Many thanks to:

...who recently won

for hosting our symposium on:

"The CMA's Final Remedies on the Investment Consulting and Fiduciary Management Markets”

If you already know you want to attend, click on the button below to secure your place; otherwise scroll down and read on for full details.

 

Note that we are a not-for-profit and the revenues we generate from our symposia are mission-critical to keeping the Transparency Task Force afloat; we are truly desperate for funds. 

 

However, if the Standard Ticket Price (£245) is genuinely beyond your budget, please make contact quickly, suggesting the reduced amount you wish to pay so that we can hopefully agree a reduced price for you.

 

Please be quick with your request as we can only make a limited number of Reduced Price Tickets available. 

 

For all queries, email 

andy.agathangelou@transparencytaskforce.org or if urgent please call on +44 (0)7501 460308

 

You can pay through credit card or invoice.

If you haven't been to a Transparency Symposium before you can use the link below to read some testimonials:

When and where is the symposium?

Registration is at 09:00 for a 09:30 start; ending with lunch and networking that starts at 13:00, ends at 14:00; on Tuesday 23rd July, at

Shoosmiths

6th Floor,

1 St. Martin's Le Grand,

London EC1A 4AS

 

Why are we running this event?

 

This Transparency Symposium is an important thought leadership event dedicated to discussing and debating the work of the Competition & Market Authority who have undertaken an extensive investigation into the workings of the Investment Consulting and Fiduciary Management sectors. 

 

The CMA carried out their investigation following a reference from the Financial Conduct Authority in September 2017.

 

This is perhaps the most important symposium we are running this year for people in the investment consulting, fiduciary management, pensions, asset management, scheme trustee, advisory, actuarial and regulatory/legal/compliance/governance space; because the CMA’s final remedies have far-reaching consequences to the financial sector as a whole.

 

The CMA have taken a rather forensic look at whether there are competition problems in these markets, in particular whether there are any ‘adverse effects on competition’ and what remedial action should be taken to address them.

 

Having recently published their Final Report and Remedies, they are now ready to explain their conclusions and respond to questions and comments.

 

There will be discussion and debate around what the final remedies will mean in practice and how different stakeholders are planning to handle them.

 

There will also be ample opportunity to ask questions, provide feedback, raise concerns and so on.

 

This symposium is therfore an excellent opportunity to engage first hand with key people at the CMA who have been involved with deciding what the remedies should be.

 

The senior executives from the CMA involved with the event are:

  • Alistair Thompson, Director of Remedies, Business and Financial Analysis
  • Corina Donohoe, Assistant Director 

Alistair and Corina have been key to the investigation itself; and they have had responsibility for taking forward the CMA's work into the remedies and implementation stage.

 

After the CMA's presentation (which includes an extensive Q&A session) there will be presentations by key stakeholders including market participants; and a Power Panel that will start off an open discussion and debate session.

 

Given the significance of the Final Report and the Remedies, with all the consequential implications to the way the pensions and investments sector will operate, we expect the event to be particularly engaging and highly participative.

 

Our overall purpose for the event is to shine a very bright light onto this important topic; in keeping with the TTF’s mission which is to help protect consumers' financial interests by reforming the financial services sector around the world, by harnessing the transformational power of transparency. 

 

The underlying questions the event will seek to answer include:

  • What do the Remedies mean in practical terms?
  • What are the alternative ways that stakeholders are planning to implement the Remedies?
  • What might be the long-term consequences of what the CMA have decided?
  • Are there any unintended consequences that can be foreseen?
  • Is it too late to make any improvements to the policymaking around this topic?

What's the format going to be?

 

To provide the maximum opportunity for all delegates to get fully involved we have structured the event around:

 

  • A keynote presentation by the CMA executives
  • Presentations by key stakeholders
  • A hot topic Power Panel
  • A discussion and debate session

As such, the symposium is ideally suited to those who want a valuable regulatory update, the opportunity to ask questions and give feedback; and the chance to share opinions and participate in lively discussion and debate. 

