Senior Assistant Company Secretary – funds portfolio

London, UK

Company Description

At Octopus we’re transforming the industries we operate in and improving the lives of millions of people. We’ve built market-leading positions in a number of specialist sectors, including smaller company financing, renewable energy, healthcare and property finance. We employ in excess of 750 people and manage more than £8.3 billion on behalf of more than 50,000 investors. Our products don’t just help real people solve real life problems, they also make a positive impact on the world around us.

The Octopus Group incorporates Octopus Energy, Octopus Real Estate Octopus Investments, Octopus Ventures and Octopus Labs. Our aim is to have an impact in everything we do, and to make a vital contribution to the UK economy by helping people, companies and institutions generate wealth. And we’re always on the look-out for smart, talented people who share our values.

Job Description

About the Role

Manage the key Alternative Investment Funds in the portfolio– which includes the recently merged and streamlined Healthcare and Property portfolio and the new CREDF funds.

Manage the Octopus Energy 5 key companies. This company has a minority investor which is a listed Australian entity and therefore requires good governance procedures.

This role involves relationship building with the third party fund administrators based in Guernsey and Jersey. A key part of the role is to build an advisory relationship with the investment management funds in the business, not be seen as “just administrative”.

Act as advisor the legal team at Octopus Energy on all Company Act and Corporate Governance arrangements.

Drive and own good governance structures, building relationships and proactively offering support to the investment fund managers - who may be themselves be new to the governance.

Act as a true “business partner”, who will assist in embracing, driving and managing essential governance requirements, not operating as “just” a control function.

Assist with ensuring robust processes are developed across the team and appreciate the importance of these in streamlining the teams work freeing the team up to focus on added value high level work.


Key responsibilities

Oversight the portfolio of c. 5 funds which requires liaison with offshore third party administrators

Provide advise on all corporate transactions that take place on the portfolio, these often involve share for share exchanges, share purchases, strike offs and  share allotments. This is in addition to companies act statutory compliance, for example filing report and accounts and confirmation statements.

  • Attend the board meetings for three oversight committees in this portfolio (c. 12 meeting per annum)
  • Diarise the Board and Committee meetings 
  • Draft Board procedures and guidelines, e.g. matters reserved, managing conflicts of interest, etc.
  • Supervise the Production and distribution of Board and Committee agenda and papers
  • Supervise the Board forward planner: to ensure strategic and topical matters are reviewed by the Board periodically
  • Supervise the Board and Committee decisions and action items: to ensure these are communicated and followed-up appropriately
  • Provision of advice on all compliance and corporate governance matters ensuring correct procedures are followed and keep the Board appropriately informed on relevant legislative and regulatory developments
  • Implement corporate transactions must be proficient in  technical legal advise on structuring transactions such as share for share exchanges, allotment of shares, capital reductions and share buy backs.
  • Ensure subsidiary companies are administered in line with the companies  act
  • Monitor and ensure compliance with the Companies Acts, Listing Regime (for VCT’s), and release of information under the Disclosure and Transparency Rules and also new corporate governance legislation/regulation/guidance
  • Mange the  year end reporting process for Annual Reports & Accounts
  • Ensure Group policies are kept up to date and effectively implemented
  • Assist with the management of the trainees in the team and play a key role in developing the team’s overall capabilities and the careers and skills of the function.


Personal Qualities

  • Emotional intelligence and an enquiring mind – that seeks solutions and implements them
  • The ability to make the complex simple – with the ability to give a pithy articulation for the Board and Executive with appropriate recommendations for action, as required
  • Visibility – with an engaging, collaborative manner, building credibility and becoming a “go to person”
  • Horizon scanning for what might impact the Board and the company next – and then researching options, garnering best practice, forming a view and making recommendations
  • Proactivity - not simply turning the handle on an efficient machine but looking for opportunity, having ideas and showing initiative; in other words becoming a “valued contributor” and a “culture carrier”
  • Synthesising regulatory/governance with a wider business viewpoint
  • Giving rounded and decisive advice, informed by commercial realities, where appropriate
  • Bringing energy and to the execution of the role
  • Demonstrate strategic engagement – but operational attention to detail

Person Specification

  • Qualified Chartered Secretary or lawyer by background, but will have extensive practical experience of working as an Assistant Company Secretary in either a listed environment, investment fund or a law firm’s Company Secretariat team.
  • ICSA or ACIS qualified
  • Demonstrate specialist knowledge, authority and credibility on the Companies Act and corporate governance, plus solid experience in share plans and executive reward schemes.
  • Well-organised and a forward planner – “owning” the annual cycle of the statutory entities and  ensure timely forward consideration of issues and tasks, generally, not waiting to be asked but taking the initiative.
  • Appropriate demeanour to build relationships with the Board, Board Committees and other key members of the Executive as an action orientated trusted advisor.
  • Delivery focused self-starter who can actively promote teamwork to attain goals and ensure execution while encouraging individual contributions and decision making.
  • Ability to give simple advice to increase knowledge of team on corporate governance and corporate law matters
  • Flexibility and an engaging, collaborative manner – critical for building relationships and being seen as a trusted advisor, building links with the business.
  • Results driven, looking for continuous improvement and bringing an eye for simplification of processes and procedures.
  • Excellent written and oral communications.
  • Attention to detail, including with respect to interpreting and applying rules, regulations or legislative requirements, as well as in designing  and maintaining effective governance arrangements

Additional Information

Our Values and DNA  

At Octopus we don't just focus on what we do but also how we do it. Everyone shares our values of being straightforward, helpful and bold. And while these are the principles that guide us as an organisation, our DNA goes even further, by revealing our inner strengths: 

- We are loyal: we fully buy-in to the company's vision and believe in everything that Octopus stands for.

 - We are respectful: we live and breathe the Octopus values of being helpful, straightforward and bold. 

- We are resilient: we have an inner strength that means we never give in. 

- We are intellectually curious: we seek to understand how the world works and were always learning, adapting and improving. 

- We understand who our customers are: and because we know them really well, we always give them our very best.  

What we offer  

Octopus has built an exciting and inclusive high-performance culture where employees feel empowered. This means we welcome discussions around flexible working hours. We also understand the value of diversity, and we have a team dedicated to promoting gender, ethnic, socio-economic, LGBT and disability equality, to make sure we back up our words with actions. All Octopus employees are given the opportunity to develop new skills, aim higher and accelerate their careers.