Retaining the benefits that digital working has brought to the industry are key to its future progression, PLSA Chief Executive Julian Mund will tell delegates during his opening speech at the organisation’s digital Investment Conference.
During the first ever digital version of the UK's largest conference focused on pension fund investment, Mr Mund will also look back on a testing 12 months and highlight how the PLSA has managed to adapt its work to meet those challenges while ensuring important messages are delivered to a wider audience than ever before.
“The online digital world brings opportunity and is here to stay,” Mr Mund will explain. “I want to retain the openness that digital engagement has brought in the past year, the interaction with a more diverse group of our members and the innovative spirit it has brought.
“In the year since we held what will have been one of the last live conferences before lockdown, over 4,000 people in our industry have tuned into PLSA events, either live or on-demand.
“We’ve reached new audiences, with half the people watching our Annual Conference in October being first timers. That audience included the highest number of pension funds and the highest number of individuals representing pension funds.
“And the audience for this event includes more pension funds, than we’ve ever had.”
With a seamless shift being achieved to digital conferencing, the PLSA is able to bring a series of important and high profile discussions to the industry during this year’s Investment Conference.
A lot of that work continues on from achievements from the past 12 months
Reflecting on the last year, Mr Mund will highlight some of the work the PLSA has undertaken on its members’ behalf to keep pensions and investments high on the national agenda.
“In our industry we can certainly sprint, but we’re really running a marathon. We worked on [members’] behalf to make sure that longer term measures will reflect [their] needs: we put across views on the powers of the regulator, DB funding, the pensions dashboard and scams as we lobbied on this year’s Pension Schemes Act.
“And of course we’re very active on investment topics. In our “Changing Climate” report, we set out both our analysis of what is stopping pension schemes from climate-aware investment and recommendations to overcome these barriers.
“We responded to the Government’s consultation on how to apply TCFD requirements to pension schemes. We stressed the importance of protecting the right of fiduciaries to make investment decisions and not to dictate the assets in which they must invest.
“The last year also saw our joint project with the Investment Association and the LGPS Scheme Advisory Board – the Cost Transparency Initiative – go from strength to strength with even wider adoption.
“We also produced a major review of our Voting Guidelines 2020 and called for companies to be held to account on a range of ESG issues, such as climate change, sustainability, executive pay and pensions.”
Looking to the future, Mr Mund will outline the PLSA’s six key priority policy areas for 2021 and will say that while digital events have now become a fixture in all our lives, nothing quite beats meeting people in the flesh.
“I really do want the PLSA to return to live events and member meetings when it becomes possible again,” concluded Mr Mund. “Nothing beats meeting you in person.”
To find out more about Investment Conference 2021 click here.
Mark Smith, Senior PR Manager
020 7601 1726 | [email protected]k
Steven Kennedy, PR Manager
020 7601 1737 | 07713 073024 | [email protected]