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Associate Director – Employer Covenant Review - North

Date: Jan 8, 2021

Location: Manchester, United Kingdom

Company: KPMG UK

KPMG’s Restructuring Employer Covenant Review Team are looking for an Associate Director to join our expanding National team, with this role based primarily in the North, either Leeds or Manchester.
The broader Restructuring team in which the Employer Covenant Review Team sits delivers a blend of stakeholder / lender side advisory work (including support with financial restructurings), company side advisory and formal insolvency. The team in the North provides services to a full spectrum of businesses from small owner managed concerns through to large multinationals and also a wide range of work with public sector organisations, all typically experiencing some form of stress or distress.
This specific role would see the successful candidate joining the Northern Restructuring practice as well as national team dedicated to Pensions focussed Restructuring work.
Work in this specific role centres on assessing the financial strength of the companies that are responsible for funding defined benefit pension schemes and assessing how much these companies can afford to pay to their schemes to meet the funding shortfall.
Our work is hands on – as well as producing concise reports, we are in the boardroom providing direct strategic and negotiation support, and then implementing our recommendations.
We work for both trustees and corporates, including some of the largest and most complex businesses in the UK. Our work falls into three areas:
1) Assessing the financial strength of the business supporting the scheme for the trustees or helping the corporate present their financial strength to their scheme trustees/advisors;

2) Assessing the impact of corporate activity on the level of financial support offered to the scheme – e.g. understanding the impact of M&A activity, business reorganisations, refinancings, etc. Again, we work for both corporates and trustees, often helping to design and implement structures and solutions; and

3) Dealing with situations where the size of the scheme threatens the ability of the sponsoring company/group to be able to continue to trade. This requires innovative solutions, robust financial analysis and excellent negotiation skills.
We work closely with other parts of KPMG including Pensions Advisory, Transaction Services, Corporate Finance and various sector teams. In many situations, a multi-functional team is deployed.
The role requires strong accounting analysis, report writing skills and a commercial mind-set.
Applicants should be ready to work in a dynamic, flexible and fast paced environment. We work with a wide variety of clients, from small privately owned enterprises through to FTSE 100 and high profile businesses. Applicants should expect to work across all sectors.

Key Responsibilities:
To be an effective Associate Director within the Employer Covenant team you’ll undertake the following:

• Frequently acting as day to day lead for delivery of client advisory projects, taking the role as a key contact on engagements.
• Build strong, trusted adviser relationships with senior management and mid-level executives and other key stakeholders in engagements (including trustees, solicitors and actuaries)
• Manage teams of colleagues working on the engagement, ensuring effective delegation and also multiple workstream delivery
• Manage engagements and projects to scope, time, quality and budget complying with KPMG engagement management practices
• Communicate views and insights (both in writing and verbally) in an effective and compelling manner to clients and KPMG colleagues, able to adjust style to circumstances
• Lead the design and development of client ready deliverables with minimal Partner input
• Work with Partners / Directors across the business development cycle, including development of proposals and client sales presentations
• Coach and develop team members providing high quality developmental feedback
• Develop insightful sector points of view on key strategic issues
• Identify, design and lead practice development initiatives, coordinating other members of the team
• Appraise challenging & fast developing situations and look to develop innovative solutions and assess options for businesses and their stakeholders.

Key skills and competencies required:
• Demonstrable experience in leading workstreams, advising and working alongside a range of stakeholders.
• Strong commercial and business acumen, with evidence of experience.
• Ability to work innovatively and ‘self start’ as well start teams of colleagues
• Desire to build wide advisory skillsets and develop knowledge of all Restructuring offerings
• Ability to communicate well across a range of operational and financial staff at all levels. This is also often in challenging circumstances given the financial positions of the organisations we typically work with.
• Good time management and organisational skills, together with the ability to prioritise tasks;
• An ability to produce high quality, detailed and accurate work, and produce concise and creative reports and presentations;
• Enjoy working in a dynamic, flexible and fast paced project environment;
• Willingness to embrace work across all sectors and potentially undertake some travel.
• Strong financial and analytical skills, with relevant accountancy qualification.

Prior experience of undertaking employer covenant work is preferred although not essential.

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