University of London - Head of Asset Management



Dear applicant, Thank you for your interest in the Head of Asset Management role at the University of London.

The central University benefits from a large and prestigious estate and, as its custodians, we must do our utmost to ensure it continues to provide the foundation upon which the future of the University of London will be built, focusing on a vision of efficiency, sustainability and quality. Our new Director of Property and Facilities will lead the implementation of our ambitious estates strategy which will transform our property portfolio and further enhance our reputation in providing world class facilities. She will influence and inspire others to ensure the Estates Strategy significantly enhances the student experience. The Estates Strategy sets out a challenging investment programme. It also identifies properties that could be replaced or redeveloped and sets out sites that Colleges may wish to develop for themselves. In addition, the Strategy establishes master planning for Senate House and its immediate surroundings to open up this iconic building as an academic hub for use by our member institutions and Central Academic Bodies alike. A hub which students, researchers and staff can continue to feel pride in for generations to come. Put simply, our strategy is to ensure our property is valued and relevant. ‘Valued’ both in terms of its financial return but also as an enabler for our core activities. ‘Relevant’ in that our property adapts to changing need and circumstance. These imperatives demand that we remain vigilant in maintaining, updating, adapting, acquiring and disposing of property according to the needs of today and tomorrow. If you recognise this commitment to ambition and would like to contribute your expertise to our team, I would encourage you to apply. Chris Cobb, Pro Vice-Chancellor (Operations), Chief Operating Officer.


The University of London is a federal University which consists of 27 of the world’s leading Colleges and specialist Research Institutes. Together, they make the University of London one of the oldest, largest and most diverse universities in the UK. When studying with the University, a student belongs to a particular member Institution as well as the University of London itself. Between the Member Institutions, the University has over 120,000 students studying over 3,700 courses. Not all students are located in London; some study at the University of London Institute in Paris and over 50,000 students study in over 180 countries on the University of London International Programmes. The University owns a significant property portfolio located primarily in Bloomsbury which is renowned as one the world’s most prestigious academic campuses. The University’s Property and Facilities Management Department works to ensure that the estate is utilised efficiently and effectively.


The building of Senate House

In its first century of existence the University moved between a succession of temporary homes, each of which it quickly outgrew. The decision was finally taken to provide what had become the world’s largest University with a purpose-built, permanent home. A large parcel of land located behind the British Museum in the central London district of Bloomsbury was purchased from the Duke of Bedford’s estate. The architect Charles Holden, who designed many of London’s Underground stations, was appointed in February 1931 and construction work began in 1932. On 26 June 1933, King George V laid the foundation stone and the building was occupied in 1936. At 209 feet, it was the tallest secular building in the capital.

In 2011 Senate House celebrated its 75th anniversary.


From the SecondWorldWar to the present day

By the time war broke out in September 1939, the University had 14,000 registered students. The Colleges and their students were forced into exile in other parts of the UK and Senate House was taken over by the Ministry of Information – the roof becoming a valuable observation point for the Royal Observatory Corp. By 1944, the Colleges began to return to London and exams again took place in the capital. The Principal of the University reported that the exams were carried out ‘without casualties, other than those normally caused by these exacting but essential tests’. In 1948, Lillian Penson was elected as the University’s 31st Vice-Chancellor, the first women to hold this post in a Commonwealth University. During the 1960s and 1970s the number of students going to university in the UK expanded enormously. In line with this, the total number of internal students at the University of London doubled to almost 54,000 by 1981. In 1981 Princess Anne, The Princess Royal succeeded the Queen Mother as the University’s 10th Chancellor. In the 1990s, many of the University’s central responsibilities were devolved to the Colleges. The Funding Council also began to fund the Colleges directly. The University continues to grow and evolve to reflect the changing times. In 2008 it introduced a streamlined, transparent and flexible system of governance headed by a Board of Trustees with a lay majority.

Today – as it has been throughout its long history – the University is a family of world-class institutions, collectively upholding its international reputation of academic distinction in teaching and research.

