The International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) is an International Financial Institution (IFI) and a specialized United Nations agency dedicated to eradicating rural poverty and hunger. It does so by investing in rural people. IFAD finances programmes and projects that increase agricultural productivity and raise rural incomes, and advocates at the local, national and international level for policies that contribute to rural transformation.
The Financial Operations Department (FOD) is tasked with managing IFAD’s financial resources proactively and making them available as needed for the Fund’s programme of work and budget.
As one of the components of FOD, the Treasury Services Division (TRE) mandate is to safeguard IFAD’s resources through management of investment and cash operations with the aim to preserve capital and maximize returns within the provisions of IFAD’s financial policies; formulate and implement investment and cash operations strategies and policies; ensure prompt availability of cash for IFAD operations through prudent liquidity management; oversee the integrity of the Fund’s daily investment and cash operations in line with corporate risk management standards and manage the investments and cash of extra budgetary funds, hosted entities and trust funds.
Within the Division, the Financial Planning Modelling and Middle-Office (FPM) team formulates strategies and policies for the optimization of the use of internal and external resources to finance IFAD’s operations, monitor the Fund’s liquid assets, the level of overall financial resources against liquidity requirements, implement and monitor ALM policy and provide investment portfolio analytics. The Finance Specialist will be committed to the delivery of assigned objectives and activities and keep abreast of related industry developments and skills required to respond to the divisional work plan and results.
Post's organizational accountability
Finance Specialists at this level are seasoned professionals reflecting an in-depth, broad understanding of applicable regulations, standards and methods as well as IFAD’s financial policies, rules and transactional procedures. The accountabilities/key results include:
• Finance Business Partner
• Financial Management
• Agent of Change
The main responsibilities of the Finance Specialist are: making long-term financial/resource projections, managing and enhancing IFAD’s financial models, analysing IFAD available resources against the requirements of the liquidity policy in the short and long term and recommending specific actions to preserve/improve the Fund’s liquid assets, determining the resources available for existing and new commitments ensuring long-term sustainability of the institution. S/He will also be required to support middle-office activities focused on the development and implementation of monitoring and reporting of IFAD’s investment portfolios in particular mark-to-market portfolio positions, performance, concentrations, derivatives portfolio as well as ALM controls such as currency alignment to manage FX risk.
The Finance Specialist works under the overall strategic, and policy guidance of the Director and Treasurer, and of the Deputy Treasurer and under the direct supervision of the Senior Treasury Officer and FPM team leader.
Key results expected / Major functional activities
1. FINANCE BUSINESS PARTNER: The Finance Specialist is a credible, trusted partner to the client offices served and the Department/Division/Unit where assigned. S/He supports the Fund’s financial strategy and plans as well as models a commitment to financial integrity by acting as a responsive and constructive service provider with a focus on results. The Specialist provides verbal and written advice and guidance to supervisors and staff on financial policies, rules and procedures, facilitating a mutual understanding of roles and fiduciary accountabilities in direct support of integrity in the management of the Fund’s financial resources.
2. FINANCIAL MANAGEMENT: At this level the Finance Specialist is a seasoned professional with the capacity to interpret and apply a broad range of international and IFAD-specific financial policies, rules and regulations as well as standards and techniques. Activities performed by Finance Specialists at this level may include (a) maintaining the financial procedures relating to the assigned operation; (b) preparing information for internal financial reporting and for IFAD’s Annual Financial Statements, and to IFAD governing bodies as applicable; and (c) preparing timely, substantive replies to internal and external audit observations concerning the assigned financial operation.
Finance Specialists (Resource Modelling) contribute to the development of financial policies through simulations and enhancement of financial models; build simulations on a range of scenarios reflecting IFAD's current and future resources and financial positions, analyse simulation results and identify key inputs for information on resource mobilization priorities/opportunities; analyse trends in financial data to assess relevance of existing models; recommend changes to underlying assumptions to promote alignment with current and future operating realities; maintain linkages between financial model development and projections of balance sheet and income statements; ensure integration with the structure of IFAD's balance sheet and income statement; and enhance current financial models including integration with other information in collaboration with team colleagues.
More specifically, the Finance Specialist - Resource Modelling & Portfolio Planning is accountable for making long-term financial/resource projections; managing and enhancing IFAD’s financial model; analyzing and recommending the minimum liquidity requirement; determining the resources available for commitment based on a sustainable cash flow approach; originating governing body and other official documents; interaction with external institutions which may assess IFAD’s credit standing.
Core functions for this position include but are not limited to:
• Build simulations for a range of scenarios to reflect IFAD's current and future resources and financial positions. Analyse results of simulations and identify key inputs for information on resource mobilization priorities/opportunities.
• Analyse trends in financial data to assess relevance for existing models and recommend changes to underlying assumptions to promote alignment with IFAD current and future operating developments.
• Maintain linkages between financial model development and projections of IFAD balance sheet and income statements.
• In collaboration with team members, enhance current financial models supporting the development of new functionalities, including the integration of relevant internal and external financial information sources, e.g. corporate data warehouse, Bloomberg, Risk management models and policies, rating agencies’ criteria.
