This opportunity has now been filled

Director of Finance and Company Secretary

About the role

The James Hutton Institute is a world leading research institute for land, crops, water and the environment. By combining strengths in crop, soil and land use, environmental and social research, it makes a major contribution to the understanding of key global issues, including food, energy and environmental security, and developing and promoting effective technological and social innovations to address these issues.

The Institute is an internationally networked organisation and operates from multiple sites, with its two key locations in Aberdeen and Invergowrie, Dundee. It employs more than 500 scientists and support staff, making it one of the largest research centres in the UK and the first of its type in Europe. The Institute is one of the Scottish Government’s Main Research Providers in environmental, crop and food science and has a major role in the Scottish knowledge economy. With recently awarded UKRI funding status and as a key player in two of the recently announced Tay Cities Deal projects the Institute is embarking upon a period of significant potential which will rely upon strong operational and financial leadership.

Due to the upcoming departure of the current incumbent, the Institute is looking to identify and appoint a new Director of Finance and Company Secretary to join the Executive leadership team and assume responsibility for all financial and governance activities for the Institute.

Key responsibilities will include:

  • Providing strategic advice to the James Hutton Institute and James Hutton Limited on all financial, research support, procurement, information governance and project management matters
  • As a member of the Executive team, to play a key role in the strategic planning and development of the Institute
  • Provide strategic financial advice to existing and future development projects e.g. Tay Cities Deal
  • Leadership of all financial budgeting, reporting and management accounting for the Institute and the communication of these to the Executive Board
  • The further development and implementation of a fit for purpose project management office for the Institute
  • To ensure delivery of a research support function that provides strategic and operational input to meet external income objectives and an effective reporting service
  • Provide company secretarial guidance to the James Hutton Institute Board and the Boards of the commercial subsidiaries including all reporting requirements (Companies House and OSCR)
  • Provide direction and oversight in order to manage and deliver the Institute’s procurement strategy
  • Management and development of a team in excess of 30 FTE with 5 direct reports
  • Act as a main interface with all legal advisers and ensure all legal matters are provided as required
  • To take the lead on co-ordinating / managing the planning process from the Institute level strategy to the integration and reporting of annual activities and the preparation and monitoring of all financial plans
  • Development and co-ordination of the risk register to ensure it is appropriate and up to date

The successful applicant will be a qualified chartered accountant and have significant experience at Director level. It is essential that the postholder has direct experience of managing teams and in particular, of harmonising different business cultures. Experience of leading on strategic and corporate planning processes is also required.

The successful applicant will possess most of the following:

  • Recognised Chartered Accountant accounting qualification (CA or equivalent) with commensurate and relevant post qualification experience in managing a comprehensive finance function at a senior level
  • Company secretarial qualification or recognised experience in this area
  • Demonstrable experience in strategy, planning and managing change
  • Strong analytical, financial planning and modelling skills
  • Proven ability to develop and maintain effective relationships with a range of staff, Board members and stakeholders
  • Experience of contributing to large scale capital projects
  • Experience of implementing significant organisational and/or structural change
  • Ability to manage, motivate and develop a team of professional staff
  • Exemplary time management skills with a particular ability to work under pressure and meet deadlines
  • A suite of excellent fundamental skills including inter alia organisational, communication, negotiation and influencing skills

The following experience would be advantageous:

  • Experience of both public and private sector organisations
  • Project management experience and/or qualification
  • Previous experience of at least one of the non-finance functions i.e. information governance, project management, procurement, research support
  • Experience of operating on a Board and/or Audit sub-committee
  • Experience of supporting major capital investment projects from business case development to realisation
  • Experience of working with Scottish Government and other UK research funding bodies

Interested candidates should send their CV, with full remuneration details, to Jamie Brown, of FWB Park Brown at  For a confidential discussion, please call 0131 539 7087.