Our overall strategic vision

To make a unique contribution to learning and research-led scholarship through our unrivalled network of member institutions, our global reach and reputation, and the breadth of our high-quality innovative academic services and infrastructure. Aim 1: deliver academic excellence Invest in our academic excellence to widen student access through flexible learning and to fulfil an ambitious programme of research promotion and facilitation in the humanities Aim 2: provide innovative high-quality academic support and professional services Develop, augment and commercialise our portfolio of services for the University’s members and the education sector, with the aim to be the “go to” provider of student and academic support services Aim 3: property that is valued and relevant Create a vibrant academic hub, through a property portfolio which balances the needs of the University’s members with maximising income opportunities The University owns and manages a large prestigious estate which includes academic and service buildings, student halls of residence, a book depository, gardens and private residences. These host a number of key activities that are fundamental to an effective University, notably academic space, libraries, student accommoda- tion, student services and conference facilities. Our objectives in relation to this aim are: • Greater use of Senate House as an academic hub and development of the public realm • Further modernisation and expansion of student residences • Increase the financial return from the estate • Ensure that there is a good fit between buildings & their function • Act as the custodian of the estate • Ensure that the estate is environmentally sustainable Aim 4: manage a high-performing organisation Increase our investment in staff development, encourage a common purpose across our diverse activities and enhance our capacity where gaps exist, in order to deliver our plans.


The Estate Strategy sets out a development framework for The University of London covering a five year period from 2015 to 2020 focusing on providing the appropriate physical infrastructure to meet the University’s vision of having fit-for-purpose buildings and facilities for the central University and the Colleges. To date, the University has focused on providing estate solutions to the Federation. Under our fiver year strategy, the University intends to change its estate management approach, so that there is equal focus on asset enhancement and improving the financial return. This reflects the increasingly competitive nature of the education sector and the need to accelerate levels of investment in the estate and our academic mission. This will enable the University to better meet the needs of the Colleges, Institutes and their students; develop a more constructive working relationship with other partners and stakeholders; and, equally important, generate returns that can be re-invested. This Strategy will seek to concentrate academic and federal University activity into our core estate (Estate One) in order to release other property/land for commercial income generation. The University’s estate, with the iconic Senate House at its heart, is not just an asset for the University but also for London and the wider community. We will continue to safeguard its heritage, encourage public access to the buildings and enhance academic activity. The Estate Strategy sets out a development and asset management framework for the estate with the aim of providing the physical environment required by a world-class university in a changing educational environment. It builds upon the work achieved by the 2004 Estate Strategy and responds to the University’s Strategy (2014-19) and on-going challenges in a highly competitive environment. The quality and the functionality of the building stock has improved since 2004 but further investment is required to bring the entire stock to condition A and B and functionality 1 and 2 (HEEMS definition). The 2014 Condition Survey establishes a base on which this investment can be planned. This Survey in conjunction with the estate development plans and the University’s Finance Strategy will enable the University to formulate and manage a more detailed annual capital plan.


The University may contemplate acquiring additional land to meet the academic demands of both the University and the Colleges and will also consider redevelopment of existing sites more intensively where properties on those sites have reached the end of their physical and economic life. This includes assessing how we can increase the number of beds in our Halls of Residence either through redevelopment or acquisition. Emphasis will be placed on good space management with a view to providing an effective workplace for all University staff and increasing the amount of space for academic and commercial activities. The University will continue to work towards the achievement of the ambitious carbon reduction targets set in the Carbon Management Plan, aiming for a 43% reduction by 2020. Sustainability will be a key feature of estate developments in line with the University’s goal on Environmental Sustainability. We will investigate ways of providing a secure and economic supply of energy to the University through investment in the existing Combined Heat & Power installation. This Strategy offers a bold vision for the University’s evolution over the next decade, whilst acknowledging the current challenges faced by the University. When implemented, this Estate Strategy will deliver a lasting legacy that will ensure that the University is well positioned to deal with the challenges that now confront the higher education sector. To support our strategic aims we have an ambitious capital development programme which includes: • £30m refurbishment of residences • £6m refurbishment of library/academic space • £4m investment property refurbishment • A long-term programme of projects at feasibility stage which have been included in our recent Master Plan.


Job Title: Section:


Head of Asset Management Asset Management

Property and Facilities Management



Job Purpose The objectives of this role are to enable the University to:

