Independent oversight of investment consultants and fiduciary managers remains low among defined benefit pension funds, despite mounting regulatory pressure and scrutiny of trustees.
This missing governance gap should be a priority considering investments account for 80 per cent of the total cost of pension fund ownership, and therefore should matter most to both sponsors and members.
Industry research shows independent fiduciary manager oversight remains low at around 22 per cent of funds, in contrast to more than 70 per cent of funds that now use independent evaluators to undertake selection exercises.
The situation in advisory relationships is even more alarming. Independent oversight of investment advisers is almost non-existent, despite these having the greatest impact on whether a pension scheme can meet its liabilities.
In this Professional Pensions blog, Donny Hay discusses the 9 June 2021 deadline for retendering fiduciary management services and proposes options for trustees to maximise the time to achieve the best outcomes for their pension scheme.
- Receive responses to invitation to tender from fiduciary managers by the start of June 2021
- If more time is needed, consider re-appointing incumbent on a temporary basis
- Then take additional time to consider all the bids at leisure with view to appointing a fiduciary manager on a long-term basis on the best possible terms later.
- In IC Select’s experience, the average fee reduction achieved from re-tenders has been 25% with the greatest savings over 50%.
IC Select are please to contribute to this article by Sandra Wolf, published in Mallowstreet on 29th March 2021, on fiduciary management trends. Highlights include:
- It’s been business as usual for fiduciary managers, in spite of Covid
- However recently they have been turning away about a third of re-tender mandates
- Re-tendering is putting downward pressure on fees
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.
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