Location: UK: Reigate (initially from home until office re-opens)
Start Date: Variable
Opportunity: Supported hiring into permanent roles with flexible working
Closing date for applications: 30 September 2021
Willis Towers Watson is partnering with Women Returners for a number of roles within Onboarding, Trade Management and Data Management in their Operations team and welcomes professionals who have taken an extended career break to apply. Successful candidates who have taken a career break of 2+ years will receive coaching support through the transition period from Women Returners. You may have taken time out for childcare or eldercare, for relocation, or for other reasons. You may have been working on a small-scale basis to fit around your other commitments or have not done any paid work for a number of years.
As an Onboarding Specialist you will join the Towers Watson Investment Management (“TWIM”) Funds Onboarding Team. This team sits within the Global Investment Operations Team (“GIOps”) at Willis Towers Watson (“WTW”).
The successful candidate will support the onboarding of new clients into their inhouse funds (TWIM), as well as providing support to existing investors.
The On-boarding Specialist’s key responsibilities will include:
- Contributing to a variety of aspects of the on-boarding process for client investments
- Forming relationships and liaising with various internal and external parties including Clients, WTW Client Consulting, Portfolio Management, Product, Client Services, Trade Management and Middle Office teams and WTW Transfer Agents.
- Effectively communicating the requirements and key deadlines for the Funds to their clients.
- Understanding and responding to individual clients’ unique requirements and queries.
- Managing simultaneous and sometimes challenging tasks and deadlines.
- Following procedures to ensure all transactions (subscriptions, redemptions, switches, transfers, drawdowns, late settlements) are carried out correctly and efficiently.
- Maintaining and updating their trade flow database and verifying and filing trading schedules provided by the Transfer Agent.
Skills and experience:
- Excellent written and verbal communication skills
- Strong client relationship management skills and a commitment to providing a ‘best in class’ service to clients
- Experience of on-boarding clients into an Asset Manager, comfortable with fund subscription documents, and AML/KYC work a distinct advantage
- Ability to build strong networks and collaborate effectively with both internal and external stakeholders
- Proactive self-starter with a can do attitude to your work
- Exceptional organisational skills with the ability to monitor and manage multiple tasks, often within short timeframes, handling conflicting priorities
- High level of attention to detail, including reviewing draft documentation for clients
- Ability to work autonomously, asking for help when required
- Understanding of a trade lifecycle
- Understanding of risk management principles and ability to comply to our work quality procedures.
- Innovative mind, not only in terms of suggesting improvement to existing processes and procedures, but also in your approach to responding to client queries.
In a typical year, the EMEA Trade Management team of 12 people manages over 2,100 transactions with a value in excess of £33bn. Each project requires careful project management to ensure that the trade runs smoothly without any unexpected costs and to ensure that errors are avoided. The team needs to coordinate the activity of several parties, including internal and external clients, custodians, investment managers, fund administrators and lawyers. For each project the analyst is pivotal in preparing the project timeline, so this role needs someone who is good at project management and managing stakeholders both by keeping them informed and ensuring they deliver on their aspects of the project plan. An eye for detail is also essential, both in the level of planning and also preparation of most of the documentation that makes transactions happen.
The analyst will need to consider broader aspects of how different investment vehicles transact, the interactions between them, costs of trading and best methods of maintaining market exposure, incorporating this knowledge into a plan that delivers the most cost and risk efficient way to trade in the time available.
Whilst most trading is at the pooled fund level, the analyst will gain experience of numerous asset classes including equities, fixed income and private markets and need to consider currency hedging and the use of transition managers.
The variety of problems faced in working out the best solution for each client type means that the analyst must be comfortable thinking on their feet and adapting to circumstances. The nature of the business also means that priorities often need to be juggled to make sure deadlines are met. This will entail a degree of flexibility and while this sometimes will mean longer days, we also generally maintain a good work life balance in the team.
The EMEA Trade Management team currently has five consultants and a number of senior analysts and analysts. Depending on experience level, analysts will be given different levels of support and autonomy, but on larger projects should expect to be working alongside a consultant who will provide guidance and strategic input.
The holder of the role will be expected to work within the existing control and governance framework of the team and business, which includes extensive checklists and a peer review process, known as Professional Excellence. All team members are expected to contribute ideas for process improvements and assist when needed in the delivery of new business areas.
Skills and experience:
The wide range of skills needed for this position mean that people from a number of backgrounds and different levels of experience might be successful in this position. The most important thing is to demonstrate that you are a very organised person and eager to learn how to work within the framework set out above. For this reason they are open to candidates with no investment experience, or with transferable experience which demonstrates the qualities needed; or those with direct experience of working in an investment manager, custodian, investment consultant or other similar environment. The analyst structure in the team has several levels and they are able to vary the level hired at based on experience etc.
They are looking for candidates who are:
- Detail focused – a good project manager and able to carefully and diplomatically manage relationships
- Comfortable and have the confidence to liaise with third-party organisations and with all levels of staff within the practice, via email or telephone
- Organised and where project and time management are key skills
- Able to work on their own initiative when required, as well as in a team
Support towards further study will be available in time, probably IMC (if not held) and then other Securities Institute qualifications as appropriate.
Data Management is a growing and increasingly important function, supporting the data needs of the Investments line of business in its servicing of delegated and Funds clients. This role is to become an expert in the data used by the Investments business, to set up and maintain new data entries in our Simcorp Dimension databases, ensure quality controls are performed, aid regulatory reporting requests and support the development of business data capabilities.
You will quickly build a sound understanding of WTW business structure and the information within it, while working with a diverse mix of investment professionals of different backgrounds and experience levels.
Skills and experience:
- People from a number of educational backgrounds and different levels of experience could be successful in this position
- High levels of organisational skills are essential for the successful candidate
- Experience & good understanding of maintaining an IBOR (investment book of records) in an Investment Management or equivalent environment
- Experience & good understanding of performance and returns data, used for reporting & data management systems
- A number of years Investment Management or equivalent experience ideally from a Buy Side Investment firm
- Experience of using Simcorp Dimension or equivalent systems an advantage
- Candidates should have a good proficiency in MS Office applications and general computer use
- The scope of work within the team requires a keen eye for detail
Willis Towers Watson has partnered with Women Returners as part of the Diversity Project Cross-Company Programme and for Supported Hiring roles, as such you will benefit from being part of a returner cohort at the organisation. You can read Laverne’s return to work story here.
Apply through the online portal links below including your CV and cover letter. Please note in your cover letter that you are applying via Women Returners.
Applications close on 30 September 2021.
If you are interested learning more about any of these roles please email Stephen Croucher on Stephen.Croucher@WillisTowersWatson.com