Here's the programme thus far*

 

09:00

Registration, refreshments and networking.

 

09:30 

Welcome to the symposium by Simon Barnes, Partner at Shoosmiths and leader of the firm's Competition Practice 

 

09:35

Andy Agathangelou to introduce the Transparency Task Force and set the scene for the event, explaining the importance of the CMA's investigation into the workings of the pensions and investment market, particularly in relation to the Finance Development Goal on Managing Conflicts of Interest. 

 

09:50

Presentation by the CMA about the Final Remedies; with extended Q&A, delivered by

 

 - Alistair Thompson, Director of Remedies, Business and Financial Analysis

 

 - Corina Donohoe, Assistant Director 

 

After the CMA's session we will have presentations in response from stakeholders with a range of perspectives who will be commenting on what they think the impact of the CMA's work will be on the market and highlighting particular points of interest:

 

10:45

Presentation by Heather Chandler, Pensions Partner at Shoosmiths 

 

11:00 

During this part of the programme, several delegates will have the opportunity to share their thoughts, contextualised as:

 

"If I had just a few minutes to share my thoughts on what might help create a better investment consulting and fiduciary management sector moving forward, this is what I’d say….............................”

 

11:30

Presentation of the Transparency Trophy; a trophy is awarded to a champion of transparency and finance reform at each of our symposia

 

11:35 

Refreshments and networking break, followed by "Team Photo"

 

12:00

The Power Panel; followed by the Open Debate session, featuring: 

 

 - Sital Cheema, Director, Jaanu Consulting

 - Julian Richards, Pensions Partner, Shoosmiths 

 - Sunil Chadda, Director, Cairn Consulting

 - Henry Tapper, CEO, Age Wage

 - Gerald Wellesley, Client Director, Punter Southall Governance Services 

 

During the Open Debate session all attendees, speakers and panellists will have the opportunity to share their thoughts on the key issues raised by the symposium and ponder on what actions should now be taken as a result of it.

 

13:00

Lunch and networking

 

14:00

Final close

 

*Detail of the programme will continuously evolve and is therefore subject to change

Who shouldn't miss this symposium?

 

This symposium is going to bravely attempt to deal with questions of immense importance to the investment consulting and fiduciary management sectors; so in many ways it's a not-to-be missed event for anybody that has an interest in those sectors and all the related areas that dove-tail into them, such as asset managers, pension scheme trustees and so on. 

 

We're expecting it to be a very stimulating, engaging and thought-provoking session. 

 

On that basis, this event will be especially valuable to:

  • Pensions Policymakers and Regulators; UK and overseas
  • Pension scheme trustees; professional and lay
  • Parliamentarians with an interest in pensions and investments
  • Senior representatives of the investment consulting, fiduciary management, asset management and pensions Trade Bodies, Professional Associations and Standards Boards
  • Pensions Thought Leaders
  • Risk management professionals
  • Academics and researchers in governance, stewardship, ethics, conduct and compliance in the investment and pensions space
  • Investment and Pensions Compliance and Conduct enforcement professionals
  • Pensions Consultants - DB and DC
  • Investment Consultants  
  • Pension Providers including MasterTrusts
  • Members of Independent Governance Committees
  • Think Tanks and Civil Society Groups with an interest in pensions and investment policymaking
  • The Investment and Pensions Press in the UK and overseas
  • ...and more!

Bios of key participants

provided thus far

Corina Donohoe,

Assistant Director,

Competition & Markets Authority

 

Corina joined the CMA in 2014 and worked on a variety of mergers and market investigations, including Energy, Private Healthcare and most recently, Investment Consultants.

 

Corina is a chartered accountant and prior to joining the CMA she spent several years working in Corporate Finance, for Lazard and Barclays Capital. She specialised in the Consumer and Retail sectors.

 

Her experience includes advising clients on mergers, acquisitions, debt and equity raising and public listings, amongst others. 

