Governance and Trustee Effectiveness

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Governance is a broad topic that can encompass pensions expertise, soft skills, decision-making, trustee effectiveness, succession planning, processes and structures. It is also high on the Regulator's radar.

The value that we bring to our clients is to help them focus on these issues bringing them to life and challenging existing practices.

Our approach gives clients the high-quality governance that is essential to achieving their objectives.

Scheme Governance

Governance is about how you manage your Scheme. It is a broad topic and one that can be hard to define. That's why external input can help you see the wood from the trees. Our expertise and insight into market practices mean we can help you define exactly what governance means to you and put in place an effective system of governance.

Trustee Effectiveness

Our independence means we can give you an open and frank assessment of how effectively your Trustee Board operates.

We can provide an outside perspective that both challenges and reassures, helping you to identify and implement improvements to how you work and determine your strategy.

Effective Trustee Boards make good decisions, but it is not always easy to find the time to reflect. That is where our expertise can make the biggest difference.

Strategic Consulting

Being aligned to clear, understood and agreed objectives is an important step. It is a prerequisite to determining a successful strategy to achieve them and to understanding the associated risks.

We work with trustees and their advisers to make sure their primary objective for members is underpinned by trustee and sponsoring employer’s values and by trustee secondary objectives in funding, investment, covenant, administration, communications, governance and compliance.

Looking for insight into how to get ready for the General Code?

Check out our series of articles setting out the key things to consider when thinking about the General Code by clicking the button below.

See how we could help you set and achieve your strategic objectives

Click the link below to read more on how we could help you develop your Scheme Governance and Trustee Effectiveness

Muse heads March 390

Barry Mack


Claire Wallis

Rosanne Corbett

Rosanne Corbett

Muse heads March 518

Pamjit Virdi

Muse heads March 277

Tom Oakley

We appointed Muse Advisory for our first external review of board effectiveness. It was undertaken independently by Muse in line with good practice under the UK corporate governance code whilst recognising we are a young organisation building the business for our LGPS shareholders. It was a thorough process but not at all disruptive, with strong involvement of Board, Executive and wider stakeholders. There was a lot of relevant feedback with useful ideas in the Muse report, with a clear presentation of the findings enabling us to discuss and agree the actions to take forward. Overall, it has been a comprehensive and insightful piece of work by Muse.
Chair, Border to Cost Pensions Partnership
Muse has provided us with a comprehensive framework to help assess the effectiveness of our existing system of governance and to challenge our existing approach to risk management. With Muse’s guidance, we are expecting to see a number of improvements to our risk management framework which will put us in a strong position for when TPR’s Single Code comes into force. Muse has helped us to identify and resolve gaps in our governance structure underpinning our risk management framework. In particular, by aligning our risk management framework with our strategy, the Trustee Board is supported in achieving its objectives.
Head of Trustee Governance, DHL Pensions
Muse have helped us via an independent trustee effectiveness review, a discussion workshop for the board on the findings and subsequently some planning and facilitation work for Trustee strategy sessions. The Muse team are highly capable with a strong client focus in the way they work, with us and our other advisers. Our trustee board is skilled and expects high quality and good value for money from advisers. Muse has consistently delivered this.
Chair, 3i Group Pension Plan
When we needed external facilitation for a strategy orientated governance review, Julia and her colleagues at Muse Advisory understood just what was required. As a result of their considerable sector knowledge and experience they were able to hit the ground running and work with the Trustees to achieve their objectives in an efficient and effective manner.
Chair of Trustees, Nationwide Pension Fund
Muse Advisory's objective assessment of the effectiveness of the Trustee Board's governance arrangements was well received. They also helped us map roles and responsibilities succinctly and with clarity.
UK Pensions Manager, BAT UK Pension Fund
Muse Advisory carried out a review of our governance. The team were good to work with and worked constructively with our trustees, the pensions team, company representatives and our advisers. We invited them back to facilitate our trustee strategy which was also well received. We value their expertise, independence and range of relevant skills.
Trustee Chair, Rolls-Royce UK Pension Fund
Muse worked skillfully with the trustees, our advisers and our main Company contacts to help us review trustee board effectiveness and provide independent insights. Muse set their report in a strategic context for the scheme and it was evident Muse understood our unique challenges as well as comparisons to peer schemes. They framed proportionate views and made clear recommendations for actions that we are now taking forward. It has been a good piece of work, and worthwhile. It will help us work with the Company to make further progress on the scheme. The other trustees had not experienced an effectiveness review; they found it easy to work with Muse and engaged well with the trustee board’s discussion of the report findings.
Independent Trustee Chair, QinetiQ Pension Scheme
Muse was a highly valued resource to both the Trustee and our executive team. They helped us focus on our strategic priorities, whilst also helping the team deliver and move the scheme towards its goals. Along with this, they were a safe pair of hands delivering the regular business-as-usual work in the quarterly cycles. We enjoyed working together and appreciated their pragmatism and wider market views. Muse's team has added value at various levels of the organisation and helped us through a period of significant change.
CEO, National Grid - Trustee Executive Limited
Muse facilitated the setting of our strategic goals, both financial and operational, working with all our advisers and providers so that the objectives were fully integrated, not only in respect of IRM but also with regard to data, administration, member communication and governance. Their independence meant that the advisers were open and transparent in their thinking. The momentum they helped us achieve means that we are on course to provide good outcomes for our members. It also gives us a helpful framework to refresh regularly, to check that we remain on track.
Independent Trustee, Xerox Final Salary Pension Scheme
Rosanne and Julia facilitated an online session for the Trustee Board on strategic planning and agreeing our objectives for member experience, considering administration service delivery and member communications and engagement. It was a focused, positive and engaging session despite it having to be held online rather than face to face as we’d planned. It helped us make progress and we had a meaningful discussion as a board. All the trustee directors were able to share candid views and ideas on what is important to us as a board and to members. We got a lot of value out of it - and more to the point now have a basis to agree long-term non-financial objectives for the pension scheme.
Chair and Trustee Director, National Grid Electricity Group Trustee Limited
Muse carried out an effectiveness review for both of our scheme trustee boards and ran a joint board workshop on the findings and helped our trustees agree actions. An external review and the workshop were ‘firsts’ for us, we wanted to get it right. We chose Muse because of their experience and independence. Their team were very skilled in helping our trustees take stock and reflect, challenging us to think about future effectiveness and bringing wider knowledge of trustee practice and corporate governance. Muse really delivered well on the work.
Pension and Benefits Partner, LV= Pension Trustee Limited

Helping Trustees and Companies to better govern their pension schemes

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