Saturday, October 15, 2011

Happy 1st Birthday Association Member Nominated Trustees (AMNT)

On Thursday I went to the first anniversary meeting of the Association of Member Nominated Trustees (AMNT) at JP Morgan in Moorgate.  The AMNT is a national forum and network for member nominated pension trustees and representatives. I missed the AGM in the morning but was able to attend the afternoon session.  The new AMNT web site (see right) was also launched.  Join here for free if you are a member nominated trustee or rep of any pension scheme.

In the afternoon we had report backs on our AMNT working groups. 

I chair the Defined Benefit Working Group and gave a brief presentation on our work to defend and promote DB schemes.  I was probably the first person ever to offer trade union fraternal greetings and invite people to join a pension picket line to such an audience at such a location.

We then had a presentation on "Is shorter-term equity investing an issue for our Pension Schemes?" by Professor Paul Sweeting who works for JP Morgan and the University of Kent.  I asked him about the problem that short term investors (by definition) cannot act as owners and make sure that the managers of companies act in their owners' interests and not their own.  Paul recognised that this could be a problem but thought that the advantages that such investors bring to the market in terms of liquidity out weigh this (hmmnn - I'm not convinced).
                                                                                                        Next we had the MD of Pitmans, Richard Butcher brief us on "Should Master Trusts incorporate MNTs? I think that there was a consensus that Master Trusts should be legally obliged to have MNTs on their boards. We then spilt into work groups, debated various burning trustee issues and reported back to the main meeting.  Afterwards we retreated to the "Red Herring" pub to properly reflect on and celebrate the first anniversary of the AMNT and our plans for the year ahead.

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