Trustee Effectiveness

The job of a trustee is multi-faceted and often difficult. A trustee board is typically made up of individuals with varying backgrounds and skill sets. Some will never have been involved with pensions before, whilst others will be battle hardened specialist. Unlike actuaries or doctors there are no professional qualifications that must be undertaken before you can become a trustee.

A balanced trustee board benefits from having a good mix of skills and experience. Often there is a disconnect between the sum of the parts and the individual resulting in boards not operating effectively or efficiently. We can support trustees in understanding how their own skills fit within the dynamics of their board. This frees up valuable time to focus on strategic matters.

Case Study – Large Scheme

We were asked to support the Company and Trustee Board review the effectiveness of the Board’s operation and look to improve its already good governance. In order to understand what was working well and where further development of the Trustee Board was required, we needed to investigate the skill sets and working practices of the Board as a whole and as individuals.

We produced a 360º Trustee Effectiveness and Governance Review Questionnaire. The questionnaire was completed by the Trustees, the employer’s Pensions Group and the Scheme’s advisers. The questions had been posed in order to draw out knowledge, skills, attitudes, concerns and so on. The results were very informative and enabled us to make strong recommendations. An important outcome came from feedback from the employer’s Pension Group and revolved around communication – a quick fix and easily resolved.