Chief Operating Officer (COO)

  • US$105,572 per annum
  • Malmö, Skane, Sweden
  • Contract, Full time
  • World Maritime University
  • 26 Sep 16

1. Organizational setting The World Maritime University (WMU) is a postgraduate and research university established in 1983 by the International Maritime Organization, the maritime agency of the United Nations. WMU offers M.Sc. and Ph.D. programs, postgraduate diplomas, and Professional Development Courses with the highest standards in maritime and ocean affairs. The COO position is stationed at WMU’s headquarters in Malmö, Sweden.

Organizational Unit: Operations

Grade: D1

Duty Station: Malmö, Sweden

2. Main purpose 

WMU is seeking to recruit a COO who will report to the President. The COO will provide support to the WMU President in the areas of Finance and Risk Management, the WMU Endowment Fund, and Strategic Planning and Management.

Finance: Achieve long term financial sustainability while being able to meet the WMU’s current operational needs. Supports the President with respect to: the preparation of reports to the governance bodies of the University; activities relating to the WMU Endowment Fund; management of the assets of the University; implementation and maintenance of a Risk Management system with main focus on Financial and operational risks.

Supervision: supervise the work of units dealing with Budgets and Accounts, Human Resources, and Information Technology and Library.        

3. Working relationships

Internal contacts – Incumbent liaises and interacts with faculty and non-faculty staff members on a regular basis as well as with support staff as appropriate. 

External contacts – Incumbent liaises and interacts with Donors (Senior officials of respective government, foundation and institution), the investment and asset management community as well as with all other relevant stakeholders. Represents the University externally as necessary and as assigned by the President. 

4. Duties, responsibilities

The incumbent will undertake following duties and responsibilities: implementation and performance duties, and guidance and supervisory duties. The incumbent will be expected to focus on implementation and performance duties and responsibilities.


A/ Implementation and performance duties

a.1) Finance and Asset management duties

The following relates to financing, including planning, and asset management.

Financial planning and management.

  • Manage and oversee financial and business planning activities.
  • Provide overall financial oversight and monitoring.
  • Advise the President on financial planning, budgeting, cash flow, investment priorities, and policy matters.
  • Identify short and longer term funding sources, oversee the development of fund raising plans both for annual resources mobilisation cycles and Endowment Fund capital campaigns; write funding proposals to increase the funds of the University; and participate in fundraising activities/missions as appropriate.
  • Provides support to the President concerning:
  • matters relating to the Endowment Fund
  • relationships with the Endowment Fund Investment and Development Committees
  • Determine cost effectiveness of existing and prospective service delivery.
  • Prepare financial management documents and reports for the Executive Board and Board of Governors meetings with particulars on the budget and outcome of the revenue and expenditures of the University. 

Operational planning and business management

  • Responsible for enhancing the internal organizational process and infrastructure to allow the University to grow.
  • Develop, revise and update, as appropriate, an operational plan that incorporates goals and objectives reflecting the strategic directions of the University and in particular its Business plan. 
  • Draft regulations and rules and prepare procedures to implement the policies; review existing regulatory framework on an annual basis and recommend possible changes to the President, as appropriate.
  • Provide policy guidance to the President on conceptual strategy development and management of the implementation of overall strategies and intra and inter-divisional/departmental policies and procedures.

Program planning and management

  • Ensure that substantive work programmes and programmed activities are carried out in a timely manner, coordinating diverse projects and, in liaison with other work units, donors and agencies, as appropriate.
  • Oversee the program and budget planning, implementation and evaluation of the WMU’s programmes and services. Oversee the planning, implementation, execution and evaluation of special resource mobilization and promotional and advocacy projects.
  • Contribute to the reporting to the Executive Board and the Board of Governors on financial and business management budget/programme performance or on programmatic/ substantive issues, as appropriate, particularly those presented in bi-annual and/or annual reports.

a.2) Risk management duties

  • Oversee risk management and legal activities, including letters of agreement, contracts, leases and other legal documents and agreements.
  • Focus is on the main risks of the University: identification of risks (risk profile), measurement of risks (capital requirement) and follow-up by implementation of a risk mitigation strategy. This would include existing risks as well as ad-hoc risks. 
  • Of particular interest are financial and operational risks, taking into account practices in the area of supervision of Financial Institutions around the world with objective to implement a lean but efficient methodology for WMU.
  • Prepare at regular intervals a risk management report based on the budgetary period of the University for review by the President and consideration of the Executive Board and Board of Governors.

