Summary of Role
As a Transitions Analyst you will plan, coordinate and execute asset transitions for UK defined benefit pension schemes. Transitions vary in size and across a range of asset classes, and will either be for our delegated or advisory client base.
Project management and organisation are key skills required, with the ability to follow strict processes.
In a typical year, the EMEA transitions team of 14 people manages over 2,100 transactions with a value in excess of £33bn.
Each transition 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 transition project the transition analyst is pivotal in preparing the project timeline, so this role needs someone who is good at project management and both keeping stakeholders updated and pushing them along to deliver on their aspects of the project plan.
There is also a need for a keen eye on detail, both to make sure the overall project plan doesn't miss things, but also because as well as managing the overall project, the transition analyst is responsible for preparation of most of the documentation that makes transactions happen.
As an example, the analyst will prepare asset transfer or subscription documentation, on which every last detail must be correctly completed.
Lastly, the analyst will need to consider broader aspects of how different investment vehicles transact, the interactions between them, costs of trading, 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 for each circumstance.
The variety of problems faced in working out the best solution for each client type means that a transition 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 transitions 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 analyst in this role will report to a senior analyst in the Transitions Team who in turn reports into the Head of Transitions.
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.
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.
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 we are able to vary the level hired at based on experience etc.
We are looking for candidates who are :
The role holder may be IMC qualified (support towards further study will be available in time, probably IMC (if not held) and then CFA or Securities Institute qualifications as appropriate)
Willis Towers Watson is a leading global advisory, broking and solutions company that helps clients around the world turn risk into a path for growth.
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