Pensions Regulator  

Regulator wants chief with 'thick skin'

Regulator wants chief with 'thick skin'

The Pensions Regulator (TPR) is on the lookout for a chief executive with 'thick skin', the watchdog's non-executive chairman has said.

Speaking at the Society of Pension Professionals' (SPP) annual conference today (21 September), Mark Boyle said the regulator was looking to hire someone "who is decisive and resilient, who has got thick skin with the ability to be bold and make tough decisions externally and internally when necessary".

This was one of the four characteristics the successful candidate will have to hold, he said.

He said the watchdog was looking for "a delivery focused leader, someone who can translate policy initiatives and programme outputs such as ‘TPR future’ into active regulation".

The regulator is also searching for an accomplished communicator and someone who is "collegiate".

TPR’s CEO Lesley Titcomb announced her departure from the regulator in June, saying it was personal choice not Parliamentary pressure that had led her to make this decision.

TPR has been heavily criticised for its role in the Carillion collapse, with MPs accusing it of making "hollow threats" and failing “in all its objectives".

Mr Boyle said: "TPR's profile is higher than it has ever been, and I don't see that changing for the foreseeable future. We really want to be able to articulate our message, be it to the media, to Parliament, to wider audiences.

"One of Lesley [Titcomb’s] legacies is that she built a very strong team and we need someone who can come in and work with that team in place at the regulator."

Mr Boyle said the search for a new CEO was underway, and the regulator is looking to shortlist candidates by mid to late October with the goal to make an offer by the end of 2018.

According to the job advert, the new CEO will receive a salary and bonus of up to £222,500 per year, plus Civil Service Pension arrangements.

Mr Boyle concluded: "Continuity is going to be key. The direction the regulator is taking has been set out very clearly and what we want is someone to come in and take the baton from Lesley and carry on with that change."

maria.espadinha@ft.com