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- Climate: there is no doubt in my mind that this is the most pressing issue facing trustees. Climate is a theme that was addressed in almost every talk. Action is required now, and there are simple things trustees can do, like ask, “What is the impact on the climate?” for each and every investment that is proposed. Check out the mallowstreet Climate Charter for more details.
- Long-Term Funding: for DB pension funds, how trustees adapt their investment strategies in the ‘lower for longer’ environment is essential to ensure that all members receive their benefits in full. For DC, we had a discussion around contributions and choice. I argued the employer will need to take the lead on this, as the last thing anyone wants is millions of people sleepwalking, unknowingly, into retirement poverty. Click here for more info
- Diversity: cognitive diversity is as essential as building more diverse trustee boards. How do we avoid group think, and do we have enough different backgrounds (frames of reference) to ask questions and challenge others in their thinking? The importance of having cognitive diversity should not be underestimated.
From this solid foundation, they will be in a position to deal with the ‘unknowns’ or ‘black swans’ as they appear. Which they most certainly will. I guess uncertainty is the only thing that is certain in today’s environment.