Sunday, March 16, 2014

Fees - and what trustees should know? AMNT Open Day Feb 2014

Final late post from last month's Association of Member Nominated Trustees (AMNT) open meeting on the "Understanding fund structures and their implications - what Trustees should know" presentation.

This was by George Emmerson from Standard Life and Maddi Forrester AXA.

While I enjoyed all the presentations that day and learnt a lot - this was probably the most practical and I have since used the information on fees at trustee meetings.

For pensions trustees the most common the charge you see most is called the Annual Management Charge (or AMC). However the most important figure on fees that Trustees should always ask for is the Total Expenses Ratio (or TER) which should include everything.

I asked the question is it ever appropriate for fund managers to give performance figures GROSS (before) of fees instead of NET of fees? I was told that fund managers when they bid for new business at beauty parades etc have to give their past performance "Gross of fees" but there is no reason why they should not take out their fees from their performance if they are employed as your fund advisers. (make sure that your fund managers mandate states that you want net of fees reporting as well).

So trustees up and down the land make sure you get the TER and performance net of fees. If a fund manager (private equity or hedge fund) say they can't give you specific TER information, then in my view, don't buy from them.

Afterwards George and Maddi held a fun "Acronym Bingo" where they tested the trustees present on our knowledge about what all the weird and wonderful acronyms used by the financial services industry actually mean. My score in this bingo quiz was pretty abysmal while our AMNT Co-Chair Barry Parr took first prize!

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