Opportunity: Associate

Common Wealth is seeking an Associate to join our team to help advance our mission to expand access to retirement security. The Associate will act as a “nimble generalist,” contributing to a wide range of client projects and initiatives across the company.

This opportunity is for you if:

  • You want to be part of a growing, mission-driven business
  • You love to learn and are self-aware about your limitations
  • You combine strong analytical abilities with strong people skills
  • You are committed to excellence and continuous improvement in the work you do
  • You don’t accept things the way they are
  • You are adaptable to a changing environment
  • You are a supportive team member
  • You love to roll up your sleeves and produce work that meets the highest standards for quality and attention to detail

What you will do

Each day will likely look different. You might spend part of your day leading or supporting a meeting with clients, another part preparing a client presentation, and another part working through a difficult problem with colleagues. Another day might include interviewing global experts on a particular retirement-related topic, conducting research to inform the design of a part of our software, and engaging with stakeholders about joining one of the plans we serve.

Expect to work on 2-3 projects at once. One project might be an advisory project or piece of thought leadership. Others might include leading an implementation of a new retirement plan, or supporting a project team working on the design of a new retirement plan.

Here are some examples of work that our current Associates have led over the past year:

  • Project managing the implementation of a retirement plan for Ontario physicians, in partnership with the Ontario Medical Association
  • Securing the commitment of nearly 70 employers to be part of the Common Good Retirement Plan if it were to become available
  • Lead author and researcher on a major research paper in collaboration with the Healthcare of Ontario Pension Plan and the National Institute on Ageing
  • Project managing the development of a retirement security platform for a major Canadian labour union
  • Serving as the lead researcher and project manager on a collaboration with the Aspen Institute’s Financial Security Program on a major report and stakeholder convening

Key skills

  • Excellence in communication: writing, PowerPoint, oral
  • Ability to build trust-based relationships and secure buy-in
  • Strong basic quantitative and business analysis skills (including basic Excel modelling and comfort with financial concepts)
  • Project management and leadership
  • Comfort in negotiating complex organizations
  • Creative problem solving
  • Ability to conduct high-quality research and learn new things quickly

Backgrounds that can be helpful in building the "nimble generalist" skill set

  • Management consulting
  • Other demanding professional services roles
  • Experience in a start-up or other small, growing organization
  • A proven track record in sales or business development
  • Evidence of entrepreneurial initiative and success

Do I need to be a pensions and retirement expert?

No, although some related knowledge and experience would be a bonus. If you have the combination of generalist skills with the ability -- and humility -- to learn technical skills and concepts, we are confident that you will be able to succeed at Common Wealth.

I've never thought about a career in pensions and retirement. Why should I consider this field?

  • Meaningful impact – The global retirement savings gap is estimated at $70 trillion. By making a dent in this problem, you can make a big difference.
  • Growth market – As longevity increases, the need for efficient retirement security is likely to grow.
  • Challenging problem – We’re looking for people who love tackling hard problems. Retirement security is considered one of the most difficult problems in finance. Solutions require creativity and a combination of disciplines, both financial and non-financial.
  • Toronto: a global centre of excellence – Common Wealth is located at the centre of one of the world’s most sophisticated ecosystems for pensions and retirement. Toronto is home to some of the world’s leading pension funds and retirement experts, as well as being a leader in financial services and technology.

Benefits of the opportunity

  • Learn what it takes to build a business. Our small team size and transparent operating style, combined with the variety of the Associate’s work, mean you will learn more and faster than in most other environments.
  • Gain expertise and experience in the retirement / pensions field at an accelerated pace. Working at Common Wealth will help you start or accelerate a career in the field of pensions and retirement -- a growing domain. Here you will work on a wide variety of some of the hardest problems in retirement finance, get exposure to all the relevant disciplines involved in retirement finance, and learn from experts and institutions from around the world.
  • Access mentorship from colleagues with a breadth and depth of experience. You will quickly have the opportunity to work directly with virtually everyone on the team, including team members with decades of experience in the retirement field. We have a relatively senior team for a start-up, and a relatively flat structure, giving Associates access to excellent mentorship and growth opportunities.
  • Opportunities to grow with the company. The “nimble generalist” model means that Associates will have a chance to sample different areas of the business. There will be opportunities for advancement across multiple areas as the company evolves.
  • Competitive total rewards. We pay competitively relative to professional services and better than many startups. Associates have the opportunity to participate in an employee stock option plan, have access to benefits, and receive regular skills-based training.

How do I apply?

To apply for the role, please send your resume and a 200-word statement of interest in a single PDF document to careers@cwretirement.com with the subject line “Associate”.