Trustee Effectiveness

Evaluating Skill Sets & Supporting Good Governance

An effective trustee board should have a wide palette of skill sets so the scheme is represented appropriately, relationships with advisers are robust and constructive and it’s run in line with good governance requirements. Most trustee boards have a range of skills and experience with varying backgrounds, from professional trustees to newcomers in pensions. It’s essential trustees allocate time to review the board composition from time to time to ensure there’s a rich mix of experience and knowledge.

We can support trustees in evaluating their skills and how they fit within the dynamics of the board as a whole. We can ensure all trustees have the confidence to voice thoughts and concerns. Our approach is tailored to the individual board’s needs and ranges from a full 360º review to a more straightforward needs analysis. Regardless of approach the underlying theme is supporting good governance that can be evidenced. The objective is to empower trustees in their role as guardians of members’ benefits.

Case Study – Large Scheme

We were asked to support the company and Trustee Board review the effectiveness of the Board’s operation and improve on its 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 both 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 key advisers. The questions had been drafted in order to draw out knowledge, skills, attitudes, concerns and so on. Feedback from the Trustees showed they valued the process as well as the outcomes. The results were very informative and enabled us to make strong recommendations, which were accepted by all parties, one particular issue revolved around communication which was easily resolved.