What is the Independent Governance Committee

Fidelity International has established an Independent Governance Committee (IGC) which operates independently of Fidelity. The IGC’s role is to represent the interests of members of Fidelity’s Group Personal Pension Plans, Stakeholder Plans and Section 32 arrangements. It has five members, the majority of whom are independent. They have extensive knowledge and experience of the pensions and finance industry.

Key objectives and duties

The IGC monitors the Group Personal Pension Plans, Stakeholder Plans and Section 32 arrangements administered by Fidelity. It is required to act independently of the FIL Life Board and, if necessary, will challenge Fidelity to do better. Its key duties are to:

  • Act in the best interests of all relevant plan members;
  • Assess the value for money offered by Fidelity’s UK Group Personal Pension Plans, Stakeholder Plans and S32 arrangements, using criteria set out by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), which take account not only of transaction costs, but also of investment options, retirement outcomes and the service offered to members;
  • Assess the value for money offered by the Investment Pathways to members of the UK Group Personal Pension and Stakeholder Plans, taking into account costs, alignment to member objectives, level of investment risk, governance and oversight of assets and clear communication to members
  • Consider, and report to members on, Fidelity’s policies on environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues, member concerns and stewardship;
  • Raise any concerns it may have on value for money, including value for money of Investment Pathways, with the FIL Life Board and make recommendations for addressing these concerns;
  • Ensure member communications are fit for purpose;
  • Produce an annual report of its findings.

If the IGC raises concerns with the FIL Life Board and believes these are not addressed satisfactorily, the Chair of the IGC will give the FIL Life Board a further opportunity to respond. If appropriate, the IGC may then take its concerns to the FCA, after which it may alert the relevant members and employers, and make its concerns public.

Focus areas for the IGC

Over the next year, in addition to monitoring Fidelity’s Group Personal Pension Plans, Stakeholder Plans and Section 32 arrangements to ensure they offer value for money, the IGC will continue to work with Fidelity to enhance members’ experience by:

  • Monitoring the progress of changes to Fidelity’s systems, as well as the service and digital experience members are offered;
  • Making costs and charges easy to understand and collecting information on investment costs from external fund managers;
  • Ensuring that the way Fidelity engages with members about their pensions is timely and appropriate to their circumstances;
  • Ensuring that any information members ask for is provided quickly and accurately;
  • Ensuring that any investment strategies used within Group Personal Pension and Stakeholder Plans are well designed and are kept up to date.
  • Ensuring that Investment Pathways offered to members who make a retirement decision continue to meet the objectives of members, that the performance of these assets are regularly monitored and that the Pathway investments remain aligned to the Pathway objectives

Responsible investing and the IGC

The IGC members strongly believe that good stewardship is a key aspect of financial risk management and that it is also an important way to help ensure the long-term sustainability of investments. Environmental, social and governance (ESG) considerations are a central feature of investment stewardship, in respect to the way companies are managed. The IGC members will monitor the ongoing adequacy, quality and implementation of Fidelity's ESG and stewardship policies. You can read more about responsible investing and ESG, as well as the role they play in Fidelity’s default investment option, FutureWise, when you visit the page on sustainable investing.

The annual IGC Chair’s report

The fifth annual IGC Chair’s report sets out the results of the IGC’s most recent assessment of Fidelity’s Group Personal Pension Plans, Stakeholder Plans and Section 32 arrangements under its Value for Money Framework. You can read the full report or a summary of it by clicking on the relevant link below or watch a short video presentation of the assessment findings.

 

Terms of Reference

The IGC’s terms of reference effective as of 25th September 2020.

Getting in touch with the IGC

The members of the IGC are always delighted to hear from plan members and employers about their experience of Fidelity. They use feedback to inform their conversations and activities with Fidelity. You can contact the IGC:

By email:    FidelityIGCchair@ptluk.com
By post:      Fidelity IGC Chair, PTL, Park House, Park Square East, Leeds LS1 2PW

Kim Nash – Independent Governance Committee Chair

Kim Nash is a Director at PTL Governance Ltd, which she joined in February 2012. Kim is a qualified Actuary and previously worked for Willis Towers Watson as an actuarial benefit consultant. Kim brings her significant DC experience both as a Trustee and a member of governance committee to lead the IGC to develop the value for money framework and make comparisons on Fidelity’s performance against the wider industry.

Dianne Day – Independent Member

Dianne Day is a Client Director at Independent Trustee Services Ltd (ITS). She joined ITS in 2015, specialising in defined contribution (DC) schemes. Dianne holds the PMI Certificate in DC Governance and is a Fellow of the Financial Services Institute of Australasia. She has worked for major investment firms in senior communications and management roles. Dianne applies her extensive DC governance and communications experience to help with the evaluation of Fidelity’s member service, communications and engagement programmes.

Gerald Wellesley - Independent Member

Gerald is a Professional Trustee and Client Director of Punter Southall Governance Services Limited. He has over 35 years’ experience in the finance industry, 15 years as pension trustee and 3 years in HR management. 

His current portfolio of trusteeships includes chair, sole trustee and subcommittee positions with DB and DC schemes and DC Master Trusts. He brings strengths in the investment and financial management disciplines together with more broadly-based trustee skills. He was previously at BNY Mellon where he led the corporate strategy for the UK and European pensions industry where BNY Mellon is a leading provider of asset management, custody and collateral management services. 

Daniel Smith – Fidelity Representative

Daniel is Head of UK Full Service - Workplace Investing, leading the overall strategic and corporate management of Fidelity's DC businesses in the UK. Daniel joined Fidelity in 2002 and has over 20 years’ experience in the corporate pensions market. Daniel ensures that the Independent Members of the IGC are provided with all of the necessary support and information to undertake their roles effectively. In addition he ensures that the IGC members have full access to Fidelity resources and are consulted on business strategy and change projects.

James Carter - Fidelity representative

James Carter is Head of Pension Products and Policy with 19 years of experience in the workplace pensions market. He is responsible for the product implementation and management of Fidelity’s workplace pension products. James also leads Fidelity’s engagement with the government, regulators and industry bodies in the development of pension policy and the business’ analysis of the impact and opportunities of new pensions regulations.

Prior to joining Fidelity James was a Director in Willis Towers Watson’s pension consulting business, having also worked for KPMG and Aon, advising trustees and employers operating large DC pension schemes.