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Director, Trading and Market Operations

Title: Director, Trading and Market Operations

Location: Southern California

Company: one of the largest electric utilities in the United States

Relationship: This role reports to the Vice President, Energy Procurement & Management

Key Responsibilities: The Head of Trading and Market Operations will lead the company’s “front office” power and natural gas bilateral trading functions, emissions trading in organized auctions and secondary markets, and the company’s participation in the organized wholesale power markets run by the California ISO. This executive will oversee short-term planning, load forecasting, price forecasting, resource optimization and resource operations functions that support trading activities, and bidding and scheduling market operations with the California ISO. The Head of Trading and Market Operations will have executive responsibility for the company’s implementation of new power, gas and emissions market structures and forming the company’s policy positions on emerging initiatives and regulation related to the company’s energy procurement responsibilities and/or participation in energy markets. Additionally, this executive will be responsible for maintaining compliance with all applicable regulations.

More specifically, the Director will:

  • Oversee daily power, gas and emissions trading activities and the company’s participation in CAISO day-ahead and real-time markets.
  • Facilitate the company policy determinations on emerging initiatives and regulation related to power procurement and market participation.
  • Oversee implementation of CAISO markets at the company (systems, people, process).
  • Oversee the integration of distributed energy resources into wholesale market operations.
  • Defend reasonableness of the company power market implementation and transaction costs in CPUC cost recovery proceedings.
  • Develop and implement internal compliance controls and procedures to meet regulatory requirements (CAISO Tariff, NERC Reliability Standards, etc.).
  • Monitor, analyze and provide legislative updates on market conditions, coalition efforts and regulatory changes to determine potential impacts to the company operations or positions.
  • Manage resources and budget levels to meet strategic objectives and operational needs. Make, recommend and/or approve employment decisions (e.g., hiring, promotion, appropriate pay, rewards/recognition, succession planning, and termination).
  • Manage employee performance for both direct and/or matrixed reports. Establish performance expectations and goals aligned with Company objectives, policies and procedures. Manage, train and develop staff by providing timely feedback, coaching and support. Demonstrates Company values through decisions and actions.
  • Be responsible for execution of corporate business and financial strategies; identification of constraints and risks; and ensuring tactical coordination with other company operations.
  • Develop the organizational capabilities required to meet the challenges.
  • Lead and direct long and short-term planning to assure resources are available and coordinated, and that required approvals, outages, regulatory interfaces and other prerequisites for success are in place.
  • Lead and direct organizational and company-wide process improvements to assure achievement of company goals and strategies.
  • Provide oversight, risk management, and satisfy internal governance requirements, and successfully engage internal and external stakeholders, and achieve appropriate regulatory outcomes.

Qualifications:  Potential candidates must possess the following to be considered for the opportunity:

  • At least ten years of experience in electric systems operations, wholesale market and commercial operations, and/or industry practices (generation and transmission), FERC/NERC/WECC reliability and market rules, LMP-based power market theory, design and operations and power and natural gas procurement practices and contracts.
  • Seven+ years of senior level experience managing, supervising, or leading teams in production and policy related positions and/or related project management.
  • Deep understanding of the current and emerging state and federal policies related to electricity markets and power production
  • Strong preference for candidates who have strong familiarity of the operating rules and regulatory requirements of California energy markets, including knowledge of CAISO.
  • Experience with day-ahead or real-time energy market operations, or energy trading/bidding strategies.
  • Proven track record leading initiatives and serving as an architect of an organization recognized for innovative strategies to enable and improve business performance. History of driving operational excellence in a metrics-driven environment.
  • Strong background in quantitative methods, economic principles and complex problem solving. Identifies and analyzes problems; plans tasks and solutions.
  • Proven record as an effective leader during times of transition. A natural leader and change agent that can inspire and influence people at all levels.
  • Demonstrated capability for engaging and establishing relations with external and regulatory agencies. Viewed as a highly credible, trusted advisor by the company.
  • Ability to partner successfully across business units / divisions in a highly-complex, matrixed company with at least two thousand employees. Invests the time to build trusted relationships with the business unit leaders and supports them in achieving their business objectives.
  • Track record of effectively leading communications planning and execution for major programs that impacted the entire organization.
  • Strong critical thinking skills and the ability to do tradeoff analysis to identify risks and opportunities and to recommend solutions.
  • A change agent that can bring a new vision and ideas into a rapidly changing business environment while simultaneously engaging the workforce.
  • At least three year’s experience acting as a visible industry thought leader educating and influencing policy makers.
  • Strong leadership, communication, presentation, and negotiating skills to build consensus with stakeholders to develop and maintain partnerships with support organizations and senior management.
  • Has led teams with a high-performance culture that attracted, developed and retained “A” caliber talent at all levels.

Personal Characteristics:  The successful candidate will possess the following attributes:
Business Achievement/Performance:

  • ­Action-oriented, self-starter that is hands-on, disciplined, and organized. Leads by example.
  • ­Pragmatic and practical. Highly focused on how to get things accomplished. Constantly having an eye to the practicality and bottom-line impact of recommended strategies. Recognizing those aspects that are inconsistent with operational excellence or do not add real economic or strategic value, pushing back appropriately and developing constructive ways to overcome those problems.
  • ­Effectively combining high-level strategy with the granular, detailed application of initiatives.
  • ­Demonstrating a real sense of urgency, yet remaining calm under pressure.
  • ­Being well-organized and rigorous in prioritization of issues and projects.

Strategic Vision/Thought Leadership:

  • Thrives in environments undergoing significant transformation and growth. High degree of comfort with ambiguity and change.
  • ­Being able to step back from day-to-day activities to view the business from a unique perspective and see the bigger picture.
  • ­Using facts (e.g., information, trends, needs) to support observations and relying on extensive analysis/modeling/valuation and interpretation before making a decision.
  • ­Strong, creative problem-solving capabilities.
  • ­Making decisions thoughtfully, despite the complexity of the issues or the pressure involved.
  • ­Building credible and practical strategies to achieve the desired vision and outcome.
  • ­Being intellectually curious and showing genuine excitement and enthusiasm for creative ideas.
  • ­Being able to leverage learning across different technologies, disciplines and situations.

Communication/Personal Impact/Project Leadership:

  • ­ Strong ability to consistently inspire and motivate a direct and matrixed organization.
  • ­ Possesses executive level communication skills including strong presentation abilities. Can craft and deliver presentations that engage the audience (internal or external) and efficiently drive a decision-making process.
  • ­ Catalyzing dialogue, helping to shape thinking and doing the work to gain support of others.
  • ­ Positively managing conflict and projecting substance over form.
  • ­ Not being hierarchical or political and respecting the company’s informal web of decision making, building internal relationships accordingly.
  • ­ Favoring collaboration with others to jointly address issues and opportunities.
  • ­ Using outstanding verbal and written communication skills and being able to articulate views crisply and convincingly. The candidate will also adapt his/her style to have the greatest impact on a wide range of audiences.
  • ­ Meeting with and involving decision makers in discussions throughout the year.
  • ­ Creating an environment where established ways of thinking can be provocatively and constructively challenged and evolved.
  • ­ Acting as a “sounding board,’’ sharing ideas, evaluating, reacting and helping create traction.
  • ­ Initiating new ideas and taking ownership of team projects when appropriate.
  • ­ Leading teams with disciplined and systematic program/process management skills, moving smoothly from identification/evaluation of strategic options through practical implementation.

Education: Bachelors or Masters (preferred) in Economics, Business, Mathematics, Engineering or related field.

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