Alistair Thompson,

Director of Remedies, Business and Financial Analysis,

Competition & Markets Authority

 

Alistair has been at the CMA, and before that the Competition Commission, for 14 years covering a wide range of merger and market investigations in a variety of industries.

 

He previously worked in corporate finance at Lazard after training as an accountant with PwC.

Gerald Wellesley,

Trustee Director,

PS Governance Services

 

Gerald is a Professional Trustee and is a Client Director of PS Governance Services a leading UK provider of pension governance services. He has over 35 years experience in the finance industry including 15 years as a pension trustee.

 

His current portfolio of trusteeships includes Chair and solo and subcommittee positions with a variety of DB and DC schemes including trusteeship of a respected DC Master Trust. His areas of particular focus are investment and sponsor covenant understanding and has been an active participant in the recent CMA examination of the Fiduciary Management market.

 

He was previously at BNY Mellon where he was Head of the UK and European pensions industry where BNY Mellon is a leading provider of services to schemes globally through its asset management and asset servicing businesses. 

Henry Tapper, 

Founder of Pension PlayPen, CEO of AgeWage,

Director at First Actuarial

 

Henry is a blogger at henry.tapper.com, the Founder of Pension PlayPen (a fintech promoting confidence in workplace pensions) and a Director at First Actuarial.

 

He has campaigned for greater transparency in the pensions industry for many years and is very well known for his belief that there is a tremendous need to restore public trust in the pensions and investment industry, such that savers at large and ultimately the industry itself prosper in the long-term. 

 

In particular, Pension PlayPen has long campaigned for greater transparency on what happens to the pension contributions created by auto-enrolment.

 

Henry sees social media as a key means to get messages out to the public. When he's not at work he is on a boat in the summer and supporting Yeovil Town if it’s not.

Sunil Chadda,
CEO,
Cairn Consulting
 

Sunil is an Advisory Board member and Special Adviser to the Association of Professional Fund Investors (APFI).

 

Sunil has 32 years’ experience in the asset management sector and is regarded as a UK leader on the subject of investment costs and charges and the impact of regulation thereon.

 

Sunil is passionate about cost transparency and seeks better social and financial outcomes for consumers of financial services. An asset management subject matter expert with 32 years’ experience in the asset management sector here in the UK, and abroad. 

 

Sunil has spent the last 17 years or so consulting at numerous asset management firms and was an Associate Principle, Investment Costs & Charges, at Grant Thornton.

Julian Richards,
Pensions Partner,
Shoosmiths
 

Julian advises on all aspects of occupational pension schemes, including scheme organisation, restructuring and dispute resolution. Most recently he has advised extensively on pension scheme mergers following employer restructuring.


He specialises in advising on managing section 75 debt on employer cessation events and has been particularly involved in advising trustees and employers on modifying debt and re-assigning scheme liabilities through both scheme and flexible apportionment arrangements.

 

Julian is skilled at liaising with scheme administrators, consultants, actuaries and insurers during merger and de-risking projects and has extensive experience in advising on, and drafting, the necessary documentation. He acts for trustees and employers on pension litigation matters including equalisation, rectification, and professional negligence. He is experienced in managing the litigation process through to compromise settlement and court hearing.

 

Julian acts for a number of trustee boards of schemes provide by trade unions for their employees. His background as a trade union pensions officer prior to becoming a solicitor gives him a unique understanding of the particular issues faced by trustees of trade union sponsored schemes.

Heather Chandler,
Pensions Partner,
Shoosmiths
 

Heather is an experienced pensions partner advising employers, trustees, actuaries, accountants and other legal specialists and firms on all aspects of pensions matters relating to occupational and personal pension arrangements, both contract and trust based. 

 

Her style is proactive, focusing on a thorough understanding of all the issues whilst developing pragmatic solutions to reach manageable and long term outcomes. She has a strong understanding of the issues and obligations of both employers and trustees when dealing with pension matters.

