Awards 2007: Financial Director of the Year – Public Services

AA Awards

Sponsored by Morgan Law

Winner: Mark Lumsdon-Taylor

Mark Lumsdon-Taylor is a worthy winner of this award. As the member of the
Hadlow College senior management team responsible for strategy, he has, in the
words of his colleagues, performed outstandingly.

Looking at the before and after of the facts and figures, Lumsdon-Taylor has
more than earned this ringing endorsement.

He has engineered a remarkable turn-around at Hadlow – only four years ago,
the college was teetering on the precipice of insolvency. Huge sums had been
lost annually, student numbers were down 40% and the college estate was near to
being unfit for purpose.

The tipping point came when the college was threatened with going under, as
it received an avalanche of criticism from the local media.

The transformation was described as miraculous. Under Lumsdon-Taylor’s
stewardship, the once-foundering college has had five years of continuous
turnover growth.

A £4.8m turnover has doubled in less than three years to £10m, and despite
the spectre of insolvency looming large, the college invested £7m by way of
stringent financial control and competitive fundraising.

The college is now predicting a £500,000 surplus this year. There is an £8m
capital investment coming to fruition and the college has now secured
preliminary approval for a further £52m investment between 2008 and 2010.

Hadlow College is now flourishing to the extent that it is one of the very UK
colleges to absorb a local government pension deficit of £2.5m and return
reserve to credit. The financial stability has been translated into academic
success – Hadlow is now recognised as the UK’s third-best specialist college,
but Lumsdon-Taylor hopes to help take Hadlow all the way to the number one spot.

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