I’ve completed my review of the 2020 IGCs and GAAs – 15 reviews of the reports I know of. It you run an IGC or GAA that I’ve missed, please send me your report.
I doubt many IGCs have met in person over the past year but most report that they have had many more virtual meetings and this has resulted in an improvement in the quality of the reports , the effectiveness of the IGCs and the relevance of their Value for Money assessments
Here are the latest ratings compared to 2019 and 2020
You can find a link to each report and my review of each report below.
We have one new IGC report this year from Vanguard. We have lost one report- Old Mutuals and we know we will lose Zurich’s IGC report to a GAA next year.
I’ve included one GAA – SJP’s, there are several others but they report to a template provided by PTL and don’t warrant the same level of attention as I can give IGCs.
This has been a tough year for the IGCs who have delayed their reporting to allow them a run at the new investment pathways. In practice, few IGCs have had much to say about them and one (Virgin Money) seems to have ignored them altogether.
The reports this year have had to include sections not just on investment pathways but on ESG. Generally the IGCs have yet to get to grips with ESG in a meaningful way, simply rehashing what they hear from their providers without too much concern that they might be green-washed. The best IGC ESG report comes from Aviva but there’s still a long way to go before we can be confident about the various claims on carbon neutrality. We need to know the cost (or greenium) of ESG and its impact – both in terms of performance and in the measures devised by TCFD.
I was generally disappointed by the IGCs attempts to meet the FCA’s requirement for benchmarking. Aegon did a decent job of providing the information at scheme level but most IGCs haven’t done much by way of “employer scheme ” reporting and some don’t acknowledge the concept of the employer scheme at all.
Value for Money needs a refresh and a common definition. I suspect we will get something meaningful from TPR/FCA in October, in time for the 2022 reports. It is encouraging to see IGCs like Fidelity and Royal London and Virgin Money promoting personalized reporting using Internal Rates of Return. If we are to see an innovative approach to VFM, it must start with the value each saver is getting for their money.
Production values for reports are generally high (I hope that Scottish Widows has by now stabilized its PDF) but most IGC reports are way too long. L&G and Standard Life can both claim the longest report though L&G probably loses in terms of words and numbers by dint of the huge number of pictures.
Moving pictures are becoming more common with videos available from many IGC chairs – please don’t persist with this practice unless you have something to say and a compelling way of saying it – the current vids are pretty naff.
I’m not sure the IGCs have done enough with this round of reports to get them off the FCA’s naughty step, but we are still in the pandemic so they may get another go before getting another rollicking.
These reports are still worth me reading and I’m reading them for the team! Let’s hope we can get back to April publication and a staggered release next year. For I am IGC’d and GAA’d out!
Report and Review Links