Poole, Dorset
Competitive salary + attractive Merlin benefits
Permanent, Full-time
Job description

Are you an experienced Finance Director passionate about marine life conservation and helping children?  If so, then this is the role for you. We need a commercially astute Finance Director for our two charities with a combined income of c.£10 million. Providing support to the senior leadership in delivering the strategic growth for both organisations, whilst optimising their financial performance.


Merlin's Magic Wand and the SEA LIFE Trust are two fast-growing global charities with multiple global entities. The SEA LIFE Trust is a marine conservation and wildlife charity, famous for its pioneering approach to caring for previously captive beluga whales through the world’s first beluga whale sanctuary - subject of the acclaimed ITV documentary “John Bishop’s Great Whale Rescue”.


Merlin’s Magic Wand Children’s Charity makes fun accessible to children facing challenges of serious illness, disability or adversity with three magic spells: "Magical Days Out" providing tickets and contributing towards a travel grant for families to enjoy a day at a Merlin Entertainments’ attraction; "Merlin’s Magic On Tour" working with our local communities at hospitals and hospices to bring the magic to the children wherever they are; and "Merlin’s Magic Spaces" designing and creating amazing projects in hospitals, orphanages, learning Centres and more all around the world. 


Both charities are partnered with Merlin Entertainments - the name behind world famous attraction brands including LEGOLAND, SEA LIFE, Alton Towers Resort and Thorpe Park. 

We are offering an excellent opportunity to play a key role in the growth of these two organisations with international reach. We are looking for an experienced Finance Director to provide oversight and strategic leadership of the financial management and governance of both charities as they continue to grow and expand their projects and campaigns across the world. 

Key objectives of this role are to…

  • The Charities Finance Director will be key part of the Senior leadership team of both charities and is required to provide oversight and strategic leadership to ensure the charities' continued and on-going financial health and put structures in place to meet future growth needs.
  • Provide oversight of the financial and legal affairs of the charities, ensuring all financial activities are carried out in compliance with statutory, regulatory and contractual requirements.
  • Manage and develop a small high performing finance team.
  • Ensure strong cashflow to support growth aspirations of the charities.
  • Ensure strong governance and robust internal practices and culture to minimise risk to the charities.
  • Building and maintaining good relationships with network of Finance Directors across Merlin, promote and guide commercial awareness, identifying, advising and directing on effective growth opportunities.

We are looking for the following skills and experience…


- You will be a fully qualified accountant with experience of both Financial and Management Accounting within a global charity context.
- Strong understanding of charity operations and policies coupled with an understanding of factors affecting performance.

- We are looking for a strong commercial Finance Director able to influence and operate at board level, but also to roll up their sleeves and get stuck in to the day to day accounting.
- Strong systems skills to manipulate and present data effectively.
- Able to prioritise, work under pressure, plan and manage tasks ensuring costs are maintain under control.
- Practical understanding of accounting systems, ideally including Navision.
- Ability to present and negotiate at all levels.

- Willingness and ability to support team at a transactional level.


The Benefits…

We’re growing fast and we offer a fabulous package and amazing prospects.  Benefits include Pension, Life Assurance, discretionary company bonus, 25 days’ holiday and, thanks to Merlin, a Merlin Magic Pass which gives you and your friends and family free admission to all their attractions worldwide, as well as 25% discount in their retail shops and restaurants and 40% discount on LEGO.

 To apply; in the first instance please submit your CV ,which must be accompanied by a covering letter clearly showing how you meet the requirements of the role and your salary expectations.

 Relevant candidates may be asked to provide additional information at a later stage .

More about SEA LIFE Trust & Merlin's Magic Wand
SEA LIFE Trust & Merlin's Magic Wand

Merlin's Magic Wand and the SEA LIFE Trust are two fast-growing global charities that have a huge positive impact on children’s lives... Read more

Refreshed on: 04 December 2020
Closed date: 17 December 2020
Tags: Finance, Senior Management