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South Yorkshire Pensions Authority – Assistant Director – Investment Strategy

£106,136 - £116,693 plus: benefits, relocation support and 24/25 pay award pending

Welcome, and thank you for your interest in becoming South Yorkshire Pensions Authority’s next Assistant Director- Investment Strategy.

We are proud of the track record that South Yorkshire Pensions Authority (SYPA) has achieved over a long period. As we progress, we are seeking to build on this, whilst preserving the long-term stability of our pension fund. That is where you come in……

I am looking forward to recruiting an Assistant Director for Investment Strategy who will further develop our thinking and help us realise our ambitions.

You will be joining us as our current incumbent is retiring after a sterling service of more than 30 years, and who has been instrumental in shaping our approach to investment throughout our existence.

Like all Local Government Pension funds, we have a big agenda for the services for which you will be responsible over the next few years. This includes completion of the pooling process working with our partners within the Border to Coast Pensions Partnership, driving our Net Zero ambitions in a way which delivers real world impact, taking forward the delivery of our Place Based Impact strategy with its focus on South Yorkshire and delivering the regular reviews of our investment strategy which gives us pause to reflect on our overall approach and investment beliefs.

This is a vital role leading the Authority’s investment function the success of which is crucial to ensuring we have the money necessary to pay pensions when they are due and just as importantly contributing to the overall management of a unique organisation within the Local Government Pension Scheme. While your team is small it is talented, committed and highly motivated to deliver and has risen to every challenge it has been presented with. You will also be working with extremely talented and supportive independent advisers who provide a priceless source of knowledge and advice and an incredibly supportive Pensions Authority who have clear views on how they want to invest and what they are looking to achieve and have been prepared where necessary to back this commitment with investment in strengthening the organisation.

I am looking for a strategic leader with experience in setting, directing and implementing a successful investment strategy. As you will also be managing a team, it is vitally important that you have good people management skills and can work with a variety of stakeholders, tailoring your communication style to different audiences in a way that the information can be fully understood. Building good working relationships is crucial for this role. Beyond this we are looking for someone who is able to contribute to the overall management of the organisation as part of our Senior Management Team.

The strength of our investment function has in recent years been recognised with various awards:

  • Pensions for Purpose – Place Based Impact Investment 2023
  • LAPF Investment Awards - LGPS Fund of the Year (Assets over £2.5bn) 2022
  • Pensions for Purpose – Impact Investing Adopters Award 2021

It really is an exciting time to be joining us as we look to build on the strengths that have been recognised in the awards success and on the strong funding position we have achieved.

Our newly refurbished Barnsley office provides a state-of-the-art working environment, we have free on-site parking and are located within 10 minutes’ walk of both the train and bus stations, which makes us easily accessible. At SYPA we are big on your professional development, you’ll have a learning and development plan, and we’ll support you to keep your CPD updated. Perhaps most importantly you will be welcomed by talented teams.

If you are interested in joining our team and are inspired to contribute to the next phase of our journey, we look forward to your application. In the meantime, following an initial conversation with our recruitment partners at The Resourcing Solution I would be delighted to discuss this opportunity with those who might wish to learn a little more.

Take a look at our LinkedIn page to find out more about us and see what we’ve been up to recently!

George Graham, Director of the South Yorkshire Pensions Authority.

About the role

Job title: Assistant Director- Investment Strategy
Location: Barnsley / Hybrid
Contract: Full-time (35 hours per week Monday to Friday) / Permanent
Salary: £106,136 - £116,693 (includes 20% market supplement) plus benefits, relocation support and 24/25 pay award pending.

The Assistant Director- Investment Strategy is one of three Senior Management roles supporting SYPA’s Director in giving leadership and direction to the Authority’s operations. The diagram below shows how this role fits into the overall structure of the organisation and illustrates the difference between SYPA as an organisation, and a conventional LGPS administering authority where many support services are provided by the host council.

More detail about the structure of the organisation is available on our website here.

The structure of the Investment Strategy Team is shown below:

The Team is responsible for the design and delivery of the Authority’s investment strategy. This includes, investment governance, asset allocation, product selection, monitoring and oversight of fund manager performance, reporting and analysis of performance and risk and the implementation of the Authority’s responsible investment policies. A significant and increasing proportion of the Fund’s assets are managed through the Border to Coast Pensions Partnership and the team provides the focus for the strategic and operational interaction with Border to Coast.