B/ Guidance and Supervisory duties

b.1) Finance and accounting

  • Supervise the work of the Finance and Administrative Unit and ensure the reporting of comprehensive budget and financial reports.


b.2) Human resources planning and management

  • Manage and oversee the human resources function.
  • Review staffing requirements for organizational management and program delivery.
  • Oversee the implementation of the human resources policies, procedures and practices including the development of job descriptions for all staff, recruitment and selection.
  • Oversee the implementation of a performance management system for all staff, which includes monitoring the performance of staff on an on-going basis and conducting an annual performance review.

b.3) Information Technology Services

  • Oversee the operations of the library and ICT services.
  • Oversee the planning and implementation of service delivery to achieve academic and business goals by fostering innovation, prioritizing initiatives and ensure delivery of high-quality services.

5. Minimum requirements – education, experience and language skills



Business or Accounting degree mandatory, a Master’s in Business Administration from a leading Business School is preferred or a Masters in quantitative finance or one of the following fields: Applied Mathematics, Applied Statistics, Actuarial Science, Physics or Engineering.




  • A minimum of fifteen years experience with increasing responsibility in financial planning, asset management, fund design and investment vehicles and / Risk Management with Private corporations, International Organisations or Non-profit Institutions
  • Proven track record of success in facilitating progressive organizational change and development within a growing organization
  • Experience in managing multicultural, multidisciplinary teams as well as multistakeholder partnerships and relationships.
  • Resources mobilisation experience in the international public and / or private sector.


  • Experience in programme and project planning and analysis is required. Experience in advising senior officials in the United Nations, Agencies, Funds and Programmes or similar international organisations.
  • Membership in a Management Team in an international context.



  • Fluency in spoken and written English is essential


  • Knowledge of another UN language would be an advantage.


6. Knowledge and skills

Knowledge and skills


Knowledge of leadership and management principles as they relate to the University and UN organizations. Knowledge of financial and administrative regulations and rules; accounting standards and other related regulations and rules. Knowledge of financial management, human resources management, and project management are essential.

The incumbent should demonstrate competence in the following:

Behave Ethically: Understand ethical behaviour and business practices, and ensure that own behaviour and the behaviour of others is consistent with these standards and aligns with the values of the University.

Build Relationships: Establish and maintain positive working relationships with others, both internally and externally, to achieve the goals of the University.

Communicate Effectively: Speak, listen and write in a clear, thorough and timely manner using appropriate and effective communication tools and techniques.

Creativity/Innovation: Develop new and unique ways to improve operations of the University and to create new opportunities.

Foster Teamwork: Work cooperatively and effectively with others to set goals, resolve problems, and make decisions that enhance organizational effectiveness.

Decision-making: Assess situations to determine the importance, urgency and risks, and make clear decisions which are timely and in the best interests of the University.

Superior management skills; ability to influence and engage direct and indirect reports and peers in a multicultural environment.


7. Terms and Conditions

WMU seeks to increase the number of women at all levels and, therefore, qualified women are particularly encouraged to apply. WMU will make every effort to facilitate the employment of persons with disabilities.

The position offers an attractive salary (D1 Grade of the ICSC salary scale), free of income tax in Sweden, a benefits package and relocation expenses. Salary: US$105,572 net per annum for staff with primary dependents and US$97,583 at single rate, plus a post adjustment (currently US$38,533 at the dependent rate and US$35,617 at the single rate).


Applicants should send a letter of interest, a complete CV, and the contact information of three referees to Marco Batista, Head of Human Resources ( Deadline for Applications: 30 September 2016.