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Business Support Manager

We are currently recruiting for a Business Support Manager in our Markets Development Group on a Permanent contract.

This role will be mostly remote, but successful applicants need to be able to commute to our London hub on occasion. 

To apply, please send a CV and covering letter plus details on your current salary to before the closing date of 6 December 2021.

Background and context

The Markets Development Group is a key Group within the overall structure of the IFoA, focused on building a long-term sustainable future for the IFoA. Through our market knowledge and strategic global relationships, we look to deliver value to our members and ensure that the IFoA is recognised and valued globally. There are 15 employees in the Group split into two core teams:

Global Partnerships:

  • Delivery of the IFoA’s strategy across the UK, Europe, Middle East, Africa and India
  • Driving member value and global influence across the regions
  • Responsible for shaping, influencing and executing a global key accounts plan to create greater value and depth to the IFoA’s major employers of its members. This alongside fostering new employer relationships, across a diversity of sectors, to build wider opportunities for members in their careers.
  • Responsible for market intelligence to drive more informed decision making.

Asia Pacific:

  • Delivery of the IFoA’s strategy across Asia Pacific
  • Driving member value and global influence across AP
  • Executing account plans for employers and universities across the region
  • Responsible for AP insights into market intelligence gathering

The Director of Markets Development leads and oversees the work across these two teams, and has leadership responsibility for delivery of the international strategy. The Director also leads the cross-functional Sustainable Growth work stream as part of the organisation’s Corporate Plan delivery. A member of the Executive Leadership Team (ELT), the Director is a permanent observer at IFoA Council and Management Board. She also serves on a number of projects and committees across the organisation, including:

  • Operational Process & Systems Review
  • Skills and Domains Committee
  • Member Engagement Committee
  • Lead for Sustainable Membership Model

This is a new role with the ambition that the Business Support Manager takes on senior leadership support and co-ordination of the key strategic initiatives that the Markets Development Group is taking part in. This will give the Director and her senior leaders more capacity to think broadly and concentrate on innovation, visionary planning and driving the strategy across global markets. All of which ensures a stronger chance of the organisation's continued sustainable growth, agility and competitiveness.

Purpose of the job

This dynamic position requires the ability to anticipate needs, think critically, and offer solutions to problems with a high level of professionalism and confidentiality. Adaptability and a ‘can do’ attitude are key.

The role will provide support to the Director of Markets Development and the two senior leaders in the Group and ensure that activities across the group are co-ordinated. This role will be pivotal in helping mesh this new leadership team together, and to help drive the effective management of the Markets Development Group. The successful candidate will not only support the Group’s leadership but take responsibility for different initiatives as they transpire. There are lots of transformative projects and initiatives that need to be delivered and this role would take ownership of some of these.

The Group is three years old and is in a period of evolution and change, within an organisation undergoing significant transformation. It is envisaged that the successful candidate will take some responsibility in shaping some of the Group’s processes and systems, to ensure we are effective whilst helping to strengthen our internal reputation, increase visibility of the work of the Group as well as support deeper integration into the business.  

It is imperative that the individual is proactive and can ‘connect the dots’ between all that the team, and the Group’s senior leadership are looking to achieve.  The Director will be leading a major programme in 2022 and this role would be expected to provide support to the Director as needed to ensure successful delivery.  Support may include working with external consultants who are our delivery partner, understanding the programme and anticipating needs to provide proactive and value added support to the programme team. The Business Support Manager would also provide efficient administrative support and contribute to the successful delivery of the Markets Development strategic objectives within the Corporate Plan.

One of the two Markets Development senior leads is based in Singapore, and the other in the UK. The wider team is spread across the globe so the BSM will need to be experienced at working across different time zones.

