Architecting Success: Securing the Head of Conferences and Buildings for the London Mathematical Society


We successfully filled the critical role of Head of Conferences and Buildings for the London Mathematical Society (LMS). The LMS, founded in 1865, is the UK's Learned Society for mathematics, with its headquarters located at De Morgan House on Russell Square. This role is pivotal in managing the facilities, office services, and various tenancies associated with De Morgan House and other properties owned by the Society.

The Challenge

The role of Head of Conferences and Buildings at LMS involved a diverse range of responsibilities, including:

1. De Morgan House Tenancies:

Managing LMS landlord responsibilities for commercial tenancies, including finding and setting up new tenancies.

2. Buildings Management:

Providing facilities management for De Morgan House, including reception services, supplier and utilities contracts, repairs and maintenance, refurbishment projects, fire and security responsibilities, health and safety training, and liaising with local authorities.

3. Office Management:

Managing services to LMS offices, including equipment purchase and maintenance, redecoration, space planning, and supplies.

4. Conference Facilities:

Overseeing the marketing and sales of conference facilities, setting prices, monitoring sales, maintaining the website, managing room booking software, handling catering partnerships, and providing on-the-day customer support.

5. Residential Properties:

Managing landlord responsibilities for LMS residential properties, including tenant contracts, resolving disputes, and ensuring property upkeep.

6. Finance and Contracts:

Setting and managing departmental budgets, overseeing building income and expenditure, preparing tenant contracts, and managing service charges.

7. Line Management:

Leading a team comprising a Conference & Events Coordinator and two part-time Receptionists.

8. General Responsibilities:

Providing cover for departmental staff and performing other duties as required by the Executive Secretary.

The ideal candidate needed to possess a blend of skills and experience in conference venue management, facilities and office management, commercial and residential lettings, budget management, and building repair and renovation projects. Additionally, they needed to demonstrate strong interpersonal skills, an organized and flexible approach to work, and the ability to lead a team effectively.

We leveraged its extensive network and expertise in facilities management recruitment to identify and attract top talent for this multifaceted role. Our recruitment process involved:

1. Understanding the Role:

Conducting a detailed analysis of the job description and person specification to fully understand the requirements and expectations of the LMS.

2. Sourcing Candidates:

Utiliding our vast candidate database, industry contacts, and targeted advertising to attract suitable candidates with the relevant experience and skills.

3. Screening and Selection:

Conducting rigorous screening interviews to assess candidates' suitability, followed by a thorough evaluation of their skills, experience, and cultural fit with LMS.

4. Client Collaboration:

Working closely with the Executive Secretary and LMS management team to ensure alignment on candidate profiles and interview processes.

5. Final Placement:

Facilitating the final interview stages and supporting the LMS in making a confident hiring decision.

The Results

We successfully placed an experienced Head of Conferences and Buildings who met and exceeded LMS's stringent requirements. The new Head of Conferences and Buildings has:

• Implemented effective facilities management strategies, ensuring seamless operations at De Morgan House.

• Enhanced the marketing and sales of the conference facilities, driving increased bookings and revenue.

• Efficiently managed the commercial and residential properties, maintaining high standards of tenant satisfaction.

• Demonstrated excellent leadership, guiding the team to deliver exceptional service across all areas.