Director (non-executive) of the Board of Universities Superannuation Scheme (USS)


8th February 2019

The Universities Superannuation Scheme (USS) has circa 418,000 members, over £64 billion in assets, and is one of the largest private pension schemes in the UK and in the top 50 worldwide. USS was established in 1974 and provides pensions to employees from 350 higher education sector employers. The USS scheme and its investments are managed and administered by the corporate trustee, Universities Superannuation Scheme Limited, and its wholly owned subsidiary USS Investment Management Limited.

Universities UK (UUK) is seeking applications for a non-executive director to join the Board of Universities Superannuation Scheme Limited; the individual will be a UUK-appointed director. The Board has significant responsibilities for the governance and oversight of a large pension scheme and of a business which carries out complex operational and advisory functions within a heavily regulated environment, and Board members need proportionate experience, expertise and capabilities. All Board members are therefore required to possess exceptional strategic thinking, leadership, communication, influencing, teamwork and decision-making skills.

It is essential that the successful candidate possesses the following skills: • A qualified accountant or equivalent with an excellent knowledge of UK GAAP and FRS and significant experience acting as an auditor or CFO (or similar) of a large, complex business within the financial services (or a related) sector, with experience of having been a member of, or adviser to, an audit committee. • An understanding of the economics of the higher education sector and the governance structures of the institutions within it. • Is willing, and has the skills to effectively engage, with employer and sectoral representative groups from across higher education including Universities UK, the Universities and Colleges Employers’ Association, the Russell Group and the Committee of University Chairs.

Additional skillsets are also considered to be desirable, including: • DC pensions expertise – significant experience as a senior member of the management team, or trustee of, a DC or mixed benefit pension fund. • Supplier contract management – experience negotiating and/or managing contractual relationships with significant suppliers and of implementing effective procurement strategies. • Communications, engagement and media expertise – expertise in the deployment of multi-channel/media communications and experience in the creation of effective member and employer communications and education strategies.

There are other additional skills considered to be desirable, with further details available in the full role profile.

Time Commitment: Approximately 30 days per annum
Location: London (with occasional travel to Liverpool)
Closing date for applications: Friday 8 February 2019
Duration: An initial term of office of 3 years commencing 1 April 2019, with the possibility of extension or reappointment for a further term. Directors are required to apply for reappointment and any reappointment is therefore subject to that director being successful in such a reappointment process.

For a full role profile and/or further information, please contact Brendan Mulkern, Senior Pensions Adviser, Universities UK by email to and by telephone to 0207 419 5484.

How to apply

Interested candidates should submit a letter of application – accompanied by their CV – and send these details by email to, or in writing to the Chief Executive Officer, Universities UK, Woburn House, 20 Tavistock Square, London, WC1H 9HQ.

Interviews are expected to be held on Thursday 21 February in London.