Senior Associate; Retail Investments

Financial Conduct Authority
05 Dec 2017
05 Jan 2018
Contract Type
Full Time
At the FCA, we're creating a fair and more resilient financial system. We're establishing more transparent relationships between financial services and their customers, building trust in financial markets and protecting vulnerable consumers. The Life Insurance and Financial Advice division develops and delivers the supervisory strategy for the long term savings sector, including life insurance, pensions, platforms and investment intermediaries. The division is constituted of two departments: Pensions & Retirement Income and Retail Investments. The Retail Investments Department is responsible for the supervision of around 6,000 retail investments firms, ranging from sophisticated financial advisory groups to smaller UK based sole traders, platform providers and SIPP operators. The department also has responsibility for dealing with pension scams. We are now recruiting for talented Associates (REG B) for vacancies across the Retail Investments Department. The department comprises of five teams: One is responsible for supervising the largest groups of financial advisers and a portfolio of smaller financial advisory firms. These firms have a wide range of business models and, particularly at the larger end, are increasingly operating integrated models (they both manufacture and distribute their own investment and pension products). Another team specialises in supervising investment platform providers and SIPP operators which provide and administer investment and pension products for a significant number of retail consumers within the UK. Both investment platform providers and SIPP operators offer an opportunity for varied and interesting work due to the diversity of the organisations and business models within these sectors Our third team specialises in dealing with pension scams and was established to address the continuing risks associated with flexible portfolio firms operating business models with a systemic approach to pension mis-selling, liberation or fraud and to ensure a consistent approach to handling pension scam type cases across the FCA. The team offers an opportunity to work on an FCA priority workstream and tackle a challenging, interesting and varied portfolio of complex work We also have two teams focusing on project work such as thematic reviews and/or market-based projects in the retail investment sector. Thematic and market-based work assesses known and emerging risks across the sector, and includes identifying and addressing potential drivers of poor outcomes for consumers and markets. We do this on an ongoing basis, so we can mitigate risks common to more than one firm or sector before they can cause widespread harm to consumers. One project team is based in Edinburgh and the other is based in London, all of the other teams have employees in both locations. All five teams work closely with policy experts, competition experts, General Counsel Division and Enforcement and a range of external stakeholders including firms, consultancies, trade associations, government departments and consumer groups. Working alongside your colleagues you will play a key role in ensuring the team delivers on its supervisory priorities. You will also play an important role in helping to shape, implement and deliver the wider departmental strategy. What does this job involve? The key responsibilities of the post holder will be: Contributing to the delivery of departmental, divisional and organisational objectives through effective cross-firm supervision of investment intermediaries; Delivering high standard project work through activities such as completing suitability assessments, firm liaison and visits, drafting of feedback letters, involvement in moderation, communications, and aspects of project management; Analysing the business models/strategies of firms, and identifying conduct risks within firms supervised by the department; Developing and delivering effective supervision and mitigation strategies by setting clear expectations to firms, influencing, persuading and where appropriate, using formal powers in order to change their conduct behaviour to deliver better outcomes for their customers; Building and maintaining positive working relationships with senior management in firms. Collaborating and building strong working relationships with internal stakeholders who can support the delivery of the supervision strategies. Understanding and applying the applicable FCA Principles and Handbook rules. Escalating material issues as appropriate, including proposing appropriate, outcome focused solutions to FCA senior management and relevant governing committees. Supporting management in the delivery of wider departmental, divisional and organisational objectives. What will I get from the role? This is an exciting time to supervise financial advisory firms, platform providers and SIPP Operators, at a time when the new pension freedoms and greater use of technology pose various challenges to firms and their customers. These roles have the opportunity to provide a positive impact on millions on consumers who have retail investments products. We are looking for people who are passionate about protecting consumers' interests and driving improvements in how firms conduct their business. You will benefit from a varied and demanding role, supporting delivery of the FCA's objectives in a key sector of the UK financial services industry. You will obtain a unique insight into the workings of the sector and have the opportunity to influence firms' behaviour across the whole sector. You will also get opportunities to work with a variety of internal stakeholders, including senior management. As an Academy business we place great value on your learning and we offer world-class development opportunities which will assist you in achieving your career aspirations. Our Academy offers you a range of opportunities for personal and professional development, including our MSc in Financial Regulation, Advanced Managers Programme, sponsored study and more. Which minimum, essential & desirable skills are required? Minimum We're a signatory to the Government's Disability Confident scheme. This means that we guarantee an interview to any disabled candidates entering under the scheme, should they meet the minimum criteria for a role. Experience of working at a regulator or within the regulated financial services industry; Evidence of analysing data and information from different sources and forming appropriate judgements; Strong written language skills. Essential An appreciation of the key conduct-related risks posed by firms in the sector Ability to influence senior stakeholders through well-reasoned recommendations; An understanding of the FCA's approach to supervising financial services firms. Teamwork and collaboration: ability to work effectively with others as part of a team in order to achieve desired outcomes. Strong communication skills both written and oral: ability to communicate key messages and explain complex issues in a clear and concise manner. Organisational ability: ability to work under pressure, manage a variety of competing work streams and issues and prioritise accordingly. Internal and external stakeholder management skills: ability to build effective working relationships with key internal stakeholders and firms' senior management in order to support the delivery of supervisory objectives. Credibility and capability to influence others to achieve desired outcomes. Desirable A good understanding of investment and pension products Working experience of a range of business models within the Retail Investment sectors with an understanding of the broader macro environment and how this may influence the behaviour of FCA regulated firms which, in turn, could impact outcomes for consumers; Qualifications relevant to the retail investment sector Additional Information As an inclusive employer, we are open to considering flexible working arrangements