AMNT Member Survey sheds light on the effect of the current pandemic but raises a concern for the future

The Association of Member Nominated Trustees (AMNT) has undertaken a survey of its members to coincide with its 10th anniversary. The member survey was conducted in conjunction with XPS, the largest pure pensions’ consultancy in the UK.

The survey investigated: AMNT members in particular; member nominated trusteeship in general; the impact of the current pandemic; and environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues. A copy of the full survey can be viewed here.

 David Weeks, Co-Chair of the AMNT said:  “The results of the survey highlight the views of an experienced group of people, with an average length of service as a trustee of 12 years. They collectively represent about one third of the assets under management in UK pension funds. As such, they provide a valuable insight into current attitudes and experience and point to how things might develop in the future, particularly in relation to ESG and diversity issues.

“However, one thing highlighted by the results concerns me. The current generation of member nominated trustees may be hard to replace without positive action, certainly with people of the same calibre. Being a member nominated trustee is not an easy ride. It takes time and commitment, akin to that of a NED in a PLC. It is not necessarily a well understood role and this may deter some potential recruits. We need to focus on this issue to ensure a strong supply of MNTs is available for the future".

Rob Wallace, Head of Governance at XPS agreed. “The trustee role is a challenging one that is largely unpaid and with significant time commitment. 74% spent 30 hours or more on formal trustee business each year, with 58% spending a further 30 hours or more on background reading/ training.

“Despite this 90% of respondents supported a further raising of the bar with a view that there should be a compulsory qualification for all trustees (with the majority favouring a formal requirement to complete the trustee toolkit). In my view the key challenge is keeping the flow of new MNTs and seeking to increase diversity” he concluded.