Finance Director

London (South), London (Greater)
£70,000 - £75,000 (pro rata)
13 Mar 2018
10 Apr 2018
Accountancy, Finance
Job Function
Finance Director/CFO
Part Time
Contract Type

The Illuminated River Foundation was established by the Rothschild Foundation in 2016 to manage and deliver a major new cultural capital project for London, the illumination of 15 bridges between Tower and Albert Bridge with a unifying public light sculpture by artist Leo Villareal. The initiative is an opportunity to celebrate one of London’s most identifiable features and to sustain London’s momentum as a world centre for innovation, creativity and enterprise, providing the opportunity for growing London’s night time economy, and inspiring visitors and Londoners alike.

The Mayor of London is a supporter of the project, and the Foundation is working alongside multiple stakeholders, bridge owners and local authorities to turn this vision into a reality. Sarah Gaventa joined the Foundation as Director in 2016 and the team also includes a Project Manager and Project Assistant with the intention to appoint a fundraiser in spring 2018, with the expectation of delivering the first phase of the project in 2019 and the final phase in 2022.

The Foundation is looking to appoint a dynamic and highly experienced Finance Director (FD) to take strategic responsibility for the financial and operational management of the Foundation, and oversee the contractual aspects of this exciting, major new public art and infrastructure project for London. It is anticipated that this role will be part time requiring 3 days a week. Flexible working is an option which can be discussed.

The successful candidate may come from a variety of backgrounds, but more likely charity or construction sectors and have a strong desire to contribute to a worthwhile cultural project that will benefit all Londoners. They will be a proactive and creative problem solver who has the experience to enable them to manage the budget of a large-scale capital project that will attract considerable public profile.

The small team is supported by the wider Rothschild Foundation, and external consultants with experience of capital infrastructure projects and the associated regulatory frameworks.  The Foundation has received funding of over £10 million from The Rothschild Foundation and The Arcadia Fund and will now fundraise to complete the project. The ideal candidate will enjoy working as part of a small but dedicated team, willing to be hands on and excited by the opportunity to help create the largest public art project in the world.

Current Situation & Opportunity

The Foundation is seeking to appoint a FD to join the small team and to report directly to the Director.  A key member of the team, this person will be responsible for the financial and operational management of the charity, monitoring cash flow and ensuring the capital programme is kept on budget, delivers efficiencies where practical and achieve maximum impact from our resources. The FD will oversee the legal and contractual requirements of the Foundation and the project.

The Foundation is based at 15 St James’s Place, London SW1 within the offices of the Rothschild Foundation.

The FD will support the activities of the fundraising manager, establishing targets we need to meet in order to deliver the further phases and developing scenarios for potential changes in the programme. The FD will ensure that our funders are provided with regular financial updates.        

Key Responsibilities

  • Act as a senior member of The Illuminated River Foundation team, contributing to the development of the organisation’s strategy to deliver the project, and helping to foster the spirit and ethos of The Illuminated River Foundation
  • Work to ensure the best possible operating position for The Illuminated River Foundation with regard to income, costs, managing the capital programme budget and leading on financial strategy
  • To ensure our project team and consultants deliver value for money, remain on budget and keep their commitments as per their contracts
  • To work on strategic and tactical issues facing the charity, alongside the Director and the Trustees.
  • Lead on the organisation’s policy and practice on the identification and management of risk and ensure its compliance with statutory and other regulations

Strategic & Financial

  • Ensure excellent understanding exists of the organisation’s financial position – both current and future – to inform future planning
  • Identify opportunities to improve the charity’s financial position through operating efficiencies, VAT exemption and new delivery mechanisms
  • Lead on the organisation’s business strategy and input into our fundraising strategy
  • Make regular reports to the Illuminated River Foundation’s Trustees, finance committee and funders on the organisation’s financial performance

Business Management & Operations  

  • Implementation of new processes to ensure maximum efficiency
  • Work closely with the accountant and finance team at the Rothschild Foundation

  Financial Management & Planning

  • Lead the preparation of the quarterly budget and forecasts and support the Director in gaining the Trustees' approval
  • Oversee invoicing and payment of all the project team members and contractors
  • Ensure the correct processes and financial support exists to enable projects to be delivered on time and on budget
  • Continually review business processes and operating practices to improve efficiency within the organisation
  • Work with the Rothschild Foundation accounting department to ensure the year-end statutory accounts and any tax compliance requirement are completed correctly and within agreed timescales


  • Ensure appropriate insurance arrangements for the Foundation
  • Act as organisational lead on statutory and other compliance, including liaison with the Charity Commission

Construction Project Management & Contracts

  • Assist the Cost Consultant to set out a system for predicting and controlling costs, and a cash flow for construction costs.
  • Oversee and assist the Cost Consultant with monitoring and updating the Cost Plan as the design progress


  • Help foster a productive, and supportive culture within the IRF.
  • Be able to deputise for the Director if necessary
  • Champion best practice within the organisation
  • Assist the Director in fundraising activities


The Ideal Candidate

Knowledge and Experience

  • Proven experience of managing a budget for a highly complex and phased capital project
  • Proven success in running a project focused finance function
  • Demonstrable experience of helping develop fundraising models
  • Experience of identifying and implementing business change
  • Proven experience as FD or relevant role such as Head of Finance
  • Understanding of business functions
  • Demonstrable competency in strategic planning and business development
  • Outstanding organisational abilities
  • Aptitude in decision-making and problem-solving
  • Experience in Construction / Charity Sector is a plus
  • Proven experience of cost issues of capital projects
  • Experience of dealing with VAT registration and liabilities


  • Able to think strategically, with creativity grounded in pragmatism
  • Strong organisational skills combined with excellent emotional intelligence to achieve goals through consensus
  • Clarity of vision regarding the big picture and organisational objectives
  • Good team leader and member
  • Verbal and numerical analysis and presentational skills, with the ability to reach incisive and grounded conclusions in excellent written and spoken English
  • Attention to detail
  • Sound judgment
  • Process oriented manager who creates systems and structure
  • A good working knowledge of Microsoft Office, in particular Word and Excel. Any prior knowledge of database management would also be an advantage

Education & Qualifications

  • A CIMA/ACCA/ACA accounting qualification is preferred
  • Degree Level qualification a plus


Salary: £70,000 - £75,000 (pro-rata)

Hours: 22.5

Annual Leave: 25 days (pro rata)

Please apply with your CV and a covering letter explaining your suitability for this role.


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