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Head of Public Affairs

Job description

Job Grade: 2

Closing date: 8 July 2019

Job title of line manager: Head of Policy

Contract type: Permanent

Location: London

How to apply

To apply for this role, please send your CV and a cover letter to:

About the IFoA

The Institute and Faculty of Actuaries (IFoA) is an independent chartered professional body that educates, regulates and promotes its member actuaries that are based in the UK and overseas.  As a membership organisation, the IFoA is served by the executive that is responsible for ensuring that the business strategy is effectively implemented.

With over 30,000 members, the profession’s involvement with many aspects of financial services, such as pensions, insurance and investment, and increasing relevance in other sectors such as capacity planning in health and social care, places it at the heart of strategic decision-making for government, business, the public sector and consumers.

Purpose of job

The Head of Public Affairs will be responsible for developing and implementing a proactive and influential government relations strategy in order to increase the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries’ (IFoA) impact on the formulation of policy. The roleholder will lead across all external engagement with parliament, government relations and industry stakeholder relations, as well as having responsibility for the IFoA’s international public affairs work and relationships with supranational associations. 

One of the key tasks will be to provide strategic advice to the IFoA’s Policy and Public Affairs Board to help it deliver the public affairs aspects of IFoA’s strategy and corporate plan. Working closely with senior IFoA members, the Head of Public Affairs will seek to position the IFoA as an expert body and influencer, and identify opportunities for collaborative initiatives to maximise impact on government thinking, policy development and global standard setting.

Principal accountabilities

The Head of Public Affairs will work with colleagues and members of the IFoA to:

  • Enhance the IFoA’s reputation as a respected, reliable and responsible source of expertise on actuarial matters;
  • Identify and exploit opportunities for the IFoA to advise ministers, parliamentarians, officials and advisors on policy development;
  • Ensure that the IFoA is requested, as a matter of course, to respond to key consultation exercises on relevant areas of policy;
  • Establish relationships with other governmental agencies, such as regulators, standards bodies and ombudsmen, in order to raise the profile and influence of the IFoA;
  • Form productive, collaborative partnerships with other relevant third party bodies and industry organisations in the insurance, pensions, financial services and related areas, positioning the IFoA as an expert body and influencer and identifying opportunities for collaborative initiatives where appropriate in order to maximise impact on government thinking and policy development;
  • Develop a consistent approach, working with the Markets Development team, to an international public affairs strategy;
  • Maintain and develop the IFoA’s relationships with supranational associations, including the IAA and AAE. This includes responsibility for the IFoA’s attendance at the six-monthly IAA meetings;
  • Manage and co-ordinate the annual cycle of nominations, approvals and presentations for IFoA Honorary Fellowships, medals & awards;
  • Ensure the IFoA complies with the requirement of lobbying registers in England & Wales and Scotland (and any other legislation or regulations which may be relevant to our work in this area);
  • Extend the IFoA’s relationships across government departments in order to broaden its influence on government policy on matters where actuarial input is relevant and desirable.

Although the roleholder will be expected to act on their own initiative wherever possible, they will also need to build the IFoA’s capacity, especially amongst its senior members and officers, for talking on matters of often quite technical detail to different audiences. These may range from informal briefings to senior departmental officials to Select Committee appearances. The Head of Public Affairs will take the lead on the briefing and preparation required in order to present the IFoA and its contribution to the highest standard in such circumstances.

The successful candidate will take on day-to-day leadership responsibility for the IFoA’s public affairs activities, which will include management of a public affairs executive. They will work closely with and as part of the Policy team, and report to the Head of Policy.

Main contacts

Internal contacts:

  • Head of Policy
  • Policy & Public Affairs team
  • Colleagues in the Public Affairs & Research Directorate
  • Director of Public Affairs & Research
  • Senior volunteers
  • Policy & Public Affairs Board
  • Chief Executive’s Office
  • The President’s Office

External contacts:

  • Government Officials
  • MPs/MSPs/MEPs
  • Other professional and industry organisations
  • Member committees
  • Other actuarial associations and professional bodies (incl. internationally)
  • Other external stakeholders


  • Has authority to make decisions within overall objectives and will report to the Head of Policy
  • Decisions are likely to have medium to long-term implications for the IFoA.


  • Required to understand the range of activities undertaken by the various member committees and also by members in the outside environment and the extent to which it influences the future direction of the IFoA
  • Required to think strategically and anticipate requirements to support the IFoA delivering its corporate objectives
  • Ensures that all activities and processes within the team are aligned to agreed governance frameworks
  • Seeks opportunities to improve effectiveness of the team and quality of output
  • Builds a complete picture of the relevant activities and public policy matters at the IFoA and makes connections to enhance the possible opportunities.
  • Identifies any potential risks and seeks to mitigate them.


  • Significant impact on team processes and output from the Public Affairs team
  • Critically, this person should have the maturity, judgement and enthusiasm to build on the IFoA’s achievements to date and develop them further. They must be credible and confident with senior individuals in a range of industries, disciplines and cultures, and demonstrate their potential to play a central part in accelerating the positive impact of the IFoA.

Competence requirements

  • Credible and confident with senior individuals in a range of industries, disciplines and cultures
  • Exceptional stakeholder management skills
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills, including delivering presentations
  • Strong influencing skills in person and on paper
  • Strong problem solving skills
  • Ability to deliver through others
  • Ability to identify risks and seek to mitigate them
  • Solid decision making and judgement
  • Enquiring mindset and eye for detail
  • Good project management and organisation skills to support planning and delivery of outputs from the team
  • Ability to work as part of a team and to self-start and work independently.

