View Vacancy - Regional Director for Canada - Invest Northern Ireland
Invest Northern Ireland (Invest NI) (www.investni.com) is the Northern Ireland government’s principal business development agency. As part of the Department for the Economy (DfE), Invest NI has responsibility for supporting the growth of the Northern Ireland economy through the development of its businesses locally and internationally, bringing greater economic benefit and prosperity to this region of the UK.
The recently released “10X Economy” by DfE sets out the overall vision for the future of Northern Ireland’s economy. Achieving the vision requires a new approach to trade and investment which has been outlined in “Trade and Investment for a 10X Economy”. At its core our ambition is to harness trade and investment as a catalyst for inclusive, green growth in Northern Ireland to support our economic transformation over the next decade. We want to use trade and investment as a key driver to increase wealth, prosperity and living standards in Northern Ireland.
Invest NI’s international offices and overseas representatives are responsible for supporting Northern Ireland companies in developing business opportunities overseas, increasing export sales and developing collaborations. They are also responsible for marketing and promoting Northern Ireland as an inward investment location. Invest NI works closely with a wide range of clients including local businesses, multi-national companies, universities and colleges. Invest NI also works closely with business associations and stakeholders such as the UK’s Department for International Trade (DIT), Chambers of Commerce, industry bodies, and local councils in Northern Ireland.
Invest NI currently has a presence in North America and is seeking to strengthen its operations in Canada. Invest NI is now looking to appoint a Regional Director or Country Manager position. Reporting to Invest NI’s Head of Territory for the Americas (based in New York, USA), this newly created post will play a strategic role in shaping and directing Invest NI’s trade and investment work in Canada. The post-holder will be based in the British Consulate General Toronto and lead a team of two other staff. In conjunction with the Trade and Investment teams based in Northern Ireland, the post-holder will develop and agree an annual operating plan and objectives that support the growth of Northern Ireland exports and inward investment in the key target sectors such as Life Sciences and Healthcare, Heavy Equipment, Aerospace, or Technology, The post holder is expected to be flexible, and, as required, to work across and explore other emerging sectors which present business opportunities for Northern Ireland.
Prospective candidates must possess previous management level experience with responsibility for ensuring the successful delivery of high level and significant business development targets with a proven track record in dealing with senior level executives. They must have executed strategic forward thinking, innovative business solutions, with a detailed understanding of the Canadian market, the key business sectors, and the main economic drivers in Northern Ireland. They should also possess exceptional leadership skills and a successful track record of delivering through people.
The primary objectives will be to:
• Lead the team in trade development across the key business sectors, find new business opportunities and successfully help Northern Ireland companies increase export sales to Canada;
• Lead the team in promoting Northern Ireland as a location for inward investment and successful attracting companies to locate in Northern Ireland; and
• Leverage the strategic Northern Irish diaspora and act as the lead representative for the local initiatives throughout Canada.
The post holder will work closely with the wider Invest NI teams based in its Belfast headquarters, North and South America, and other office locations.
The post-holder is expected to undertake travel as appropriate within Canada, to the US, the UK and other countries as required.
Roles and responsibilities / what will the jobholder be expected to achieve?
The post-holder will be responsible for the Canadian market and for leading the team to meet trade and investment targets. A key deliverable is a strategic operating plan for Canada, with key measurements including the number of business opportunities identified, new export sales for Northern Ireland companies, the number of first time exporters from Northern Ireland to Canada and the number of new investment leads and inward investment projects introduced to Northern Ireland.
Exports & Investment
• Lead and direct Invest NI’s business development team in Canada to deliver export and investment targets.
• Develop and oversee the successful implementation of Invest NI’s operating strategy for Canada;
• Lead an in-market team in Canada to promote Northern Ireland’s key business sectors and find new markets and export opportunities for Northern Ireland companies;
• Drive foreign direct investment activities for Northern Ireland in Canada.
