Spotlight on Chris Martin
Managing director, Independent Trustee Services
Martin was a founding director of Independent Trustee Services (ITS) in the early 1990s, and has been its managing director since 1997. After four years of trials and investigations, this year Martin and his team managed to repatriate most of the funds misappropriated in the GP Noble fraud case.
He also chaired the Uniq pension scheme throughout its deficit-for-equity swap in 2011, which paved the way for Greencore’s acquisition of the company. The scheme subsequently completed a successful buyout with Rothesay Life in early 2012.
“ITS has been able to grow its business throughout 2012, and taken on a number of new clients. The company has also been appointed to a major DC master trust, which is a key pointer to the future of where professional trusteeship is going.
“The initial success of the roll-out of auto-enrolment has been a real high point for the industry. There’s a long way to go with DC, but that’s our challenge for 2013. My biggest hope for 2013, and beyond, is to really see sponsors and trustees, and most importantly members, start to focus on what they want to get out of DC schemes.
“There are no short-term solutions to DB funding challenges, and I’m hoping there will be a regulatory framework that genuinely is as flexible as they say it is. The Pension Regulator’s statement on DB funding in a low-interest rate environment was undoubtedly a notable point in the year, which will set the framework for the next round of funding valuations.
“I’d be driving for simplicity if I were pensions minister. I think I would copy some of Steve Webb’s ideas. He’s had good ideas around trying to reinvigorate some form of predictable and stable retirement income that members can understand, whether that is getting them to understand DC outputs, or coming up with a simplified version of DB by stripping away some of the cost, and some of the onerous obligations on employers.”