10 June 2016 – Bart Heenk (MD, Avida International) chaired a panel discussion at the IPE 360 Conference at the London Stock Exchange. Joining him on the Panel were David Adkins (Chief Investment Officer at The Pensions Trust) and Anthony Webb (Head of Fiduciary Management Research at KPMG). The topic was:
Making Outsourcing Work: Fiduciary Management and other forms of Investment Strategy Delegation
The audience consisted of the leading pension fund representatives from the UK, Netherlands, France, Germany, Belgium and other key European pension markets.
The discussion centred around the importance of being able to judge the value of outsourced activity. Financial data – such as performance, costs and risk – are only one factor in this; softer human factors – such as communication, trust and innovation – are just as important, though not always easy to quantify. Another topic was the importance of pension funds not being talked into a provider’s outsourcing model, but to work out precisely what their own needs are before deciding on who the provider should be. Too often investment consultants are leading the debate and transferring their pension fund clients from an advisory to a delegated model, whereas the best solution for the pension fund might be an altogether different method of outsourced decision-making. It was agreed that a proper and independent analysis has to precede the decision to change the mandate.