Role details

The Crown Estate Audit Chair

Application deadline 16 September 2022

Summary

Organisation
The Crown Estate
Sponsor department
HM Treasury
Location
London
Sector
Business, Finance & Skills
Skills
Business, Commercial
Number of vacancies
1
Time commitment
20 day(s) per annum
Remuneration
£25000 per annum
Length of term
4 years
Application deadline
11pm on 16 September 2022

Apply for this role

Timeline for this appointment

  1. Opening date

    22 June 2022

  2. Application deadline

    11pm on 16 September 2022

These dates are indicative and may be subject to change

Person specification

Essential criteria

Experience and skills
Candidates will need to demonstrate the following skills and attributes:
  1. Deep knowledge and experience of finance leadership in a complex and diversified business;
  2. Qualified accountant with evidence of continued professional development;
  3. A commercial approach to exercise of oversight and controls that enables businesses to grow whilst managing risk effectively;
  4. Ability to connect with and promote the Purpose and Values of The Crown Estate;
  5. Commercial and business acumen that will make a real contribution to the Board’s business across a range of strategic and operational areas;
  6. Excellent interpersonal and strategic stakeholder management skills coupled with the ability to work collaboratively with other Board members.

Role description

Introduction

The Crown Estate is driving the transformation of their business so that they continue to be at the forefront of business innovation, customer-focus and the deployment
of new technologies in a rapidly changing world.
With an asset value of £15.6 billion across a diverse and nationally important portfolio, alongside ambitious plans for growth and development in the future, the role of Board Commissioner and Chair of Audit Committee is a key position for the oversight and enablement of those plans.
The Crown Estate’s newly formed leadership team is managing the asset base to achieve or exceed market benchmark returns in a sustainable way, while at the same time preserving the heritage nature of many of them. They are grasping the opportunity to be a leader in supporting the UK towards a net zero carbon future and are helping to create modern communities and this Board Commissioner appointment is an exciting opportunity to contribute to and help influence the realisation of our goals for the development of the business across all its portfolios. 
The Crown Estate would like to identify a suitably qualified and exceptional individual with extensive experience in financial oversight and controls assurance in a diversified business with comparable scale and complexity to The Crown Estate.
Additional Information
The remuneration for a Board Commissioner is £20,000 plus an additional £5,000 for the Chair of the Audit Committee position. 
This is a Crown Appointment. The Prime Minister recommends the appointable candidate to Her Majesty, The Queen.
For further information about The Crown Estate please visit www.thecrownestate.co.uk

Introduction from the Chair

Welcome from Robin Budenberg
Thank for you for your interest in a Non-Executive Board Commissioner position at The Crown Estate. Dating back more than 260 years, we are a unique business with a diverse portfolio valued at over £15.6 billion. You can learn more about our role as active owners and managers of land and seabed, around England, Wales and Northern Ireland by reading the Candidate pack enclosed with this advert. 
The Crown Estate operates with a unique constitution, managing assets on behalf of the Crown, under an independent commercial mandate with accountability to the Treasury.
In London, we are one of the West End’s largest property owners with our real estate portfolio extending to 10 million sq ft across the workplace, retail, dining, leisure and residential sectors. Regionally, we have a broad range of assets including retail and leisure destinations, as well as industrial and business parks. We also have a significant holding of mixed-use and strategic land opportunities.
As the Manager of the seabed around England, Wales and Northern Ireland, we play a key role in enabling the UK’s offshore wind industry and sustainable development of the seabed. 
In order to support the long term growth objectives of our business we are looking for an exceptional individual with extensive finance and controls leadership experience to join our Board and become Chair of our Audit Committee.
If you have the skills and experience we are looking for, and are motivated to help The Crown Estate Board and leadership team to continue to develop and grow our business for the benefit of future generations, then I look forward to hearing from you and wish you every success with your application. 

