Monday, February 13, 2012

How to pitch to the Local Government Pension scheme

Last week I was in "Citywire" magazine (see website here) on how pension fund managers and other financial service providers should "pitch" for business to Local Government Pension Scheme (LGPS) committee members. The interview had been arranged by the Association of Member Nominated Trustees (AMNT).  I'm a member of their Executive Committee.

I have endured a number of pension "pitches" and so called "beauty parades" over the years. Some are very good but often they are pretty awful. There are some fund managers who may be good at their jobs but should not be allowed to appear in front of well rounded human beings. They forget that their role is not to dazzle us with their brilliance but to persuade us to buy their services.

I have a general rule in life. If I don't understand something I won't buy it. You can also guess what I will do if I don't like the person trying to sell it. I also want to buy a decent house view on investment principles and not a "star performer" not matter how brightly he or she is burning at the time.

The lack of preparation and research is also striking. If they don't even bother to read and understand our scheme Statement of Investment Principles (SIP) before the pitch then I really wonder why they have turned up and wasted their time and mine? 

When you explain that Pension funds should be long term investors who believe that investments in well managed companies who have good governance practises will tend to produce superior returns you can can see the horror, the horror of the ill prepared and the complacent. Sometimes even the wannabee Masters of the Universe truly have no clothes.  

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