Governance Adviser


Governance Adviser

Business Area: Group General Counsel

Place of Work: London or Liverpool

Contract Type: Permanent

Hours: Full Time

The Universities Superannuation Scheme (USS) has circa 396,000 members, and over £60 billion in assets, we’re one of the largest private pension schemes in the UK and in the top 50 worldwide. Established in 1974, we’re entrusted by over 350 higher education sector employers to manage and administer the pension scheme and its investments through our two companies, Universities Superannuation Scheme Limited and USS Investment Management Limited.
Our purpose
Working with Higher Education employers to build a secure financial future for our members and their families.


The role
To act as a senior advisor in management of governance risk for the USS Group and to provide day-to­ day company secretarial support across the USS governance framework.
Key responsibilities
Act as a representative of the Governance and Co Sec team supporting USSL and USSIM (and its committees) within the business and with external providers
• Provision of governance advice to the Group, including as to governance best practice and practical guidance on reporting lines and decision-making procedures
• To assist with oversight of governance risk across the group
• Maintain key relationships with non-executive directors, exco members and other senior individuals within the business
• To act as secretary to various committees within the USS governance framework, providing comprehensive high-quality support to board and committee chairs, including by leading on agenda setting, forward planning and chair briefings and preparing minutes
• Writing papers for boards and committees (including governance related proposals for review by the USSL and USSIM board and their committees)
• Advice and practical guidance on reporting lines and decision-making procedures;
• Leading on governance aspects of the Scheme’s annual report and accounts
• Support with ad hoc governance projects as required (expectation that this role will lead with some of this change management)
• Assist with governance related elements of TPR’s master trust and DB supervisory return and regime
• Creation and presentation of governance training for the business
• Assist with board effectiveness reviews, director appraisal process and director training programmes
• Management of the end to end director appointment and reappointment processes including succession planning, creation of role profiles, liaising with (and writing papers for) the Governance and Nominations Committee, relevant external stakeholders and relevant executives, managing the USSL board succession plan and competency matrix;
• Management of the appraisal process for all USSL directors
Organisation of the USSL director training and induction programmes and supervision of their implementation
• Creation, review and implementation of governance team procedures, checklists and templates (including the Group Corporate Governance Framework and terms of reference)
• Ensuring compliance with the Companies Act and regulatory requirements for relevant companies and directors
• Working with the rest of the Governance and Co Sec team to maintain the USS contractual documentation library and registry and share certificate registry
• Building and sharing best practice knowledge and working closely with both the Legal team and other USS colleagues
• Assisting in the stewardship and development of the governance team;
• Direct management responsibilities within the governance team;
Your experience
• Qualified chartered secretary, lawyer, chartered accountant or Pensions Management Institute (PMI) certification. Experience of working within a corporate secretariat function for a financial services company or a large pension scheme with experience of acting as company secretary
• Experience of managing Governance arrangements in a sophisticated and complicated corporate set up
• Experience of operating at board level (or equivalent) in a regulated firm and managing key relationships with relevant regulators;
• Pensions or Investment Management experience is highly desirable
• Knowledge and understanding of regulatory frameworks and statutory requirements for companies
• Extensive experience of minute taking
• Proven administrative and organisational skills. Evidence from prior role that these were executed perfectly to give credibility to broader advisory role.
• Excellent interpersonal and communication skills with the ability to develop internal and external relationships
• Excellent verbal and written communication skills with the ability to communicate and influence with confidence and clarity at all levels;
• Ability to produce work to tight deadlines with attention to detail
USSL is an equal opportunity employer. We celebrate diversity and are committed to creating an inclusive environment for all employees. We recognise the diverse lifestyles and priorities of our employees and have reflected this in in the company’s Flexible Working Framework, which, wherever possible, supports employees to find a balance that works for them whilst ensuring we always put our members’ interests first

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