Location: London (other locations considered for exceptional candidates)
Basis: Full time (/flexible)
Level: Senior Specialist
Salary: £55,000-£65,000 depending on experience
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.
This opportunity is within the PRI’s Stewardship team, which is responsible for:
■ Working with PRI signatories to defining and encourage adoption of best practice active ownership;
■ Coordinating collaborative investor engagement activities on environmental, social and governance issues with companies; and
■ Addressing system barriers that inhibit quality stewardship.
Stewardship is one of the most powerful mechanisms by which investors and their agents can contribute to the achievement of the PRI’s mission: the creation of a sustainable financial system which benefits the environment and society as a whole. The role is an exciting opportunity to contribute to work that will encourage and enable PRI signatories to fully realise the potential of stewardship to drive real-world outcomes on topics including climate change and the SDGs.
The successful candidate will lead on and/or contribute to a range of projects within the PRI’s stewardship team and, as a senior member of the team, will have a key role in representing the team and PRI through outreach to signatories and presentations at events (digital and in-person).
The candidate will in particular play a key role in the PRI’s Active Ownership 2.0 programme, which seeks to define and encourage adoption of outcomes-based stewardship by institutional investors. The role will be focused on driving change across the investment industry and would therefore suit highly motivated individuals with a diverse set of skills and experience who share a vision for more effective stewardship, and for progress on key societal issues like climate change, inequality and corruption in its various forms.
As this is a new area of work for the PRI, the exact nature of the role is likely to be diverse and varied and will be tailored depending on the skillset and prior experience of the successful candidate.
■ Utilise a wide range of skills and relationships to drive a shift to an outcomes-based and systemically-focused approach to stewardship amongst the PRI signatory base. This will include working with internal colleagues and the PRI’s Stewardship Advisory Committee to develop and finesse project ideas within the Active Ownership 2.0 programme; production of guidance documents and/or thought leadership pieces; and proactive dissemination of materials to signatories via direct outreach and participation at events.
■ Working with other teams, including the PRI policy and sustainable financial system functions, contribute to efforts to address structural challenges in the investment chain that prohibit wider adoption of Active Ownership 2.0.
■ Contribute to work programmes designed to ensure the PRI’s leadership, reporting and assessment and minimum standards are aligning with the desired changes in industry practice.
■ Manage and/or contribute to projects that will address system barriers to effective stewardship, for example: inefficiencies in the proxy voting system; lack of clarity around acting in concert rules; stewardship code alignment with Active Ownership 2.0, etc.
■ Manage and/or contribute to PRI’s collaborative engagement programme, through facilitation of engagement working groups as needed.
■ Build and manage relationships with key signatories, notably key asset owners and members of the Stewardship Advisory Committee, and utilise relationships to enable the realisation of the team and broader organisation’s strategy.
■ Speak publicly at events, both digital and in person, on stewardship and the PRI’s work more generally.
■ Contribute to other internal and external communications needs of the team. Build and maintain excellent internal relationships and use them to further the team and organisation’s goals.
■ Provide coaching and mentoring to more junior members of the team, including sharing technical knowledge and expertise where appropriate.
■ Provide regular reporting to the Director of Stewardship and Chief Responsible Investment Officer as required.
The PRI expects roles at a ‘Senior Specialist level’ within the organisation to demonstrate skills across the following core competencies:
•Looks for opportunities to add value by sharing specialist knowledge and insights
•Broadens the view to consider all possible options even if they initially seem unlikely solutions
•Can effectively capture and structure ill-defined or vague problems and is comfortable handling uncertainty (in own work and that of team members)
Considers examples outside of the PRI in offering alternative solutions or guidance
•Demonstrates an understanding of the business, including its finances, mission and its culture
•Identifies and utilises key relationships (both internal and external) for successful execution of project or piece of work
•Knows when and how to challenge senior managers
•Applies industry knowledge and understanding of external influences, coupled with an appreciation of PRI mission and strategy to inform decisions
•Demonstrates ability to build good working relationships at all levels
•Drives collaboration within projects or work programmes to deliver high quality outputs
•Aligns expectations with senior managers to reach agreement
•Promotes knowledge sharing across the organisation
•Flexes style and approach based on colleagues’ level of understanding and preferences
•Independently delivers well-structured, logical outputs that deliver maximum impact with minimum editing
•Presents advice or recommendations within the context of the recipient’s area of focus to gain buy-in
•Improves the knowledge of senior managers by making complex specialist principles easy to understand
•Appreciates the impact of their communication on others, modifying behaviour and communication style to work in different situations
•Shares specialist knowledge openly with others, creating opportunities for others to learn, grow and succeed
•Builds an environment within the PRI which values forward thinking, creative solutions and innovation
•Is active in specialist networks as a means of furthering own knowledge and applying at the PRI
•Uses good questioning skills in a way that causes others to think about their approach
•Prioritises where contributes own time based on the value it would deliver
•Uses project management and oversight of individual work processes to improve organisational performance
•Continuously monitors external developments to incorporate into own work activities
•Translates project objectives into own work plans
Technical Competencies & Experience:
■ Significant experience leading change-making projects, ideally with the investment sector or similar stakeholders.
■ Strong understanding of, or experience working in, the investment sector, and strong understanding of, or experience in, ESG / responsible investment.
■ Strong understanding of, or experience in, corporate and/or policy engagement and/or proxy voting.
■ Strong facilitation skills. Diplomacy, tact, and ability to build consensus.
■ Excellent networking, relationship management and interpersonal skills, including the ability to influence a diverse range of stakeholders from varying cultures and backgrounds.
■ A collaborative and consultative approach to working with others.
■ Excellent project management skills, including project design, report writing, management and incorporation of varied feedback, etc.
■ Good knowledge of relevant IT (e.g. Excel, Word, PowerPoint and CRM software).
■ Excellent written communication and verbal presentation skills.
■ Fluent English. Other languages relevant to financial markets desirable.
■ Willingness and ability to travel, including internationally.