The Pensions Board provides retirement services for those who work or minister for the Church of England. We do this principally through managing regulated occupational pension schemes and provision of clergy retirement housing.
Ethical and responsible investment is at the heart of what we do. It is an expression of our contribution to the goals of the wider Church and we believe it is an essential tool to mitigate risk and deliver long term value. We act as a responsible asset owner working with the wider investment community, engaging with companies and using our voting rights. Our particular engagement priorities are climate change and extractive industries. We lead and work collaboratively with coalitions of other investors. We work particularly closely with the Church Commissioners and CCLA who, together with the Board, are the three Church of England National Investing Bodies.
The Pensions Board is Trustee of three pension funds, serving over 40,000 members and beneficiaries across 700 employers. We administer a further two pension schemes on behalf of the Church Commissioners for the same customer groups. Total scheme assets under management were £2.8bn at the end of 2019. The main scheme – for Church of England clergy – is open and continues to grow. We expect AUM to pass £3.5bn by the middle of the decade.
The Pensions Board is also a registered charity, whose charitable services principally involve providing retirement housing to 2,500 customers across a mix of rental, mortgage and shared ownership properties, and seven supported housing schemes. This work is supported by our charitable investments of c£40m (overseen by the CIO), and grants from the wider Church.
The Trustee Board and CEO have set strategic objectives and three strategic priorities: simplification, engaging in great conversations, and becoming self-sufficient (without extensive financial support from the wider Church). We seek to demonstrate global leadership in ethical and responsible investment to achieve a sustainable return on our investment funds whilst supporting the transition to a low carbon economy in line with the Paris Agreement goals.
The Chief Investment Officer has a crucial role and accountability in this strategy, stewarding the pension funds and the Board’s charitable investments, working with the Investment Committee, colleagues in the investment team and the CEO. This role is as much about managing investment risk as it is about delivering excellent investment performance.
With responsibility for leading and managing the investment function of the Church of England Pensions Board (c£2.8bn AUM and growing), the Chief Investment Officer willensure that investments deliver the performance and risk profiles required to meet the needs of the Board’s schemes and charitable functions while demonstrating the highest standards of responsible and ethical investing, reflecting the Board’s contribution to the wider Church.
For full details of the role and the recruitment process, please contact Leo Meggitt LeoMeggitt@forsterchase.com at Forster Chase, our search adviser.
Serve as principal adviser to the Investment Committee and Board on all pension fund and charity investment matters, owning the Board’s investment strategy and making reasoned proposals for change.
Ensure that investments are made and managed in accordance with the Board’s ethical principles and policies, such that ethical and responsible investment principles are embodied in decision making, manager/adviser selection and monitoring, handling of controversies, engagement priorities, etc. Support the EIAG.
Oversee the implementation of the investment strategy and ensure that the strategy delivers the required risk and return characteristics.
Identify and manage risks to the investment strategy and pension scheme funding, working with the Pensions Manager, actuary, and investment consultants.
Operations and Compliance
Ensure that robust investment operations and custody arrangements are in place (including but not limited to having an appropriate manager monitoring framework, clear reporting on investment performance, ensuring legal due diligence is undertaken, and compliance with tax and money laundering rules across various legal jurisdictions).
Ensure compliance with relevant charity and pension fund regulatory requirements and encourage the Board to adopt best practice in its own investment governance.
Manage investments to meet the liquidity requirements for each pension scheme and managing liquidity risk.
Oversee management of the integrated Investment team’s budget, exercising wise stewardship so that costs are optimised for the benefit of beneficiaries.
Manage the relationship with the Board’s investment consultants and advisers, ensuring review of contracts and retendering per the NCI procurement policies.
Leadership and Management
Contribute as part of the Pensions Board Executive team, taking an interest in the full range of the Board’s activities and sharing in the accountability for their success. The CIO is also a senior leader within the family of NCIs and expected to play a full and collaborative role on pan-NCI matters. This means demonstrating a strong personal commitment to the NCI inclusion and belonging agenda in both our employment and service delivery, with a caring and respectful attitude to our people.