• Interact with any external institutions, which may require assessment of IFAD’s financial projections, including rating agencies to ensure full transparency of assumptions and methodology and the consistency of output against input.
• Contribute to the development of financial policies through simulations of financial scenarios.
• Build in-house knowledge of IFAD financial modelling techniques and best practices; propose improvements and developments of the functionalities of the models through formulae adjustment, programming or other technical tools.
• Manage independently the whole cycle for each financial scenario from data feed, adjustment of assumptions to analysis of the output and production of reporting.
• Establish and maintain contacts with internal departments and divisions involved in any step of the modelling process and evaluate financial practice in peer International Financial Institutions relative to the functions of the position.
3. AGENT OF CHANGE: The Finance Specialist understands and applies the principles of change management and proactively serves as a role model for transformation and capacity for acceptance of change. S/He uses a seasoned knowledge of results based management and budgeting, enterprise resource planning (ERP) and other information technology to develop, analyse and promote acceptance of new methods of work and automated work flows. At this level the Specialist manages change through consultations with finance colleagues and outreach to client offices to build understanding of and to ensure open and regular communications pertaining to current and planned changes in the Fund’s financial standards, and financial policies.
4. MANAGERIAL FUNCTIONS: The Finance Specialist is accountable for integrity, transparency, and equity in the personal use of assigned IFAD resources, including equipment, supplies and, as applicable, staff supervised.
Impact of Key results / Key performance indicators
Specialists at this level are accountable for in¿depth analysis of a variety of financial reports that reflect transactions where many different consecutive stages of operations are involved; problems involve interrelationships and interactions within the financial structure and his/her role is to ensure that the Organization's financial business conforms to regulations. Based on a thorough knowledge of finance principles, concepts and systems, the Finance Specialist independently performs the full range of work for a complete, homogenous financial operation or components of financial operations in support of a geographic or other organizational area. The supervisor may be consulted in the analysis of complex and/or precedent setting cases to ensure consistency in the interpretation and application of regulations and rules and to document such decisions. The work typically requires the identification of the need for changes to finance policies, as well as the authoritative interpretation and application of finance policies, rules and regulations to a broad range of complex casework.
The key performance indicators for Finance Specialists at this level include accurate performance of assigned finance operations, technical quality in terms of both substantive depth and adaptive relevance to client needs and customer service approach to problem resolution.
Representation / Work relationships
Finance Specialists may represent the unit to which assigned on related matters at internal and external meetings and conferences as requested by the supervisor.
Internally Finance Specialists are required to explain, clarify and implement financial plans and decisions taken or procedural changes planned to ensure accuracy, completeness and integrity of financial data and reporting. Contacts are with finance, budget, loans and grants, treasury, audit and programme management staff in country offices and Headquarters. External work relationships for Specialists at this level normally require an exchange of information with a range of outside sources including staff from governments, specialized agencies acting as CO host agencies, Borrowers and Cooperating institutions, external investment managers and vendors/suppliers. They are also delegated authority to make commitments on routine aspects of the assignment.
Strategic thinking and organizational development: Personal influence (Level 1)
Demonstrating Leadership: Personal leadership and attitude to change (Level 1)
Learning, sharing knowledge and innovating: Continuously seeks to learn, shares knowledge and innovates (Level 1)
Focusing on clients: Focuses on clients (Level 1)
Problem solving and decision making: Demonstrates sound problem solving and decision making ability (Level 1)
Managing time, resources and information: Manages own time, information and resources effectively (Level 1)
Team Work: Contributes effectively to the team (Level 1)
Communicating and negotiating: Communicates effectively: creates understanding between self and others (Level 1)
Building relationships and partnerships: Builds and maintains effective working relationships (Level 1)
Managing performance and developing staff: Manages staff and teams effectively (Level 1)
Excellent knowledge in modelling financial scenarios.
In-depth knowledge of the principles and concepts of financial modelling including sound understanding of cash flow projections for a financial institution
Capacity to identify and analyse systemic issues, patterns and trends, formulate options and make conclusions and recommendations to resolve same.
Analytical and organizational skills.
Demonstrated ability to communicate effectively in a diverse organization tailoring language, tone, style and format to match audience; ability to present corrective feedback in a considered and tactful manner to promote acceptance.
Ability to empathize with client managers, supervisors and staff while maintaining the integrity of financial resources, implementing internal controls and ensuring consistent and accountable application of financial policies and regulations.
Knowledge of programming languages, such as VBA, VBA.NET, T-SQL is desirable.
Minimum recruitment qualifications
• Advanced university degree from an accredited institution in finance, financial engineering, business administration or other job related field.
• At least five (5) years of progressively responsible professional experience in management of financial models for projection of cash flows and building scenario analysis ideally accrued in a multi-lateral development organization or national development organization.
• In lieu of an advanced university (master’s) level degree, a bachelor’s degree in, finance, financial engineering, or in other job-related field with at least nine (9) years of relevant professional experience.
• Excellent written and verbal communication skills in English. Working knowledge of another official language (Arabic, French, or Spanish) is desirable.