International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD)

Finance Specialist (Investment Management)

International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD)

Job Description

  The International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) is an international financial institution and a specialized United Nations agency dedicated to eradicating rural poverty and hunger. It does so by investing in rural people. IFAD finances programmes and projects that increase Agricultural Productivity and raise rural incomes, and  advocates at the local, national and international level for policies that contribute to rural transformation.

Post's organizational accountability

The Financial Operations Department (FOD) is a dynamic financial, strategic and responsive business partner and service provider fully supporting IFAD in developing its financial strategy and managing its financial, investments and material resources. FOD ensures that these resources are efficiently, economically and effectively used to achieve IFAD’s objectives in the long-term and deliver on its development commitments.

The Treasury Services Division (TRE) mandate is to: safeguard IFAD’s resources through management of investment and cash operations with the aim to preserve capital and maximize returns within the provisions of IFAD’s Financial Regulations; formulate and implement investment and cash operations strategies and policies; ensure prompt availability of cash for IFAD operations through prudent liquidity management; oversee the integrity of the Fund’s daily investment and cash operations in line with corporate risk management standards and manage the investments and cash of extra budgetary funds, hosted entities and trust funds.

Within the Division, the Investment Management (IM) team is responsible for managing IFAD's investment portfolio and the assets of other funds under IFAD management. The Finance Specialist will be committed to the delivery of assigned objectives and activities and keep abreast of related industry developments and skills required to respond to the divisional work plan and results.

Finance Specialists at this level are seasoned professionals reflecting an in-depth, broad understanding of applicable regulations, standards and methods as well as IFAD’s financial regulations, rules and transactional procedures. The accountabilities/key results include:
  • Finance Business Partner
  • Financial Management
  • Agent of Change
  • Managerial Function
The main responsibilities of the Finance Specialist are: ensuring the prudent management of the IFAD investment portfolio; providing sound technical advice and support to Treasury staff across all functional teams; ensuring that timely responses are provided to internal and external parties; representing the Treasury Division on Investment Management matters at internal and external meetings requested by the Senior Finance Officer (Treasury) or Management.

The Finance Specialist will work under the overall strategic, policy and management guidance of the Director and Treasurer, and direct supervision/guidance of the Senior Finance Officer (Treasury).

Key results expected / Major functional activities

1.  FINANCE BUSINESS PARTNER: The Finance Specialist is a credible, trusted partner to the client offices served and the Department/Division/Unit where assigned. S/He supports the Fund’s finance strategy and plans as well as models a commitment to financial integrity by acting as a responsive and constructive service provider with a focus on results. The Specialist provides seasoned verbal and written advice and guidance to supervisors and staff on finance regulations, rules and procedures, facilitating a mutual understanding of roles and fiduciary accountabilities in direct support of integrity in the management of the Fund’s financial resources.

2. FINANCIAL MANAGEMENT: At this level, the Finance Specialist is a seasoned professional with the capacity to interpret and apply a broad range of international and IFAD financial policies, rules and regulations as well as standards and techniques. Activities performed by Finance Specialists at this level may include (a) maintaining the financial procedures relating to the assigned operation; (b) preparing information for internal financial reporting and for IFAD’s Annual Financial Statements, as applicable; and (c) preparing timely, substantive replies to internal and external audit observations concerning the assigned financial operation.

The Finance Specialist – Investment Management is accountable for:
  • Developing trade ideas and investment strategies for the investment portfolio
  • Executing fixed income, currency and derivative transaction for the internally managed funds
  • Analysing fixed income and derivative instruments
  • Conducting market and issuer specific research
  • Monitoring and analysing external fund managers
  • Monitoring performance and performance attribution of investment portfolios and trust funds as well as the corresponding benchmarks
  • Recommending and evaluating benchmarks
  • Contributing to investment management related policy papers
  • Representing the IM team leader at internal and external meetings as required.
3. AGENT OF CHANGE: The Finance Specialist understands and applies the principles of change management and proactively serves as a role model for transformation and capacity for acceptance of change. S/He uses a seasoned knowledge of results based management and budgeting, enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) and other information technology to develop, analyse and promote acceptance of new methods of work and automated work flows. At this level, the Specialist manages change through consultations with finance colleagues and outreach to client offices to build understanding of and to ensure open and regular communications pertaining to current and planned changes in the Fund’s financial standards, regulations and rules.

4. MANAGERIAL FUNCTIONS: The Finance Specialist is accountable for integrity, transparency, and equity in the personal use of assigned IFAD resources, including equipment, supplies and, as applicable, staff supervised.

