The Combined Service
LawDeb sole trustees working with LCP to improve your service
Often clients that come to us to discuss sole trusteeship are focused on improving efficiency, both time and cost, for their scheme. One way to achieve this is to ensure good working relationships between the trustee, scheme advisers and service providers. For certain sole trustee clients LawDeb may recommend the Lane Clark & Peacock (LCP) combined service. This service sees LCP provide actuarial and investment advisory services (and, in certain cases administration services as well) to a scheme for which LawDeb is the sole trustee.
How does the combined service benefit clients?
Both LCP and Law Debenture are independent firms who share a commitment to the highest quality advice and service to our clients. We have worked together across many clients for a long time and we believe that the good working relationship that we have developed has delivered excellent value for members through a combination of good trusteeship and high quality actuarial, investment and administration services.
- The combined sole trustee service will deliver this same high quality of advice and service but with the added benefits of:
- Lower overall fees than if the various services were provided by separate firms
- Consistent reported figures as they all derive from the same source
- Streamlined integrated reporting – which means less management time spent digesting and assimilating reports
A key benefit is the investment panel that supports this combined service. The panel sees LawDeb and LCP’s investment specialists meet regularly to discuss core themes (such as investment building blocks, roster of preferred managers). By streamlining investment processes, thereby avoiding duplication of effort and cost, and basing fee negotiations on the entire asset base, we can make potentially significant savings to the running costs of your scheme. The output from the investment panel is available via a dedicated platform to which all involved teams have access.
The sole trustee service is very much a streamlined service but we also retain the flexibility to include additional services, should you find that valuable, in your particular circumstances.
How does the service ensure good governance?
LawDeb has a sole trustee framework that focuses on good governance, find out more here. We work with LCP in the same way as we would work with any adviser. This means that we have a clear project plan, engage stakeholders early and record all meetings and decisions which the scheme sponsor, other scheme stakeholders and regulators can access where appropriate.
In addition to meetings with you, as scheme sponsor, we hold regular management meetings with LCP with a view to achieving a consistent high service across all schemes and to ensure a good flow of management information between LawDeb and LCP.
If I appoint LawDeb as sole trustee do I have to use LCP? And vice versa?
When moving to a sole trustee many sponsors are focused on maximising the efficiency for a scheme and this combined service can prove a good solution. There are of course instances, where the scheme stakeholders are happy with existing providers or the scheme’s circumstances mean it is not a good fit for LCP. Where this is the case the combined service would not be applicable. Similarly, if a scheme wanted LCP to provide all three services there is no obligation to appoint LawDeb as sole trustee.
There is no incentive, financial or otherwise to LawDeb or LCP to suggest this combined service. The motivation to do so is based purely on maximising the efficiency of the trustee and adviser relationship to deliver the desired outcomes.
How do the LCP teams work together?
A joined up service across all schemes
There is one LCP partner who is responsible for co-ordinating the provision of services across all schemes using this service. This will include managing the adoption of agreed common documentation and IT applications as well as ensuring good communication between different service teams. To ensure consistent quality of service, the LCP actuarial, investment and administration leads for each scheme would be drawn from a small panel of experienced practitioners, who work together and who are all familiar with the sole trustee service.
LCP’s actuaries will also use consistent principles to propose actuarial assumptions such that schemes with similar characteristics have consistent funding assumptions and approach to member options. This approach is transparent and will generate efficiencies through cutting down on the time spent discussing slight differences in arcane assumptions.
All schemes will have access to the investment platform – your LCP investment consultants will then provide tailored advice to your scheme, based on your specific circumstances and using the investment panel’s recommended funds and managers.
A joined up service for your scheme
The LCP actuarial and investment teams access information from a common database using their real-time modelling tool, LCP Visualise. This provides funding and investment information updated to the previous working day which gives the ability to look at alternative funding and investment scenarios in real time.
Administration services would be provided from a dedicated administration team, and overseen by an experienced partner who would see your scheme through the transition process, to “go live” date and for ongoing day-to-day administration.
The administration team would work closely with the actuarial team (for example in relation to factors for benefit calculations, data for actuarial valuations and ad-hoc enquiries) and with the investment team (for example in cash flow management).
How much will the combined service reduce costs for the scheme?
It is difficult to say without scoping the work required for a specific scheme but, in addition to the savings from using a single provider and the longer term efficiencies gained from the investment platform there is likely to be a reduction in fees for meetings as they are likely to be shorter and less frequent than those currently taking place. In addition, there will likely be less time spent on correspondence outside of meetings between the trustee and existing service providers.
Interested in the combined service and want to find out more? Read our case study on a client who has transitioned to the combined service or contact Vicky Paramour, LawDeb Trustee Director and Co-Head of our sole trustee service.
To see more from LCP visit their website https://www.lcp.uk.com/