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Principal, Board & Institutional Affairs

Posted: 12 Jan 2021 Closes: 28 Jan 2021
London, GB Competitive
Permanent & Full-time EBR_19151

Purpose of the job

The core role of the Principal Board & Institutional Affairs (BIA) is to:
Take responsibility for the management and oversight of all aspects of the delivery of the bi-weekly meetings of the Board of Directors (BoD) (on rotation) as Board Secretary, and Take responsibility for the management and oversight of all aspects of the delivery of one of the three Standing Committees in their function as Committee Secretary; Take responsibility for distinct aspects of the overall delivery of the Annual Meeting of the Board of Governors (BoG).

Despite the name, the Board / Committee Secretary is not a clerical or secretarial position. They are at the heart of the delivery of good quality corporate governance in the EBRD. To be effective, the Principal BIA needs to be regarded as a trusted and impartial adviser by both Board Directors and senior management, needs to demonstrate initiative and political acumen in finding and delivering solutions to achieve consensus amongst these key decision makers, and needs to be a consummate diplomat with the highest levels of discretion, integrity and unflappability.

The Principal is also responsible for the development and delivery of other core Corporate Governance requirements and project work (depending on the allocation of portfolios). These can include:
  • Matters related to Bank's shareholding structure, such as membership, subscription, arrears, voting powers etc.;
  • Induction of new Board Directors, Alternate Directors and Advisers;
  • Ensuring that the EBRD's Corporate Governance procedures and processes (for the BoG and BoD) are codified, kept updated and complied with;
  • Ensuring good information flows between the BoG, BoD, Committees and management (e.g. via the Pegasus / BOLDnet systems);
  • Actively resolving issues and advising on governance, policy and operational related matters.
This list is far from exhaustive.

In all this work the Principal will liaise and maintain close contacts with Governors, capitals, Directors, the Secretary General, their office, senior management and staff across the Bank. The Principal also develops and maintains contacts other IFIs and external institutions.

Accountabilities and Responsibilities

The Principal has to be fully au fait with not just the substance of the discussion, but also with the various political and strategic subtexts that will be present in the dialogue between the Board and management. The Principal's role as an interface between senior management and the Committee is essential in order to ensure a good working dynamic between the two sides, and thereby effective strategic governance of the institution.

As Committee Secretary, the Principal is responsible for the oversight, management and delivery of one of the three standing committees of the Board of Directors, including:
  • Being the point of communication between the Committee Chair / Members and management;
  • Providing strategic and corporate governance advice, guidance and support for the Committee Chair / Members and senior management before, during and after Committee meetings;
  • Ensuring the Committee adheres to high quality Corporate Governance standards (from the adherence to quorums to the challenging of inappropriate behaviours);
  • Working with the Committee Chair / Members to plan, prepare and deliver the Committee's work programme;
  • Managing and overseeing delivery of agendas, notifications, documentation, attendance, list of speakers and room management.
  • Preparing and securing agreement on the official record of the meetings;
  • Ensuring follow-up with teams and management on commitments and other deliverables;
  • Advising and briefing the President and senior management on emerging strategic, operational, governance and other issues from the Committee discussions;
  • Liaising with Board Directors, Advisers and management on questions and queries.
As Board Secretary, the Principal is responsible for the oversight, management and delivery (on rotation) of the smooth delivery of Board Meetings, including:
  • Providing strategic and corporate governance advice, guidance and support for the President (as Chair), Board Directors, and senior management before, during and after Board meetings;
  • Ensuring that Board meetings meet the essential standards of Corporate Governance (such as quorums);
  • Leading on the planning, preparation and delivery of the Board agendas, documentation, attendance, room management etc. in close consultation with the OSG management, the President (and their Office), Directors, and other senior managers;
  • Liaising with the President's Office in relation to the preparation of speaking points and any other additional briefing or issue management / resolution;
  • Preparing and securing agreement on the official record of the meetings;
  • Ensuring follow-up with teams and management on commitments and other deliverables;
  • Advising and briefing senior management, as well as liaising with Board Directors, Advisers and management on questions and queries;
  • Preparing, editing, negotiating and agreeing accurate record minutes,
The Principal contributes to the development of the Board of Governors' agenda and decision making at Annual Meetings. Prepares briefings and speeches for the President and the Chair of the Board of Governors. Provides advice to Governors and their Delegations on all issues relating to the Annual Meeting agenda.

The Principal takes lead responsibility for particular projects or governance initiatives, such as (some of these are examples and may change over time):
  • Matters related to Bank's shareholding structure, such as membership, subscription, arrears, voting powers etc.;
  • Induction of new Board Directors, Alternate Directors and Advisers;
  • Ensuring that the EBRD's Corporate Governance procedures and processes (for the BoG and BoD) are codified, kept updated and complied with;
  • Managing delivery of meetings of the Board of Governors, notably at the Bank's Annual Meeting;
  • Ensuring good information flows between the BoG, BoD, Committees and management (e.g. via the Pegasus / BOLDnet systems);
  • Actively resolving issues and advising on governance, policy and operational related matters

The Principal may undertake research and analysis on governance topics, providing advice and comment on Board related proposals for consideration by senior management.

The Principal maintains close contact with Board Directors and monitors political and economic developments in shareholder countries.

Directly accountable for the engagement and effective overall management of staff including recruitment, compensation, performance management, coaching and development.

Champion and role model the Bank's Behavioural Competencies and Corporate Behaviours, ensuring adherence within the team(s) so that the highest standards of integrity and ethical conduct are exhibited at all times.

Knowledge, Skills, Experience & Qualifications

Excellent written and oral communication skills in English, with proven experience of providing clear and succinct reporting to senior interlocutors (such as minutes).

Demonstrable Corporate Governance experience (ideally from within an international organisation) or similar and transferable skills, including:
  • Strong administrative skills and an appreciation of the importance of good process.
  • Attention to detail, whilst also being able to see the big picture.
  • Interpersonal skills, with a track record of building and maintaining relationships of tact, confidentiality and trust with colleagues, senior management and Board members.
  • Influencing skills, an independent and objective judgment, and an ability to operate across organisational boundaries.
  • Excellent organisation and time management, with the ability to ensure follow-up on programmes and initiatives.
  • A flexible and practical approach to work, ability to take the initiative, and a willingness to tackle new issues and tasks;
  • Discretion, diplomacy, integrity, unflappability.
Educated to Bachelor level at least (Master's preferred). A recognised Corporate Governance qualification (such as the ICSA Qualifying Programme), part-qualification, or the desire to qualify as such would be preferred.
Experience of working in a multi-lateral, multi-lingual organisation.

Commercial awareness and a sound understanding of the Bank's mandate and its shareholders.
Ability to prioritise often numerous and competing demands, with a strong sense of when to consult with others and/or escalate issues.
An aptitude for using IT software, notably the MS Office suite.
Knowledge of other official languages of the EBRD a distinct advantage.
Some infrequent travel to difficult countries is required.

Diversity is one of the Bank's core values which are at the heart of everything it does. A diverse workforce with the right knowledge and skills enables connection with our clients, brings pioneering ideas, energy and innovation. The EBRD staff is characterised by its rich diversity of nationalities, cultures and opinions and we aim to sustain and build on this strength. As such, the EBRD seeks to ensure that everyone is treated with respect and given equal opportunities and works in an inclusive environment. The EBRD encourages all qualified candidates who are nationals of the EBRD member countries to apply regardless of their racial, ethnic, religious and cultural background, gender, sexual orientation or disabilities. As an inclusive employer, we promote flexible working.

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