UK - The department for work and pensions' review of how schemes are complying with key principles in the report by former Gartmore chief Paul Myners shows:
- Trustees spent an average of 10.6 hours per year in board meetings, of which less than four hours per year were devoted to investment matters.- 25% of schemes said their trustees took part in formal training programmes other than induction training.- 80% of schemes employed an investment consultant, but more than half of all schemes (53%) used just eight organisations.- Overall, 18% of schemes – but 39% of very large schemes – had explicit policies of their own on socially responsible investment. 26% of trustees said their schemes had no SRI policy, while 5% said they did not know their scheme’s position on SRI.- Despite Myners’s emphasis on transparency and reporting to members, 53% of schemes documented their approach in their Statement of Investment Principles or accounts, in a bulletin for members or in a statement in board minutes.- Although Myners recommended that schemes consider the full range of asset classes, only a minority have considered private equity or higher risk options such as hedge funds.- Only 18% of schemes reported not considering, or deciding not to take any action on, the principles during the two years following their publication. - On the principle of effective decision-making, only 15% of schemes had overruled a consultant recommendation during the review period.- Less than 40% of the trustee boards have covered the principles of measuring the performance of their investment consultants and trustees, as well as shareholder activism.- 44% of schemes put the principles on the board’s agenda and carried out a full review of compliance, while a further 38% reviewed compliance informally.
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