Knowledge and experience


  • Knowledge and experience of working in Public Affairs in the financial services sector
  • Understanding of the role of actuaries and the contribution they make to businesses and to society
  • Experience of delivery of board reports to senior governance committees
  • Experience managing budgets
  • Experience of representing organisations in a policy environment
  • Established networks in Westminster, Whitehall and Holyrood
  • Managed and led teams.
  • Educated to degree level or equivalent


  • Working with volunteers
  • Experience managing diverse programmes of work
  • Relevant international experience
  • Proven media skills and networks
  • Track record of delivering quick and proactive responses to media
  • Membership of a relevant professional body e.g CIPR, PRCA

Values and behaviours

The following values and behaviours are a standard requirement for all roles within the IFoA.


The roleholder is honest and fair in their dealings with other employees, and respects and acknowledges the opinions and contributions of their colleagues and does the right thing when there is a choice to be made to do so.


The roleholder works together with other employees and proactively builds relationships to achieve individual, team and corporate objectives and creates engagement from stakeholders.


The roleholder helps to develop the future of the IFoA with a focus on continuous improvement, contributing with their ideas, providing feedback where appropriate and sharing learning.

Additional Information

The role will be based in London, with a requirement for regular travel to Edinburgh, Oxford and occasional travel to other locations in the UK and overseas, to support events or attend meetings.  The workload within the team may vary and the job holder may need to be flexible over working hours.

Contact Details

HR Team

We aim to respond to all enquiries within three working days.

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Events calendar

  • Implications of 2019 IFRS 17 Exposure Draft

    Staple Inn Hall, High Holborn, London, WC1V 7QJ
    24 July 2019

    Fully booked.

    The International Accounting Standards Board (IASB) recently published an Exposure Draft (ED) of limited changes to its insurance contracts standard IFRS 17, effective date 2022.

  • Insurance Investment Roundtable with the IFoA & PRA - 25 July 2019

    EY Offices 1 More London Place London, SE1 2AF
    25 July 2019

    Spaces available

    The IFoA hosts regular roundtable meetings with the PRA on best practice in insurance investment and the application of the Prudent Person Principle, which governs insurance investment under Solvency II.

  • SIAS Event: Climate Zero to Climate Hero

    Staple Inn Hall, High Holborn, London, WC1V 7QJ
    3 September 2019 - 4 September 2019

    Spaces available

    An introductory session to help you get ahead with climate change.

    • Science, terminology and initiatives: handy facts to keep in your back pocket 
    • Getting your point across: how to influence people and avoid common traps and pitfalls
    • Taking action: what are actuaries expected to do...and what are we actually doing?
  • KSS event – The Regulatory Perspective

    Deloitte Saltire Court 20 Castle Terrace Edinburgh EH1 2EG
    5 September 2019

    Spaces available

    This KSS talk, presented by the FCA Head of Department in Scotland, will focus on the following 3 main areas:

    • FCA business plan priorities
    • The future of regulation
    • FCA Engagement in Scotland
  • Sessional Research Event - Risk Margin Working Party

    Staple Inn Hall, High Holborn London, WC1V 7QJ
    9 September 2019

    Spaces available

    For life insurers in the UK, the risk margin is one of the most controversial aspects of the Solvency II regime. Following its implementation, the risk margin came under considerable criticism for being too large and too sensitive to interest rate movements. These criticisms are particularly valid for annuity business – such business is of great significance to the national system for retirement provision. This criticism has led to political interest, and the risk margin was a major element of the Treasury Committee inquiry into Solvency II.

  • GIRO Conference 2019

    EICC, The Exchange, 150 Morrison St, Edinburgh EH3 8EE
    24-26 September 2019
    Spaces available

    GIRO is attended annually by over 800 delegates and speakers who are keen to discuss key topics such as Pricing, Reserving, Modelling and the future of the insurance industry. GIRO 2018 was a huge success and we have opened bookings early for what we hope will be another brilliant conference at the EICC in Edinburgh this year. 


  • The Future of the Actuarial Profession

    Staple Inn Hall, High Holborn London WC1V 7QJ
    3 October 2019

    Spaces available

    Three actuaries – and CEOs – discuss their views on how the business world is changing and what that might mean for actuaries in the future.

  • Life Conference 2019

    The Convention Centre Dublin, Spencer Dock, North Wall Quay, Dublin 1
    20-22 November 2019
    Spaces available

    The Life Conference is the premier event for professionals interested in life insurance.  Offering a wide range of workshops and plenary sessions it’s the perfect opportunity to discover what’s hot and current in life insurance ensuring you get up to date on the latest thinking and innovation whilst meeting and exchanging ideas with a broad range of professionals.

  • Autumn Lecture 2019, London - Rt Hon Nicky Morgan MP

    Lincoln's Inn The Treasury Office, London WC2A 3TL
    2 December 2019

    Fully booked.

    The IFoA is pleased to announce that this year’s Autumn Lecture will feature the Rt Hon Nicky Morgan MP as its guest speaker.  Nicky has previously served as Financial Secretary to the Treasury and Minister for Women. She now chairs the Treasury Select Committee whose remit is to examine the expenditure, administration and policy of HM Treasury, along with all of its agencies and associated bodies.

  • Autumn Lecture 2019: Live Streaming

    2 December 2019

    Spaces available

    Watch the live stream of this year's Autumn Lecture with guest speaker Rt Hon Nicky Morgan MP.