Role description

The power and duties of the Board are prescribed in the Crown Estate Act 1961 which sets out the overall responsibility of the Board as maintaining and enhancing the value of The Crown Estate and the return obtained from it whilst having due regard to the requirements of good management.
The Board delegates day-to-day responsibility for the management of the estate to the Chief Executive but retains responsibility for:
  • Agreeing objectives, policies and strategies, and monitoring the performance of the executive management.
  • Agreeing and setting the overall strategic direction of the business for implementation through the Group Leadership Team.
  • Keeping under review the general progress and long-term development of The Crown Estate in the light of the political, economic and social environments in which it operates.
  • Controlling and monitoring the financial state and performance of The Crown Estate (including investment and financial plans), approving the objectives of The Crown Estate and its corporate plan.
  • Approving major expenditure and transactions including, for example, acquisitions, disposals and joint ventures.
  • Ensuring that The Crown Estate pursues sound and proper policies in relation to:
    •  Risk management
    •  Health and safety
    •  Internal and external audit
    •  Internal control
    •  Investment strategy
    •  Information systems
    •  Sustainability
    •  Public relations and communications
    •  Accounting
    •  Human resources
    •  Corporate governance
  • Delegating clear responsibility and authority to the Chair, Executive Committees, the Chief Executive, Board members or groups of Board members, Directors, Heads of Department and others.
  • Giving approval or support, as appropriate, to the most senior appointments/dismissals and ensuring that adequate career development, succession and remuneration arrangements exist.
  • Delegated authorities
The Board has a formal schedule of matters reserved for its decision which include:
    • Approving the annual report and accounts.
    • Approving the annual budget and strategic plan.
    • Agreeing key capital expenditure or disposals.
    • Agreeing Corporate, Investment, Finance and Operations strategies.
    • Granting or varying authority levels for Board Committees and the Chief Executive.
Certain matters are delegated under agreed terms of reference to committees of the Board. These include: Audit, Remuneration, and Nominations Committees.
Other issues are delegated to the Group Leadership Team, Management Committees and the CEO.

Organisation description

Dating back more than 260 years, The Crown Estate is a unique business with a diverse portfolio that stretches across the country.

It includes some of London’s best places to work, shop and experience, regional retail and leisure destinations, and a substantial rural portfolio.

We manage the seabed and half the foreshore around England, Wales and Northern Ireland, and play a fundamental role in the sustainable development of this national asset, including the UK’s world-leading offshore wind sector.

We are also custodians of the Windsor Estate, including the world‑renowned Windsor Great Park.

Established by an Act of Parliament, we are tasked with generating profit for the Treasury for the benefit of the nation’s finances. This has totalled £3bn over the last ten years.

Board composition

  • Robin Budenberg CBE - Chairman, Independent Non-Executive Board Member and First Commissioner 
  • Dan Labbad – Chief Executive Officer and Second Commissioner
  • James Darkins - Independent Non-Executive Board Member
  • Juliet Davenport OBE - Independent Non-Executive Board Member
  • Paula Hay-Plumb - Independent Non-Executive Board Member
  • Dame Karen Jones CBE - Independent Non-Executive Board Member and Senior Independent Board Member.
We have been recruiting for two further Board Commissioners to join our board and these appointments will be announced on our website.
  • Sara Wood  - Board Councillor

Regulation of appointment

This post is regulated by the Commissioner for Public Appointments. For more information, please refer to the Commissioner’s website 

Application and selection process

How to apply

Please see the following documents.

Candidate Pack for this role

Diversity Form

Forms to be completed

Egon Zehnder has been appointed to advise The Crown Estate on this recruitment. The closing date for applications is 23:00hrs on 16 September 2022.

