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Governance Director (Responsible Investment)

Please Note: The application deadline for this post has now passed.

Overview

Our aim is for everyone in the National Church Institutions (NCIs) to feel that they belong, and are valued for who they are and what they contribute. Together, our people contribute in different ways towards our common purpose, whichever NCI they work in and whatever their background 

The Church of England Pensions Board (“the Board”) is a statutory body which is a corporate trustee and administrator of four pension schemes, including both defined benefit (final salary, hybrid and CARE) and defined contribution arrangements. The investment team is responsible for the administration of approximately £3.8 billion, in a diversified portfolio. There are 40,000+ members, pensioners and other beneficiaries.  

Post Introduction

This is a senior new role that will be responsible for developing and delivering the Board’s corporate governance related strategy, consistent with the Board’s overarching responsible investment strategy, ethical investment policies, and industry best practice. This role further strengthens the Board’s approach to responsible investment and governance in particular.  The successful candidate will  oversee the  delivery of proxy voting and investment screening. The position is expected to have a high profile on the topic of governance within the responsible investment industry. The Board does not delegate its proxy voting responsibilities to its asset managers, and the exercise of our voting rights is a core component of our stewardship strategy. We vote on approximately 26,000 ballots per annum, incorporating a range of stewardship topics including diversity, climate change, modern slavery, tax transparency, living wage etc. The Board also screens an investable universe of 10,000 companies based on thematic ethical and responsible investment topics, guided by the advice of the Ethical Investment Advisory Group. The position will also have reporting requirements and provide strategic thinking related to the Board’s engagement programmes. 

Role Responsibility

The main responsibilities for this role are:

Proxy Voting (50%)

  • Develop the Board’s corporate governance related strategy, act as an in-house expert and lead on corporate governance for the Board.
  • Manage the Board’s proxy voting process and ensuring compliance with relevant voting templated and ethical policies. 
  • Ensuring that votes are cast and rationales are recorded in an accurate and timely manner so that engagement can be conducted with priority companies.
  • Monitor and analyse proxy voting recommendations provided by the Board’s Proxy Advisor (Currently, ISS, a corporate governance analysis and proxy voting firm based in the US.) under an agreed proxy voting template. Make recommendations where the voting template does not provide a clear direction.
  • Ensure the Board’s voting practice is consistent with our ethical investment policies and objectives. Paying particular attention to ESG shareholder resolutions.
  • Provide high quality statistical and narrative reporting for internal and external distribution.
  • Contribute to the annual review and development of the proxy voting template
  • Prepare, in close collaboration with the investment team (in particular responsible investment specialists), analytical research on responsible investment topics.  
  • Support the Board’s investment stewardship activities (particularly on corporate governance matters), including but not limited to corporate engagement and manager monitoring.

Screening (25%)

  • Lead the development of the Board’s approach to investment screening, including the research and development of new screens, the delivery of existing screens, and the application of screens across the Board’s investment managers.
  • Provide oversight of the screening service provided to the CEPB by the Screening Provider (Currently MSCI ESG Research), in respect of companies within the CEPB investment universe.
  • This oversight includes responsibility for quality control and data flows from/to Screening Provider, investment staff and investment managers (when required). This involves working to deadlines. 
  • Supervise the research and development of updated screens on a quarterly basis in conformity with agreed ethical investment policies and requirements.
  • Monitor changes to index constituents, and ensure that the Board’s screening approach is consistent, up to date, and that good records are kept.

Other (25%)

  • :
    • Lead a programme of direct corporate engagement related to voting,
    • Deliver reporting for trustees and others,
    • Represent the Board in collaborations with other Church Investing Bodies, and
    • Lead on research/thought leadership on corporate governance, proxy voting and screening.
  • Input into relevant consultations, submissions and public statements
  • Represent the Pensions Board at industry and public events.
  • Assist with the training and oversight of junior colleagues

The Ideal Candidate

The ideal candidate should have:

Skills and Experience:

  • A track record of relevant work experience related to corporate governance and active ownership.
  • Ability to lead and deliver robust investment stewardship processes (e.g. proxy voting, screening) within defined deadlines.
  • Experience of proxy voting and/or engagement with an institutional investor, asset manager, or service provider.
  • Demonstrable ability to compile, manage, and interpret data, as well as  perform in-depth research and analysis. Including experience manipulating large spreadsheets
  • Experience communicating in public fora (in person and in print/digital)

Knowledge:

  • Knowledge of corporate governance, ‘ESG’, and responsible investment, from an investor or corporate perspective.

Personal Attributes

  • Ability to work with limited supervision
  • Strong analytical skills with excellent attention to detail
  • Strong interpersonal skills
  • Evidence of passion for and interest in responsible investment 

About Us

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.

Excellence, Respect, Integrity

We follow these three values in everything we do, whether we are of Christian faith, another faith or no faith. To learn more about working for National Church Institutions and our benefits, please click here

As a Disability Confident Leader, we actively look to attract, recruit and retain those of you who are disabled.

As a member of the Armed Forces Covenant, we welcome applications from those of you who have served in our Armed Forces and their families.

We are committed to being an equal opportunities employer and to ensuring that everyone, job applicants, customers and other people with whom we deal, are treated fairly and not subject to discrimination.  We will do whatever is necessary to provide genuine equality of opportunity. We continuously review our policies and processes to support our aim to create a workforce as diverse as the nation the Church of England serves.


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