Review

Professional advisers should be reviewed periodically as part of a best practice governance approach.  Ideally this takes place annually with a deeper-dive review every 3-5 years.  Reviews take many forms and cover everything from operational excellence to straightforward value for money.  They are a great way of validating the service you’re getting – outcomes underline a great service or highlight real or potential snags or issues.

Experience shows that small concerns are often the tip of the iceberg – review these soon to avoid a situation worsening and becoming unrecoverable.

Strategy

Strategic considerations are often the start point for decision-making across Trustee and Corporate boards.  When it comes to out-sourcing, in-sourcing, changing systems, de-risking or making a significant change like moving to a master trust, a clear strategy is clearly important.  Indeed, a well thought out strategy can make the difference and produce a great outcome.

But this isn’t always as easy as it sounds.  Getting a realistic balance across the sponsor’s objectives, HR considerations, and the Trustees’ needs can be challenging.

Our mantra ahead of any significant project is “do the right thing, do it right”.  A correctly focused strategy helps to ensure the ‘right thing’ gets done and the best outcome is achieved.

Sourcing

Sourcing is all about selecting a preferred supplier who best meets the needs of the organisation.  When considering a competitive tender exercise, it’s great to start with a good understanding of the whole market.  Matching the vendors’ credentials to your needs should identify a great shortlist of potential providers.  Access to intellectual capital speeds up this early step and saves considerable time and effort.  The purchasing process can then progress with a focused tender request and purchasing T&Cs.

This process generally emerges from a strategic decision to change.  Sometimes it’s just a desire to undertake a ‘full market review’ to get like-for-like scheme-specific comparisons.  This often covers the pensions administrator, but can also include master trusts, actuaries, buy-in our buy-out providers, or any other professional adviser.

Interestingly, we find that foresight is probably the most valuable skill in the sourcing arena.  Looking ahead to how a new provider might work is key as other may be other subtle changes to consider – and of course, there could be a migration project to work through.

Implementation

“Implementation” covers the set up of the service with the preferred provider.  This may be a replacement of the current incumbent (e.g. pensions administrator); or it may be a new provider, notably a buy-in out buy-out provider.  Either way, a structured project following robust methods with a sound governance oversight is essential to a great outcome.

The implementation needs to be rigorous from outset to avoid time slippage.  An close engagement with a quality outcome is essential to avoid a long list of snags that either delay the go-live, or they do go live and rarely get fixed.

In our experience, the most common root cause of issues in professional advisers is a poor implementation.  The constant challenge is the quality~time continuum.  In a trustee environment, quality tends to prevail but this still needs to be delivered in a timely manner.  What’s the second most common root cause of issues?

This is just a snippet of what we can do.  For more information on how we can help you get in touch

EMAIL

insight@GO-GROUP.CO.UK

CALL

020 8213 5860

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