UK - Trustees are to be given new tools by the government to improve their oversight and clarify fiduciary duty in a shake up of trustee responsibilities.
The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills will next month publish detailed proposals to make companies improve their reporting practices to help trustees make sense of risks posed by equity investments and the health of sponsoring employers.
DBIS may also clarify fiduciary legislation on the back of a consultation into the impact investment chains have on corporate governance.
Speaking at a stewardship seminar on Tuesday, DBIS minister Ed Davey said more could be done to clarify the legal duties of trustees as fiduciaries.
He said: “I’ve seen some reports recently looking at existing legislation on fiduciary duties. Without wanting to set hares running, some people believe others are misinterpreting the existing rules, and they’re seeing it far too narrowly than it was originally intended when it was written.
“I’m not a legal expert in this area but the importance of thinking about the underlying beneficiaries and their long-term interests is a point well made. Sometimes some legal advisers don’t also take account of the wider nature of the existing legal duties.”
However, Davey said he would wait for the outcome of the Kay Report led by economist John Kay into investor short-termism before moving to legislate.
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Employers whose dividend to deficit recovery contribution (DRCs) ratios fall outside the "normal range" should expect to see higher regulatory scrutiny, although no fixed ratio will be set.
Investment consultants and fiduciary managers should expect a final decision on the investigation into the market to be published by the end of the year, the competition watchdog says.