LONDON (8 March 2018) – Aon, the leading global professional services firm providing a broad range of risk, retirement and health solutions, has said that while the aims of the Professional Trustee Standards Working Group’s (PTSWG) development of a series of standards intended to improve the quality of professional trustees and eliminate poor practices are to be applauded, they should not take the focus away from the overall performance of a trustee board.
The working group is also developing an accreditation framework which professional trustees will be expected to achieve, details of which will be published later this year. The consultation which closed last week set out standards for professional trustees of occupational pension schemes. The standards will apply from April/May of this year.
Susan Hoare, principal consultant at Aon, said:
“While there is much that is good in both the intention and likely outcomes of the consultation, there may also be some less positive aspects.
“Given the increased admin burden that inevitably comes with raising professional standards, it may be that some sole traders who currently act as independent trustees may choose to retire – which would reduce the pool of talented and experienced people. In any event, we would always stress the need for the focus on trustee boards to remain collective rather than purely personal.”
Susan Hoare continued:
“The real strength for most boards lies in their diversity of people and thinking, and in their ability to work together. We are working extensively with many boards on trustee effectiveness, using a number of specific tools and highlighting the need to create the most productive structure for meetings – both for professional and lay trustees – as well as analysing the strengths and blind spots of the whole board.”
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