UCL Assistant Director, Property & Asset Management



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Recruitment of an Assistant Director, Property & Asset Management Assistant Director, Property & Asset Management Job Description

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Person Specification

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Further Information

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Application Process


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 class, religion, and the first to welcome women on equal terms with men.

UCL’s estate is unique, rich in history, at the heart of London and diverse in use.

Our 230 buildings are predominately located in Bloomsbury but with a number of specialist satellite sites beyond that. UCL Estates are excited to be playing a key role in the delivery of UCL’s 20-year strategy, UCL2034, including the realisation of UCL East, our new campus at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, which will offer world class research, teaching and living accommodation within the largest cultural and educational development in Europe.

UCL Estates manages the estate and facilities infrastructure, from the strategic to the operational. This ranges from ensuring our estate is operating efficiently and safely to maintaining, developing and delivering our building and planning future strategic developments to support UCL’s academic ambition. UCL Estates services include property acquisition and management, capital projects, engineering and maintenance, environmental sustainability, safety, security, catering and cleaning. In addition, it manages the University and Customer Services switchboards, student residences, nursery and central teaching and meeting room bookings. We have a proud history and the ambition and drive to innovate. We strive to provide a co-ordinated and customer oriented approach

to both buildings and services, maintaining and transforming UCL’s estate, so that it directly contributes to the creation of a truly inspirational environment for our academics, students and staff. UCL has embarked on an extensive building and refurbishment programme – Transforming UCL. This is about creating sustainable spaces that meet UCL’s world-class aspirations and commitment to excellence and innovation. Transforming UCL is the largest capital programme in the University’s history. It has seen significant investment to refurbish and develop some of our most iconic buildings whilst also bringing forward new world class buildings. Together these will enable and support the University’s continued growth as we continue to build now and for the future.

UCL is midway through ‘Transforming UCL’, an extensive 10-year building and refurbishment programme that began in 2014. The first five years have led to a number of successfully complex projects. Many of these were completed within budget, enabling the funding of new and emerging projects. This investment has made a significant difference to perceptions of the Bloomsbury estate across the UCL community, with the recent completion of the New Student Centre, Bloomsbury Theatre and interim Dementia Research Institute within the Cruciform building all significant milestones in the programme. In the 5 years since the start of the capital of the current capital programme (August 2014), 155 Transforming UCL projects with a value of c.£570m have been completed. Over this period we have achieved a £27m forecast underspend, which has enabled the funding of new projects.

Looking ahead we have bold plans that will build on our recent success. We are continuing a project to transform the Institute of Education estate, embarking on Project Oriel, a £400m purpose built centre of excellent that will support pioneering eye research, education and treatment in partnership with Moorfields Hospital, progressing the development of our iconic new campus UCL East (Pool Street West and Marshgate forming phase 1) and planning the development of the £290m Institute of Neurology/Dementia Research Institute, a world class centre for advancing neurological research and treatments.

You can view further information on Transforming UCL here.


As we continue to invest in our estate and environment, our growing portfolio needs to be proactively managed and we are therefore seeking to recruit to the role of Assistant Director, Property & Asset Management to ensure optimised use and value from the existing portfolio whilst responding to future ambitious. Reporting to the Director of Estates Strategy, the Assistant Director, Property & Asset Management is responsible strategic and operational asset management across UCL’s extensive portfolio, leading a team of Estate Surveyors who undertake a broad range of activities including development appraisal, planning, transactions, asset management and property management.

strategic role as the lead property professional across a large, diverse estate portfolio. You will have demonstrable breadth of experience in the property industry, with exposure to development, planning, transactions, asset management and property management and will possess the leadership abilities to manage, develop and motivate an internal property team whilst gaining best value from external partners. The role calls for an individual with excellent interpersonal, communication and negotiating skills, with an entrepreneurial, commercial and dynamic mindset. This is an exciting opportunity for an industry-leading property professional to take up the lead asset management role across one of London’s most diverse and large-scale (portfolio value is worth in excess of £2bn) estate portfolios.

We are seeking an individual with experience and a proven track record in a senior and


Post Title:

Assistant Director, Property & Asset Management


UCL Estates

Reporting To:

Director, Estates Strategy



Key dimensions The UCL Estate comprises over 230 buildings valued at a reinstatement value of £3bn+. UCL is in the midst of a 10 year Capital Programme with a value of £1.25bn in which UCL Estates is helping shape the transformation of the university. The role of Property & Asset Management within Estates encompasses all strategic and operational property and asset management activities across UCL’s extensive portfolio, ensuring optimised use of the existing portfolio and responding to future institutional ambitious. The Property & Asset Management team plays a crucial role in enabling the transformation of UCL’s world-class estate by helping secure valuable planning consents, the negotiation of S106 agreements, the acquisition of space (both freehold and leasehold) outside UCL’s existing footprint and to act as a link with colleagues in Estates Strategy to ensure UCL’s academic departmental needs are met, having regard to the Institution’s wider needs and resources. Job purpose The Assistant Director, Property & Asset Management is responsible for leading on all property and asset management activities across UCL’s extensive portfolio, ensuring optimised use of the existing portfolio and responding to future ambitious. The post holder will: • Contribute to the wider Institutional Estates Strategy by working closely with the senior Estates team, acting as the subject matter expert for property & asset management. • Continually review and further enhance the Property & Asset Management Strategy in line with the wider Estates team aims. • Provide a highly commercial approach, ensuring property transactions represent value for money and remain in line with the institutions wider aims and reputation. • Manage, lead and mentor a team of Estate Surveyors, ensuring that they meet and deliver requirements of the estate strategy, whilst ensuring their own professional development. • Act as an ambassador of UCL, demonstrating a service of excellence at all times. • Responsibility for all recommendations and delivery relating to strategic acquisitions, disposals, asset management and other property related issues.


