UK  - Pension trustees should be clear about their investment beliefs as well as focus less on short-term asset manager performance, says the Marathon Club.

The club is a group of around 20 UK institutions - with combined assets of around £170bn (€251bn) - promoting the concept of long-term investing. It grew out of the long-term mandate competition organised by the Universities Superannuation Scheme in 2003.

The club, in a guidance note issued today, suggests trustees prepare written statement of their investment beliefs, in addition to the current statement of investment principles.

The beliefs would emerge with input from consultants and investment managers, said club chairman Peter Scales, the former head of the London Pension Fund Authority.

"Devoting time to determining core beliefs is critical to establishing and reaffirming the overall approach to investment, ahead of decisions on strategic asset allocation, selection of asset managers and mandate structure," the note states.

The note builds on an industry-wide consultation paper issued in March 2006.

It stresses the need to spend more time on the manager selection process and to move away from the quarterly performance report.

"Fundamental, research-oriented, buy-and-hold investing is superior to other investment styles in the long-term," the note adds.

The note is available on: