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Head of Commercial Partnerships

Role Summary:

This role is responsible for the management of the CBI’s sponsorship team based in London. The team sits within the Commercial Directorate and sells sponsorship opportunities to Members, managing sponsorship relationships for all national activities, including the flagship Annual Conference.

Reporting into the Commercial Director, the Head of Commercial Partnerships will develop and own the sponsorship strategy and be focused on identifying, establishing and managing a number of value-added partnerships with member and non-member companies so that an annual revenue target is achieved (e.g. in 2019 the target is £1.7m). There is an emphasis on securing significant income and growing the offer, while managing relationships, and ensuring all sponsorships are delivered to the highest standard.

The individual will lead a team of two based in London and will work closely with colleagues across the CBI.

Key Responsibilities:

  • Manage the sponsorship team to ensure it meets all its financial targets and provides well researched, professional advice on all aspects of commercial development and sponsorship across the business.
  • Identify and develop appropriate new sponsorship opportunities for the CBI, growing the income, maximising the strength of the brand and the potential of its external communications channels.
  • Manage and deliver a growing income budget of £1.7m (£1.6m in 2018).
  • Work with colleagues to develop propositions, scope proposals and oversee the 'go-to market’ strategy for national sponsorships and then coordinate delivery to the highest standard.
  • Ensure exceptional value for sponsors across all activities and champion high-quality account management across the team.
  • Develop the regional events sponsorship strategy and plans and oversee implementation, which may at times be delegated to the regional team.
  • Provide expert advice and coaching to the regional team as needed.
  • Act as a key member of the Annual Conference project team, to ensure commercial opportunities are maximised and that the event delivers excellent ROI for partners.
  • Oversee the development of all member relationships linked to sponsorship and project working, including contractual negotiations.
  • Maintain a clear understanding of the CBI’s Business Plan and how the prevailing political and economic climate both nationally and internationally are impacting on the organisations ability to deliver for members.
  • Day-to-day management and development of a multi-disciplinary team of two commercial partnership managers and project team working with other colleagues across the business, such as marketing ops and social media teams.
  • Work with the Director and other senior managers to set the vision for the team identifying new sponsorship opportunities, especially those beyond events and including the new digital assets.
  • Take a data-driven approach to decision making.
  • Represent the CBI in external meetings with senior executives from other companies.

Knowledge & Experience:

What an individual must know or understand to be able to fulfil the role’s requirements

  • Commercial flair with ability to spot and capitalise on profitable opportunities.
  • Experience negotiating complex multi-channel partnerships at senior level.
  • Knowledge and interest of business, political and policy environment.
  • An understanding of how business works and impacts of the political and policy agenda.
  • Strong understanding of marketing and sponsorship and events role within the marketing mix.
  • Experience managing multiple partnerships relationships between competing stakeholders.
  • Excellent knowledge and understanding of commercial contracts.
  • Strong understanding of budgets and financial control.
  • The practical actions required to be able to fulfil the role’s requirements
  • The gravitas required to get buy-in at the most senior level.
  • Excellent people management skills, leading and managing a team, setting clear objectives and managing performance.
  • Excellent communication skills, both written and oral, able to communicate in an engaging way with account managers and members.
  • Exceptional account management and client liaison skills.
  • Proven project management skills to deliver projects and programmes on time and on budget.
  • Ability to manage departmental budgets.
  • Interpersonal and networking skills, comfortable dealing with senior members of the organisation and C-Suite member contacts.
  • Ability to understand business strategy and how the current political and economic environment can either support or undermine a company’s business objectives.
  • Creative and imaginative approach to problem solving.
  • Commitment to work as part of a team.
  • Strong interpersonal, influencing skills, flair creativity and entrepreneurial spirit.
  • Ability to influence at all levels in complex stakeholder environments.
  • Tenacious, determined and realistic.
  • A client/member first focused approach.
  • Financial acumen.
  • Strong negotiating skills.


The CBI has six key behaviours that are expected across the business. For this role, we would expect the individual to role model these behaviours to the team and encourage and review the team using the behaviours as a lens. In practice for this role: 

Collaborative – proactively engages with and researches the views of other teams before making key decisions on the programme. 

Takes ownership – takes responsibility for successful set-up and delivery of new products, meeting customer expectations and financial targets.

Agile – is quick to respond to market opportunities. Ensures that internal processes do not get in the way of you or the team delivering against plans or for the customer.

Commercial – actively seeks to ensure the team is doing all they can to contribute to the commercial strategy including taking a lead on new opportunities.

Innovative – brings in leading edge industry thinking to advance the team’s contribution to the CBI. Not afraid to do things differently where there are opportunities to deliver better for internal and external customers.

Analytical – uses KPIs and other evidence to drive decision making.

Flexible working:

At the CBI we recognise the advantages that flexible working patterns can bring. We’ll always fully consider flexible working and we will aim to facilitate different patterns of work wherever we can. We have great I.T. support which allows our people to work from a variety of locations, and we aim to strike the right balance between work and life.

How to apply: 

Please submit your applications to with 'Head of Commercial Partnerships' as the subject.