Principal accountabilities

Strategic support

  • Support the new leadership of Markets Development Group as they develop and drive transformation in line with the strategy
  • Provide assistance to the Director on management of strategic programmes and initiatives as required
  • Lead on a range of initiatives and projects as determined by the Director
  • Proactively plan and manage the regular updates to Executive Leadership Team, the CEO’s Office and Management Board and committees, ensuring these effectively demonstrate delivery of the IFoA’s Corporate Plan
  • Provision of support to the Sustainable Membership Model Programme

Operational Support

  • Oversee the effective overall operation of the Markets Development Group
  • Coordinate complex scheduling and extensive calendar management, as well as management of content and flow of information to senior leaders
  • Prepare, draft, proofread and execute accurate business correspondence using excellent communication skills
  • Compile reports, conduct desk based research and prepare/ format presentations
  • Act as an all-around gatekeeper and strategically manage the MDG leaders’ time with respect to priorities, goals, and objectives
  • Support the Director’s inbox management, prioritising actions and archiving effectively
  • Setting virtual and in-person meetings for leaders and the Group
  • Run the Director’s office, including secretariat duties for the Group meetings
  • Support all aspects of domestic and international travel: attending planning meetings, booking travel, visas and accommodation, ensuring the expense policy is adhered to and contributing to the production of itineraries and briefing packs
  • Financial:
  • Manage the Director’s expenses and reconcile credit card statements, ensuring payments are charged to the correct budget and nominal code
  • Process expenses for the Group as needed
  • Liaise with HR to support the recruitment and induction of any new members of the team, and assist the Director on other HR matters as they arise
  • Use the CRM database to record all of the Director’s stakeholder engagement and obtain management information for Group reporting

Main contacts


  • Line manager (Director of Markets Development)
  • Two senior leads in Group
  • Colleagues in the Markets Development Group
  • Wider senior leadership
  • All Groups within the IFoA


  • External stakeholder organisations and their offices
  • Presidential team and their offices
  • Senior volunteers including members of the IFoA’s Council, Management Board, communities, committees and working parties
  • Third party consultants and contractors


  • Help MDG leadership make tactical business decisions
  • Lead on a range of initiatives where decisions will be made in autonomy
  • Will be required to organise workload flexibly, and the work of the senior MDG leads, to deal with changing priorities, external deadlines or issues arising
  • Will be expected to take the initiative and proactively take decisions when matters do not need to be escalated
  • Will develop and follow clear procedures, making process improvements as needed


  • A wide range of transformational and strategic initiatives and projects that will need input from this role
  • Lead on some initiatives that will have different interdependencies, variety of stakeholders and leadership exposure
  • Ability to grasp multiple dimensions and sensitivities in an organisation that is in the midst of fundamental change
  • There is a strong requirement to exercise initiative, anticipate the leaders’ requirements, and take decisions accordingly
  • Interpersonal and influencing skills are vital as the role will represent MDG leadership both internally and externally across a range of channels of communications
  • Skills required include: Excellent organisational skills, active listening and problem solving, prioritising, planning ahead and managing conflicting pressures whilst remaining calm
  • A collaborative and flexible approach to work and the ability to contribute fully as part of a team
  • Due to the sensitive and/or confidential nature of some of the material, discretion, honesty and integrity are vital to the role.


The role is important to the success of the new leadership of MDG and thereby the wider Group. The job holder will make an individual contribution to the achievement of the Markets Development Group strategic objectives as they have individual responsibility for the delivery of some key elements of the programme.

Knowledge and experience


  • Educated A level or equivalent
  • Proven experience in a senior support role
  • Strong communication skills and people handling abilities
  • Strong time management skills
  • Lead initiatives from inception to conclusion
  • Working in and with international teams
  • Familiarity with Microsoft Office packages


  • Some knowledge/experience of international business development or international markets  
  • Some knowledge/understanding of membership organisations
  • Some understanding of actuarial/financial services
  • Familiarity with MS Dynamics platform
  • Familiarity with Microsoft 365

Values and behaviours

All IFoA staff are expected to demonstrate our values and behaviours:

  • Member-focused
  • Action-oriented
  • Forward- and outward-looking
  • Team-driven

Additional information

This role is currently mainly home-based. The IFoA’s London ‘hub’ is has just reopened, with two other opening shortly (Edinburgh and Oxford) and we anticipate employees will choose to work virtually between home and ‘hub’ after that time.

In due course some travel (UK) may sometimes be required.

Contact Details

HR Team

We aim to respond to all enquiries within three working days. To apply for this role, please send your CV, cover letter and your current salary details to:

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