Head of Investment Risk Control (2nd Line)


Head of Investment Risk Control (2nd Line)

Business Area: PAIR

Place of Work: London

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
Implement and structure 2nd line oversight and challenge of investment risks, including market, credit, counterparty and liquidity risks across public and private markets. This encompasses oversight and challenge of both individual investment desks and the aggregate investment risks of the whole portfolio.

The PAIR team currently consists of a three risk sub teams and one performance sub team. The teams carry out a mix of first- and second-line activities. We are creating a new 2nd line Investment Risk Control team to sit alongside the existing teams, with a dedicated focus on 2nd line challenge and oversight activities, alongside the challenge from the existing teams.

The Head of Investment Risk Control (IRC) will be instrumental in setting up the team, which includes recruitment, and defining processes and deliverables together with stakeholders.

The wider PAIR team, including IRC, is responsible for investment risk monitoring, challenge and adding value to the investment processes of USS Investment Management, which is the investment arm of the Universities Superannuation Scheme.

The IRC team will primarily utilise existing reporting and tools from PAIR and will work closely together with other PAIR sub teams to deliver risk management.
Key responsibilities
- Build, manage and develop the IRC team, coach and lead juniors, define the roadmap and respond to changes that impact the team
- Understand the investment processes fully by engaging with investment desks
- Work effectively and collaboratively with the wider PAIR team and front office stakeholders enabling effective challenge of material exposures
- Perform regular investment desk reviews where risk allocation and portfolio construction are overseen and challenged
- Challenge material investment proposals from the front office
- Review investment guidelines
- Contribute to oversight of allocation and scheme wide risks
Your experience
The successful candidate is likely to hold a strong bachelor’s degree in a Science or other numerate subject.

• Higher degrees, an actuarial qualification and/or CFA charter-holder status would be a benefit but not essential.
• Comprehensive knowledge of risk management within large complex and diverse portfolios, with proven experience of risk management of equity, fixed income and multi-asset strategies. Private market experience would be a benefit.
• Track record of providing independent challenge from a second line perspective would be beneficial
• Excellent understanding and application of investment risk analysis and attribution
• Depth of experience in the financial services industry, spent largely in risk management with exposure to front office
• Sound understanding of operational processes from front to back office, with strong practical IT knowledge
• Demonstrable track record in financial risk modeling with the mindset and ability to come up with practical solutions
• Experience of an investment risk system of risk systems such as Axioma, RiskMetrics RiskManager, Barra, Aladdin, UBS Delta or APT would be a benefit
• Being able to review tools produced by team in Excel with VBA. Python or other programming language a bonus
USSIM 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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