September 29, 2016 – Russell Reynolds Associates has been tapped by internationally renowned teaching hospital Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust to find a new chief operating officer and chief financial officer.
Cambridge University Hospitals is one of the leading teaching hospitals in the U.K., recognized as a center of excellence and innovation. With an income of more than $900 million and a staff of over 8,000, the Trust provides a full range of services to the local community, and also enjoys a national reputation for a range of specialist services including transplantation, cancer, neurosciences, pediatrics and genetics.
The CFO Role
The CFO will join the recently appointed CEO and senior leadership team in helping to steer CUH through its next phase of growth and development. While there are short-term pressures to improve performance and efficiency and to manage costs effectively at the institution, the longer-term focus of this role will be on the development and exploitation of strategic and commercial opportunities to ensure that CUH continues to provide the highest quality service.
Candidates for the post likely will be qualified accountants with substantial experience in leading finance teams in complex organizations. Experience of working in an analogous environment, in which customer service and research play important parts, will be important. A record of delivering change, leading teams and developing and implementing strategy, alongside a strong commercial mindset, will be important characteristics of the chosen candidate.
The CFO incumbent will have a track record of successful team leadership and of promoting talent within teams, plus experience of delivering service improvement. Prior experience of the financial management of large scale capital projects would be helpful, according to CUH alongside some exposure to the procurement function.
The COO Role
The COO will also join the CEO and senior leadership team in helping to steer CUH through its next phase of growth and development. The COO will support the CEO in the development and implementation of the trust’s priorities, vision and objectives. This will include transformational change, a relentless focus on patient safety and quality of care, and the development of an open. This leader will be accountable through the CEO to the board for all aspects of the trust’s clinical service delivery and for meeting all operational performance standards relating to that delivery.
Candidates for this high profile role will bring strong operational leadership experience. Prior NHS Trust board membership / experience would be desirable but is not essential, according to CUH. Managing multiple stakeholders, motivating and influencing clinical and non-clinical service leaders and a willingness to be ‘hands-on’ when driving operational improvements will be key.
As in most corporate structures, the chief operating officer here will function as the heart of the hospital, working closely with other senior level colleagues and board members, clinicians and managers to ensure service and performance delivery. The COO will lead the operations function, organized within the five clinical divisions.
CUH said it is open to considering candidates with strong operational experience gained within other private sector healthcare organizations.
Partnering With U.K. Organizations
Russell Reynolds Associates has been active serving U.K.-based non-profits in recent months. The firm has been retained by Save the Children International (SCI) to lead its search for a chief people officer. Concurrent with this assignment, Russell Reynolds is leading the search for Save the Children UK’s chief executive officer. Justin Forsyth, chief executive since 2010, announced that he is leaving the charity.
Russell Reynolds also just recently placed Melanie Waters as chief executive officer of Help for Heroes, one of the best known charities in the U.K. In addition, the firm is currently leading searches for other U.K. charities, including Care Quality Commission, the Royal Brompton & Harefield NHS Foundation Trust (RBH), and the U.K. Export Finance (UKEF).
Contributed by Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor, Hunt Scanlon Media