In order to apply you will need to include

  1. The role title and marked Nese Guner
  2. A Curriculum Vitae which provides details of your qualifications, employment history, skills and experience;
  3. A covering letter in which you succinctly address how your skills meet the requirements of the role
  4. Names of at least two referees who may be contacted at short list stage, i.e. before final interview
  5. Confirmation from you that you are happy for Egon Zehnder or its client to undertake any necessary background checks, including career, credit and qualifications, or similar at the appropriate stage in the process. No checks will be undertaken without your prior knowledge
  6. As part of the recruitment process, due diligence reviews will be undertaken, this will include the review of social media that will be taken on candidates as they progress through the appointment process.
  7. Diversity monitoring information. This allows us to see if there are any unfair barriers to becoming a public appointee and whether there are any changes that we could make to encourage a more diverse field to apply. You can select “prefer not to say” to any question you do not wish to answer. The information you provide will not be used as part of the selection process and will not be seen by the interview panel.
  8. Disability Confident – If you want to be considered for the disability confident scheme, please indicate your reply to the forms linked above.
  9. Reasonable adjustments - requests for reasonable adjustments that you would like to the application process (if applicable).

To apply for this role please send applications:

By email to:

TheCrownEstateApplication@egonzehnder.com

By post to:

Nese Guner

Egon Zehnder

160 Victoria Street

Nova South

SW1E 5LB

London

The Advisory Assessment Panel reserves the right to only consider applications that contain all of the elements listed above, and that arrive before the published deadline for applications.

If you have any questions about the appointments or the process, please contact TheCrownEstateApplication@egonzehnder.com

Overview of the application process

Public appointments are made on merit following a fair and open competition process which is conducted in accordance with the Governance Code for Public Appointments. We will deal with your application as quickly as possible and will keep you informed at key stages. We aim to conclude the appointment process within three months of the deadline for applications – this is in accordance with the Governance Code.

The assessment process

  1. Ministers are responsible and accountable to Parliament for the public appointments made within their department. As a result, they must be consulted at every stage of the appointments process.

  2. An Advisory Assessment Panel (“Panel”) is appointed by Ministers to assist them in their decision making. The role of the Panel is to decide, objectively, which candidates meet the eligibility criteria for the role.

  3. At the shortlisting meeting the Panel will assess applications against the eligibility criteria and decide which candidates should be recommended for interview. Ministers will then be consulted on the Panel’s recommended shortlist.

  4. Once the shortlist has been agreed by Ministers, you will be advised (by e-mail) whether you have been shortlisted. Those shortlisted will be invited to an interview.

  5. The Panel will meet again to interview candidates and determine who is appointable to the role. The names of all appointable candidates are provided to Ministers. It is then for Ministers to determine merit and decide who should be appointed. In some circumstances, Ministers may choose not to appoint any candidates and re-run the competition.

  6. The Panel’s recommendations will be provided to Ministers in a report which details the assessment method used and the outcome of each interview. They will then be asked to agree on the candidate(s) who should be appointed.

  7. Once the decision on the appointment has been made, interviewed candidates will be advised of the outcome of their application. Successful candidates will be issued with their Terms & Conditions and a letter of appointment should they agree to take up the position.

Advisory Assessment Panel (AAP)

Advisory Assessment Panels (AAP) are chosen by ministers to assist them in their decision-making. These include a departmental official and an independent member. For competitions recruiting non-executive members of a board (apart from the Chair), the panel will usually include a representative from the public body concerned.
AAP’s perform a number of functions, including agreeing an assessment strategy with ministers, undertaking sifting, carrying out interviews in line with the advertised criteria and deciding objectively who meets the published selection criteria for the role before recommending to ministers which candidates they find appointable. It is then for the minister to decide who to appoint to the role.
Panel members are:
Panel Chair
Robin Budenberg – CBE Chair of The Crown Estate,  Representative of Organisation
Other Panel Members
David Fairbrother – Deputy Director, Treasury Officer of Accounts, HM Treasury 
Fleur Meijs  – Independent Member

Eligibility criteria

In general, you should have the right to work in the UK to be eligible to apply for a public appointment.

There are a small number of specialist roles that are not open to non-British citizens. Any nationality requirements will be specified in the vacancy details.

The Government expects all holders of public office to work to the highest personal and professional standards. 

