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Finance Officer

Job Description

About the job

ABOUT WFP

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The United Nations World Food Programme is the world’s largest humanitarian agency fighting hunger worldwide. The mission of WFP is to help the world achieve Zero Hunger in our lifetimes. Every day, WFP works worldwide to ensure that no child goes to bed hungry and that the poorest and most vulnerable, particularly women and children, can access the nutritious food they need.

ORGANIZATIONAL CONTEXT

This non-rotational job is located in the Treasury Branch FINT within the Corporate Finance Division at Rome Headquarters and reports to the Chief Treasury Branch FINT.

JOB PURPOSE

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The position provides in-depth technical support and output in steering the WFP’s treasury management to ensure that cash flow is effectively managed to meet WFP’s operational requirements while maintaining the security of WFP’s cash resources, optimising the returns on those resources, and minimizing exposure to risks.

Under the general supervision and guidance of the Chief Treasury Branch, the Finance Officer contributes to the formulation and implementation of the unit’s and division’s overall strategies and objectives, in all Treasury areas and requires an in-depth knowledge of external financial risks, complex financial instruments, and regulatory environments. The position includes acting in an advisory capacity to the FIN Director and Deputy Director, as required.

The position may require acting as supervisor for branch staff, their assessment, coaching, and training, promoting staff development, and assisting in the administration of the branch.

KEY ACCOUNTABILITIES (not all-inclusive)

The position manages directly or assists the FINT Branch Chief in the following technical Treasury Management activities requiring specialized knowledge:

Corporate Cash Management

  • Treasury Operations Management (forecasting of operational liquidity needs; CO replenishments, 1st and 2nd level approvals for disbursements related to fund movements, payroll, vendor payments, replenishments; virtual credit card authorisations; opening, closing, and maintenance of bank accounts; incoming funds identification and allocation; providing support to all COs).
  • Maintenance and adherence to Treasury policies and procedures in line with business processes;
  • Provide operational and policy guidance to field offices on treasury and cash management issues;
  • Support relationships with financial services providers and oversight support on bank services providers used in field offices.

Foreign Exchange Management

  • Detailed knowledge of financial instruments to manage FX risks with a particular focus on emerging market currencies given increased volumes from service provision activities by country offices;
  • Provide general guidance to WFP Country Offices on cash management, foreign exchange activities, and risk mitigation strategies.
  • Preparation and implementation of proposals on foreign exchange management such as hedging strategies and other FX risk mitigating strategies for Investment Committee and senior management;
  • Knowledge and clear understanding of regulatory and market developments in FX markets and how these may impact WFP operations;
  • Execution, confirmation, settlement of developed and developing market currency transactions (linked to CO replenishment, on behalf of CO or for HQ requirements);
  • Monitoring counterparties and currencies traded to capitalize on opportunities for more competitive bidding and diversification, enhancing operational procedures;
  • Building strong relationships with key treasury stakeholders in the UN system and leveraging UN network of Treasuries to manage WFP FX risk.

Systems & Innovation

  • Provide training, guidance, and support to field offices on the integration of the Bank Communication Management (BCM) module in WINGS allowing the integration of SAP and external banking systems for straight-through processing of payments and automatic bank statement uploads via SWIFT;
  • Support Country Offices in the reviewing and approving requests to use local banking partner Electronic Payment Systems to ensure banking service business continuity for field offices and their compliance;
  • Lead digitalization initiatives and projects as set out in the 2024 Finance Strategy including, but not limited to, mobile money, form digitalisation, RPA (robotic process automation), and other straight-through processes.

Financial Accounting and Reporting

  • Investment Accounting (generation and posting of accounting entries related to investments, STRIPS, and FX forwards; reconciliation of accounts against custodian balances; identification and eradication of systematic sources of errors; schema design; IPSAS implementation; and coordination with the accounting division on quarterly and annual financial statements production)

Financial Risk Management & Internal Control

Country party / credit risk management

  • Formalise credit rating monitoring across WFP exposures, including guidance for field offices banking with unrated financial institutions;
  • Contribute to preparedness actions such as early warning, risk analysis, and contingency planning and make recommendations, including periodically monitoring Country Office data related to Cash Management, BCM usage, Bank activity/balance, and ZBA monitoring.
  • Support field offices and relevant HQ units in counterparty risk management and optimise the corporate bank account infrastructure to reflect changing needs;
  • Monitor local markets to capture changes in political / regulatory / financial risks;
  • Produce reporting on corporate counterparty and credit exposures;
  • Support WFP offices when mapping directed contributions against applicable sanctions lists. This also includes preparing financial Flows, including disbursement report and payment receipt confirmation;
  • Assess financial risks from Performance Bonds;
  • Provide guidance to field offices regarding authenticity checks needed to ensure the validity of performance bonds.

Audit Query Management

  • Addressing internal and external audit inquiries;
  • Redesigning business processes for stronger internal controls;
  • Managing the implementation of outstanding audit recommendations.

WFP Representation

  • Participating in various internal and external events including the Investment Committee, Investment Advisory Panel, UN Working Group Common Treasury Services, Investment Manager due to diligence visits, and consultations with advisory firms).

STANDARD MINIMUM QUALIFICATIONS

Education:

  • Master’s degree or equivalent professional designation in either Finance, Banking, Accounting, or Investment Management. A Chartered Financial Analyst designation or an equivalent is preferred.

Experience:

  • 5 years of postgraduate progressively responsible professional experience in treasury, cash management, finance, foreign exchange trading, and/or investment management.

Knowledge & Skills:

  • Solid understanding of multiple financial risks, complex financial instruments, and techniques used to evaluate external management performance and financial market regulatory issues.
  • Ability to lead, coach, and motivate large and diverse teams and drive improving performance.
  • Ability to assimilate and analyse complex issues to develop strategies and policies.
  • Demonstrated ability to build and leverage external partnerships to strengthen the ability to achieve shared objectives
  • General knowledge of UN system policies, rules, regulations, and procedures.

Language:

  • International Professional: Fluency (level C) in the English language. Intermediate knowledge (level B) of a second official UN language: Arabic, Chinese, French, Russian, Spanish, and/or WFP’s working language, Portuguese is desirable.

TERMS AND CONDITIONS

Non-Rotational Nature

Mobility is and continues to be a core contractual requirement in WFP. This position is however classified as “nonrotational”

which means the incumbent shall not be subject to the regular reassignment process unless the position is

reclassified as rotational.

The selected candidate will be employed on a fixed-term contract with a probationary period of one year.

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