Recent work undertaken by Heather includes:

  • advising clients on corporate transactions involving reorganisations on cross border sales and acquisitions;
  • advising an employer on its auto-enrolment duties and communicating with its members and employees effectively and in accordance with the auto-enrolment regime;
  • providing independent advice to employers on employment issues relating to pensions, including executive terminations and also advising on contractual issues relating to pensions and interpretation;
  • advising the trustees of a pension plan on the buy-out of their scheme involving contract drafting, confirmation as to benefit entitlements, advice on GMP equalisation and other data issues, member communications and trustee indemnity protections;
  • attending regular trustee meetings and advising on an ongoing basis on scheme management for trustees;
  • providing advice to trustees on issues of interpretation, drafting errors and proposals put forward by sponsoring employers to make changes to the scheme and the resolution of disagreements around interpretation;
  • bespoke training for trustees and corporate clients;
  • trustee secretarial and governance advice.

Heather consolidates and deepens her understanding of the issues facing both trustees and employers as she is herself a pension scheme trustee and works closely with other advisers. 

Heather also manages the team’s transactional practice utilising her 20+ years of experience in managing cross border and multi jurisdictional as well as multi firm transactions.  She heads up the teams offering to other law firms who need to buy in pensions transactional experience.

 

Heather practiced with Squire Sanders (when it was known as Edge Ellison) from 1993 to 1999 and then Ashurst until the end of 2004 and was made a partner at Shoosmiths on joining in 2005. 

Sital Cheema,
Sustainability Investment Consultant,
Jaanu Consulting
 

Sital has15 years of investment experience across a broad range of disciplines including ESG and Climate Change Specialist, Chair of Global Thought Leadership Forum, institutional DB and DC business development, building strong investment consultant / client relationships as well as researching fund managers and monitoring their ongoing performance via due diligence.

 

Sital is responsible for publications, research and thought leadership, trustee training and advising institutional clients on how to genuinely integrate ESG into their overall investment strategy and underlying portfolios.

 

She speaks at conferences, sits on discussion panels and drives regulation forward through government consultation and draft reviews of new legislation.

 

In March 2019, she was appointed Steering Group Member to provide technical expertise on the BSI's Sustainability Investment Management Standards Project to develop PAS 7341.

 

Sital is an advocate of enhanced transparency of both physical and transition risks associated with climate change. Her ambition is to encourage a collaborative standardised approach leveraging the existing TCFD framework, Cambridge Impact Framework, ClimateWise Physical and Transition Risk Frameworks and SASB's model from the stock level upwards.

 

Transparency Task Force Ambassador (February 2019)

 

Member of the Sustainable Finance Network.

Andy Agathangelou FRSA,

Founder, 

Transparency Task Force

 

Andy will be Chairing the Symposium. His overall objective is to galvanise support for the idea that greater transparency in financial services can drive positive, transformational change for the benefit of all.

 

Andy formed the Transparency Task Force following a meeting he led at Senate House, University of London on 6th May 2015. The meeting was the about the trust deficit that is impacting financial services and how harnessing the transformational power of transparency can drive the change that is needed.

 

That meeting set off a chain of events that led directly to the creation of the collaborative, campaigning community that is the Transparency Task Force.

 

Our activity is is built on the idea that 'Sunlight is the Best Disinfectant' and our guiding "North Star" question is "what is best for the consumer?"

 

The mission of the Transparency Task Force is

 

"To help protect consumers' financial interests by reforming the financial services industry around the world, through harnessing the transformational power of transprency"

 

We have many Special Interest Groups made up of subject-matter experts working collaboratively:

https://www.transparencytaskforce.org/teams-of-volunteers/

 

We are building a global network of Ambassadors:

https://www.transparencytaskforce.org/ttf-ambassadors/

 

We are working hard to rebuild trust and confidence in financial services through creating a Framework for Finance Reform built on the Finance Development Goals:

https://www.transparencytaskforce.org/rebuilding-trust-confidence-in-financial-services/

