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Chief Financial Officer (Principal Director)

EPO Economics logo

Munich - Germany
S: Starts at EUR 13 227.65

Chief Financial Officer (Principal Director)
Job group 2
Grade G15, step 1

Principal Directorate Finance
EPO Munich (DE)

The European Patent Office (EPO) is the second-largest intergovernmental organisation in Europe, employing 7 000 staff from over 30 countries and constituting the executive body of the European Patent Organisation. As the patent office for Europe, the EPO supports innovation, competitiveness and economic growth across Europe through a commitment to high-quality and efficient services delivered under the European Patent Convention. It is a self-financed organisation with a yearly budget of more than €2bn, mainly funded by the fees paid by the users of system. The EPO also manages a reserve fund for pensions and other social liabilities amounting to almost €7bn.

Principal Directorate Finance (PD Finance) plays an integral role in defining the EPO's financial strategy to ensure that it can at all times meet its liabilities to applicants, suppliers, staff and pensioners, and to optimise the financial situation of the EPO. PD Finance is responsible for financial planning, performing simulations of the financial impact of alternative measures and developing fee policy. It controls and monitors the execution of the financial strategy by defining and applying effective and efficient financial regulations, enhancing electronic financial systems, accounting, reporting and financial control.

The EPO is looking for a new Chief Financial Officer, who will lead Principal Directorate Finance and report directly to the President.

Main duties
The Chief Financial Officer is part of EPO senior management and contributes to the design and implementation of EPO strategy. He or she ensures and guarantees the accuracy and integrity of the EPO's accounts.

The successful candidate will formulate the EPO's financial strategy and be accountable for the performance, quality and results of the principal directorate. More specifically, he or she will be responsible for the following activities:
• developing, implementing and following the EPO's financial policy, financial regulations and instructions;
• preparing the Organisation's annual budget and financial plan, and monitoring and controlling budget implementation;
• contributing to the optimisation of the EPO's treasury and cash management and financial systems application management;
• ensuring the provision of high-quality financial services and advice to EPO management and departments;
• advising the President of the Office on matters relating to the financial situation at the EPO;
• in an advisory role, providing financial simulations on the impact of measures and changes regarding patent filing, the social-security scheme and cost management;
• participating in various internal managerial and statutory committees of the Office and governing bodies of the European Patent Organisation;
• creating and maintaining efficient organisational structures and optimal resource management within the principal directorate and office-wide, providing guidance on complex managerial situations and ensuring harmonisation on career and performance management within the principal directorate
• achieving the overall objectives and priorities of the principal directorate in an effective and efficient manner, exemplifying the values and principles of the EPO in terms of conduct, integrity and due care
• harmonising working practices and workflows within the principal directorate; addressing issues with impact beyond own principal directorate
• steering, driving and implementing organisational change, including project management and quality control of deliverables
• optimising automation in the principal directorate

The EPO is seeking an experienced manager, highly committed to the missions and goals of the EPO through the provision of strategic financial advice and who will achieve the EPO's strategic and operational objectives. The ideal candidate will have:
• proven ability and experience to address the challenges faced by large organisations in the design and implementation of financial strategies aligned with business needs
• excellent analytical skills, the capacity to identify key points, develop and generate strategic goals and translate them into practical proposals for action
• the ability to develop a vision for the financial strategy and service provisioning at the EPO that takes account of needs, resources and constraints
• substantial experience in planning and managing large budgets and human resources (large teams); special leadership qualities to guide and motivate managers and staff under his/her supervision
• understanding of the EPO's institutional context, political priorities and strategic direction
• proven background and practical experience in leading, driving and implementing organisational change, including project management and quality control of deliverables

The ideal candidate will also have
• the capacity to network, establish and sustain partnerships with a large variety of stakeholders (senior management, other departments, external consultants, auditors, international organisations, statutory bodies and committees, etc.) and subject-matter experts to deliver collaborative and successful outcomes on complex issues
• an action- and solution-oriented approach, excellent project-management skills, be familiar with working in an international and multicultural environment and have a real sense of the collective interest
• a working knowledge of continuous improvement tools and principles
• relevant professional qualifications/certificates will be considered as an asset
• a demonstrated ability to deal with strategic issues
sound knowledge, preferably acquired in an international environment, of the internal workings of large corporations and/or public-sector organisations
• an understanding of public service missions and constraints
• intercultural understanding and sensitivity
• a willingness to travel

Minimum qualifications
• Diploma of completed university studies at master's level in budgetary and finance matters or – in exceptional cases – equivalent professional experience.
• Excellent knowledge of one official language of the EPO and ability to understand the other two.
• Citizenship of one of the member states of the European Patent Organisation.

Salary and benefits
The EPO offers competitive salaries, an excellent social package, and varied work in a modern international environment. The net (basic) monthly salary* for this vacancy starts at EUR 13 227.65. In addition, depending on their personal circumstances, EPO staff may be entitled to relocation benefits and various allowances (e.g. household, dependants, childcare, education, expatriation, installation).

* after deduction of the EPO internal tax and before deduction of staff contributions to the social-security and pension schemes.

Duration of the contract
The contract will be for the duration of five years with possibility of extension.

Process and timeline
The successful candidate will be selected on the basis of qualifications, supplemented as appropriate by interviews, tests and/or a personality questionnaire.

The assessment centre is scheduled for week 4/2017, with the interviews following in week 6/2017. The interviews will take place in Munich.

Please apply online, using the 'Apply' button, reference number INT/EXT/2741.

Application until: 2 January 2017

Keywords: Job vacancy, Full-time, Munich, Finance, Financial manager.

Job summary




Munich, Germany


Master's Degree




Starts at EUR 13 227.65

Job Type:





30th November 2016

Apply By:

28th February 2017

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