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					                                       JOB DESCRIPTION

JOB TITLE       Economic Adviser             GRADE                  7
AREA            M&P                          GROUP                  Mergers
LOCATION        Fleetbank House              DATE                   March 22nd 2010

RESPONSIBLE FOR— PEOPLE             Potential for supervision of an Assistant Economist
RESPONSIBLE FOR – BUDGET            none
The Office of Fair Trading role is to make markets work well for consumers. Its Mergers team
investigates up to 150 individual merger cases each year to assess whether they may harm
consumers by significantly reducing competition. Where this may be the case it either accepts
undertakings from the merged firm to resolve the problems identified or refers the case for
further review by the Competition Commission.

The role is for an economist to act as the lead economist on a range of cases as well as
contributing expertise to cases of other members of the team. It is an excellent opportunity
for an economist to apply economic knowledge in a very practical way. The caseload is
diverse and offers first-hand experience of commercial issues across many sectors, involving
regular contact with senior business people and their advisers. You would be part of a 10-
strong economics team.

Main responsibilities
    •   Investigate and provide oral and written economic advice on a range of merger cases.

    •   Provide economic input to cases being considered by the European Commission,
        including contributing to development of a UK view for Advisory Committee meetings.

    •   Where appropriate, supervise the work and development of our Assistant Economists,
        including potentially a formal staff management role in due course.

Typically there are two people responsible for any given case, an economist and case officer.
The economist has the lead role in the research and analysis. The level of responsibility is
therefore high.

Cases are dealt with according to tight statutory timetables and economists can be working
on between three and five cases at any one time. Key tasks for the case economist are:

•   reviewing the written submission provided by the merging parties
•   identifying further questions to ask them
•   identifying questions to ask of third parties such as customers and competitors
•   drawing together available research on the relevant markets
•   analysing responses to questions and following-up as necessary
•   writing an economic advice paper setting out findings.

In cases where significant competition issues may arise the case team present their findings
for discussion at a Case Review Meeting involving senior staff from across the OFT. This then
informs the final decision (normally taken by John Fingleton or Amelia Fletcher) as to whether
or not to refer the case to the Competition Commission.

The economist's written advice provides a key input to the published paper setting out the
OFT's decision and the reasoning behind it.

PERSON SPECIFICATION - Qualifications, Experience, Knowledge & Skills


    •     A degree in economics with first or upper second class honours, or a postgraduate
          degree in economics or a related subject (essential).


    •     Significant practical work experience in the economic analysis of markets (essential)

    •     Previous experience in delivering projects to time in an analytical environment

    •     Demonstrable experience of working effectively within multi-disciplinary teams

    •     Experience of the economics of competition and of merger analysis (desirable)


    •     Good knowledge of Industrial Organisation (essential)

    •     Knowledge of the work of the OFT (desirable)


    •     Ability to gather, research and analyse information impartially and effectively
          identifying all relevant aspects and looking beyond the obvious (essential)

    •     Ability to make sound, impartial and timely judgements, showing an awareness of
          implications and to offer innovative ideas and solutions (essential)

    •     Ability to plan and organise work effectively and to overcome obstacles to delivery

    •     Strong written and oral communication skills including an ability effectively to
          communicate economic concepts to a range of audiences (essential)

    •     Ability to work effectively with colleagues and interested parties including a
          willingness to contribute to the work of the team beyond personal responsibilities
                              GRADE 6 / 7


•   Set Direction - Inspire with vision, Seize opportunity, Take tough decisions.
•   Deliver Results - Focus on impact, Challenge & improve, Engage stakeholders
•   Develop our People - Cultivate innovation, Get the best from everyone, Grow from
•   Live our Values - Self awareness, self confidence, team working

                                People Management

•   Understands & communicates the organisation’s priorities & ensures people’s
    objectives are aligned with them.
•   Coaches & develops individuals & manages own development.
•   Employs a range of appropriate techniques to promote equality of opportunity &
•   Recognises & rewards good performance, & tackles poor performance.
•   Knows how & when to engage with HR experts in tackling people issues.

                               Financial Management

•   Can describe the organisation’s business model & identify own contributions to its
    financial objectives.
•   Ensures personal delivery against plan & forecasts accuracy. Sets & influences
    stretching targets for improving the value achieved from resources inputs (people,
    budget & assets).
•   Works confidently with financial data when making decisions: interprets trends,
    issues & risks. Promotes & enforces appropriate business rules.
•   Leads by example when incurring expenditure & managing business relations & risks.
    Promotes & enforces appropriate business rules.
•   Engages with finance experts, & knows when to provide them with routine or
    exceptional information.

                         Programme & Project Management
•   Understands & uses PPM techniques, including risk management.
•   Understands & contributes to definition & delivery of programme benefits & business
    case development.
•   Plans & delivers strong relationship with stakeholders ensuring that the organisation is
    a respected customer & provider.
•   Understands the purpose & the use of Peer & OGC Gateways Reviews.
•   Engages with PPM expert & in acquisition projects, procurement/ commercial experts.

                               Analysis & Use of Evidence

•   Identifies & uses various sources of evidence (& feedback) to support outputs.
•   Understands the validity, relevance & limitations of different sources of evidence.
•   Uses evidence to evaluate policies, projects & programmes.
•   Understands & can interpret the most commonly used methods for summarising data.
•   Engages with relevant experts to gather & evaluate evidence.

                                    Strategic Thinking

•   Identifies & prioritises personal objectives that are consistent with the strategic vision
    of the organisation.
•   Identifies & reports potential risks in relation to the achievement of strategic
•   Develops measures & methods for monitoring & evaluating performance against the
    strategic plan. Identifies good practice & areas for improvement in strategy &
    communicates these to colleagues & key stakeholders.

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