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Deputy Secretary

Vacancy Introduction

We’re looking for a Deputy Secretary to join our Secretariat Team. You’ll support the Company Secretary (and wider department) in the provision and delivery of a comprehensive and professional service, ensuring regulatory compliance, and high standards of governance, across the Society.

We’re the largest independent retailer in the East of England, operating a number of different retail businesses and undertaking various other commercial activities. Furthermore, we’re a co-operative, meaning how we’re governed and do business is different.

As such, this is a varied and challenging role so, if you’ve got experience of providing Secretariat support at Board level with aspirations of further developing your skills and knowledge, we’d like to hear from you.

Role Responsibility

As Deputy Secretary, you’ll support the Secretariat Team and wider by Society by:

  • Providing advice and assistance to ensure the compliance of the Society in areas including (but not limited to) Data Protection, Money Laundering, FCA Regulations and licensing.
  • Monitoring and maintaining compliance with the Co-operative and Community Benefits Societies Act, and Companies Act (including statutory filings).
  • Making arrangements for the Society’s Annual and Special General Meetings.
  • Supporting Board Committee and other Director and Officer meetings, preparing board papers and agendas, producing meeting minutes, etc.
  • Leading the Contract Governance Working Group, ensuring best practice in relation to the Society’s contractual agreements.
  • Supporting the Society’s Board elections.
  • Producing relevant information for the Society’s Annual Report.
  • Supporting governance matters relating to the Society’s legacy Defined Benefit Pension Scheme.
  • Arranging (and monitoring) insurance cover for the Society and overseeing claim handling procedures.

The Ideal Candidate

As above, the Deputy Secretary should have experience of providing support at Board level, alongside:

  • Member of the Chartered Governance Institute (ICSA) - or willing to obtain qualification / membership.
  • Practical knowledge of relevant legal and regulatory requirements, particularly Companies Act.
  • IT literate with experience of Companies House Web Filing and other regulatory portals.
  • Effective interpersonal and influencing skills; able to manage multiple stakeholders with experience of working at Executive and Board level.
  • Pro-active and solutions focused; able to identify, design and implement new ways of working.
  • Organised approach with high attention to detail.
  • Able to produce high-quality written reports, meeting minutes, etc.
  • Driven and self-motivated.
  • Commitment to CPD and keeping up to date with developments and best practice.

Experience of working within a Co-operative (preferably retail) and knowledge of the Co-operative and Community Benefits Societies Act 2014 would be particularly desirable, but not essential.

Package Description

We’re offering the Deputy Secretary a competitive salary and company car (or equivalent cash allowance), along with other enhanced benefits. Further details will be discussed in more advance stages of the recruitment process.

Working Arrangements

Although we’re currently working from home due to COVID-19, this role will normally be based from the Society’s Head Office, Wherstead Park (on the outskirts of Ipswich, Suffolk). However, we understand the importance of balancing work commitments with other activities and responsibilities, which is why we’re happy to consider ongoing flexible working arrangements.

About the Company

As a co-op we’re a different type of business. We’re owned by our members and we work for the benefit of people and our communities, not just for profit.  We’re driven by our democratic values which are based around being fair, doing the right thing and caring for all those we deal with. This includes our customers, our suppliers, our environment and each other. 

We expect colleagues who work with us to share these values. We’re still a business and we work in a very competitive area so it’s still important that we’re efficient and work to the highest professional standards.

We’ve been able to achieve success for over 150 years because of our people and we encourage applications from individuals from all backgrounds; you reflect the communities we serve. If you would like to join us on the next part of our journey, please follow the instructions on how to apply.

East of England Co-op


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