environment, requiring high energy levels, resilience and a personal style that is proactive, results oriented and self-motivated.
- Ability to mentor and develop a high performing team using effective and supporting leadership and management skills.
- Excellent interpersonal and communication skills.
- Good IT skills.
- The ability to work flexibly to meet the needs and demands of a dynamic organization operating in a rapidly changing environment.
- Able to travel within the UK and internationally to represent the University Group.