Basic or ‘anecdotal’ review

Reviewing your professional advisers is an important governance aspect. Generally, these form part of the cyclical activities on the Trustees’ business plan. Many reviews take the form of questionnaires which Trustees and other Stakeholders complete. A simple rating system can be used to objectively assess performance and draw appropriate conclusions.
This type of review work well during the early stages of appointment through mid-contract. Consider something deeper If issues arise or ahead of contract discussions.

Third party assessment

Transactional services such as Pensions or Flex Admin often benefit from a third-party review. Seeking expert input can bring a wider objective assessment of the service. They are efficient ways of gaining a close and impartial assessment of the service. They leverage the evaluator’s collateral and intellectual capital. Benchmarking can often be provided and may be beneficial.

Market or ‘scheme specific’ review

Many services are challenging to assess as there are scheme-specific features to consider. The most objective way to consider these is to seek specific bids across the market.
This approach puts the Trustees in a great position to receive refreshed proposals from their incumbent and line up viable alternatives as part of the process. What happens with the outcome varies but it is a highly objective way of getting to a new and improved position.

Outcome management

Any outcome which indicates, or even initiates, change needs careful consideration. The cost of change needs to be weighed up with a return on investment carefully worked through.
Decisions to change may be isolated to particular supplier issues. They may form part of a wider strategy (for example supplier harmonisation or rationalisation across multiple schemes or employers). Either way, it is important to apply some foresight to ensure the change pathway is properly planned to maximise a great outcome for all parties.