We appointed Richard Butcher as Independent Chair of the Hertz Pension Plan trustees in 2009. Richard’s knowledge, ability to communicate and build long-lasting relationships is superb. I have no hesitation in recommending Richard to other organisations seeking pragmatic, practical advice on pension matters.
At LV=, we use PTL to help us with issues where we need specialist help. For example, they have recently helped us with our governance arrangements, making sure that we have robust processes for dealing with investment strategy in periods of stress, and in negotiations with the employer on contributions. What they brought to us was a clear understanding of what best practice looks like today and a practical, impartial view of what is a sensible compromise between the needs of the scheme and the employer. In doing this they have always been at pains to ensure that the Trustees understand and agree with the actions being proposed.
It would be very difficult for our small business to keep up with the complex area of pensions management without the assistance of PTL. Their depth of knowledge and ability to respond quickly to changing circumstances enables them to provide a service which is invaluable, helping owners to concentrate on their core-business.
As both a company Finance Director and Trustee of some of the company’s pension schemes I recognised the need to increase the knowledge of our trustee boards as well as to correctly manage conflicts of interest. We sought out an Independent Chairman of Trustees for our various schemes. We wanted someone who was properly qualified, had extensive knowledge and experience and a practical approach whom we could work with rather than against. I expect in this regard we are no different to many medium sized companies with old defined benefit schemes. What surprised us is that there are so few such people around. We were glad to find Richard Butcher. His appointment strengthened the pension schemes’ governance for the benefit of the members whilst at the same time gave the company someone it could work with.
When we launched our Master Trust proposition, we felt it was extremely important to appoint an independent trustee, and following a rigorous selection process we were delighted to appoint Pitmans Trustees Limited. Since our launch, we have continued to work closely with PTL and have strengthened our partnership. They are both pragmatic and positive in supporting our evolving developments, whilst still retaining a strong focus on good member outcomes.