Trustee Effectiveness Reviews

The Chair of a new Inside Pensions client was concerned that discussions at the Board were dominated by a few individuals with strong views who focused on minor operational matters with insufficient time dedicated to key strategic decisions.

The process

Our specialist team issued a Trustee Effectiveness Questionnaire to Trustee Directors and their advisors. Our staff also met with individual trustees to gain feedback on governance matters which included:

  • The structure, skill set and balance of the Board;
  • Whether the Trustee Directors were motivated to carry out their roles;
  • The skills of the Chair in guiding the Board, maintaining a healthy relationship with the sponsor and leading external negotiations;
  • Whether the Trustee Directors believed a clear and effective strategy had been established with robust processes to support and deliver it;
  • Whether Trustee Directors had the tools to deliver effective governance, including well-structured meeting agendas, papers and minutes, supportive advisors and adequate training.

The scheme’s advisors and support team were also asked for their feedback.

The Result

Following the review, it was recommended that an Administration & Operations Committee was formed to alleviate pressure on Trustee Board meetings so that strategic issues could be given the required focus.

The review also highlighted that the legal advice provided to the Board was sometimes ambiguous, with no clear recommendations. This feedback was provided to the lawyers by the Inside Pensions specialist team and the Trustee Directors noticed an immediate improvement in the service.

In addition, the review clearly demonstrated the high regard in which the Chair was held which gave them the confidence to implement further changes to the Board’s overall governance model.

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