Background

PROFESSIONAL TRUSTEESHIP
ITS A MATTER OF TRUST

About

Please choose the icon below to find out about the reasons for appointing an independent trustee, how we approach the role and a little more about our journey to the present day.

The simple answer is collaboratively, both in servicing our clients and managing our business.

A successfully run scheme will generally be the result of a real partnership between all stakeholders. The trustee relationship with the sponsoring employer is particularly important and we will always work with the sponsor to develop a realistic strategy for their scheme.

Mentoring lay trustees, to whatever degree necessary, is a key part of our role, as is providing leadership whether light touch or formally through chairmanship. That said, on any Trustee Board, we are just one of a number of trustees; dominating the Board is not what we do.

Running a pension scheme is a serious business, but we also think we’re good fun to work with. We’ll leave others to be the judge of that.

See answer What will ITS look like on my Trustee Board?

If we are appointed as trustee, the appointment will be taken by the corporate entity of ITS. We will be represented by the Director whose skills are best suited to the appointment and who we also think will be the best cultural fit for the client. That Director will “be ITS” for the client in all respects.

See answer How Do You Ensure Quality?

We have many measures in place, but at an individual client level, the most important is peer review. As well as the lead Director who will represent us on the appointment, we will nominate a second Director to undertake peer review and challenge the lead Director’s thinking. The working knowledge of your scheme that they gain will enable them to deputise effectively in the event of unexpected absence.

We hold the AAF 02 / 07 accreditation for our procedures and processes.

See answer Do you have a true corporate structure?

Yes. We are not a franchise arrangement or loose affiliation.

All our staff are permanent employees of ITS and we have a formal governance structure to oversee our activities.

The reasons for appointing an independent trustee are many and varied, but typically will be one or more of:

  • Assisting the Trustee Board with increased governance demands
  • Working through complex scheme specific issues, particularly around the employer’s covenant
  • Managing conflicts of interest
  • A need to improve the Trustee Board effectiveness or relationship with the sponsor
  • Difficulty recruiting or retaining lay trustees
  • The employer does not want to commit time to a legacy scheme that’s not part of their future reward strategy
  • To bring in professionals in the field with years of relevant experience
  • And last but by no means least, to add an independent voice. This is especially important during periods of corporate change or uncertainty

Your pension scheme is a multi-million pound entity that (if Defined Benefit) impacts on your balance sheet. Our challenge is why wouldn’t your scheme gain from an independent trustee whose day job is trusteeship?

See answer Who do you provide these services to?

Generally speaking the power of appointment will lie with the sponsoring employer, so we are engaged by them.

The pension schemes where we act as an independent trustee range in asset size from £2m to £multi billion covering DB, DC and hybrid arrangements. We have several household names in our portfolio, but just as many that people won’t have heard of.

While our main office is in London, our clients are spread all over the country.

See answer Does an independent trustee have to chair the board?

Absolutely not.

All our team are happy to chair if required, but we sit on many more boards than we chair. Whatever our role, we will help ensure that the trustee agenda is focussed and business is kept moving.

ITS was founded in 1991 and has concentrated on undertaking independent professional trustee appointments ever since. Our Managing Director Chris Martin was one of our founding Directors

We have been wholly owned by the FTSE250 Jardine Lloyd Thompson Group plc (JLT) for many years. We are operationally independent from JLT and to avoid conflicts of interest we do not take appointments where JLT provide services to the trustee board.

Our core team is, and has always been, based in London however our client list has never been London centric and we are steadily developing our regional presence.

2008 saw us win our first industry award and in 2013 we were one of the inaugural members of the PPF’s Trustee Advisory Panel.

See answer Show Us Your Medals?

We were voted Independent Trustee of the Year at the Professional Pensions UK Pensions Awards for 4 consecutive years, a feat unprecedented in any of the award categories. We have also won that category four times in the FT Business Pensions & Investment Provider Awards.

Managing Director Chris Martin has been voted as Engaged Investor’s Independent Trustee of the Year and has also appeared in the 50 Most Influential People in Pensions list, both on multiple occasions.

See answer Are you here for the long term?

Yes. As described above we have been in business for a long time. We are financially stable and to save you looking us up on Companies House, our accounts for the last 5 years can be found on the Media Centre page.

We have no plans to deviate from our core business of professional, independent trusteeship.