• Oversee the development and execution of innovative investment and sales propositions which align the Northern Ireland product to Canadian customer requirements and negotiate with customers to achieve a successful commerical outcome;
• Be the trusted business partner to C-suite executives of Canadian companies who have invested in Northern Ireland, providing them with regular briefings on the political and economic climate in Northern Ireland;
• Collaborate with Invest NI Americas Marketing & Communications Director to develop effective marketing and promotional strategies to promote Northern Ireland businesses and Northern Ireland investment opportunities in Canada;
• Oversee the development and successful delivery of VIP visit programmes to Canada.
Effective Strategic Relationship Management
• Build a strong network of strategic relationships, particularly at senior and C-suite level, with industry leaders and senior government officials both in Canada and in Northern Ireland, to maximise opportunities for the long-term ecomomic benefits of Northern Ireland;
• Lead the in-market teams to work collaboratively with other UK government agencies (such as DIT, Northern Ireland Bureau, and Foreign Commonwealth & Development offices (FCDO)) and in-market business associations and economic development agencies;
• Leverage the strategic Northern Irish diaspora and act as the lead representative for the Northern Irish Connections diaspora initiative throughout Canada; and
• Work effectively in partnership with wider teams based in Northern Ireland, the US and Latin America, and other Invest NI locations.
Database, Reporting, Budget & Staff Management
• Leading the team in effective use of Invest NI’s CRM and data management systems;
• Manage a pre-allocated budget appropriate to the agreed operating strategy for Canada;
• Ensure timely reporting and effective staff management
Resources managed (staff and expenditure):
• The post-holder will manage two members of staff, who will also be based in the British Consulate in Toronto.
• The post-holder will be responsible for managing a pre-allocated budget appropriate to the operating strategy in Canada.
• The post-holder will be expected to make decisions delegated to him/her by the Invest NI Management team, and act within Invest NI policies and guidelines when incurring marketing and office expenditure.
*Kindly note that the contract for this role is renewable.
Essential on arrival:
- A minimum of 10 years’ recent successful business development experience of which at least 3 years of this experience is in Toronto within the last 6 years. Business development experience includes (but may not be limited to) achieving business outcomes (such as sales), advising clients, formulating and implementing business strategies, driving team performance, presenting information to clients and securing contracts/sales;
- Successful experience in leading and driving staff to deliver positive outcomes;
- A sound commercial knowledge of Canada and the business opportunities across sectors, being aware of the issues and solutions relating to doing business in this region;
- A recent successful track record in developing and maintaining relationships with senior executives, industry leaders and government officials to achieve positive business outcomes;
- Strong IT computer skills using Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Office, Internet and Social Media;
- Excellent communication skills; an ability to work collaboratively and effectively with business contacts and colleagues;
- Ability to work at pace; and to prioritise and manage an often heavy workload in a multi-location environment and liaising with team members in these locations; and
- Ability to quickly grasp key usp of NI companies and match a buyers needs in market.
Must have the legal status to live and work in Canada.
- Knowledge of the key business sectors and economic drivers in Northern Ireland
- Educated to degree level preferably in a business or related function
Induction training will be provided at an agreed location such as Invest NI Head office in Belfast or one of the Americas offices in US East Coast.
The post-holder will be able to access L&D opportunities afforded by the British Consulate General in Toronto. In addition, Invest NI will work with the post-holder and support his / her personal development in line with internal Invest NI policies.
The post-holder will be based in the British Consulate General (BCG) Toronto. They will be required to comply with BCG’s internal policies including working pattern / working model.
In order to carry out their work, from time to time the post-holder will be required to travel within Canada, to the US, UK / Northern Ireland to meet with business contacts, work colleagues and stakeholders. They will also be required to work outside the normal working hours occasionally, in order to attend conference calls (e.g. due to time difference with Northern Ireland), to attend expos and networking events.
This opportunity is closed to applications.