 

We have a highly credible Advisory Board:

https://www.transparencytaskforce.org/about-1/advisory-board/

 

Andy is also:

  • Chair, the Interoperability Steering Group
  • Governor, Pensions Policy Institute
  • Fellow, the RSA
  • Former Chair, Pensions BIB
  • Former Founding Chair, Friends of Auto Enrolment
  • Former Founding Chair, Friends of the Association of Member Nominated Trustees

The Great Divide

You can read the speech by  Andrew G. Haldane, FAcSS (the Bank of England's Chief Economist and Executive Director of Monetary Analysis and Statistics) that he gave on 18th May 2016 at the New City Agenda Annual dinner.

 

The speech is entitled The Great Divide and it is a first class explanation of why the trust deficit really matters and why it makes sense to try to do something about it.

 

Please click on the green button to access it; if you're not convinced of its relevance to our initiative, here's part of it:

 

..."The most important and compelling message the Bank received at the Open Forum came in the first session. The Bank had conducted some polling of perceptions of the financial sector – for example, by asking people what one word best described the future of financial markets. Among the Bank’s usual contacts, including those in the financial sector, the most used word was “regulated”. Many of us will have heard that message from financial insiders concerned about the perils of over-zealous regulators.

 

For me, the more revealing responses came from the general public, from the customers, rather than the producers, of financial services. The word most used by them when describing financial markets was a rather different one: it was “corrupt”. Not far behind were words like “manipulated”, “self-serving”, “destructive” and “greedy”. I am sure many of you have heard those messages too. They are certainly ones I have encountered frequently on my visits around the country."...

 

Please click the green button  below to access the full speech. If you need to read another piece first, here it is:

 

..."At least until recently many economists like me, when faced with this evidence, might have shrugged our shoulders. Social capital had no real role in our models of economic growth, unlike physical capital and human capital. Trust did not butter our parsnips and nor did it enter our production functions.

 

Recently, however, that orthodoxy has changed and the importance of trust has become clearer.

 

Evidence has emerged, both micro and macro, to suggest trust may play a crucial role in value creation. At the micro level, there is now ample evidence the degree of trust or social capital within a company contributes positively to its value creation capacity. 

 

At the macro level, there is now a strong body of evidence, looking across a large range of countries and over long periods of time, that high levels of trust and co-operation are associated with higher economic growth.

 

Put differently, a lack of trust jeopardises one of finance’s key societal functions – higher growth.

 

Those social capital effects appear to be particularly potent when it comes to financial decisions. Evidence suggests that a lack of trust leads people to retreat from the stock market and banks and to move towards cash holdings and informal sources of credit, such as payday lenders and loan sharks. That jeopardises the second key benefit of finance to society – improved risk-sharing by households and companies.

 

So a lack of trust in finance potentially hobbles both economic growth and financial stability.

 

That lack of trust is the mirror-image of the perception gap between the financial sector and wider society, the Great Divide.

 

The Great Divide matters because it signals a pronounced and protracted erosion of social capital. It puts finance on notice for losing its social licence. And, unaddressed, that jeopardises future wealth and well-being."...

 

Please click on the green button to access the full speech. If you're not yet convinced you should, here's a final snippet:

 

..." As a survey in 2013 of financial professionals found, rather remarkably, that over half believed their competitors engaged in illegal or unethical behaviour.  A smaller, but still high, fraction of 24% believed their own company engaged in such practices. Similar percentages believed their industry did not fulfil its fiduciary function of putting clients’ interests first.

The significance of these findings is not the precise percentages, as striking as these are.

 

More fundamentally, it is because of what they reveal about finance’s perception of itself, the mirror it holds to the social identity of finance."...

 

Click onto the button below to access the full speech; you'll be glad you did, it's profoundly thought-provoking for anybody interested in the future of the financial services industry:

If you are not already on the right page and want to read about our major international project to help rebuild trustworthiness and confidence in financial services, click on the orange button below:

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