Impact of Key results / Key performance indicators

Specialists at this level are accountable for in-depth Analysis of a variety of financial reports that reflect transactions where many different consecutive stages of operations are involved; problems involve interrelationships and interactions within the financial structure and his/her role is to ensure that the Organization's financial business conforms to regulations. Based on a thorough knowledge of finance principles, concepts and systems, the Finance Specialist independently performs the full range of work for a complete, homogenous financial operation or components of financial operations in support of a geographic or other organizational area. The supervisor may be consulted in the analysis of complex and/or precedent setting cases to ensure consistency in the interpretation and application of regulations and rules and to document such decisions. The work typically requires the identification of the need for changes to finance policies, as well as the authoritative interpretation and application of finance policies, rules and regulations to a broad range of complex casework.The key performance indicators for Finance Specialists at this level include accurate performance of assigned finance operations, technical quality in terms of both substantive depth and adaptive relevance to client needs and customer service approach to problem resolution.

Representation / Work relationships

Finance Specialists may represent the unit to which assigned on related matters at internal and external meetings and conferences as requested by the supervisor.

Internally Finance Specialists are required to explain, clarify and implement financial plans and decisions taken or procedural changes planned to ensure accuracy, completeness and integrity of financial data and reporting. Contacts are with finance, budget, loans and grants, treasury, audit and programme management staff in country offices and Headquarters. External work relationships for Specialists at this level normally require an exchange of information with a range of outside sources including staff from governments, specialized agencies acting as co-host agencies, Borrowers and Cooperating institutions, external investment managers and vendors/suppliers. They are also delegated authority to make commitments on routine aspects of the assignment.

Competencies

Organizational

  • Strategic thinking and organizational development: Personal influence (Level 1)
  • Demonstrating Leadership: Personal leadership and attitude to change (Level 1)
  • Learning, sharing knowledge and innovating: Continuously seeks to learn, shares knowledge and innovates (Level 1)
  • Focusing on clients: Focuses on clients (Level 1)
  • Problem Solving and decision making: Demonstrates sound problem solving and decision making ability (Level 1)
  • Managing time, resources and information: Manages own time, information and resources effectively (Level 1)
  • Team Work: Contributes effectively to the team (Level 1)
  • Communicating and negotiating: Communicates effectively: creates understanding between self and others (Level 1)
  • Building relationships and partnerships: Builds and maintains effective working relationships (Level 1)
  • Managing performance and developing staff: Manages staff and teams effectively (Level 1)
Technical/Functional
  • Experience in investment management, both direct execution and supervision of external asset managers.
  • Knowledge of capital markets and debt instruments.
  • Previous exposure to financial derivatives would be an advantage.
  • In-depth knowledge in investment management and current with development in the international financial markets.
  • Understanding of performance measurement and attribution in comparison with benchmarks.
  • Capacity to identify and analyse systemic issues, formulate options and make conclusions and recommendations to resolve same.
  • Analytical and organizational skills.
  • Demonstrated ability to communicate effectively in a diverse organization tailoring language, tone, style and format to match audience, ability to present corrective feedback in a considered and tactful manner to promote acceptance.
  • Ability to empathize with colleagues while maintaining the integrity of financial resources, implementing internal controls and ensuring consistent and accountable application of promulgated financial regulations and rules.
  • In-depth knowledge of financial computer software systems (e.g. Bloomberg Terminal, Refinitiv Eikon), especially their Portfolio Analytics and asset and investment management solutions.

Minimum recruitment qualifications

Education

  • Advanced university degree from an accredited institution in economics, finance or other job related field. The advanced university degree may be substituted by a first university degree and at least four (4) additional years of relevant professional experience over and above the minimum number of years of experience as stipulated below.
  • Professional qualifications such as Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) are an advantage.
Experience

  • At least five (5) years of progressively responsible professional experience in investment management in a multi-cultural organization or national organization providing support on a global scope.
Language requirements

  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills in English. Working knowledge of another official language (Arabic, French, or Spanish) is desirable.

Other information

Applicants should note that IFAD staff members are international civil servants subject to the authority of the President of IFAD, and they may be assigned by him/her to any of the activities of IFAD, including field assignments and/or rotation within IFAD.

In the interest of making most cost effective use of funds and resources, we are only able to respond to applicants who are short-listed for interview. Candidates who do not receive any feedback within three months should consider their application unsuccessful Candidates may be required to take a written test and to deliver a presentation as well as participate in interviews.

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