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White paper: The rise, role, risks and rewards of the sole trustees

10 September 2020

 

The number of schemes using a professional trustee continues to gain momentum; and in this paper we explore the rapid growth in the sole trustee market. Whilst today the appointment of a sole trustee is biased towards smaller schemes, there is evidence that larger schemes are also adopting the sole trustee model.

A sole trustee brings nimbleness to decision making, and this has been particularly beneficial through the COVID-19 pandemic. However, the role of a sole trustee and their wide remit of responsibilities brings some concerns. Around diversity, willingness to partner with other professional advisors, and the selection and ongoing monitoring of a sole trustee appointment.

We consider the benefits of a sole trustee appointment and suggest how the concerns or perception of a sole trustee could be enhanced.

Like professional trustees, we see sole trustees as a governance benefit for certain schemes and one which we suspect will see continued growth into the future.

We also see continued growth for fiduciary management, another tool that can enhance the governance framework for a scheme. We look with interest as to whether there will be an increased use of sole trustees and fiduciary management in tandem as trustees and sponsors strive for the ultimate governance solution.

 

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