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Will a simple administrative oversight hamper your investment decision making?

Topic:

Legal & governance

Date published:

Wednesday, 3 September 2014

It is easy to think that making an investment decision is the hardest part. Recently, for a number of pension schemes, it is implementing that decision that has been most problematic. What makes it worse is the cause of the issue is a simple admin task.

Following the well publicised departure of several key members of investment teams at both Barings and Standard Life, many trustee boards recently took the decision quickly to move out of certain investment funds. Some of those schemes, including our own clients, were able to act swiftly and move out of the relevant fund at the earliest opportunity. Others were not so fortunate.

Having spoken to a number of advisers last week, it seems the differentiating factor is the authorised signatories list. Where the list is out of date, some schemes are experiencing significant difficulties in organising the signatures needed to implement the decision - and this represents a very real risk to the trustees.

On appointment, a new trustee should be asked promptly to provide any anti-money laundering information needed, and arrangements should be made for them to be added to fund mandates. A good scheme secretary will make sure this happens, as well as regularly checking the signatory list remains up-to-date. As we have seen in recent days, failing to do this simple task impedes trustees’ ability to act swiftly, which could result in a financial loss to the scheme.

Gillian Graham - Scheme Manager

 

 

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