• Chief Executive

    The Society of Pension Professionals

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Welcome

Dear applicant,

Thank you for your interest in the role of Chief Executive at The Society of Pension Professionals.

The Society of Pension Professionals is the representative body for a wide range of providers of advice and services to work-based pension schemes and to their sponsors. The Society is the only body to focus on the whole range of pension related services across the private pensions sector and through such a wide spread of providers of advice and services.  Our membership is made up of over 80 firms, including accounting firms, solicitors, life offices, investment houses, investment performance measurers, consultants and actuaries, independent trustees and external pension administrators. Those members employing over 15,000 pension specialists, providing advice that covers tens of millions of members.

The Society’s primary purpose is to provide services for our members, both as firms and as individuals. Those services include access to industry knowledge, contact with the Society’s specialist sub-committees to consult on technical issues, roundtables, evening meetings, engagement with policymakers and regulators, and our annual SPP Conference that caters to around 150 delegates. We deliver that through a combination of a modest staff of 3 individuals, a Council drawn from our members and around ten specialist sub-committees.

While the Society is successful in what it does, the challenge that I set the Society and our staff when I took on the role of President in 2018 was to expand what we do, deliver more value to our members in more ways, and to modernise how we deliver those services. That was set out in a vision document in 2018 which was developed in conjunction with the Council and staff. Work is under way, but there is plenty still to do, and the vision will not remain static. We will share a summary of that strategy document and progress to date with candidates at during the interview process.

Our most senior employee until this year has been our Company Secretary, who runs the Society on a day to day basis and has been with us for over 40 years. Historically that role has been primarily operational and inward-facing. With his retirement we are searching for a leader who will drive our organisation forward, and we are using this opportunity to re-define the role to make it more strategic, more proactive and more visible externally. Our new, and first, Chief Executive will ensure we continue to grow and deliver the best possible service for our members.

Located in central London, you will be part of a close-knit team and will be responsible for leading the organisation, balancing day-to-day management of operations with planning the future direction of the organisation. We are looking for someone who will provide inspired and creative leadership and will also serve as an ambassador in public-facing engagements. We expect our new Chief Executive to quickly become a recognised face in the pensions industry.

With the opportunity for organisational improvement, we expect you to come full of energy and ideas. While you may already have chief executive experience, you may equally be looking to step up into your first leadership role. As you will manage day-to-day responsibilities with many workstreams operating in parallel, being well organised is paramount. As this is our first Chief Executive, we expect the successful candidate to also help to define the role over time, as well as the future role of other SPP staff and the interaction with our President, Council and Committees.

While you will not need an existing pensions knowledge at outset, you must be comfortable taking on a role that will require sufficient pensions knowledge to engage with members, policymakers, regulators and the pensions media. The division of responsibilities between Chief Executive, President and Council will likely depend on the degree of pensions expertise that the Chief Executive has and develops.

You do not need a technological background, but a key issue for the Society is to improve our technology, both internally and externally, and have a greater digital footprint with our members and the industry. You will therefore have sufficient understanding of, and interest in, the latest trends and developments to support the Society’s development in those areas.

We believe that this is an exciting time for the successful applicant to join the organisation as our new Chief Executive, playing a key role in helping us shape the future of The Society of Pension Professionals.

If this sounds like you, and you would like to have an informal conversation about this opportunity, you can contact our advising consultant at Peridot Partners: John Powley (E: john@peridotpartners.co.uk or M: 07399 528307) or James Hunt (E: james@peridotpartners.co.uk or M: 07711 405444)

We wish you every success in your application.

Kind regards,

Paul McGlone
President

ABOUT The Society of Pension Professionals

The Society of Pension Professionals is the representative body for a wide range of providers of advice and services to work-based pension schemes and to their sponsors. Our Members’ profile is a key strength and includes accounting firms, solicitors, life offices, investment houses, investment performance measurers, consultants and actuaries, independent trustees and external pension administrators. The Society is the only body to focus on the whole range of pension related services across the private pensions sector and through such a wide spread of providers of advice and services. We do not represent any particular type of provision or any one interest body or group.

Many thousands of individuals and pension funds use the services of one or more of our Members, including the overwhelming majority of the 500 largest UK pension funds. Our growing membership collectively employs some 15,000 people providing pension-related advice and services to tens of millions of members.