Lead, engage and manage the investment team, in partnership with the Director of Ethics and Engagement, inspire, motivate and empower people within a complex and values-driven setting; ensuring all aspects of line management are undertaken, and developing the team to meet the Board’s current and future needs.
Supporting the Pensions Board
Assist in representing the Board/the investment strategy to stakeholders (including employers) and act as a media spokesperson or conference speaker from time to time.
Ensure the smooth and effective operation of the Investment Committee, working closely with the Chair, and the Chief of Staff as required.
Serve as one of the ‘Assistant Secretaries’ of the Board [a deputy to the CEO in certain legal matters] and undertake any other duties reasonably required by the Chief Executive.
Skills / Aptitudes
Excellent interpersonal skills, a good listener, and able to relate to and engage a diverse range of staff and stakeholders.
Demonstrates high levels of intelligence and emotional intelligence, combining strong analytical skills with customer focus and empathy.
Highly and naturally collaborative, comfortable working as part of a team as well as leading a team, and sharing in successes with colleagues.
Demonstrates sound judgement.
Education / Qualifications
Holds a relevant professional qualification (or able to demonstrate substantial equivalent experience). [NB The Board would be open to sponsoring the CIO to obtain a professional qualification.]
Experience / Knowledge
Substantial professional experience of investment markets, ideally through a pension fund or asset owner, but which may have been gained through, a role with an asset or fiduciary manager, or investment consultancy.
Experience of embedding environmental, social and governance considerations into investment strategies and practice.
Sophisticated understanding of risk as relevant to a pension fund.
Some experience or developed understanding of creating and implementing investment strategies across a range of asset classes, including Liability Driven Investment strategies
Experience of making presentations and representing an organisation to internal and external stakeholders.
Experience of leading and line managing a small team and/or consultants, plus experience of managing a departmental budget.
Good knowledge of investment operations.
Unequivocal commitment to the Board’s aspiration to be a beacon of ethical and responsible investment best practice, particularly with respect to climate change.
Demonstrates the highest standards of personal integrity and acts in line with the NCIs’ people values. Demonstrates visible commitment to enabling and supporting our aims to ensure that everyone feels that they belong, are welcomed and valued for who they are and the contribution they make and to ensuring everyone can flourish at work.
Sets high personal standards, invites feedback, expects and takes responsibility for personal and team professional development.
Inquisitive, and able to bring fresh perspectives and insight to discussions.
An appreciation of the Church’s role nationally, internationally, and in every local community at a challenging time politically and socially.
Experience of investment management within the context of a regulated Pension Fund, including statutory valuation processes.
Direct experience of creating and implementing investment strategies across a range of asset classes, including experience of using Liability Driven Investment strategies and hedging.
Knowledge of pensions products and legislation.
Knowledge, awareness or interest in the structures of the Church of England.
Good negotiating skills.
Experience of working with investment committees, and/or experience of working successfully with charity trustees or non-executive boards.
Experience at CIO level is an advantage but not a pre-requisite for the role.
We will support you with an induction programme including the opportunity to meet colleagues and stakeholders. We will look to tailor induction and development to your needs including those parts of the role specification where you feel less confident. We will work with you to identify a transition coach or a mentor if these would be helpful.
We in the National Church Institutions support the mission and ministries of the Church all over England. We work with parishes, dioceses (regional offices), schools, other ministries and our partners at a national and international level.
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As we are a member of the Armed Forces Covenant, we welcome applications from those of you have served in our Armed Forces and their families.
We are committed to building a culturally diverse workforce. As part of this commitment, we welcome applications from people, regardless of their background. As a Disability Confident committed employer, it is important to note that there may be occasions where it is not practical or appropriate to interview all disabled applicants who meet the minimum criteria* due to high volume. We limit the amount of interviews conducted to five applicants per open post we advertise.