HM Treasury

Head of EU Budget Business – International Group

The International Group within HM Treasury advises ministers on promoting and protecting the UK’s international economic interests, to ensure the UK thrives in an ever-changing global economy.

They do this through their policy and operational work on a range of areas ranging from free trade agreements, climate change, countering illicit finance, financial sanctions to supporting developing countries and managing their relationship with Europe, US, and emerging markets.

They support the Chancellor and senior officials in building relationships with a wide range of external and international partners and represent the UK in a range of international organisations, such as the G7, the G20 and the International Monetary Fund as well as Multilateral Development Banks. They also analyse what is happening in the world economy, and control spending on international development.

Brief/Problem:

We were tasked with recruiting the Head of EU Budget Business to operate as a key member within the International Group with responsibility for leading on the implementation of the UK’s £35-39 billion financial settlement with the EU.

The brief indicated that HM Treasury required a candidate who could lead the work on paying and auditing the financial settlement, and the associated accountability to Parliament and the National Audit Office. They would also lead the team’s work in relation to the UK’s participation in key scientific programmes participation and annual reporting to Parliament on payments to and receipts from the EU.

They needed to bring the technical skills and experience to oversee the finance elements of one of Government’s largest liabilities and to effectively scrutinise the billions of pounds of annual payments.

Approach/research:

This was always going to be a challenging recruit, particularly given the skill set required and the paramount importance of a candidate to have strong technical finance knowledge but also experience of high-profile policy work and engaging with senior Ministers / Permanent Secretaries.

We approached a wide range of potentially suitable candidates from our extensive database and gained referrals through our network. Given the specialised skill set needed, we proactively approached candidates working across Government Departments, ALB’s and Government Agencies as well as individuals working within Big 4 accountancy firms.

We then vetted and interviewed all longlisted candidates, not only taking skillset and track record into account, but also considering factors key to the International Group, including leadership qualities, resilience, business acumen and high-level policy experience. Following this, we produced a shortlist of candidates which we presented to our client.

Results/achievement:

We identified a ‘non-active’ candidate by approaching them directly and sharing the details and challenges of the opportunity.

The successful candidate was an ambitious and determined senior finance professional with extensive experience working across a number of large Government departments.

In line with the brief, the successful candidate clearly demonstrated their ability to quickly and effectively lead the European Agreements team, and react quickly and flexibly to the ever-changing needs of HM Treasury, their key external stakeholders and partners.

Register Interest

33 King Street, St. James’s,
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