Head of Risk & Governance

Phoenix Group
Wythall, Birmingham
Competitive Salary + Bonus + Benefits
27 Nov 2020
02 Dec 2020
Contract Type
Full Time

Introduction & Background

The Phoenix Group is in the process of reorganising itself around two Divisions:  Open and Heritage. The Heritage Division will look after all products closed to new customers, and the Open Division is focused on growth and bringing on board new customers and developing new propositions, as well as looking after all existing open products and customers.

The Group Customer Function is being restructured to support the Business Units to grow, as well as to continue to support our customers to manage their long-term savings and retirement solutions. We are continuing to evolve our culture of being customer obsessed and investing in our colleagues to respond to changing customer needs. 

As part of reorganising Phoenix around the Open and Heritage Divisions, the Group is driving empowerment down into the organisation and putting decision making closer to the customer. The Head of Risk and Governance is a new Senior Leadership role within the Heritage Customer Function that will be responsible for promoting a strong risk culture in the Function and its Service Partners. It will be a critical role in ensuring risks are understand and managed appropriately to improve customer outcomes and reduce reputational and regulatory risk for the Group.  

Within Heritage Customer we are focused on making sure our customers, through our external partners and our in-house operations are at the heart of everything we do, ensuring we are operationally efficient and show integrity with every decision we take. As a department we care, take personal responsibility, and try to do the right thing at all times.  

Our culture works through employing the right people with diversity of thought, who are passionate, fair and evidence an inclusive yet commercial approach to decision making. We follow this up by making sure everyone has the support they need to be developed and are empowered to be the best they can be, either technically or more importantly through their soft skills.

About the role

The Group Customer structure is split into four teams: Open, Heritage, Digital and Data management. This role, Head of Risk and Governance, reports to the Customer Director for Heritage Business, and will be responsible for the Heritage Customer Strategy; governance arrangements within the function; Risk Policies and controls for the Group Customer Function; a regulatory change framework for all customer and non-customer change; a conduct risk framework for the life companies; and the function’s Line 1 assurance activity.

This role offers an exciting opportunity to be a prominent figure in the Heritage Customer Leadership team and to play an active role as we shape what comes next for Phoenix. The role is business critical and requires a passionate, customer obsessed individual who is committed to the delivering appropriate outcomes for both the company and our customers. This role will require a proven track record in leadership, risk management and building successful partnerships with internal and external stakeholders. It will need hands on approach to managing operational performance and transformational change as well as an enthusiasm for developing talent and getting the best out of teams.

Key Responsibilities include:

  • A certified role with delegated authority from the Heritage Customer Director to represent them in governance fora and to make decisions on their behalf relating to risk management.
  • Act as a Business Partner to other key stakeholders in the three lines of defence across the Group and into the outsourced arrangements.
  • Developing and managing an Annual Customer Plan aligned to the objectives of the Group Customer Function and the Life Companies Annual Operating Plan.
  • Coordinating and consolidating internal reporting to support the Heritage Customer Leadership decision making and identify emerging risks; and external reporting and MI in support of governance arrangements across the Group.
  • Maintenance of frameworks to monitor and report upon:
    • Ongoing relevance of risk policies for the Function, adherence to control standards and risk reporting
    • Delivery of all regulatory change in the life companies, including escalation where appropriate to ensure delivery happens on time.
    • Maintenance of a framework to monitor and report on controls across business activities to minimise conduct risks and detect where there is risk of poor customer outcomes
    • Ensuring actions resulting from the Risk Management Framework and assurance work undertaken by Lines 2 and 3 are appropriately actioned.
  • Development and delivery of an Annual Assurance Plan using the Group’s strategy for customers, policies and standards; known and emerging issues/risks to test the customer experience and drive forward appropriate action
  • Coordinating activities across the Function in response to regulatory data requests; communications within the function including localised activity relating to colleague surveys and other initiatives to promote colleague engagement and development. . 


  • Excellent negotiation and communication skills, evidencing the ability to build and maintain relationships with varied stakeholder groups at all levels of seniority both internally and externally focusing on appropriate outcomes for both the customers and the Group.
  • Resilient and experienced in working under pressure showing the ability to juggle many moving priorities whilst demonstrating the ability to think in a diverse and creative way
  • Strong governance and risk management background showing the ability to decipher complex information, to find solutions and take ownership of actions that reduce risk and drive better customer outcomes. 
  • Experience of working leading teams through change and delivering change in an operational environment.
  • A nurturing approach to people management and development of self and others, recognising the need to adapt and change in line with our customers and business needs


  • Relevant risk management experience in life and pensions
  • Experience of leading teams through large scale transformational change

About us

Phoenix Group is a member of the FTSE 100 index and is the UK’s largest long-term savings and retirement business. We specialise in the acquisition and management of Heritage life insurance and pension funds. We’ve businesses in the UK, Germany and Ireland and hold a broad range of both Heritage and Open products split across three key business segments: UK Heritage, UK Open and Europe.  Our open business manufactures and underwrites new products and policies to support people saving for their future in areas such as workplace pensions and SIPPs, primarily under the Standard Life brand. And we market corporate pension trustee services and manufacture products to be sold under other brands. Did you know Phoenix Life manufactures SunLife’s market leading Guaranteed Over 50’s plan?

We value diversity in our workforce and welcome enquiries from everyone.


To apply online simply click the 'Apply' button.

N.B. When on the Phoenix Careers site, first time visitors will be asked to register before applying.

Closing date: Midnight, Wednesday 2nd December 2020.

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