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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Professional Pensions Article: Time ticking to complete fiduciary management retenders

This excellent Professional Pensions article highlights the low level of FM Re-tenders to date. Are trustees underestimating the time needed to complete this process?  Given that the lead times from kick off to signed contracts can easily be c.6 months or more, the 9 June 2021 deadline isn’t far away, and if the documentation and tender hasn’t been completed the adviser cannot act for pension scheme, which would be nuclear. Please call us if you wish to discuss.

At a glance:

  • Fiduciary management retenders must be completed by next June for mandates covering 20% or more of assets
  • Covid-19 delayed some retendering plans, but the process can take up to six months
  • Managers may become choosier as the deadline approaches
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Pensions Expert Article: Shots in the dark? The mounting evidence questioning the value of consultants’ manager research recommendations

This article was published in Pensions Expert, by BENJAMIN MERCER | September 10, 2020

Interesting article by Pensions Expert around investment consultant manager selection, with input from Roger Brown of IC Select. Pension trustees have an important, but difficult, role to play in the good governance of their scheme. As an industry, pension experts should strive for increased transparency and clear presentation of salient information across all areas of impact.   

A generic search for headlines on the performance of active managers paints an unhappy picture. ‘UK active fund managers suffer bloodbath in 2019’, the FT recorded last year, the latest in a long line of unhappy tales for stockpickers.

Markets have since undergone profound change, however, and as Pensions Expert reported in April, high levels of dispersion in equity returns signalled the beginning of a period of volatility that should have allowed active managers to shine.

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Professional Pensions Article: Civil Aviation Authority awards £4bn fiduciary mandate to BlackRock

“IC Select is proud to have assisted the trustees of Civil Aviation Authority Pension Scheme with this selection exercise, one of 17 similar investment adviser selection projects for DB schemes in 2019-2020 ytd, totalling £13bn. Who said that Covid-19 has slowed things down!”

The Civil Aviation Authority Pension Scheme (CAAPS) has appointed BlackRock to run a £4bn fiduciary mandate for its growth portfolios.

Following a competitive tender process, the manager was chosen to plan and execute the asset allocation and manager selection across all asset classes in the portfolio for both the CAA and the National Air Traffic Services (NATS) sections.

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IC Select’s Strategic Investment Objective Webinar


This webinar presentation below looks at the importance of addressing Strategic Investment Objectives in the wake of Covid-19 and in line with the CMA Order which required DB trustees from 10th December 2019  to set clear objectives for their investment advisers, whether an investment consultant or fiduciary manager. We have split the recording into two parts i.e. the introduction and presentation, then the Q & A.

Introduction and Presentation  




Covid-19 has put funding and covenant under pressure although it is something trustees can do little to influence. Therefore it becomes even more important to get the most from your investments and having clear and effective strategic investment objectives is an essential element in achieving this.

In addition, The Pensions Regulator's guidance says trustees should be reviewing their current investment and governance arrangements to ensure they remain appropriate to enable decisions to be made quickly.

TPR’s guidance recommends that schemes:

• State objectives that take account of the scope of investment services offered
• Use balanced scorecards to evaluate investment advice
• Understand that it is against the spirit of the order for investment consultants or fiduciary managers to set and measure their own objectives

What should these objectives look like, how will they be measured, how often and what happens next?

What You’ll Learn

• Regulatory background to the order to set and assess clear strategic investment objectives
• How this will work, for example the balanced scorecard, measurement and assessment process and the benefits for trustee boards
• How to ensure that all objectives are Relevant, Achievable, and Measurable


Suitable for - Defined Benefit (DB) pension scheme trustees, chairs, sponsors and other stakeholders