Aiming to do the best the fund can has paid dividends
The hand of Myners is seen at work in the Diageo fund, according to at least one judge. “Paul Myners’ best disciple – right down to a clear 5% commitment to venture capital – this might be the shortest summary.”
Graeme Robertson, UK pensions director at Diageo, expresses his satisfaction at picking up the IPE country award for fund administration in the UK: “Obviously winning any award is absolutely wonderful and something of this magnitude is superb, especially with so much competition around – there are a lot of good schemes in the UK like ours. From Diageo’s point of view, we try to do the best in everything that we do and this is something to add to that philosophy.”
Robertson believes awards ceremonies are also a great occasion for professionals in the same industry to meet and talk. “It’s a great opportunity to encounter people of like minds and maybe not just those directly involved in the things that you do, but people like lawyers, investment consultants etc. It’s always good to speak to people that have a different perspective from the view that you may have.”
However, Robertson notes that the best part from his point of view of winning such an award is that it rewards the staff at Diageo.
“We generally have a celebration and a few bottles of champagne. It’s recognition of the work that they do rather than just the management.”
Having won an award, Diageo includes its winning particulars on its compliment slips and also seeks to reassure its trustees that the scheme that they are running is picking up awards.
“We also publish the information on the website. This I think gives the scheme members a little more security and a little more faith that a big pension fund is picking these things up, because they are seeing so much adverse publicity at the moment. Any kind of reassurance we can give them is welcome.”