Have trustees got used to setting consultant objectives?

  • The CMA Review highlighted the lack of demand side challenge by trustees of their investment advisers.
  • As far as setting consultant objectives, trustees still seem to be 'kicking the can down the road'.
  • It’s not sufficient for trustees to allow investment consultants to set, and mark, their own homework.



Fiduciary management and transaction costs webinar, Thurs 14th April 2021

Andy Clarkson, operations specialist at IC Select, joins Professional Pensions editor and Schroders fiduciary management professionals to discuss progress in this important but complex area.

The presentation and Q & A discussed the concept of transaction costs through a fiduciary lens, why best execution is critical to managing transaction costs and explored how trustees should use and interpret transaction cost information – highlighting the common pitfalls to avoid when using transaction cost figures.

Key takeaways were the importance of disclosure and transparency which build trust in your investment provider and asking questions.

Professional Pensions Webinar link: Tune in now

Competitive tendering of Fiduciary Managers, investment delegation and oversight

IC Select were pleased to contribute to this excellent report by Clear Path Analysis into investment governance matters affecting DB pension arising from the CMA Orders and other regulatory guidance.


Published in April 2021, we draw attention to the opening interview by Carolyn Saunders, Partner and Head of Pensions at Pinsent Masons, which looks at Competitive Tendering of Fiduciary Managers.


At a time when DB investment adviser market reviews and oversight is near all-time lows it was refreshing to read Carolyn’s views on the value and importance for DB trustees to properly review their investment adviser and on the growing impact of ESG.

Quoting from the report, Carolyn comments:
“If trustees understand the wider market, they can challenge their own thinking and their incumbents’ thinking on their investment strategies.”

“Trustees now need to have a very clear line of sight and understanding of what is happening in relation to their investments and particularly in relation to ESG”.


In the roundtable debate, Anne-Marie Gillon, Head of Research at IC Select, acknowledges the strain on DB trustees and the need to delegate more of the investment complexity to the investment professionals. And in measuring the success of your investmentc adviser Anne-Marie and other contributors note that investment advisers:


“….should never ‘mark their own homework’ and independent evaluation of performance is very important.” 

Information Note: CMA Compliance Statements (due by 7th January 2021)

All DB Pension Schemes are required to meet this new regulatory requirement.

The purpose of this information note is to explain what Pension Scheme trustees need to do.


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Professional Pensions Article: Investments and the importance of reporting: Stick or twist?

Good communications is critical in pensions. It’s not just a nice to have and increasing DB trustees are reviewing investment advisers where it is poor.  

Trustees need clear reporting from their investment advisers to meet their scheme's needs, says Donny Hay

Effective communication is said to be the most important of life skills. Sound communication creates understanding, while also building confidence and trust - the basis of any successful relationship. However, it seems that quarterly investment reporting has not really been on top of the agenda for most investment advisers.

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