An introduction to
The Transparency Task Force is an informal but increasingly influential forum dedicated to encouraging greater transparency in financial services, right around the world.
We believe that high levels of transparency are a prerequisite for fairer, safer and more efficient financial services markets that deliver better value for money.
Ultimately we hope to help repair some of the reputational damage that financial services has suffered, for the benefit of all market participants - to be blunt about it the financial services industry has been pre-disposed to self-harm for decades and it’s about time we all work together to clean things up a little.
It’s obvious that greater transparency will help enormously.
The meeting is exclusively for individuals that have not attended a TTF meeting before (unless by special arrangement) and will introduce you to the work of the TTF so you can decide if you wish to engage with our activity in some way; or of course you can just "observe from the sidelines" moving forward, in the knowledge of what we are doing and why.
Apart from anything else it is a great free-to-attend networking opportunity.
The meeting is on Wednesday 4th November, 9:00 for a 9:30 start and ends at 11:00, with optional networking afterwards.
Your presenter will be Andy Agathangelou, Founding Chair of the Transaprency Task Force.
To book your place please click on Register towards the top of the page.
The central London venue will be advised at least a week before the event.
The Five Teams
We have five teams, each team works on a particular issue and each is led by enlightened individuals determined to make a difference.
Here, some of the leaders account for who they are, what their teams are focused on, and why…
By Steve Conley, a Leader of the TTF’s Data Team:
I’m the Business Development Director of Workplace Pensions Direct, an Auto Enrolment consultancy for small and micro businesses and their professional advisers. Over the years I have played a part in bringing some of the most successful investment opportunities to the UK market.
I lead our Data Team, which is addressing the issue that trustees and investors need to be able to access clear, simple and actionable data. We’re considering all the important dimensions to data including data verification, quality, consistency, standardisation, collation, reconciliation and reporting.
Our work will enable better data evaluation and benchmarking, thereby enabling better-informed decision-making and improved understanding, which in turn will lead to better public engagement.
We are busy identifying the optimal data set and once done we’ll facilitate proofs of concept for data collection, collation and representation.
By Chris Sier, a Leader of the TTF’s Transaction Costs & Charges Team:
I’m the Managing Director of the UK Branch at KAS BANK, a European Custodian Bank and Fund Administration provider. KAS BANK has been at the forefront of the drive towards transparency for pension funds in the Netherlands.
Many UK pension funds lack sufficient knowledge of the hidden transaction costs they may be exposed to. This lack of transparency is a significant problem, for DB & DC, and that is why I’ve volunteered to help lead our Transaction Costs & Charges Team.
We’re busy creating a disclosure framework that will enable schemes to benchmark against relevant peer groups and better understand the true costs involved in achieving excess returns ahead of a relevant benchmark. It will also assist in the passive v active evaluation of managers.
By Henrik Pedersen, a Leader of the TTF Rationale for Decision-Making Team:
I’m Danish with over 25 years of applied financial market and investment experience. I founded Clerus to help pension schemes and other asset owners improve investment decisions, governance and value-for-money, through independent and transparent analysis.
I initiated the TTF’s Rationale for Decision-Making Team because there is a general lack of transparency and accountability around the decision-making process in workplace pensions. This is a huge issue because the long-term interest of all stakeholders in workplace pensions are not aligned and decision-makers are not required to report on how their decisions impact outcomes.
We are working on a methodology that will increase transparency and thereby the quality of decision-making, delivering a positive impact on outcomes.
We also hope to encourage pragmatic regulatory reform that elevates the regulatory lever of transparency above bureaucratic box-ticking regimes.
By Sarah Wilson, a Leader of the TTF’s Stewardship Team:
I’m the CEO and Founder of Manifest, which since 1995 has been the resource for objective corporate governance research and voting services for some of the world’s most demanding institutional investors, governance professionals, academics and professional advisers.
I now also help to lead TTF’s Stewardship Team which is dedicated to raising the levels of transparency around all the important aspects of stewardship including environmental, social & governance considerations, asset holdings complexity, irresponsible & unsustainable investing practices, voting and engagement.
There is a growing interest in “doing stewardship well” rather than compliance-driven box ticking. But without high levels of transparency it is unnecessarily challenging. We’re working collaboratively on ideas that will make it more straightforward to execute a stewardship-savvy strategy well.
It is early days for all the teams but between us we have a wealth of experience and perhaps even more importantly we have an unselfish determination to make a difference.
By Janice Lambert, a Leader of the TTF’s Terms & Conditions Team:
I’m an experienced manager turned independent consultant, with considerable regulatory experience gained working for the Financial Conduct Authority and the Pensions Regulator.
My team is focused on protecting schemes from unfair contract clauses (such as inappropriate NDA’s that prohibit transparency) and to encourage the handling of contract negotiations far earlier in the procurement process, because too many schemes fail to scrutinise contractual detail at the optimal time.
We’re looking to produce a standardised set of transparent terms & conditions, with the widespread involvement of the pensions and investment industry. This will balance the interests of the parties involved more fairly, for the benefit of all in the long run.
If you like the idea of working collaboratively to create better outcomes for all whilst helping to repair the reputational damage of the pensions and investment industries please use Register above to secure your place at our introductory meeting.
To book your place please click on Register towards the top of the page.
...is the collaborative, campaigning community dedicated to driving up the levels of transparency in financial services, right around the world.
We believe that higher levels of transparency are a pre-requisite for fairer, safer and more efficient markets to deliver better value for money and better outcomes to the consumer.
Furthermore, because of the correlation between transparency, truthfulness and trustworthiness, we expect that our work will help to rebuild trust and confidence in financial services, for the benefit of consumers, market participants and the efficacy of government policy.
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