You cannot be considered for a public appointment if:

  • you are disqualified from acting as a company director  (under the Company Directors Disqualification Act 1986);

  • have an unspent conviction on your criminal record;

  • your estate has been sequestrated in Scotland or you enter into a debt arrangement programme under Part 1 of the Debt Arrangement and Attachment (Scotland) Act 2002 (asp 17) as the debtor or have, under Scots law, granted a trust deed for creditors.

When you apply, you should declare if:

  • you are, or have been, bankrupt or you have made an arrangement with a creditor at any point, including the dates of this. 

  • you are subject to a current police investigation.

You must inform the sponsor department if, during the application process, your circumstances change in respect of any of the above points. 

When you apply you should also declare any relevant interests, highlighting any that you think may call into question your ability to properly discharge the responsibilities of the role you are applying for. You should also declare any other matters which may mean you may not be able to meet the requirements of the Code of Conduct of Board Members (see Outside interests and reputational issues section below)
If you need further advice, please contact TheCrownEstateApplication@egonzehnder.com

Security clearance

The successful candidate may be required to undertake Baseline Personnel Security Standard checks in line with the Civil Service guidelines. Where this applies, candidates will be notified during the appointment process. Further information on National Security Vetting can be found on the Gov.uk website here

Additional information for candidates

Equality and diversity

We encourage applications from talented individuals from all backgrounds and across the whole of the United Kingdom. Boards of public bodies are most effective when they reflect the diversity of views of the society they serve and this is an important part of the Government’s levelling up agenda.
We collect data about applicants’ characteristics and backgrounds, including information about people’s educational and professional backgrounds, so that we can make sure we are attracting a broad range of people to these roles and that our selection processes are fair for everyone. Without this information, it makes it difficult to see if our outreach is working, if the application process is having an unfair impact on certain groups and whether changes are making a positive difference.
When you submit your application, your responses are collected by the Cabinet Office and the government department(s) managing your application. The data is used to produce management information about the diversity of applicants. You can select “prefer not to say” to any question you do not wish to answer. The information you provide will not be seen by the Advisory Assessment Panel who review applications against the advertised criteria and conduct interviews.

Disability confident

We are a member of the Government’s Disability Confident scheme. We use the Disability Confident scheme symbol, along with other like-minded employers, to show our commitment to good practice in employing people with a disability. The scheme helps recruit and retain disabled people. 
As part of implementing the scheme, we guarantee an interview for anyone with a disability whose application meets the minimum criteria for the role and who has asked that their application is considered under the scheme. Indicating that you wish your application to be considered under the scheme will in no way prejudice your application. By ‘minimum criteria,’ we mean that you must provide evidence which demonstrates that you meet the level of competence required under each of the essential criteria, as set out in the job-advert.
When you apply you will have the opportunity to select if you would like your application considered under this scheme.

Reasonable adjustments

Government departments are committed to making reasonable adjustments to make sure applicants with disabilities, physical or mental health conditions, or other needs are not substantially disadvantaged when applying for public appointments. This can include changing the recruitment process to enable people who wish to apply to do so.
Some examples of common changes are:
  • ensuring that application forms are available in different or accessible formats;
  • making adaptations to interview locations;
  • allowing candidates to present their skills and experience in a different way;
  • giving detailed information on the selection / interview process in advance to allow candidates time to prepare themselves;
  • allowing support workers, for example sign language interpreters;
  • making provision for support animals to attend.
When you apply you will have the opportunity to request reasonable adjustments to the application process.

Principles of public life

Holders of public office are expected to adhere to and uphold the Seven Principles of Public Life https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/the-7-principles-of-public-life/the-7-principles-of-public-life--2. These are:

  1. SELFLESSNESS - Holders of public office should act solely in terms of the public interest. They should not do so in order to gain financial or other material benefits for themselves, their family or their friends;
  2. INTEGRITY - Holders of public office should not place themselves under any financial or other obligation to outside individuals or organisations that might seek to influence them in the performance of their official duties;
  3. OBJECTIVITY - In carrying out public business, including making public appointments, awarding contracts, or recommending individuals for rewards and benefits, holders of public office should make choices on merit;
  4. ACCOUNTABILITY - Holders of public office are accountable for their decisions and actions to the public and must submit themselves to whatever scrutiny is appropriate to their office;
  5. OPENNESS - Holders of public office should be as open as possible about all the decisions and actions that they take. They should give reasons for their decisions and restrict information only when the wider public interest clearly demands;
  6. HONESTY - Holders of public office have a duty to declare any private interests relating to their public duties and to take steps to resolve any conflicts arising in a way that protects the public interest;
  7. LEADERSHIP - Holders of public office should promote and support these principles by leadership and example.

