Deputy Group Finance Director

The Open University

Milton Keynes

  • Location

    Milton Keynes

  • Job type


  • Sector


  • Salary/Remuneration

    Competitive Salary

  • Job ref


  • Expiry date

    03 January 2019

  • Client

    The Open University

Ref: GSe48272

The Open University is the leading university for flexible and effective distance learning, as well as innovative, world-leading research, in the United Kingdom and in over 100 countries worldwide. Uniquely placed to understand the needs of part-time students, combining their learning while earning (76% of OU students are in work), our innovative, award-winning distance teaching credentials have seen over two million students receive an education otherwise denied to them at campus-based universities.

Our purpose is to widen and deepen human knowledge and understanding; being “open to people, places, methods and ideas” we are committed to sharing and building that knowledge and understanding with learners and citizens across the globe through our research and our expertise in supported distance learning.

The University is on a journey of strategic review and change in how we deliver our services to students, with student success at the heart of everything we do. We have ambitious plans to reach even more students across the four nations of the UK and globally. We will lead in the development and use of digital technologies across teaching, learning and research; and will increasingly seek to diversify our sources of income, with a firm focus on value for our students. Finance is fundamental and integral to delivering this change.  Through strategic forward planning and rigorous financial appraisal and challenge we will help ensure the University maintains its unique position as a world-leading distance learning institution.


Reporting to the Group Finance Director, you will be key to the delivery of the financial strategy and the two year change programme that specifically relates to financial activity and organisation in the University, providing leadership, direction and management to a professionally focused and committed finance function across a broad portfolio of financial activities. Responsible for financial planning and reporting, including statutory accounts and other regulatory returns, you will be a transformative influence, promoting appropriate commercial awareness throughout the institution with a commitment to delivering best value from the use of our resources.  A skilled communicator, you will develop strategic working relationships with the Finance team, the broader University, the Executive team, external funding bodies, including strategic partnerships and auditors.

A qualified Accountant with substantial post-qualification experience, you will be a strategic and engaging financial leader with senior operational management experience gained in large and complex customer centric organisations across the public or private sector. You will have a broad financial skill set and experience of leading significant people and of process and system change within an international finance function. You will have  analytical skills to evaluate opportunities and to manage and mitigate risk, alongside the ability to develop solutions to support the University’s sustainable growth and change. You will bring energy, commitment and an infectious appetite for continuous improvement along with the aptitude to manage and develop motivated, high performance teams and partnerships.

Cultural fit is crucial for this role. You should be able to evidence a commitment to the mission and values of The Open University and an understanding of the transformational impact of education.

This is an opportunity to join us at an exciting time as the University enters its 50th year. For more information please contact our retained executive search partners – GatenbySanderson – Alison Elton 07785 614435  or Laura Charrington 07471 037070



Closing DateNoon Thursday 3 January 2019
Longlist MeetingTuesday 8 January 2019
Preliminary interviews with GSThursday 10 and Friday 11 January 2019
Shortlist MeetingTuesday 15 January 2019
Assessment and ReferencesFriday 18 January 2019
Final Panel InterviewsThursday 31 January 2019
How to Apply

To apply for this role, please submit an up to date copy of your CV, along with a Supporting Statement that addresses the criteria set out in the person specification, using examples to demonstrate how you meet the essential requirements. Please provide your home, work, mobile and email contact details and let us know of any dates when you are not available or where you may have difficulty with the indicative timetable. You should also provide the names, positions, organisations and contact details for two referees, one of whom should be your current or most recent employer. If you do not wish us to approach your referees without your prior permission, please state this clearly.

Once you have submitted your application, you will receive an automated email to confirm that you have applied. If you do not receive this email, please make contact with GatenbySanderson.

Contact details
Laura Charrington: 07471 037 070