Trustee Services

The SmartCats Consulting team make no apology for aiming to raise standards in the independent trustee services market. We have hands on experience of working with and chairing funds ranging from £5 million to £5 billion and a combined value well in excess of £10 billion. From day one our vision has been to bring a fresh and enthusiastic approach to trusteeship, focusing on the helping trustees to perform well as a cohesive unit and make timely decisions. Our technical expertise covering administration, actuarial, consulting, financial and investment ensure we ask the right questions of the advisers while, at the same time, keeping costs strictly controlled.

We subscribe to the approach that meetings which are engaging and enjoyable are far more productive for all participants than those which are technical and dry. Every detail around meetings is carefully considered from timing and location, the agenda and meeting pack through to presenters and how we work with the other trustees to reach decisions. We pride ourselves on being pensions professionals who guide non professionals to excellent decision making.

In today's time pressured and cost sensitive world we know where to put the effort in and aim to simplify the day to day running of a pension fund to leave the other trustees as much time as possible to deal with their other responsibilities. And we constantly 'horizon gaze' to give early warning of upcoming issues both to the trustees and the sponsor.

More details of our approaches

Governance

The quality of pension fund governance continues to become an increasingly important issue for the trustees and sponsoring employers of both defined benefit and defined contribution arrangements.

SmartCats Consulting have extensive experience of implementing a series of robust yet practical governance procedures across a variety of different pension scheme environments. Our work in this area is focused on providing confidence to all stakeholders - trustees, sponsors and members - that the pension scheme is being run in an efficient and effective way. This area of work gives trustees and employers peace of mind when faced with the continually increasing level of scrutiny that pension schemes are facing.

Investment issues

The rate of development in the world of investments shows no sign of abating. Trustees face an increasingly complex range of investment opportunities, with often very little time or resource to make effective decisions in this area.

We have extensive experience in the investment management industry. Sarah has first-hand experience of developing investment solutions for defined benefit and defined contribution pension schemes. Collectively we have in depth knowledge of a broad range of instruments and asset classes including property, private equity, hedge funds, derivatives and diversified growth. We are able to bring our experience to identify the difference between investment opportunities which are 'flavour of the month' and those expected to help meet the long term strategic objectives of your fund.

Trustee/Employer partnership

We strongly believe that the best long-term results for pension schemes are achieved through the co-operation of the trustees and the sponsoring employers. We have extensive experience of guiding boards of trustees through complex negotiations with sponsoring employers, successfully fostering an atmosphere of partnership and achieving beneficial results for scheme members.

In those funds where company senior management are involved in a trustee capacity, we work with all trustees to ensure that the company's insight is made available to assist with the efficient running of the scheme whilst also ensuring that all conflicts of interest are appropriately managed.

Services for defined contribution (DC) schemes

A robust system of governance is equally important to the members of DC schemes, both trust and contract based, as it is to members of DB schemes. Particular areas of focus include: