UKEF's mission is to benefit the UK economy by helping exporters of UK goods and services to win business, by providing financial guarantees and insurance for export contracts. It issues around £2.9 billion of guarantees every year, insuring UK banks and exporters against the risk of non-payment and enabling them to offer finance at fixed interest rates; overall we have around £19 billion of risk to manage. Uniquely UKEF operates within a commercial insurance and banking framework, but is subject to public sector goals and accountabilities.
The OR unit plays a crucial part in helping UKEF deliver the mission. OR staff work closely with managers and colleagues across the Department, and have built a reputation for providing high-quality, reliable and relevant analysis and advice. UKEF is currently undergoing enormous change as its cuts costs and implements leading-edge risk management techniques, and the OR programme of work reflects this.
Examples of OR work in the last year include:
We normally work interactively with colleagues, helping not just with providing quantitative analysis but also with problem-structuring, identifying and questioning assumptions, and setting objectives. Newcomers to the Department don't need a financial background, as training is provided; but an interest in finance and business, and in working with the people who provide UKEF's service, is essential.
The OR unit is a friendly and supportive group of 10 staff, based at UKEF's Head Office, in a modern building in London Docklands with splendid views over London and good staff facilities.