• Properly discharge its responsibilities as the freeholder of a number of strategic properties in Bloomsbury and elsewhere and as landlord to a number of University of London federation members and other tenants. • Deploy, operate, maintain, upgrade, and dispose of the estate assets in a cost effective, commercially informed and transparent way, in line with the University’s Estate Strategy and master plan. • The role covers buildings, outdoors spaces and the Bloomsbury precinct and surrounding areas. • To preside over, in a managerial capacity, specialist staff members ensuring effective space management and environmental sustainability across the University. Job Content 1. To be the strategic lead on all property, landlord and tenant matters, providing professional advice and support on all strategic developmental and operational matters. 2. To ensure that the University’s own occupied space is being used as effectively and efficiently as possible employing modern working practices to improve efficiency where possible. 3. To take responsibility and oversight, through the management of specialist staff members, for effective space management across the University’s land and property holdings. 4. To take responsibility and oversight, through the management of specialist staff members, for ensuring that the University meets and exceeds its objectives with regards environmental sustainability. 5. To ensure that arrangements for building occupation by others, such as leases and licences are in place, up to date and reflect market conditions or agreed negotiated alternatives. 6. To put in place and keep up to date a suitable system for asset management. 7. To consider the University’s property portfolio and identifying opportunities for diversification to reduce risk and maximise income. 8. To research new markets and opportunities to maximise income from the estate. 9. To advise on property investments and market demand. 10. To lead on space feasibilities and scenario planning with regards to future estates developments developing and applying best practice space norms. 11. To create reports and information for presentation to committees as may be necessary. 12. To deal with clients face to face, by telephone and via other media to develop good and productive working practices and long term relationships. 13. To prepare schedules for dilapidations. 14. To handle claims and negotiations with all including loss adjusters. 15. To report on building defects. 16. To undertake building and measured surveys if needed.


Reports to:

Director of Property and Facilities Management.

Responsible for:

Health and Safety Officer. Senior Solicitor. Head of Space Planning.

Head of Environmental Sustainability. Information and Projects Manager.

Additional demands of the role: Occasional out of normal hours working may be required to fulfil the duties of the role and/or in emergency situations. Some cross department working may also be required in relation to project work.


EXPERIENCE & PERSONAL QUALITIES Essential: • Significant real estate management experience gained across a complex estate portfolio. • Excellent interpersonal and communication skills.

• Excellent influencing and negotiation skills. • Ambitious with the desire to excel in the role. • Proven ability to lead and work as part of a team as required. • Confident, with the ability to convey requirements in a persuasive and authoritative manner when required. • Excellent attention to details. • Ability to clearly explain financial and asset management matters to team members and others outside of the department. • Highly organised, logical and methodical. • Proven ability to motivate members of their team. Desirable: • Experience of working in or with an organisation with comparable characteristics (people, processes, estate) to those found at the University of London. • Experience of higher education property and asset management. • Experience of the Central London property market.

• Experience of space/workplace management. • Experience of environmental sustainability.



• Extensive knowledge of estate related legal matters including landlord, tenant and property related matters.

• Excellent knowledge of property investment and management sector.

• Financial acumen in negotiating funding proposals, leasing and commercial terms.

• Advanced working knowledge of Microsoft Word/Excel/Outlook/PowerPoint and databases.


• Knowledge of the utilisation of property and space management databases systems.


EDUCATION & PROFESSIONAL QUALIFICATIONS Essential: • Educated to degree standard or equivalent by experience, • Chartered surveyor MRICS, with a background in estate management, property management, asset management or general practice; or by expectation with equivalent industry experience. Desirable: • A degree in property management, asset management, maths, finance, accounting, economics, business studies, and/or management .

Competency Requirements Essential: • Academic Community focus • Adapting to change • Creativity and innovation • Interpersonal understanding • Leadership • Managing resources • Organisational commitment • Proactivity and planning • Problem solving and decision making • Performance Management • Resilience • Working collaboratively with others

For further information on each of the competencies and relevant levels, please refer to the University’s Competency Model


Pension – The University operates the Universities Superannuation Scheme Limited (USS) final salary pension scheme. The University will contribute a sum equal to 18% of your salary with employee contributions of 8% on the career revalued benefits scheme. Holiday – 30 days paid leave per annum plus statutory public holidays. In addition, the University is normally closed for six days a year over Easter and Christmas/New Year.

For a confidential discussion please contact our retained advisor Stephanie Howe of The Management Recruitment Group on; Stephanie Howe - or on 020 7959 2368 Applications should consist of a comprehensive CV and covering letter outlining key matching experience. Closing date for applications is Sunday 4th June 2017. MRG will be holding preliminary interviews w/c 12th June 2017. Interviews with the University of London including campus tours will be w/c Monday 19th June.

Other benefits include: • Travel season ticket loan • Childcare voucher scheme • Life Cover

• Enhanced maternity/paternity and adoption pay • Health – free bi-annual eye tests and discounted private medical insurance


68 King William Street London

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

111 Piccadilly Manchester

EC4N 7DZ Tel 020 7959 2368

M1 2HY Tel 0161 638 0936

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