Code of conduct for board members

The Government expects all holders of public office to work to the highest personal and professional standards. In support of this, all non-executive board members of UK public bodies must abide by the principles set out in the Code of Conduct for Board Members of Public Bodies. The Code sets out the standards expected from those who serve on the boards of UK public bodies and will form part of your terms and conditions of appointment.

Management of outside interests and consideration of reputational issues

Holders of public office are expected to adhere and uphold the Seven Principles of Public Life and the Code of Conduct for Board Members of Public Bodies. Before you apply you should consider carefully: 
  • any outside interests that you may have, such as shares you may hold in a company providing services to government; 
  • any possible reputational issues arising from your past actions or or public statements that you have made; 
  • and/or - any political roles you hold or political campaigns you have supported; 
which may call into question your ability to do the role you are applying for.
You will need to answer relevant questions in relation to these points when making an application. Many conflicts of interest can be satisfactorily resolved and declaring a potential conflict does not prevent you from being interviewed. If you are shortlisted for an interview, the panel will discuss any potential conflicts with you during that interview, including any proposals you may have to mitigate them and record that in their advice to ministers. Alongside your own declaration, we will conduct appropriate checks, as part of which we will consider anything in the public domain related to your conduct or professional capacity. This may include searches of previous public statements and social media, blogs or any other publicly available information. The successful candidate(s) may be required to give up any conflicting interests and their other business and financial interests may be published in line with organisational policies. 
Details of declared political activity will be published when the appointment is announced, as required by the Governance Code (political activity is not a bar to appointment, but must be declared).

Status of appointment

You will not become a member of the Civil Service. You will not be subject to the provisions of employment law.

Appointment and tenure of office

Appointments are for the term set out in this advert, with the possibility of re-appointment for a further term, at the discretion of Ministers.  Any re-appointment is subject to satisfactory annual appraisals of performance during the first term in the post. If re-appointed, the total time served in post will not exceed more than two terms or serve in any one post for more than ten years

Remuneration, allowances and abatement

Remuneration for this role is treated as employment income and will be subject to tax and National Insurance contributions, both of which will be deducted at source under PAYE before you are paid.
You can claim reimbursement for reasonable and receipted travel and subsistence costs necessarily incurred in carrying out the role. [

Pension and redundancy

This is an office holder appointment and does not attract any benefits under any Civil Service Pension Scheme. You will not be eligible for redundancy pay as you are not an employee. No other arrangements have been made for compensation upon termination because an office holder who is appointed for a limited duration would have no expectation of serving beyond that period.

Application feedback

We will notify you of the status of your application. We regret that we are only able to offer detailed feedback to candidates who have been unsuccessful at the interview stage.

How to complain

We aim to process all applications as quickly as possible and to treat all applicants with courtesy.
Please contact The Crown Estate resourcing team in the first instance if you would like to make a complaint regarding your application at careers@thecrownestate.co.uk. They will acknowledge your complaint upon receipt and respond within 15 working days.  

How to complain to Office of the Commissioner for Public Appointments (OCPA)

If you are not content with the appointing department’s response, [and this appointment is regulated by the Commissioner for Public Appointments], you may wish to further complain to the Commissioner at publicappointments@csc.gov.uk,Further information on how the Commissioner handles complaints can be found on the Commissioner for Public Appointments’ website www.publicappointmentscommissioner.independent.gov.uk/complaints

Data protection

The Cabinet Office will use your data in line with our privacy policy.

Contact details

TheCrownEstateApplication@egonzehnder.com