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NAPF publishes trustee guide to IMAs

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The National Association of Pension Funds (NAPF), in collaboration with international law firm CMS, has published a guide to Investment Management Agreements (IMA) for pension fund trustees.

An IMA documents the relationship between the pension fund trustees and the discretionary investment manager selected to manage the scheme’s assets. Trustees are responsible for the contractual terms which apply under an IMA. This guide covers the key clauses of an IMA and the issues to consider when entering into such an agreement.

Joanne Segars, Chief Executive, NAPF, says: “At the NAPF we offer trustees and pension managers practical support to help them address core topics, by providing resources such as this new guide on Investment Management Agreements.

“The IMA is the framework that sets out the relationship between the trustees and the investment manager, and can include provisions on how the manager will report back to the trustees on stewardship activities, transaction costs and other matters. We hope this guide will allow trustees to develop agreements with their investment managers that work better for their scheme and in turn their scheme members.

“We are very grateful to CMS who, in this essential guide, have shared their knowledge and expertise gained through years of negotiating IMAs on behalf of trustees.”

Keith Webster, partner, CMS, says: “Investment of scheme assets is a key role for trustees and it is important that they understand the contractual terms which they have in place with their investment managers. The terms of an IMA can be tailored to reflect the pension scheme’s exact requirements. It is common for this tailoring to focus on investment issues, like defining the performance benchmark, but trustees must also ensure the legal terms of the IMA match their requirements. We hope this guide will help trustees identify the key contractual terms in an IMA and understand where there is most scope for flexibility when negotiating the IMA.”

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