Agenda item



The Chair asked for Members’ views on the note he had circulated the previous day.


One Member said he found the formal meetings useful, because he was able to ask questions about the contents of reports. He suggested that an hour at a meeting could be dedicated to a particular topic. He also thought it would be worthwhile to revisit the relationship between the Board and the Committee. It would be also worthwhile to consider what other Local Pension Boards were doing.


The Service – Director said that although he had put four formal meetings in next year’s workplan, that could be changed. He noted that all but one of the items on today’s agenda were recurring standard items. Should these items be reported at Committee or shared with Members in some other way?


A Member said that it was sometimes difficult to follow the minutes of meetings at which he had not been present, but he thought it was part of the role of Board Members to see them.


The Head of Business, Finance and Pensions suggested that the work of the Board centred on testing the compliance of Fund with various requirements and judging whether that was improving.


A Member said that he felt there was sometimes information overload, and that it was not always easy to see the wood for the trees. He suggested that the Board should, with the help of officers, review the information that it needed and the areas it should focus on.


The Chair said that the quality of the service provided to members of the Fund, which was the prime concern, depended on many different factors. The Board needed to understand these factors and, where they were under the control of the Fund, judge if the Fund was performing efficiently and cost-effectively. He asked whether formal meetings should be preceded by workshops, from say 10.30-12.00. A Member recalled that previous workshops had only been 15 or 20 minutes long. The Service Director – One West asked Members whether for the February meeting the agenda should be pared back to allow the formal meeting to be completed in an hour so that it could be preceded by a two-hour workshop on the administration strategy? Members indicated that they would find this useful.


The Chair asked how the valuation and other emerging issues would be factored into the Board’s workplan. The Head of Business, Finance and Pensions said that they would go into the Pension Committee’s workplan and as a product of that it can be decided when they should come to the Board. Online access to information, currently being rolled out to the Committee, could be made selectively available to Board Members.


A Member suggested that governance and the Administration Strategy should be the topics for early workshops. The Head of Business, Finance and Pensions proposed that there should also be an early workshop on Brunel, as being the biggest single change in the administration of the Fund. The Member suggested that Brunel could be looked as part of governance and the Administration Strategy, rather than be treated as an entirely separate topic. The Chair, however, suggested that Brunel impacted most on investment, whereas the Administration Strategy impacted most directly on Fund members. As far as governance was concerned, the Hymans Robertson report had only been published a couple of weeks ago and the LGPS managers’ conference had taken place a couple of days later. He thought these to be digested, before governance was looked in detail. He suggested that an introduction on governance, however, would enable the Board to clarify its role.


The Service Director – One West said that he understood that the Board wished to proceed as follows:


1.  that the formal agendas should be pared back;

2.  greater provision of the right tools and information online;

3.  workshops on priorities specified by the Board.


Members agreed with this. The Service Director – One West said he would email draft dates for workshops to Members.


Officers confirmed that recruitment for the two vacancies on the Board was ongoing.


After the discussion the Board RESOLVED to note the report.


The Head of Business, Finance and Pensions gave an update of the appointment of the new CEO of Brunel and progress on the review of governance arrangements

Members agreed that when Brunel was created it was natural that the governance arrangements were designed to give the individual funds assurance that their interests could not be overridden, but now that Brunel is operational it is important to ensure that Brunel is able to operate efficiently within the arrangements.





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