The Select Committee on the Big 4 and anti-competitive behaviours said “The culture of advisory services is about helping management; and the culture of audit is about challenging management. When combined in one large-multidisciplinary firm these two cultures mix like oil and water.” The same applies in the trustee world. The culture of advisers is to help trustees and pension managers; the culture of trustees is about taking advice and challenging advisers. When combined in one firm, conflicts may arise.
This article looks at the types of conflicts that may arise and practical measures to identify and manage conflicts.Read more
Despite the ongoing rationalisation in the master trust market, there is still a considerable amount of choice available. This article explores the process of selecting a master trust, and highlights the importance of understanding the drivers for change and defining objectives for the new arrangement. Only then will it be possible to conduct an effective market comparison.Read more
Following its review of the investment consultant (IC) and fiduciary management (FM) markets, the CMA published draft remedies designed to improve the operation of these markets in March 2019. TPR will provide further guidance in due course, but in the meantime we identify some actions that trustees may wish to consider before setting objectives for their investment consultant. We also look at some examples of possible investment consultant objectives and consider some measurement approaches.Read more
We welcome the CMA’s proposed remedies and the implementation approaches suggested in the Draft Order. However, good governance requires that any tendering is undertaken with pension schemes' specific characteristics and cinrcumstances in mind. This would include tendering/ review of IC appointments on which the Draft Order is silent.
We urge the CMA and TPR to ensure that the guidance created for trustees helps to ensure that compliance cannot become a ‘box-ticking’ exercise.
Our response to the CMA Investment Consultants Market Investigation Draft Order can be found here.Read more
Following the CMA's final report on the investment consultant and fiduciary management markets, in our view there is now sufficient clarity and certainty for trustees to start reviewing their own arrangements. In this article we summarise the CMA’s main recommendations and highlight the actions that pension trustees could now take.Read more
In this article we provide some background to the expansion of the master trust market, as well as the transformation of the regulatory regime currently underway. We also look at key factors to consider when choosing a master trust, including a key governance pitfall to watch out for.Read more
In this article, we explore some areas that are sometimes overlooked by trustees with weak or failing sponsor covenants, as well as some practical remedies.Read more
Trustee dissatisfaction with providers should not automatically lead to a full market review. In this viewpoint we consider some alternatives.Read more
A notable trend in th epensions landscape right now is the number of single employer trust arrangements that are setting up dedicated defined contribution (DC) committees.Read more
The increasingly variable nature of pensions management requirements is causing many trustees to re-think their resourcing model. In this article, we explore some of the drivers underlying this shift, as well as a variety of practical measures to address it.Read more
The Investment Consultant is a key advisory relationship underpinning the achievement of a scheme’s strategy, and one where trust and confidence are fundamental. It is essential that the effectiveness of this relationship is reviewed at appropriate intervals.Read more
Read Chris Fagan's thoughts on the CMA's provisional report - more engaged trustees get better outcomes.Read more
...So the Beatles song goes and so more trustee boards are turning to external sources of executive support services to help acheive their strategic and operational objectives.Read more
We all recognise the futility of calling an insurance company for a quotation after a fire has taken hold of our house. So why do trustees wait until key pension scheme risks have manifested before putting protections in place?Read more
Barry Mack considers the case for paying 'lay' trustees given the increasingly complex and onerous role that trustees play.Read more
We have been seeing interest increase in using co-sourcing as a delivery method for administration services. The technology is now better able to facilitate this, but what are some of the things to consider, and what are the pitfalls to look out for. Damon Lacey gives a brief overview of co-sourcing as an introduction to the idea.Read more
As a follow-up to our recent guide on the Key Principles of Administration Agreements (in collaboration with the PMI and CMS), Damon Lacey examines the seven principles of an effective administration agreement.Read more
Read Ian McQuade's thoughts and reaction to the new Freedoms & Choice.Read more
Read Paul Trickett's thoughts on IGCs since inception based on his experience as a member of an IGC.Read more
There was a lot of debate following the announcement of Defined Ambition and Collective DC. Are these the solutions though, and what is the problem they solve? There are good quality DC schemes, and a good scheme can deliver good outcomes. Ian McQuade looks at what qualities make the ideal DC scheme.Read more
Administration, and specifically data, is increasingly under the spotlight as scheme's look to de-risk and ensure they are up to scratch against TPR's data targets. Avgi Gregory considers some of the themes that have emerged from our work with clients.Read more