The Pensions Management Institute (PMI) is modernising through its aim to provide members access to 'core insight' by forming industry partnerships with organisations, writes Victoria Ticha
The Pensions Management Institute (PMI) is a constantly evolving organisation. It has to be, if it is to remain relevant in a rapidly changing environment. In January 2017, the PMI announced a new five-year plan to expand its reach, broaden its base and focus on wider issues.
Whether we like it or not, pensions and lifetime savings affect everybody, explains PMI chief executive Gareth Tancred. So, as part of its five-year plan, the institute set five objectives to achieve by 2022: review its impact on the economy and wider society, its commercial activities, its international reach, its educative offering and finally, its voice.
"We want to be the recognised authoritative voice for the pensions and lifetimes savings sector," says Tancred, and providing good insight is key to achieving this objective.
One of the key features of its strategy is the collaboration with partners, developed exclusively with organisations the PMI considers thought leaders and industry experts.
Tancred explains: "We want to find the key experts in the field that can address today's topics and the topics coming down the track, for the benefit of our members, the economy and society."
It all comes down to engaging with the issues, and to help the industry improve on generating best practice. Tancred continues: "We draw on those experts on a regular basis to provide some of that insight, and then we push it out through a number of channels including the PMI's monthly magazine Pensions Aspects, email newsletters and webinars to get it to the audience it needs to get to."
Over time, the PMI has had a number of different partnerships, including Aberdeen, Barnett Waddingham, Dalriada, Sackers and State Street. And Tancred says it all depends on what members are looking for at the time. To help meet the objective set out in 2017, the institute recently joined forces with four other organisations: JP Morgan, Squire Patton Boggs, Legal & General, and P-Solve.
The PMI has accredited JP Morgan's Center for Investment Excellence initiative: an educational hub featuring podcasts and publications designed to help provide institutional investors with investment information to empower, and help them make better investment decisions. "There is a wealth of information for pensions professionals to consider in their day-to-day investment decisions", Tancred explains. The asset manager's head of UK institutional Paul Farrell says the partnership will empower members to make better investment decisions and build stronger portfolios.
Squire Patton Boggs will give members access to the full-service global law firm's legal knowledge and insights. "Navigating the legal and regulatory landscape is a key concern for our members," continues Tancred. The law firm's head of pensions Clifford Sims comments: "We have a number of exciting initiatives to roll out from webinars to quick guides and will engage our wider network including other legal disciplines, professional advisers and experts in policy and economic to bring fresh ideas and intelligence to the PMI members."
The PMI has also partnered with P-Solve, to offer members specialist knowledge and insights on fiduciary management and investment governance within pension schemes. The financial planner's co-head Ajeet Manjrekar comments: "Our partnership…will enable us to share our knowledge and insight while helping its members understand the benefits of fiduciary management and the role it can play in solving the complex problems many of them face."
Finally, Legal & General has been appointed to offer specialist support on pension risk transfer. The risk transfer specialist's head of core business Costas Yiasoumi comments: "The use of bulk annuity solutions becomes more and more prevalent. We'll help PMI members remain at the forefront of how and where bulk annuities can be used to successfully secure pension benefits with an insurance company."
The institute wants to produce specific and focused insight, to serve the right people at the right time. "We've become far more flexible since the start of our new five-year plan…we have tailored our partnerships and moved away from a one size fits all approach, because we found in fact, one size does not fit all," says Tancred.
"We want to try and segment our industry so we can understand and get to the depths of some of these core insight areas," he comments. This means "chopping the industry up" into specific areas to initiate more detailed conversations.
The institute is already working with industry experts to identify more key areas that have yet to be covered, and confirms there will be with more partnerships announced throughout the year.
"Just bear in mind this is only year two of the five-year plan," adds Tancred. "It's a journey for us…but lots of new things are coming down the track. Watch this space."
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