Friday, April 01, 2011

'Protecting Our Best Interests: Rediscovering Fiduciary Obligation'

On Wednesday evening I went to the launch of the latest report by "Fair Pensions" the respected campaigning organisation for "responsible investment". 

"New research by Fair Pensions calls for an ‘enlightened fiduciary' model for institutional investors to parallel the new duties of company directors introduced in 2006. The report argues that such a provision would provide a valuable ‘nudge' towards sustainable, long term investment to overcome narrow interpretations of fiduciary obligation which emphasise profit maximisation at the exclusion of all other factors, including financial system stability".

Lib Dem Government Minister for "Employment Relations, Consumer and Postal Affairs" Ed Davey gave a positive but guarded welcome to the report. 

Hermes fund manager, David Pitt-Watson was also one of the speakers and gave his usual demolition job (how going dutch can double the value of the average Brit personal pension) on most private pension schemes.

He also pointed out that pension "trustees" came about historically to prevent pensioners from being ripped off and still perform this role.  I made a comment about this and the anomaly that if trustees are seen as a "good thing", why are there huge penison funds run by insurance and investment companies where there is no such representation to look after the interests of beneficiaries?

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