Innovation in finance
Lee Hamill is the University's award-winning Deputy Director of Finance. An Edinburgh alumnus, he tells us about his time working on the 2012 Olympic Games, and how he and his team donate one working day every year to good causes.
Lee is originally from Northern Ireland and first came to Scotland as a University of Edinburgh student, studying Law and Accountancy. After graduation, he took up an accounting training contract with PricewaterhouseCoopers in London, where he lived and worked for more than 10 years. He subsequently moved to BT where he had a number of senior roles in Group Commercial and Regulatory Finance.
"One of my career highlights has to be the opportunity to work on the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games," says Lee. "While working for BT I had overall management responsibility for the finance function and commercial operations of their infrastructure delivery and sponsorship programme."
Following that, Lee moved back to Scotland where, as Chief Operating Officer for BT Scotland, he was responsible for BT’s delivery of the critical communications and TV broadcast services to the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games.
From BT, Lee moved to the University of Edinburgh, taking up the newly created role of Deputy Director of Finance in 2015.
He explains: "A big part of my role is to lead the overall operational management of finance and ensuring integration across the University of the full spectrum of finance services, policy and practice. I’m incredibly proud to represent and be supported by so many dedicated and inspiring colleagues as part of the University’s professional finance community."
Lee is also proud of a new volunteering programme launched by the Finance Department called ‘A Day to Make a Difference’. The programme saw every colleague in the department have the opportunity to commit a day’s worth of their normal work time to support good causes. This required buy-in from all colleagues and managers with the underlying principle that individual and team responsibilities and work-stacks would not be adversely affected.
"I’m pleased to say that the programme has been a resounding success," says Lee. "Over 80% of staff have taken the opportunity to volunteer across a wide range of projects, charities and other good causes. The programme is now in its second full year of operation and we are delighted to see the individual teams self-organising volunteering activities."
In April 2017, Lee's professionalism was officially recognised when he won the Newcomer of the Year at the annual Public Finance Innovation Awards. Noting Lee's creative and proactive approach to his work, the judges commended him for his development of a plan that underpins the University's ability to address and avoid the risk of financial fraud, and a programme strengethening the University's financial procurement controls.