Unparalleled change across the industry has challenged trustees to keep up with the legislators over the past 18 months.
The proliferation of information now available – via websites, online guides, seminars, webinars, teach-ins, dial-ins and conferences – will have helped many trustees through difficult periods, but with so many new options available trustees may struggle to cut through the noise to the information they really need.
Richard Butcher, managing director at professional trustee company PTL, said trustees have to be disciplined and mindful of the commercial environment in which they are operating.
“The landscape has woken up to the fact that trustees are a source of business,” he said. “Everybody is setting things up… to try and get trustees round the table so they have the opportunity to ply them with wine and sell their wares.”
This means that “you could spend every hour of every day reading volumes of stuff and attending volumes of meetings”.
Butcher advised that trustees seek out a range of views beyond the remit of their service provider, to gain views and insights which could become useful tools to challenge schemes’ incumbent advisers.
Instead of wading through “volumes of stuff”, Butcher said “definitive change” affecting a scheme, whether legal, regulatory or a strategic development, could be a springboard for learning something new.
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