“Ian has added more value than we thought he would at the start… which shows it pays to go with someone who is doing the job of a professional trustee as their bread and butter.”
“In my experience, not all professional trustees are able to cope with tricky or potentially confrontational situations. I find PSGS has massive experience in getting involved, earning the respect of others and resolving such issues. They get stuck in – they are a first rate team.”
“I wanted to look at the effectiveness of our trustee board, so Gillian, our PSGS scheme secretary, provided their trustee self-assessment tool to help me gather thoughts and opinions from others on the board. The tool was extremely easy to use and asked all the right questions to help me collect the information I needed as Trustee Chair. It is a great example of the way PSGS shares knowledge with their clients and makes dealing with key governance issues easy. As well as enabling me to meet one of the Regulator’s 21st century trusteeship requirements, using the tool has flagged trustee training needs and ways we could improve trustee meetings further. ”
“Where PSGS are appointed to act in conjunction with an existing body of trustees, we have found that they are quickly able to fit in well and gain the trust and respect of their co-trustees. ”
“Ever increasing regulation has placed a heavy burden on trustees both in terms of time and the risk of non-compliance. PSGS has the experience and the resources to help trustees manage these burdens.”
“PSGS were overall more professional than others.”
Fiduciary management is certainly popular and, with the CMA review, particularly topical. The thing is, pension trustees really need to be sure they know what they’re buying. Well, actually, they need to be sure they know what they want and that what they’re buying is the same as what they want!
I was appointed professional trustee to a new client and, unusually, attended my first pension trustee meeting for them that same day. The trustees had taken investment advice and were about to act on this advice and implement a revised investment strategy.
During the discussion on this agenda item, it became clear the advice the pension trustees had received (and were about to implement) didn’t match what they were actually looking for. Alarm bells were ringing. As a professional trustee I needed to make sure the board progressed on the right foot, but it was my first meeting and I also needed to make sure I developed the right working relationships for the future. What’s a lady to do?
Although it was my first meeting, I was able to support my co-trustees in re-examining the decision by explaining the difference between what it is they understood they were getting (full fiduciary management) and what they would be getting if they went ahead as planned (an investment platform providing a partial delegation solution). The decision to implement wasn’t taken that day and I was able to help the pension trustee board select a new investment adviser and progress to implement an appropriate solution shortly thereafter.
Fiduciary management is complex. It has several different names, forms and each fiduciary manager has particular strengths and weaknesses. I’m fortunate being part of a professional trustee firm where we get training and share expertise and experience across a wide range of clients. It means I can be confident in my knowledge but can see just how confusing it can be for others.
My advice for other pension trustees? It isn’t worth risking making a decision that is difficult and expensive to undo - expert help is critical and, as the CMA tells, us, that help has to be independent.
5 Sep 2019
Under 21st century trusteeship, The Pension Regulator (TPR) aimed to move all eyes to individual trustee and board effectiveness. We’ve taken a...
27 Aug 2019
The Pensions Regulator (TPR) made trustee board effectiveness central to good pension scheme governance. We wanted to find out how far...
23 Aug 2019
Q&A with Clare Owen about pension trustee board effectiveness PSGS's Director of Outsourced Pension Services, Clare Owen, speaks...