University College London

Director of Finance, Academic; & Director of Finance, Professional Services & Projects

UCL is London’s leading multidisciplinary university, with more than 11,000 staff and 38,000 students from 150 different countries. Founded in 1826 in the heart of London, UCL was the first university in England to welcome students of any religion and the first to welcome women on equal terms with men.

Their bold vision of “education for all”, brave approach to creating and sharing knowledge and their global outlook have seen UCL rise to become one of the world’s top 10 universities, and these principles remain at the heart of their ambitious 20-year strategy, UCL 2034.

UCL is entering into a hugely exciting phase of their history. The University is investing in a £1.25 billion capital programme, “Transforming UCL”, to enhance and develop their historic Bloomsbury campus to deliver more accessible, innovative and sustainable teaching, learning and study spaces to support the ambition of their academic community. They are also building a new campus, UCL East, on the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, providing an innovative environment that will contribute to the regeneration of east London.


Allen Lane was retained to recruit to two exciting new Director of Finance positions having worked with UCL over a number of years. These were both senior appointments in the Finance team and would be critical to the successful strategic planning of the university.

The Director of Finance, Academic would be leading the School-based finance functions and support the academic stakeholders. The Director of Finance, Professional Services & Projects would support the Professional Services within the organisation whilst also providing sound financial guidance to the delivery of major institutional projects.


We focused on extensive networking and used a targeted approach. The Director of Finance, Academic need to be sourced from within the sector, and the Director of Finance, Professional Services and Projects needed to have experience of capital projects and be capable of managing a budget of £400 million.

The recruitment process for this role was thorough, including peer panels and presentations to the interview panel.


The strength of our shortlist meant that there were two appointable candidates for each role.

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33 King Street, St. James’s,
London, SW1Y 6RJ