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PIRC offers UK funds Myners health check

UK - Corporate governance specialist, PIRC, is offering trustees an independent check-up on compliance with the Myners principles.

The news comes as the National Association of Pension Funds launches a nationwide review to assess schemes' progress six years after the Myners Report was published.

Paul Myners, now chairman of hedge fund company, Ermitage Group, was commissioned by the UK government to analyse the state of institutional investing and its agents.

His findings suggested that trustees were spending insufficient time on their duties and ought to be better qualified to interrogate their advisers and providers. A follow-up survey by the UK Treasury in 2004 came to similar conclusions.

One principle the NAPF believes remains weakly implemented is the assessment of the quality of advisers' work.

Blacket Research, an Edinburgh-based company that tried to analyse the value given by pension fund advisers, recently went into administration.

London-based PIRC promises a governance audit service that informs trustees how compliant with they are with the Myners principles and offers scheme-specific action plans.

Unlike Blacket, PIRC will not attempt a broad audit of the efficacy of advisers' work on selecting asset managers.

But as the Treasury is unlikely to intervene with further regulation on pension fund governance, PIRC will position itself as an independent, objective auditor when competing for business in this area against the consultancies themselves.

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