Case study

Replacing the Secretary to the trustees

The client

A multi-national media organisation with pension fund assets in excess of £500m

The issue

The Secretary to the trustee was a company employee who had elected to take voluntary redundancy and he needed replacing:

  1. Provide the service from within their own board
  2. Ask of their existing advisers for support
  3. Appoint an independent experienced Pensions Secretary

The solution

The trustees considered three possible alternatives:

  1. Provide the service from within their own board
  2. Ask their existing advisers for support
  3. Appoint an independent experienced Pensions Secretary

 

Option 1 was discounted quite quickly, not least because it was quickly realised that the necessary time and skills were no longer available within the company.

Option 2 was seriously considered, with meeting and quotes obtained from two of the advisers. The concern for the trustees remained around potential conflicts of interest with an adviser carrying out two roles, having access to sensitive information such as the trustee budgets and the experience of the staff put forward for the role.

Option 3 was then discussed and following a review of potential providers, a CBC professional was selected. The independence, proven experience of the individual and the ability to work constructively with the Chair and the board were key drivers in reaching this decision. A contract clarifying the tasks included in the core fee with appropriate service level agreements was developed and agreed.

For the first time the trustees have a clear criteria on which to judge the performance of the Scheme secretary. The trustees also have the benefit of an additional adviser who share the knowledge gained from seeing similar issues in lots of different schemes.