The Australian Office of Financial Management (AOFM) issues debt securities on behalf of the Australian Government. It manages the government’s cash and debt portfolios, and provides advice on a range of financial risks. The AOFM also supports smaller lenders by making investments through securitisation markets.
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The AOFM works meet the government’s debt financing and cash needs, and achieve its policy objectives to support the domestic lending market. The AOFM takes into account the potential for its operations to impact Australian financial markets.
Guiding principles (AOFM values)
The AOFM, as the interface between Government and financial markets is required to exercise considerable judgement. It is necessary to balance the pursuit of government objectives and community outcomes with an understanding of the incentives that drive financial market participants. In this regard, it is important that the AOFM is seen in its day-to-day dealings to be:
- of the highest integrity – we consistently act in a professional, respectful, transparent and impartial manner that will withstand scrutiny;
- results focussed – we demonstrate a thorough understanding of our responsibilities and take pride in our work, owning decisions that we make;
- responsive – we consult carefully and demonstrate initiative and the ability to adapt to changing circumstances; and
- clear – we communicate in a straightforward and timely manner.
Our activities include:
- issuing AGS to meet the government’s financing task and in accordance with government policy objectives (such as facilitating sovereign bond market liquidity);
- managing the aggregate daily cash balances in the Government’s Official Public Account;
- managing financial assets according to policy directives as they arise from time-to-time, or as part of broader portfolio management;
- the settlement and payment of government financial obligations on Australian Government Securities (AGS);
- maintaining a capacity to provide specialist advice within government on debt financing (including related financial market matters) and balance sheet management;
- developing risk assessments to undertake cost effective management of the debt and asset portfolios;
- where appropriate, supporting the efficient operation of the Australian financial system;
- investing in securitisation products through the Australian Business Securitisation Fund and the Structured Finance Support Fund in accordance with Government policy.
- Funding and Liquidity (F&L)
F&L is responsible for executing AOFM’s bond issuance programs and undertaking (daily) cash management on behalf of the government. This is an outward (financial market) facing role that requires clear communication and attention to detail under tight timeframes. Liaising with the traders who bid for bonds in tenders and monitoring fixed income markets are large parts of the role. Cash management requires liaising with government departments and agencies including the Australian Tax Office and the Reserve Bank of Australia to reconcile and regularly update government cash (revenue and expenditure) forecasts./li>
- Global Markets and Business Strategy (GMBS)
The GMBS unit administers two funds on behalf of the government, which are used to invest in securitisation products - the ABSF and the SFSF. Securitisation is one way that lenders are able to finance loans to households and businesses, often at a lower cost than other types of financing. GMBS also delivers specialist advice to other government agencies related to a wide range of financing challenges, including debt structure and pricing. Roles in this unit rely on extensive experience in market operations, debt management and government policy.
- Portfolio Strategy and Research (PSR)
PSR is responsible for monitoring and advising on medium-term to long-term strategic debt management issues, as well as the broad strategy within which the government’s debt and cash portfolios should be managed. Setting debt and cash (liquidity) strategies involves detailed analysis of the operating environment for financial markets, including interest rates and monetary policy, macroeconomic factors, and investor demand. An ongoing research program considers a range of relevant financial markets issues. The work in the unit requires strong quantitative skills and the ability to draw practical conclusions from analysis.
- Investor Relations (IR)
The IR unit is the main point of contact for AOFM with investors in AGS. It maintains ongoing engagement with banks that act as intermediaries in the AGS market, together with investors within Australia and across the world. This is a liaison focused role requiring good relationship management skills, a sound understanding of the Australian economy and the AGS market, particularly in the context of the global financial market. It also requires the ability to conduct market research and analysis, and effectively communicate qualitative and quantitative insights to internal and external audiences.
- Reporting and IT (R&IT)
The R&IT unit maintains the AOFM’s treasury management system and associated SQL database. The team is responsible for the official record of the AOFM’s transactions and prepares estimates of public debt interest in future years for the Government Budget. This team is detail oriented and technically skilled, and works with other teams across the office for the continual improvement of our database infrastructure. This team is also a good fit for those interested in developing skills in and implementing solutions using new technology
- Enterprise Risk and Assurance (ERA)
The ERA unit sets the AOFM’s governance frameworks for risk, assurance (including audit and compliance), fraud and business resiliency. The team works as a strategic business partner assisting business units and governance committees to proactively manage risks, obligations and the internal control environment. Team members require good relationship management skills, an understanding of better practice risk and assurance principles, and sound judgement in the application of these concepts to AOFM’s business model.
This unit is responsible for financial reporting, internal and external budget maintenance and taxation compliance. The team comprises qualified accounting professionals required to deal with a range of interesting, and at times complex, issues of finance and reporting specific to the public sector and the finance industry.
The Settlements unit facilitates the post trade operations of the AOFM’s AGS and investment portfolios. The team has a technical focus on fixed income and securitised products and expertise working with a variety of industry systems. The role requires strong communication skills and attention to detail under tight delivery timeframes. Team members foster relationships across a broad spectrum of stakeholders including within the agency, across industry settlements teams, the RBA, the registrar, the ASX and the general public. Strong relationship management skills and a focus on risk management are a good complement to technical and numeracy skills required for this role.
The AOFM is committed to excellence in sovereign financial management. The AOFM Executive Group sees recruitment of high quality graduates as necessary to support this commitment. Graduate recruitment and development will also support the ongoing renewal of the AOFM by training and developing high calibre individuals who will be available for promotion through a range of position vacancies across the agency as and when they become available. In this regard AOFM will have ongoing ready access to a pool of staff with the capability, technical skills and developing experience relevant to the AOFM’s operations.
It is the intention of AOFM to advertise annually for graduates; the decision to recruit will be based on the capacity to absorb new recruits and the quality of applicants.
Graduates will participate in an eighteen-month tailored development plan that will include structured training and networking opportunities. Graduates integrate into AOFM business throughout this program and continue working with the AOFM when the program completes.
Graduates will be exposed to core APS skill development, central agency networking opportunities, and whole of government graduate activities.
In addition to this and engaging in AOFM business, graduates will:
- have relevant business software skills assessed and upskilled where needed within a month of commencement;
- have had a briefing from each AOFM Group Head on Group activities and priorities by the end of the third month;
- attend introductory seminars to obtain a general overview of the Australian parliamentary system of government;
- participate in a familiarisation visit to the Reserve Bank of Australia;
- undertake the Australian Financial Markets Association’s Financial Markets Program;
- learn the history of AOFM; after the first year:
- present to the office on a topic of their choice as part of the AOFM internal seminar series, and
- attend the KangaNews Debt Capital Markets Summit; and
- mark the end of their graduate program at an office-wide celebration.
The outcome of graduate program depends on both the individual recruit and the how AOFM managers and colleagues contribute to their success. Such contributions will ensure that AOFM is able make the most of its investment in graduate recruits.
Who are we looking for?
We are looking for problem solvers from a variety of disciplines to work collaboratively to meet our outcomes. We need people who will:
- Work collaboratively to achieve outcomes
- Analyse data to identify solutions
- Grow, through a commitment to continuous learning
- Communicate and influence stakeholders
- Build and maintain relationships
- Identify, assess and mitigate risks
- Maintain and interpret data using modern techniques.
The AOFM employs people from a variety of fields including actuarial studies, economics, finance, statistics, accounting and administration.
Working at the AOFM will enable you to develop skills related to the financial markets while understanding the unique role the agency plays as the interface between the Australian Government and global markets. Our people have a high degree of ownership of their work, are given significant responsibilities and work closely with senior staff.
Joining our team, you’ll be motivated to be part of achieving excellence in an important role within government through financial market operations and planning for them. The AOFM is known for its capability, experience and agility. Regardless of the area in which you work, your contribution will be highly valued and help the AOFM achieve its objectives.
What we offer
We recognise that our people are central to our success and we are committed to their personal growth and development. Where appropriate, we arrange for employees to attend short courses, conferences, and industry forums. This may include professional qualifications (e.g. Chartered Financial Analyst, Chartered Accountant) or tertiary study relevant to your role.
The AOFM recognises that staff training and development, including on-the-job opportunities, are key to maintaining a high performing work environment. The AOFM is a small, highly specialised agency which gives employees access to mentoring from experienced professionals as part of their day-to-day work. You will develop knowledge of financial markets, portfolio management and risk management.
Pay and conditions
Some of the benefits of working at AOFM include:
- Competitive salaries with salary growth linked to performance
- 15.4% superannuation contributions in addition to your salary
- Study assistance though financial support and/or leave
- Flexible working arrangements are available
- A standard work day of 7½ hours with time off in lieu available to balance work commitments
- Generous leave provisions including 4 weeks annual leave, up to 3 weeks personal leave and paid stand down over the Christmas to New Year period
- The AOFM will cover reasonable relocation costs to Canberra where required.
For more information, please read AOFM's Enterprise Agreement.