UK's National Association of Pension Funds (NAPF) is looking to standardise trustee training for local authority councils. The move follows a successful response to a forthcoming training seminar organised at the request of Essex County Council (ECC).
ECC – one of the largest UK local authorities with almost £2bn under management – wanted to train newly elected members of its pensions panel and approached the NAPF to organise the event.
Authorities Suffolk, Kent, Norfolk, Oxfordshire and Cambridgeshire pension panels have all been invited to attend the event which is to take place at County Hall, Chelmsford, on July 2.
Essex County Council Pension Fund treasurer Keith Neale said: “We need to ensure that our members get full and proper training and we saw working with the NAPF as a good way for this to happen.”
Neale said that the event was not in response to the Myners report – which recommended that trustee training should be overhauled and improved – and ECC had been in discussion with the NAPF for some time prior to the publication of the report.
NAPF corporate governance director John Rogers said the association was planning to use it as a model to roll out to other local authorities on a regional basis.
He said: “We believe that this is the sort of programme that would appeal throughout the country and to a much wider audience.”
Rogers added that it was “early days” on the question of whether the seminar could become the standard training seminar for local authorities.
The Local Government Pensions Committee (LGPC) is putting its name to the programme and acting in a joint-venture with the NAPF.
LGPC consultant Terry Edwards said: “By endorsing this programme we are hoping that it will increase its appeal to the local authority market and give the programme more chance of success.”
The seminar encompasses training on legal frameworks, the implications of investments, an introduction to asset classes, the setting of performance benchmarks and the measurement of investment performance.
In addition to Rogers, other speakers include Watson Wyatt partner Ted Drake; Lane Clark & Peacock head of investment Paul Haines; WM chief executive Peter Warrington and Hermes corporate governance executive Michelle Edkins.
Richard Cockroft – who is working for the NAPF on a part-time basis and is past county director of Gloucestershire County Council – is to chair the event.
By Alistair Graham
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