You will provide:

  • Leadership and direction to the Authority’s investment function
  • Strategic investment advice to the Authority
  • Effective oversight of the Authority’s outsourced investment management activities, in particular the activities of the Border to Coast Pensions Partnership
  • A comprehensive monitoring service in relation to the Authority’s investments
  • Assistance in the overall leadership of and setting the direction of the organisation
  • Effective support and assistance to and to deputise for the Director as required

In addition, you will be responsible for:

  • The development and setting of strategy working closely with elected members, senior management colleagues and independent advisers.
  • Providing leadership and direction to the wider management team and the whole organisation and act as the face and voice of the organisation in key partnerships, and on occasion to the wider local government sector and/or pension industry.
  • You’ll hold responsibility for the setting of priorities and allocating resources between projects and programmes of activity.

Your time horizon is several years ahead, and you’ll need to maintain an awareness of the external environment and its impact on the organisation to ensure that forward planning addresses the right issues.

The role is responsible for the direct line management of three members of staff (as shown above) including appraisal, performance review and personal development in line with the Authority’s policies.

What do we want?

  • Degree or equivalent, or significant vocational experience showing development in a series of progressively more demanding relevant work/ roles either within the financial services / investment management industry or the pensions industry / local government pension scheme.
  • An investment related qualification such as the IMC or CFA is essential, while an additional pension qualification such as PMI or the CFA ESG certificate is desirable.
  • Experience of working within the investment management industry and of the management of investments on behalf of pension funds is essential, while experience of doing this in a public sector scheme such as the Local Government Pension Scheme is desirable.
  • Comprehensive knowledge of computerised business systems in terms of functionality and capability.
  • Knowledge of principles, practices, policies and procedures relating to business planning and financial and organisational management.
  • Proven written and oral communication and interpersonal skills with the ability to work collaboratively with internal and external partners/ professionals.
  • Ability to analyse complex information and draw conclusions.
  • Problem solving skills with the ability to exercise high levels of initiative to devise and implement workable solutions.
  • Aptitude and willingness to manage a range of projects through to completion.

What’s in it for you?

  • We have a generous annual leave policy that offers between 28 days and 36 days annual leave depending on length of service, plus all statutory bank holidays.
  • As of April 2024, employees will have access to a range of salary sacrifice schemes that are being introduced as well as newly enhanced family policies such as maternity, adoption and paternity.
  • We have several work-life balance policies including hybrid working enabling you to work from home for up to 3 days per week, subject to successful progress during probationary period.
  • You’ll automatically be enrolled into the LGPS (Local Government Pension Scheme) which provides a salary-related pension, to which the employer contributes.
  • We offer a range of wellbeing initiatives including regular webinars on health & wellbeing, fresh fruit, tea, coffee, and employer provided flu vaccination vouchers each year. We also organise regular social and charity events.

Come and join us!

About the South Yorkshire Pensions Authority

We are a growing public sector organisation with a team of around 130 staff who run the workplace pension scheme, managing a Fund of nearly £11 billion on behalf of nearly 600 employing organisations, including Local Authorities and other public / not-for-profit sector bodies.

South Yorkshire Pensions Authority is responsible for administering the Local Government Pension Scheme in South Yorkshire. The Authority was created in 1988 as part of the arrangements put in place following the abolition of South Yorkshire Metropolitan County Council. The Authority itself is made up of 12 Councillors drawn from the 4 districts in the County.

The Pensions Authority's workforce is headed by the Director and is organised around three streams of activity, each led by an Assistant Director, reflecting the focus of its work in relation to:

  • Scheme members
  • Investment of the Pension Fund's assets, and
  • The running of the organisation

The diagram below shows how the different elements of our governance arrangements fit together and how they relate to the various elements of the Border to Coast Pensions Partnership in relation to investment matters.

2023/24 has been another busy year for the Authority with a number of key events:

  • The implementation of the results of the three yearly valuation of the Pension Fund by our new actuary Hymans Robertson which concluded that strong and consistent investment performance had delivered a surplus of assets over liabilities for the first time since at least the 1990’s. This has allowed us to provide greater long-term stability to employer contributions.
  • Implementation of a revised investment strategy including changes designed to enable us to accelerate the rate of progress towards our investment portfolios becoming Net Zero.
  • Completion of Project Chip – one of the largest ever UK agricultural land transactions (at £260m) which in partnership with Royal London turned our agricultural land holdings into a natural capital investment within a structure capable of being invested in by other institutional investors.
  • The agreement of a medium-term resourcing plan designed to ensure that the Authority has sufficient staff resources to maintain a sustainable organisation and to deliver the quality-of-service members rightly expect going into the future.
  • The continued growth of our Place Based Impact Investment portfolio focussed on investment in South Yorkshire.
  • Improving the quality of our communication with scheme members using more modern approaches through social media and also more traditional means such as our regular newsletters.

