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NAPF sees “no evidence” of short-termism

UK – The head of the National Association of Pension Funds says there is “no evidence” that asset managers are fired for poor short-term performance.

“Clearly, there is no evidence that fund managers are sacked on the basis of short-term poor performance,” said NAPF chief executive Christine Farnish. The comments followed a survey the NAPF has released with the Investment Management Association which found that most asset managers retain mandates for over five years.

“The survey indicates that pension funds are maintaining and building-up long-term relationships with their investment managers,” Farnish said.

The comment follows that of Roger Urwin, global head of investment consulting at Watson Wyatt, who said his firm has found that pension funds are worried about a “misalignment” between their objectives and asset managers’ remuneration.

The 14-page survey from the NAPF and IMA found that three out of four pension scheme respondents said their principal fund manager had been managing their current mandate for at least three years. Thirty-nine percent had retained their manager for more than 10 years.

Asset managers’ performance was reviewed regularly, but nearly all schemes preferred to measure performance against rolling year - or longer - periods.

And it found that investment performance was cited by IMA members as the most common topic for client meetings or reports

Richard Saunders of the IMA said: “This survey sheds light on the way the market for pension fund management is working. It is clear that relations between fund managers and their clients are resilient despite the upheavals in the market over recent years.”

The survey was conducted by research firm MORI on 100 NAPF members and 40 IMA members between June 22 and July 3.

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