Aims and Benefits
The Society of Pension Professionals has three main aims:-

  • Member services – to provide Members with access to technical information and insight into the key policy debates in the industry.
  • Influencing policy and strategy – to draw upon the knowledge and experience of Members so as to contribute to and influence legislation and other general developments affecting pension and related benefit provision. We are consulted by a broad range of policy forming and regulatory bodies.
  • Industry profile – The Society of Pension Professionals helps raise the profile of all Members and to help address practical industry issues on their behalf.

In practice the most important objective is to add value to our members and their employees, and the other aims are part of how we achieve that. More broadly, we add value to our members by:

  • Sharing of information, discussion and debate on key industry developments
  • Regular technical updates and ability to share experience and thoughts with other industry practitioners
  • Membership of sub – committees which drive input into policy debate
  • Attendance at events throughout the year including evening meetings, annual conference and roundtables
  • Access to other professionals for discussion on industry developments

Governance

The Society of Pension Professionals is a company limited by guarantee governed by a Council, which forms the company’s board. Council is elected by and from the Society’s Members and meets six times a year.

Much of the Society’s work is carried out by specialist committees. There are committees dealing with actuarial matters, administration, European issues, financial services regulation, investment, defined contribution pensions, pension scheme legislation, member services and public relations.

The membership of the committees reflects the multi-disciplinary make-up of the Society’s membership, with each Committee made up of specialists from multiple disciplines.  For example, our Defined Contribution Committee links consultants, lawyers and providers while our Investment Committee embraces consultants, fund managers, lawyers and specialist trustees.

All of these bodies are serviced by a full-time permanent secretariat, which supports their meetings, consultations responses and engagement with policymakers and regulators. They also typically meet around six times a year.

Our Members Say

“We find the Society invaluable as a source of concise and up-to-date information”

“The breadth of the membership means that the Society puts forward informed, non-partisan views on the major pensions and employee benefit issues”.

“The Society is a remarkably open body. We find it easy to get involved and Society submissions take account of our views”.

“It is important that we have regular face to face contact with a wide variety of pension professionals. The Society’s meetings are an effective means of building contacts”.

 

 

about the role

Chief Executive
The Society of Pension Professionals
Salary: £80k to £90k, depending on proven experience, plus benefits
Location: Red Lion Court, London EC4A 3EB

The Society of Pension Professionals is the representative body for a wide range of providers of advice and services to work-based pension schemes and to their sponsors. The Society is the only body to focus on the whole range of pension related services across the private pensions sector and through such a wide spread of providers of advice and services.  Our membership is made up of over 80 firms, employing over 15,000 pension specialists, providing advice that covers tens of millions of members.

We are searching for someone to join us at an important and exciting time as you will help lead and develop the organisational strategy as our first Chief Executive. In addition to overseeing day-to-day management of operations, you will serve as the face of the organisation and will partake in public-facing and media responsibilities. You will also be responsible for evolving our means of communication, ensuring we provide the best and most efficient service for our members. This is a challenging role that is suited to someone who is energetic, organised and imaginative, ready to drive the organisation forward.

We are looking for either an experienced leader or someone who is looking to step-up to their first leadership position. You may be a pension professional yourself, perhaps have held a senior role within the wider professional membership sector or come with the transferable skills required to make this role a success. You will possess communication skills, effective stakeholder engagement and be comfortable serving in an ambassadorial role.  While you do not need an existing pensions knowledge you must be comfortable taking on a role that will require sufficient pensions knowledge to engage with members, policymakers, regulators and the pensions media.  You do not need a technological background but must have a general understanding of latest trends and developments to support the Society’s development.  You must also be comfortable working within a close-knit team, balancing strategic objectives whilst being comfortable working in a hands-on environment.

Having been formed over 60 years ago, our aim is that this new role will help us to take the next step in the Society’s development. If you feel you’re the person that can help us get there, then we want to hear from you.

  • Flexibility to work partly from home
  • Full time but part time (e.g. 4 days) is possible


Closing date for formal applications: 9am, Wednesday 12th June 2019

To view the full job information pack, please visit the ‘HOW TO APPLY’ page.

 

HOW TO APPLY

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