The Scottish Funding Councils for Further and Higher Education have at last announced the successor to their joint chief executive, John Sizer, who retires at the end of the year.
The delay sparked rumours that the two councils were having difficulty in agreeing on an individual who they felt had the necessary standing and knowledge to carry out the dual role.
Belfast-born Roger McClure seems a reassuring choice. Currently pro-rector of the London Institute, he has been a senior manager in public bodies for both sectors. He was the University Grants Committee's first financial adviser in the mid-1980s, developing university financial forecasts and accounting policies.
In 1988, he became director of finance at the Polytechnics and Colleges Funding Council, holding the same post in the Further Education Funding Council in England. He is remembered as the architect of the FEFC's hugely complex funding methodology.
This may alarm some as the Scottish Higher Education Funding Council tries to emerge from the debacle of its proposals to revamp teaching funding. But most would agree that the FEFC system did its job well to start with, becoming increasingly unwieldy because of the sector's development.
Mr McClure has a reputation for being open, approachable and extremely bright. Educated at King Edward VI School in Norwich, where he won a scholarship, he gained 13 O levels and six A levels. He has an unusual background for a financial manager, having studied Anglo-Saxon, Norse and Celtic at Corpus Christi College, Cambridge, before taking a diploma in Celtic studies at Corpus Christi College, Oxford.
When aged 30, Mr McClure gained a diploma in public finance and accountancy from the City of London Polytechnic, and spent six years at the beginning of his career as assistant and then senior auditor with the National Audit Office, carrying out regularity and value-for-money audits. He also specialised in organisation reviews as a senior consultant with Deloitte Haskins & Sells, now Deloitte & Touche.