Head of Finance

Careers | Oak Foundation

Deadline for application: 15 August 2020

Location: Geneva, Switzerland

About Oak Foundation

Oak Foundation commits its resources to address issues of global social and environmental concern, particularly those that have a major impact on the lives of the disadvantaged. With offices in Europe, India and North America, Oak Foundation makes grants to organisations located in approximately 40 countries worldwide.

About the team

The finance team consists of 5 permanent staff and an intern. Each member of the team has a mix of responsibilities:

  • working either directly or with external service providers on the preparation of financial statements, audits, tax and any other filings, as well as budgeting, planning, forecasting and reporting for assigned Oak offices;
  • reviewing budgets and financial statements of organisations funded by Oak Foundation at the time of application as well as prior to the release of subsequent tranches of funding.


Purpose of the role

This is a great opportunity to join a diverse international Foundation’s operations team. After a decade of sustained growth, the foundation is now reaching a stable staff and budget size. This offers the opportunity to step back and think about how the finance function can be optimised to increase strategic and operational efficiency. The individual will be responsible for leading Oak’s global finance function which includes managing all aspects of budgeting, planning, reporting, compliance, tax filings and audits for the Foundation (4 offices, 2 sister foundations and a school). S/he will act as an advisor on policies related to financial matters and provide complex financial analysis to the President and Board.


Main responsibilities

  • In consultation with the Director of Administration, develop and lead the Foundation’s finance strategy, and its implementation with the team;
  • Supervise a team of five and an intern;
  • Oversee all aspects of financial due diligence of grants by ensuring the team examines and analyses financial statements, budgets, and other information of grantee organisations to assess risk related to operations, trends, costs, revenues, financial commitments, and obligations;
  • Evaluate due diligence process carried out by the finance team on grants and identify value enhancement and streamlining opportunities;
  • Develop consistent standards and guidance for due diligence reviews;
  • Partner with the capacity building function at Oak to deliver training and advice to strengthen the finance function of grantees;
  • Propose and develop internal policies and guidelines to ensure the optimal and efficient use of the Foundation’s financial resources;
  • Work with the leadership team to design and implement internal controls for the safeguarding of financial assets;
  • Lead on the evaluation of upgrades or changes to current financial systems in partnership with IT and make recommendations to the Director of Administration;
  • Act as a consultant/advisor to management and the Trustees on finance projects and issues;
  • Collaborate across the Foundation to achieve consistent business alignment with finance policies and processes;
  • Coordinate the delivery of financial training to programme staff;
  • Oversee budgeting, forecasting, financial statement preparation and tax filing preparation functions for the foundation and ensure these are cost and time efficient;
  • Serve as the primary relationship manager to Oak’s service providers, including off-site accountants, auditors, tax advisors, etc. to ensure timely and high-quality product delivery and processing;


Position requirements

  • University degree in Accounting, Finance or related field and professional qualification such as ACCA/CFA/CPA;
  • 10 years professional experience, with at least 3 to 5 years’ experience in a global finance position;
  • Demonstrated technical knowledge of budgeting, planning, reporting, audit, tax filing and compliance;
  • Proven team management and strategic leadership experience at a senior-level;
  • Experience designing risk-based approaches for performing financial reviews across a portfolio of organisations;
  • Experience working across multiple geographies including familiarity with approaches such as implementing auditor panels;
  • Experience participating in and leading cross- functional projects for an organisation;
  • Experience in analysing financial aspects of projects led by not-for profits;
  • Excellent understanding of non-profit and/or governmental financial reporting and budgeting;
  • Good understanding of legal entity structures and related tax implications for an entity operating globally;
  • Proven research and analysis skills;
  • Outstanding organisational abilities and a commitment to efficiency and meeting tight deadlines;
  • Excellent interpersonal skills; desire and ability to work in a collaborative team environment;
  • Excellent verbal and written communications skills;
  • Ability and willingness to listen and learn, humility and a sense of humour.
  • Available for international travel, up to 40 days a year;
  • Excellent written and spoken English required, other languages are an asset.
  • Experience in the not-for-profit sector a plus.
  • A commitment to Oak’s organisational values.


How to apply

Only candidates with Swiss/EU citizenship or a valid work permit for Switzerland will be accepted.

Applications should include:

  1. A comprehensive curriculum vitae giving details of relevant achievements in recent posts as well as your education and professional qualifications.
  2. A motivation letter that summarises your interest in this post, providing evidence of your ability to match the criteria outlined in the job description.
  3. Salary, notice period and names of two referees, together with a brief statement of the capacity in which they have known you and an indication of when in the process they can be contacted (please note we will not contact your referees without your expressed permission).


Selection process

Deadline for application: 15 August, midnight, 2020

Application by email to: contact@headtohead.ch. Please state “Head Finance Oak” in the subject line of your email. Please note that we will only be contacting shortlisted candidates.

The applicants with the most relevant experience will be invited to have initial exploratory discussions with Headtohead between 25 August and 4 September 2020.  

First interviews with the Foundation will most likely take place midSeptember 2020, with final panel interviews taking place in end of September 2020.

Ideal start date: as soon as possible, or earliest October 2020

By submitting your application, you confirm that you have read and understood Oak’s job applicant’s data privacy notice.

Oak Foundation is committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children, as detailed in our child safeguarding policy. We expect all staff to share this commitment. Please note that the successful candidate will undergo reference checks and be required to provide a police record prior to starting employment.

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