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Case Study – University of York

Given our track record and position as the leading executive recruiter in appointing professional services leaders to HEIs we were engaged in summer 2014 by the University of York to appoint their Director of Finance.  The position replaced an incumbent who had been with the institution for over 20 years. 

York was keen to explore candidates from a variety of sectors who could bring strategic and commercial financial skills from a large organisational environment and who could appreciate the cultural sensitivities of an academic environment.


Following a detailed period of stakeholder briefings involving separate sessions with the VC, Registrar, Chair of Council, various Council members, the Treasurer and senior academics we developed the job description, person specification and recruitment particulars.  Whilst Veredus placed advertisements for the role (online only) with the Times Higher and the Sunday Times the attraction was primarily driven by intensive research and candidate engagement.


Given the nature of the balance sheet and the need for a commercially minded FD there was no ‘cookie cutter’ approach to finding candidates; for example FDs who had invested through cash in the bank and were less well versed in money raising from loans or the bond markets were of less interest.   

Weekly reports were sent to York updating on the search and advertisement, these were shared with the Board.  Following the closing date of the search and advertisement, the candidate pool of 41 was narrowed down to a longlist of 12. Following the reporting and shortlisting process four were taken forward to final assessment.  Veredus took references on all and worked with York on developing an assessment and familiarisation event for candidates. The successful appointee (who was approached by Veredus) was Jeremy Lindley, the Managing Director for INTO University Partnerships in Europe, he had previously been Director of Finance at the University of Exeter.  Others interviewed included two FDs from research intensive HEIs and a Deputy Chief Executive from a high profile financial services organisation

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