Pension Funds

Trustee Boards and Investment Committees - Best Practice

Best Practice, Better Performance

Many trustees have had very successful careers—but not necessarily in the investment sector. As trustees, they may not bear responsibility for day-to-day decision-making, but they are responsible for setting policy, establishing objectives and assessing investment performance. Below, we list some of the best papers on the Savvy Investor site, relating to the role of Trustee Boards and Investment Committees.

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A Primer for Investment Trustees: Understanding Investment Committee Responsibilities (CFA Institute Research Foundation)
This CFA Institute Research Foundation paper serves as a great primer for investment trustees. It covers investment issues from the trustees' perspective, without the use of investment jargon.

Growth Readiness for Asset Owners: The Power of Asset Intelligence (State Street, Oct 2017)
This report, and accompanying tool, from State Street, aims to help asset owners to position themselves to more successfully protect and grow the assets under their stewardship.

Best practices in the Pension Funds investment process (PwC, 2016)
PwC examines best practices in the investment process, across global pension funds. It considers asset allocation, pensions and investment regulations, governance models, and other drivers of change.

Long-Term Investing - Portfolio Guide (FCLT, 2015)
This 60-page report, a corroboration amongst major global asset owners, won the Savvy Investor Award for best paper 21015. It seeks to develop a framework for the improvement of long-term outcomes, with a focus on five key action areas: risk appetite statements, investment mandates, benchmarking processes, evaluations and incentives, and investment benefits. 

Duty, opportunity, mastery: Investment committee best practices (Vanguard, 2017)
This Vanguard paper discusses how investment committees can improve their decision-making and hence satisfy their weighty responsibilities.

Selecting Fund Managers and Consultants - What Do Trustees Look For? (Aon Hewitt, 2017)
This 11-page paper examines the relationship between trustees, investment managers and consultants.

Assessing Trustee Board Performance (Pensions Management Institute, 2017)
How should the performance of a Trustee Board be measured? This paper provides some guidance, arguing that regular assessment of the board's performance is critical.

ESG Institutional Investor Survey: Performing for the Future (SSGA, 2017)
This SSGA survey discovers that, in addition to targeting virtuous social or environmental impacts, ESG criteria are increasingly being seen as potentially able to enhance investment returns.

Indexes and Benchmarks Made Clear (FTSE Russell, 2017)
This guide describes the various purposes indexes can serve, beyond simply benchmarking the performance of the investment portfolio. It covers the setting of objectives, performance attribution and reporting, and the use of indexes as the basis for investment products. It also discusses the considerations for selecting an index for these purposes.

Decomposing Funding-Ratio Risk: Key Insights for Pension Funds (BNP Paribas AM, 2017)
Published in the Journal of Portfolio Management, this paper examines funding-ratio risk and proposes a framework for decomposing this risk into its main components.

How Much Do Fees Affect the Active Versus Passive Debate? (S&P Dow Jones Indices, 2017)
This report examines the performance impact of management fees upon the returns from mutual funds and institutional managed accounts, investing in equity and fixed income.

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