In a landscape of continuous change and disruption – be it in the form of regulation, investments or innovation – what are the key insights and enablers to deliver critical success to your members?
Change may be the constant, but so too are the benefits of collaboration.
Join fellow fiduciaries from around the globe as they share the lessons they’ve learned in addressing some of these challenges in their own funds.
At the Sanlam Investments Institutional Insights 2016 conference, we’ll try to unpack the question – is this the new normal?
View the webcast of our 2016 conference
See more about our previous conferences here: 2015 and 2014
This is an invitation only event. Please contact us via the form alongside, or via email@example.com for more information.
Antony is Managing Director and Chief Pensions Officer at Santander UK.
Mark is Chief Investment Officer at National Employment Savings Trust (NEST), where he has led the investment team since 2008.
Sonja is the Director of Global Retirement Benefits for Microsoft Corporation.
Richard serves as a professional Independent Non-Executive Director in various companies both in South Africa and abroad.
How to construct portfolios using private equity, infrastructure and hedge funds - Antony Barker, Chief Pensions Officer – Santander Bank, UK
King IV and how it impacts you - Richard Foster, Corporate Governance Specialist
How to structure defaults to best take advantage of behavioural finance learnings - Mark Fawcett, CIO – National Employees Savings Trust, UK
How to balance innovation in member savings vs innovation in plan design while meeting your compliance burden - Sonja Kellen, Director of Global Retirement benefits – Microsoft, US
Managing Director and Chief Pensions Officer at Santander UK
How to construct portfolios using private equity, infrastructure and hedge funds - Part 1
How to construct portfolios using private equity, infrastructure and hedge funds - Part 2
Chief Investment Officer at the National Employment Savings Trust (NEST) in the UK
Discussing behavioural finance levers used by NEST at Institutional Insights 2016
Director of Global Retirement benefits – Microsoft, US
Discussing the harsh realities faced by modern DC plans at Institutional Insights 2016
Discussing how to incentivise members to save wisely at Institutional Insights 2016
Corporate Governance Specialist
Discussing King IV at Institutional Insights 2016
What’s the compliance levels of the participating employers with monthly contributions and how you encourage compliance adherence?
Compliance is high. The pension’s regulator is responsible for ensuring compliance and we report employers who are systematically paying late to the regulator.
What was the motive behind a Sharia fund and what are its features?
Demand from the sharia fund came from employers primarily, as they didn't want to be seen to be discriminating against a minority of their workforce. It is an all equity fund tracking the Dow Jones Islamic Titans index which is a global index that excludes alcohol manufacturers, financials, over leveraged companies etc.
Why did you start the default contribution rate so low?
The government sets the contribution rates - the aim however was to minimize opt out by taking a small amount at first and then gradually increasing (a sort of save more tomorrow approach)
What happens to your target date members when they reach retirement? Do they go out of fund or can they get income in fund?
All participants of our target date funds can move out of the funds at any time. The funds do not create income streams, but rather keep the assets invested in a portfolio suitable for someone who is in retirement, including global stocks and bonds.
How do you decide which markets are efficient and which aren’t when deciding between passive and active investment strategies?
We don’t look at the question of active versus passive management as an “either/or” proposition, but rather consider how both strategies may be used to provide the greatest advantage. In general, we use passive or enhanced index strategies in efficiently priced capital market segments where the probability of success and rewards from pursuing active management are low; and we use active management strategies in less efficient asset classes where market inefficiencies and legitimate out-of-benchmark opportunities allow active managers to generate excess returns.
Governance in an umbrella fund space - what’s to come
On a positive note, the scaling up and size of an umbrella fund, should allow for increased governance resourcing i.e., a strong board with the necessary mix of skills, expertise and level of independence required to ensure adequate oversight. I suggest that the challenges, to a large extent, will be:
It is suggested that, inter alia, independent board members and a suitable conflicts of interests policy could assist to meet the challenges in these areas
How do we make sure we get the tangible governance outcomes vs. killing an organisation with too many controls?
Good corporate governance is not about excessive controls, i.e. too much conformance at the expense of the performance of an organisation. King IV has been developed to promote good corporate governance as integral to running an organisation and delivering governance outcomes such as an ethical culture, good performance, effective control and legitimacy on the basis of high-level principles applicable to all types of organisations across a variety of sectors. King IV will further reinforce good corporate governance as a holistic and interrelated set of arrangements to be understood and implemented in an integrated manner on a qualitative rather than a quantitative basis, with a high degree of transparency, thus ensuring substance over form.
Similar to audit firm rotations, how often do u believe board members of listed cos, particularly chairperson, should "rotate"?
The board should put in place a programme for periodic, staggered rotation of its members to invigorate its capabilities by introducing members with new expertise and perspectives, while retaining valuable institutional knowledge, skills and experience and maintaining continuity. Typically, in terms of current practices, three terms of three years, i.e. nine years has been considered an appropriate period where a director should be rigorously reviewed from both an independence as well as a performance aspect. In respect of the Chairman, King III advocated an annual election of the Chairman. However this should be assessed in line with the needs of the organisation and could be for a period of, say, three years to ensure the necessary continuity. Such period should be stipulated in the MOI and or Board Charter.
At Sanlam Investments, we recognise the greater fiduciary pressures placed on institutional investors in an environment of increased regulatory and investment complexity. When it comes to investing, we carefully do our homework, weigh up the pros and cons, check, re-check and analyse, scrutinise and remove emotion from each and every investment decision we make.
Because we believe that there'se a time to be cautious and a time to be bold. Knowing when to be which is what makes us Wealthsmiths™.
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