Empower Asset Owners Director

About the PRI

The PRI is the world’s leading proponent of responsible investment. It works to understand the investment implications of environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors and to support its international network of investor signatories in incorporating these factors into their investment and ownership decisions. The PRI acts in the long-term interests of its signatories, of the financial markets and economies in which they operate and ultimately of the environment and society as a whole. The PRI is truly independent. It encourages investors to use responsible investment to enhance returns and better manage risks but does not operate for its own profit; it engages with global policymakers but is not associated with any government; it is supported by, but not part of, the United Nations.

Working at the PRI provides an opportunity to engage with highly motivated, culturally diverse professionals on a wide range of cutting-edge issues, such as income inequality through the lens of sustainable finance. The PRI provides scope for development at all levels with opportunities for project leadership and management working alongside some of the most influential signatories and leaders across financial markets and economies.  In combination with a supportive culture that encourages continuous learning and flexible working policies, PRI is a highly engaging place to work on truly transformative issues.

Job description

This is a new role at the PRI, created to ensure that our overarching Asset Owner vision and strategy is implemented across the whole organisation. While sitting within the Signatory Relations function, this - primarily internal facing role will have limited or no line management responsibility. However, the successful candidate will design and coordinate an overarching organisational Asset Owner effort of existing and new initiatives that leverages on the whole organisation, spanning all seniority levels and functions.

This role will understand the asset owner voice and represent it within the PRI and ensure that the PRI’s voice and aggregated programme is heard among the asset owner community. By creating further cohesion in PRI’s activities, this role will ensure asset owners drive further sustainability outcome, thus contributing to societal goals such as the Paris Climate Agreement and the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Candidates capable and patient in managing stakeholders for project delivery will thrive in this role. Moreover, candidates keen to work in an organisation driven by the need of positive societal change and comprised of a values-driven workforce will love this opportunity.

The Empower Asset Owners Director will sit in the PRI’s Signatory Relations Team, reporting to the Chief Signatory Relations Officer. This pivotal role will be responsible for designing, overseeing and coordinating PRI’s Empower Asset Owners as outlined in the first pillar of our 10 year Blueprint. Working closely across all of PRI’s teams and their stakeholder partners, this role will raise the bar of the PRI’s engagement with asset owners, coordinating the PRI’s organisation efforts towards both provide them with strong implementation tools and solutions and driving them to make responsible investment effective in reaching a more prosperous world for all. Ultimately, asset owners sit at the top of the investment chain and the Empower Asset Owners Director will plan, amplify, co-ordinate, and promote programmes that leverage on the asset owners’ role to positively contribute to sustainability outcomes such as the Paris Climate Agreement and the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Responsible for a holistic programme for the asset owner community, this role will feature a significant design and coordination element. The Director will be primarily an internally facing role. On the one hand they will be working with PRI content design teams to define and deliver a set of services and initiatives able to support asset owners. In particular they will work closely with the Asset Owner Senior Lead in the Investment Practices team, a technical expert on asset owners, whose main responsibilities include the creation of asset owner toolkits and being the internal consultant on asset owners’ characteristics. On the other, this role will partner with and rely heavily on four experienced regional Signatory Relations directors and their underlying team of over 30 relationship managers to ensure the initiative is delivered and embedded in the practices across global markets. Moreover, the role will need to develop paths for PRI’ Chief level roles to engage with the C-suite of key asset owners, investment managers and service providers in the signatory base.

Core Responsibilities:

■       Be the “go-to” person on Empower Asset Owners at the PRI, ensuring their voice is heard internally and that PRI’s voice is heard among that community.

■       Design the Asset Owner Empowerment Programme, leveraging on the successful activities already being run and identifying new and more impactful initiatives.

■       Institutionalise the appropriate operational governance around the PRI asset owner work, identifying the strategic & advisory committees needed and their scope, features and typical composition.

■       Coordinate, build consensus, and drive the implementation of the different components of the Asset Owner Empowerment Programme across different functions and teams.

■       Working with the appropriate members of content team, ensure asset owner programmes are targeted and delivered in a way that is appropriate to the audience (including assessing the need of and develop solutions for different type of asset owners, including corporate pension funds, non-corporate pension funds, insurers, sovereign wealth funds, endowments & foundations, family offices, etc.)

■       Build a strong and cohesive relationship with the technical lead in the Investment Practices team to ensure the technical tools help asset owners implement the Principles

■       Contribute to the design of the asset owner servicing model & signatory relations KPI design.

■       Revamp and strengthen the asset owner target list and growth strategy.

■       Provide regular reporting to the Chief Signatory Relations Officers, the Leadership Team and Board as required

■       Exhibit a collaborative and consultative approach to working with others, able to take ownership of challenges or complaints and see them through to resolution.

Core Competencies:

PRI expects roles at a ‘Director level’ within the organisation to demonstrate leadership skills across the following core competencies:


·        Proposes and develops strategies with the Leadership Team which meet future needs based on a rigorous analysis of available data 

·        Ensures that project scope, timeframe, budget and resources remain on track whilst also ensuring analytical rigour 

·        Constructively challenges people and projects with the aim of improving them  

·        Offers high-value, innovative ideas to the Leadership Team 

Business Awareness 

·        Reflects broader financial and commercial implications in decision making  

·        Adopts a holistic approach to activities ensuring team focus on strategic priorities and budgetary constraints 

·        Gives unequivocal guidance to team members in managing Signatories, or other external or internal stakeholders 

·        Maintains an understanding of PRI challenges and ambitions and uses this to identify new opportunities 

·        Thinks and encourages others to think holistically about the business 


·        Establishes a culture of collaboration, continuous learning and respect 

·        Highly attuned to the expectations of the Leadership Team and optimal ways to engage with them 

·        Develops and maintains strong partnerships across the organisation to leverage skills and experience within the organisation to deliver key objectives 

·        A trusted advisor with the ability to deliver long term value through partnerships 


·        Influences and negotiates at all levels 

·        Articulates the implications of all decisions in an engaging way that gets buy-in 

·        Inspires and energises others around the vision and strategy in an emotionally engaging way that others can relate to and endorse 

·        Provides impactful, value-added advice and coaching to the team  

·        Promotes a positive corporate image to team and cascades decision-making appropriately with strong management  


·        Instils and maintains a culture of learning, growth, feedback and improvement across the team 

·        Acts as an agent for change by proactively identifying and initiating change, communicating the benefits 

·        Acts as a coach and/or mentor to more junior members of staff and encourages others to do the same  

·        Acts as a leader who drives performance, constructively challenges the status quo, seeks improvements and encourages others to do the same 


·        Ensures organisational and Signatory priorities are reflected in project/work plans  

·        Continually monitors projects and activities and effectively intervenes when needed   

·        Drives accountability by focussing on delivery of work plans and adoption of effective project management  

·        Intervenes with pragmatic recommendations for improvement where required  

Technical Competencies & Experience:

■       Career experience in the asset management and/or financial sector, preferably within the asset owner community.

■       In-depth experience working with specific asset owner groups such as pension funds, insurers, or sovereign wealth funds would be an advantage.

■       Strong interest in responsible investment, sustainability, environmental, social and governance issues, and their overall impact on long term investment outcomes and society.

■       Strong programme management skills, with experience in designing projects and delivering successfully through others by providing timely and constructive advice to teams on their objectives and performance

■       Proven people management and leadership skills and experience

■       Past experience in developing and managing strategy, business plans and resourcing requirements.

■       Excellent written communication and verbal presentation skills

■       A collaborative and consultative approach to working with others, able to take ownership of challenges or complaints and see them through to resolution. The ability to work in an inclusive working environment.

■       Excellent networking, relationship management and interpersonal skills. Ability to forge long-term relationships with internal cross functional teams and external industry leaders and drive decision-making in diverse, multi-stakeholder groups.

■       At least intermediate knowledge of relevant IT (e.g. Excel, Word, PowerPoint and/or Salesforce). 

■       As this is a global role, international travel may be required.

■       Language skills, other than English, are desirable

Role posted - 2020-11-16T11:33:03Z 11:33am, 16th Nov 2020 GMT