PEN Partnership was set up in 2012 by a group of financial services management consultants who had worked together for 20 years and were determined to create a substantially different offering for clients and employees. We need people who understand what we are building, see the potential and want to work hard to share in our future. We think we offer an exciting environment in which to do this. This is what we expect applicants to do in this role:

  • Project Delivery - playing a leading role in the delivery of projects and programmes, reporting to executive-level clients, (the CEO, COO, CIO) of leading financial services institutions. Working with PEN Partners and alone at clients depending on the engagement
  • Client Service – continually surpassing expectations of our customers; understanding their problems and proactively engaging with them to deliver the right outcome
  • PEN Development - contribute to the management and development of PEN, both in day-to-day operations and longer-term strategy
  • Market knowledge and development - Share and bring to bear personal experience and knowledge in support of the development of service propositions and project delivery
  • Business Development – supporting the sales process in collaboration with other members of the team

The candidate will have 5 or more years’ experience of working in a financial services environment across some or all of the Banking, Insurance, Retirement, Investment/Asset Management sectors and/or the support industries, e.g. outsourcers. During this time they will have either been directly engaged as a consultant or in project roles within an industry setting, where consulting skills have been required.

They will have successfully deployed the skills set out below, in a time or cost-pressured environment, working directly to a client or senior stakeholder.

Market and Industry knowledge

It is essential that candidates have in-depth knowledge of the players, products, processes and systems in one or more areas of retail financial services operations. These may include:

  • General understanding of products and revenue streams
  • Product propositions and the processes involved in product development and launch
  • Distribution and operational strategies
  • Middle and back office operations
  • Understanding of outsourcing and distribution deal management
  • The key aspects of buying and selling businesses and merging operational units
  • Raising the game in delivering change effectively
  • Improving operational efficiency
  • Appreciation of some of the changes, trends and developments affecting the industry

Consulting competencies

Successful candidates will be able to demonstrate:

  • Leadership – the unique ability to join a project and understand, work with, motivate, challenge and empathize with a group of (initially) unknown colleagues on a project, leading all to a successful outcome
  • Professionalism - Display initiative / enthusiasm in achievement of programme objectives, overcoming or coping with problems, ability to act with integrity no matter how awkward or challenging the issue
  • Core consulting skills – including problem-solving, structured thinking, change management, business case development, facilitation, stakeholder and people management
  • Communication – Able to present a clear and convincing message to client/PEN team at the appropriate time with the ability to hold attention of the audience by gauging reactions, demonstrating strong interpersonal skills
  • Adaptability – Able to manage the unexpected in a consistent and level-headed manner dealing with defensive and emotional behaviour at stressful times, also able to create clarity out of uncertain situations
  • Project delivery - Able to lead drafting of key project documentation. Able to Plan and organise work for others, manage upwards and deliver on agreed objectives, ensuring at all times that the client’s expectations are being met, and value-for-money is demonstrated

What sort of people are PEN people?

  • People who are passionate about delivering great service to clients; who can offer the right mix of support and challenge throughout the lifecycle of complex projects
  • Professionals who operate with absolute honesty, make realistic promises and are assured in the choices they make
  • Consultants who quickly gain the trust of PEN colleagues, project teams and can empathise with those working on the shop floor of client organisations
  • Self-starters who can operate autonomously at clients and outside of the ‘mothership’ consulting organisation
  • People who will understand what PEN is about, want to share in it, and want to put in additional effort to help us grow
  • A good sense of humour is desirable: we want people who enjoy life more than work, and will not consider working for PEN as ‘having a job’
  • Confident team players who will make sure they are heard in a group; will blow their own trumpet, but know the correct volume at which to do so
  • We also think everyone should have a ‘superpower’: be it an area of expertise, a general skill, or something they are known for in the industry

PEN People and culture:

  • We are a small – but steadily growing – group of highly experienced and professional people; most of whom have worked for large consultancies before and wanted something different
  • We maintain an informal atmosphere based on trust, understanding and honesty, where success and failure is shared openly and transparently
  • A group of people who don’t take themselves too seriously: we are financial services consultants, not heart surgeons
  • PEN is as meritocratic as possible: we have Partners and non-Partners, but this is not restrictive to what each individual puts into and gets out of PEN, and everyone is truly equally empowered to shape the future of the business
  • We expect entrepreneurialism and open-mindedness to be matched with resilience and strength in the face of the challenging situations which are bound to crop up in our industry
  • A team often separated geographically due to client work, but where help and advice is always an e-mail, phone call or WhatsApp message away – and monthly whole-company meetings provide time to think about PEN and see colleagues

Our business model and projects

  • We don’t have the commercial constraints of a large professional services operation and can be flexible to clients’ budgets, always offering an attractive commercial proposition
  • PEN enjoys low overheads: we have a small support staff and use third parties to remove as much administration from our daily lives as is possible
  • Money isn’t everything: our ultimate goal is to maintain a growing, energetic company that provides loads more than just a salary to our people
  • Part of this is PEN Adventures – we use the proceeds of our consulting exploits to invest in other ventures and assets – we think this is unique and exciting and offers PEN people a chance to use their skills in a potentially very different setting
  • We do not try and break the mould when it comes to project delivery, and the types of assignments we undertake – we simply try to exceed client expectations in every way – we all buy into this
  • Projects vary massively in size and shape, but in general focus on the operations of retail financial services companies – in the investment management, life and pensions and banking sectors, as evidenced below – where we use our expertise to help clients through the most complex and challenging situations
  • We operate in small teams and do not try to ‘land and expand’ when working at a client

  • Highly competitive base salary commensurate with experience 
  • Annual bonus relating to personal and company performance – (annual bonus target is c.20% of basic salary)
  • Membership of the PEN Partnership Pension Scheme, including employer contributions
  • Life assurance of 4 x salary
  • Private medical insurance (including dependents)
  • Participation in the PEN employee ownership scheme (EOS)
  • 6 weeks annual leave

Interested in this role?