UK - The Trades Union Congress should take a lead role in tackling the short-termist attitude among pension funds, a prominent scheme adviser told the conference.
Universities Superannuation Scheme senior adviser Raj Thamotheram said it was “nonsensical” for schemes to look to maximise returns on a quarterly basis.
He said: “In the same way that marathon runners do not want to do 100-metre sprints, pension funds should avoid the simplistic view of trying to maximise quarterly returns.
“Our customers are not bank accounts to pay into but real people who are concerned about the quality of life they can expect in retirement.”
Thamotheram blamed the short-termist outlook on corporates and said it was easy to see why a chief executive with a short tenure was unlikely to take a broader perspective.
He believed a longer-term outlook among pension fund investors could prove a catalyst to shake-up corporates.
Thamotheram added: “A long-term approach for pension funds is not rocket science but many schemes lack the organisational capacity to change.
“The TUC is in a position to use its influence over a vast network of trustees to push for a change in approach in line with responsible investment.”
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