US - US pension funds engaged in transition management are taking an active interest in the UK's T-Charter, according to the document's chairperson.
Rick Di Mascio, chief executive of Inalytics and chair of the T-Charter, told Global Pensions he had spent time talking to US pension funds over the last month and was surprised at the level of interest. "What was clear to me was that all the same issues which led to the T-Charter in the UK are present in the US," he said.
He went on to say that while the fiduciary laws in the US provided investors with a measure of protection, many plan sponsors did not think they were relevant. "Fiduciary laws in the US are about a duty of care, they don't stop the manager doing a bad job. Ultimately transition management is about project management and execution, and the T-Charter helps guide pension funds through these issues."
Paul Sachs, principal with the Mercer Sentinel® Group, said: "We have been raising the issue of the T-Charter with clients, as it is a current event in the transition management space. The interest may be as a result of us talking about the issue, but we think it has relevance for pension funds and other investors."
However, Hari Achuthan, a US-based director in Credit Suisse's Pension Strategies & Transition Management Group, questioned the relevance of the T-Charter for US based investors. He said: "We are very supportive of what the T-Charter has achieved in the UK and Europe, but we are not sure of its value-add in the US. Regulations including ERISA are much more complex than the T-Charter."
He added: "We don't think it is our job as managers to self-regulate as that could be a conflict of interest."
In separate news, a number of transition managers have told Global Pensions that volatility in the market has led to a number of clients delaying all non essential transitions.
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