Alongside all these important developments we are also paying attention to the corporate infrastructure with an emphasis on delivering a range of improvements to our governance and ensuring we have the resources and tools needed to deliver on the corporate strategy.

Corporate Objectives

SYPA operates to deliver a number of corporate objectives the achievement of which will allow us to deliver on our mission which is:

Making sure we deliver against the objectives below will allow us to achieve this:

Values and Behaviours

How we achieve our objectives is as important to us as what we achieve, and we operate with a framework of values and behaviours which signify the type of organisation we want to be:

Values Behaviours
Honest and Accountable Telling it like it is, and taking responsibility for our actions even when we have made a mistake


Progressive Welcoming of change, while taking sensible risks and learning from our mistakes and from others


Professional Being highly skilled and competent and managerially applying rationality to decision making processes


Empowering Providing the freedom for individuals to identify and implement solutions to problems


In addition, if we are to live those values then our managers must demonstrate specific management behaviours as shown below:

Management Behaviours Demonstrated by:
We model positive behaviours to each other and to all staff
  • We regularly offer encouragement and praise for positive behaviours
  • We challenge inappropriate and unacceptable behaviour
  • We give and receive authentic feedback
  • We hold staff to account for their performance
We take responsibility for improvement - within a clear framework
  • We get on with making improvements and changes rather than wait for permission (within a clear advice frame that sets out what we can get on with and what we can’t).
  • We trust people to do their job, we don’t micromanage.
  • We give a heads up when we plan something new, we speak up early when there is a problem or when things aren’t going well.
  • When something doesn’t go well, we look for what we can learn and what we can do differently next time.
We all get behind a common goal
  • We have a clear vision that sets out what our goals are and clear priorities which set out what our most important changes are.
  • We make the time to understand what we need to do to contribute to that vision.
  • We work together across the organisation and contribute to the organisation as a whole.
  • We challenge and question rumours and use discretion in sharing what gets discussed amongst managers.
We involve and engage people in decisions that will affect them
  • We keep people in the loop about things that will affect them.
  • We seek and value the opinion of the people we manage and of other teams.
  • We take the time to set out plans, then listen to the concerns and recommendations of those involved as to how we can strengthen those plans.
  • We communicate regularly and clearly to all staff.

We have a culture that encourages work-life balance, and to recognise this for our employees, as of April 2024 we introduced a 35 hour (instead of 37 hour) working week with no impact on annual pay. We offer flexible working hours and hybrid office / home working (including a non-taxable allowance towards the cost of working from home).

Contact us and apply now

Contact us

For an informal confidential discussion about this opportunity, please contact either:

Leanne Auton on 07815 028548 or

Penny Keatings on 07811 411462 or

Key dates

Closing date: Midnight Wednesday 29 May

Shortlisting date: Friday 31 May

Please note, an Occupational Personality Questionnaire (OPQ) & an Executive Scenarios assessment will be issued to shortlisted candidates prior to interview.

Technical Interview: Monday 10 June (virtually via MS Teams)

Stakeholder Interviews: Monday 24 June (Oakwell House in Barnsley)

Final Member Panel Interview: Tuesday 25 June (Oakwell House in Barnsley)


To apply please provide us with your CV including a supporting statement in one Microsoft Word document. Your supporting statement should outline your motivation for applying and how you meet the criteria for the role.

Applications should be emailed to

It is important that your CV includes: your full contact details (telephone, email, address), full employment history (name of employer, job titles, dates of employment and salary), full education history (qualification, grade, dates and place of study), explanation of any gaps in employment and the contact details of at least two referees including your current / most recent employer indicating whether you consent to us contacting each referee prior to interview. Please also provide details of your current salary and notice period.

South Yorkshire Pensions Authority is an equal opportunity employer and values diversity.

We are committed to equality of opportunity for all staff. We welcome applications from individuals regardless of age, any disability, sex, gender reassignment, sexual orientation, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief.

We will not accept applications from agencies.

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