Chief Executive Officer of the CERN Pension Fund (DG-2020-116-LD)

  • Geneva, Switzerland
  • Contract

Company Description

At CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research, physicists and engineers are probing the fundamental structure of the universe. Using the world's largest and most complex scientific instruments, they study the basic constituents of matter - fundamental particles that are made to collide together at close to the speed of light. The process gives physicists clues about how particles interact, and provides insights into the fundamental laws of nature. Find out more on

Job Description


Do you have international pension fund management experience at senior level? Are you able to lead and motivate a diverse team of people responsible for activities from investments to benefits administration and client services? Are you capable of developing and promoting a compelling vision and managing multiple strategic stakeholders across and within the organisation? Then why not apply to become the next Chief Executive Officer of CERN's Pension Fund. Take part!

The purpose of the Fund is to insure its members from the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) and the European Organisation for Astronomical Research in the Southern Hemisphere (ESO) and their families against the economic consequences of old age and disability. The Fund currently has some 3000 active members and the same number of beneficiaries. Operating as a defined benefit capitalized scheme, the CERN Pension Fund's assets currently exceed CHF 4 billion.

The Fund is an integral part of CERN but with operational autonomy. The oversight of the fund is entrusted to the Pension Fund Governing Board and the management is entrusted to the Chief Executive Officer, who works under the supervision of the former. The Board is also assisted by an Investment Committee and an Actuarial & Technical Committee.

Further details and information regarding the organization of the pension fund (governance, investment principles, benefits structure etc.) can be found on   


As CEO of CERN’s Pension Fund, you will act as the legal representative of CERN for all matters relating to the Fund. Under the supervision of the Governing Board, to which you will be accountable, you will be responsible for the day-to-day management of the Fund. 

You will be head of the Fund's Management Unit and have a status analogous to that of Head of Department. The staff of the Management Unit are members of CERN personnel and, as such subject to CERN Staff Rules and Regulations.

In particular, you will:

  • Apply and interpret the Rules and Regulations of the Fund, in consultation with the Governing Board and CERN Legal Service.
  • Implement the decisions of the Governing Board, the Investment Committee and the Actuarial and Technical Committee.
  • Act as secretary of the Governing Board and its subordinate committees, in this capacity, prepare the proposals, statements and decisions of the Governing Board, and assist the other Committees.
  • Prepare and submit to the Governing Board, for its consideration, the Annual Report and financial statements of the Fund.
  • Deal with the key issues relating to the provision of a benefits service, the actuarial and investment aspects of the Pension Fund as well as those concerning the overall financial position of the Fund.
  • Lead a management team that will include a Chief Investment Officer (CIO) and a Head of Benefits & Accounting who will, respectively, provide expert knowledge and support on the asset and liability sides of the balance sheet.


Master's degree or equivalent relevant experience in the field of Finance, Economics or a related field.


  • Experience in a senior management position including the management and/or supervision of pension funds.
  • Experience in one or more of the technical areas relating to pension fund management, including the management of capitalized public or private pension funds.
  • Experience in an international or public sector organization would be an asset.

Technical competencies:

  • Development of vision and strategy.
  • Actuarial studies: (methodologies & practices).
  • Risk management.
  • Supervision of pension funds.
  • Financial management.
  • Investment strategy.
  • Strategic & tactical asset allocation.
  • Accounting: operation of benefits.

Behavioural competencies:

  • Creating vision and strategic partnerships: promoting and communicating a compelling vision for the future; inspiring a sense of purpose and participation in a ground breaking and unique experience; developing organisational strategy by anticipating future trends and taking a long term view of issues that impact CERN and its environment; demonstrating an ability to work within the CERN structure and liaise with the Council and the different committees and groups as well as showing respect, diplomacy and tact with external partners.
  • Leading with strength and credibility: acting as role model and leading by example; using senior level competence and credibility in the interests of all stakeholders; demonstrating authority and being accountable for actions, decisions and effective functioning of the team; making timely decisions that balance systematic analysis with decisiveness; dealing with difficulties in a timely manner.
  • Optimising resources: effectively managing budget, optimizing human and financial resources; demonstrating awareness of financial issues affecting the Organization; analysing human and financial implications before taking decisions..       
  • Creating synergies within the team: ensuring that resources are used cost-effectively, transparently and to good purpose.
  • Bringing the best out of people: creating a common mind-set and promoting team spirit; promoting individual differences to build successful teams; encouraging ideas and initiatives from others; fostering collaboration and team cohesion.

Language skills:

  • Excellent knowledge of English is required: spoken and written, with the ability to understand and speak in professional contexts, to draft texts for publications, official communications and to make oral presentations.
  • Knowledge of French would be an advantage.

Additional Information

Eligibility and closing date:

Diversity has been an integral part of CERN's mission since its foundation and is an established value of the Organization. Employing a diverse workforce is central to our success. We welcome applications from all Member States and Associate Member States.

This vacancy will be filled as soon as possible, and applications should normally reach us no later than 29.11.2020

Employment Conditions

Contract type: Limited duration contract (3 years). Subject to certain conditions, holders of limited-duration contracts may apply for an indefinite position.

The Chief Executive Officer shall be appointed by the Council, on the proposal of the Governing Board, for an initial term of office of three years.  The Council may decide, on the proposal of the Governing Board, to reappoint the Chief Executive Officer for further terms of office.

Job grade: 9

Job reference: DG-2020-116-LD

Benchmark Job Title: Principal Financial Professional

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