• Further instil and develop within the team an attitude of collaborative working with other internal working groups, acting as the “go to” property advisor. • Manage and further develop external consultant relationships (Deloitte and Gerald Eve), ensuring effective communication of the Property Strategy. • Lead quarterly and other frequent meetings with retained external advisors. • Manage the relationship with UCL’s Legal Advisors, both internal and external to achieve these objectives. • Overall responsibility for the Property & Asset Management team budget, ensuring plans to optimise income, to set departmental budgets and have overall responsibility to ensure that such budgets are adhered to. • To set quality standards across within the team and ensure a full range of Property services are provided. • Drive forward business as usual functions, through the dedicated Property & Asset Management team, including but not limited to: o Property acquisitions and disposals, both leasehold and freehold o Rent reviews o Licence for alterations, to enable Capital Projects to proceed in the leasehold estate o Licences to sub-let, alienation etc. o Police boundary disputes and support the wider Estates Team o Support Capital Projects in Town Planning Discussions and Negotiations o Support the continued integration of the former IoE Estate and join discussions with University of London to regularise our property interests to the benefit of UCL • Act as the key figure in leading and communicating with HS2 and affiliated organisations, in order to minimise disruption from the effects of HS2 and join discussions with the Compulsory Purchase team advising UCL. • Sit on various University Committees including Project Review Group, Estates Management Committee and Finance Committee representing the Property team.


Commitment to equality UCL is proud of its longstanding commitment to equality and to providing a learning, working and social environment in which the rights and dignity of its diverse members are respected. Among other initiatives, UCL has eight Athena SWAN awards for good employment practice for women working in science, engineering and technology in higher education and research. General This job description reflects the present requirements of the post, and as duties and responsibilities change/develop, the job description will be reviewed and be subject to amendment in consultation with the post-holder. The post-holder will carry out any other duties as are within the scope, spirit and purpose of the job as requested by the line manager. The post-holder will actively follow UCL policies including Equal Opportunities policies and be expected to give consideration within their role as to how they can actively advance equality of opportunity and good relations between people who share a relevant protected characteristic and people who do not share it. The post-holder will maintain an awareness and observation of Fire and Health & Safety Regulations.





1. Qualifications

MRICS qualified.

Masters degree in a commercial real estate related subject.

2. Knowledge

Relevant technical knowledge of the breadth of general practice surveying activities.

A reasonable knowledge of higher education sector.

Demonstrable knowledge in relation to property and asset management within the Central London property market.

3. Skills and/or Abilities

A highly credible leader with the capability to motivate and manage an in-house team of property professionals as well as external consultants.

Ability to drive effective results through a team.

Proven influencing, communication and stakeholder management skills operating at a senior level. Gravitas in dealing effectively in the property market and an ability to assume the role of ambassador to UCL in that context. Experience and proven track record in a senior and strategic role as the lead property professional across a large, diverse estate portfolio. Extensive knowledge of the property market, in particular Central London, and ability to manage and create true partnership with UCL’s property consultants - developing and ensuring delivery within their remit. Experience of creating, developing and implementing complex commercial property strategy.

4. Experience





4. Experience

Demonstrable work experience of property acquisitions and disposals, both leasehold and freehold, rent reviews, valuation, rating, asset and property management. Experience of acting as the leading voice on property matters, presenting to and managing a range of stakeholders both internally and externally.

Experience of operating in both a landlord and tenant capacity.

Experience of managing financial and budgetary resources in a team leadership capacity.

5. Aptitude

To be highly customer focussed.

To be a trusted leader.

6. Other Requirements

Be flexible in duties undertaken and to work outside normal working when required.

Lead staff meetings, relevant seminars, workshops and training events.


Salary level The role attracts a competitive salary level to attract industry-leading candidates. Employee Benefits UCL is a dynamic, global university based in one of the most exciting capital cities in the world. Not only does working at UCL offer the opportunity to work with game changers in your field, it also provides competitive terms, conditions and benefits. UCL benefits and policies apply equally whatever the sexual orientation and/or gender identity of employees. Benefits and policies relating to employees partners, includes both different sex and same sex partners. In addition to 41 days leave (inclusive of public holidays and closure days) and generous pension schemes, UCL provides a number of other staff benefits outlined below. • Excellent provision for professional development • The UCL Cycle scheme • The UCL Eye Care scheme • Voluntary Healthcare schemes • Subsidised access to a range of health and fitness facilities

• The offer of an interest-free season ticket loan • Various family friendly benefits and support https://www.ucl.ac.uk/human-resources/pay-and-staff-benefits Work location

The permanent base for each of the posts is at Bidborough House, in UCL Estates’ recently refurbished, modern, open-plan offices. Given the scale and nature of the UCL estates post holders will be expected tow work across the UCL portfolio as the needs of the role dictate.


To arrange a confidential conversation to discuss the opportunities in more depth, please contact Stephanie Howe (stephanie.howe@mrgpeople.co.uk) or Ben Duffill (ben.duffill@mrgpeople.co.uk) of The Management Recruitment Group on 020 3962 9900. Applications should consist of a comprehensive CV (of not more than 4 pages) and a covering letter (of not more than 2 pages). Applications should be sent to ucl@mrgpeople.co.uk clearly quoting the post title of the role to be applied for. Closing date for applications is 9th February 2020.

Regal House 70 London Road Twickenham TW1 3QS Tel 020 8892 0115

52-54 Gracechurch Street London EC3V 0EH Tel 020 3962 9900

111 Piccadilly Manchester M1 2HY Tel 0161 638 0936

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