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CACEIS Academy for Pension Schemes and Fund Boards is an educational initiative designed for trustees and fund boards so they can stay ahead of changing regulation on governance.

We provide insight and training across many topics, including sustainable governance, ESG and climate risk and future trends, such as blockchain and digitisation. We also partner with industry practitioners to bring additional subject-matter expertise into our educational content.


Latest podcasts

All podcasts
Episode 1: Changing Behaviors
A look into what we need to consider as individuals in adjusting to climate change
Episode 4: Climate and the Investor Perspective
How do asset owners and asset managers assess climate risk from their investments, and what do we need to think about on natural capital
Episode 2: Moving To Net Zero
We explore what net zero means and look at areas of best practice within the financial services industry in getting there
Episode 5: Stewardship to drive change
We look at the ways in which stewardship and voting can be a powerful tool to reinforce climate policies of asset owners and asset managers
Episode 3: Accessing data
What constitutes good data on climate risk and the ways it can help asset owners and asset managers in understanding their risks
Episode 6: The future
In this last episode, we look at what the future may hold as global economies move to decarbonise

Breaking down key terms

We recognise that when you delve into the world of ESG and climate change, getting to the heart of some of the terms that are used can be complex. We uncover some of the most commonly used ones.

What are digital assets?

What are digital assets?

What does climate risks mean?

What does climate risks mean?

Our training sessions

We have developed a range of training modules for trustee and fund boards that will be delivered by subject-matter experts in each area.

Assessing climate risk

Synopsis

We’ll uncover the different types of risks that you should be aware of, and then use practical examples of how you can use data to assess the impact of climate risk on an investment portfolio. We’ll also talk about the subject of materiality – understanding where your key risks lie. We’ll also outline what best practice looks like within the financial services sector and what regulatory developments to expect.

Key learning points

  • Differentiate between the different types of climate risk - physical and transition risks
  • Understanding the impact of climate risk to companies and bond issuers
  • Understanding the different approches used to assess climate risk
  • How to interpret information relating to climate risk
  • Provides the foundations to help you build your climate framework
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Assessing ESG factors

Synopsis

This module will start by looking at the regulatory landscape and then unpack the different categories of ESG risk, providing case studies on where material ESG issues have created reputational damage for companies. We’ll explain some of the different methodologies used to build an ESG framework and outline what data is available and how to utilise it to make decisions on ESG risk factors. Finally, we’ll explore how ESG risks can be monitored and governed.

Key learning points

  • Unpack the different components of ESG - Environment, Social & Governance
  • Understanding of the different approaches used to assess ESG risks
  • How to interpret information relating to ESG
  • Understanding how to develop an ESG governance framework
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Cost Transparency & Benchmarking (Pension Schemes)

Synopsis

We’ll begin looking at the role of the Cost Transparency Initiative and the developments in cost transparency over the last three years. Drawing on our experience, we’ll look at some of the practical results and trends we are seeing from cost transparency reporting so you can understand some of the potential issues around costs. We’ll explore a case study in how a pension scheme moves through the cost transparency process from start to finish, and look at key areas in the process, such as data quality and how to develop a governance framework around cost transparency.

Key learning points

  • Knowledge of developments in cost transparency
  • Understand some of the key trends in costs
  • A practical case study that can be leveraged for your own scheme’s cost transparency process
  • An understanding into the quality of data and why this is important for good governance
  • The ability to build a framework for your own scheme’s cost transparency exercise
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Blockchain and digital assets

Synopsis

Drawing on our trainers’ specialist knowledge in this area, this module will begin by looking at the concepts of blockchain and digital assets. We’ll explore how this is driving innovation in areas such as digital custody and tokinised funds – and how this sits alongside traditional custody and administration. We’ll also explore some of the practical considerations on governance.

Key learning points

  • An understanding of how blockchain and digital assets work
  • Knowledge on how digital custody and tokinised funds will differ with traditional approaches
  • Knowledge of the opportunities and challenges in this area
  • Insight into governance considerations
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The role of a custodian

Synopsis

Custodians are key to holding pension scheme and fund assets securely. We begin by looking at the role of the custodian and all the functions within custody. We’ll delve deeper into topics such as sub-custody networks, custodial governance and what regulation requires custodians to do. This will include a quick look into client assets and the importance of knowing how your cash is held. We’ll then explore the concept of operational resilience, which is crucial for all custodians, and then look at how the role of the custodian is changing, especially with more data and regulatory drivers for ESG and climate reporting.

Key learning points

  • Equip you with broad-based knowledge on the role of a custodian
  • Areas to consider that you can ask of your current custodian
  • Insight into some of the governance considerations you should be aware of
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The role of a depositary

Synopsis

What happens to a fund if everyone sells? Are the fund assets safe? These are some of the areas that a depositary has responsibility for. This module starts by looking at previous events and how they have shaped current regulations. We’ll then look at the role of the depositary and how this might evolve with the emergence of funds that have a focus on ESG and climate factors. We’ll take a deeper look into some of the oversight functions of a depositary, including safekeeping and investment restriction monitoring.

Key learning points

  • A depositary is interconnected – its a key link in the financial value chain and understand their role can help you define your governance framework
  • Insight into how depositary functions oversee ESG and climate factors if they are part of a fund objective
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Stewardship and engagement

Synopsis

Stewardship and engagement has been a strong and powerful discipline for asset owners and asset managers, especially to align ESG and climate risk policies. In this module, we’ll highlight what good practice looks like and how a rigorous framework can be developed to build strong governance around stewardship and voting. We’ll also explore concepts such as dis-investment and what data is available to help validate any policy around stewardship and engagement. We’ll also uncover strategies for how asset owners, for example, can express their ESG and climate policies through funds that they own, which might not provide them with voting rights.

Key learning points

  • Understand what good practice looks like in stewardship and voting
  • Knowledge of the approaches and different engagement styles
  • Tips on building a stewardship and voting framework
  • Practical examples to leverage that you can apply for effective stewardship and engagement
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Sustainability governance

Synopsis

This module looks at the evolution of sustainability governance, which is quickly becoming a key requirement for asset owners and fund managers. We’ll outline what this means for trustee and fund boards, by looking at regulatory expectations and by exploring best practice frameworks. We’ll then take a practical approach by outlining some of the important areas to consider in establishing a sustainability governance framework, which includes the different types of data trustee and fund boards can get their hands on to drive effective governance. Other factors that drive good governance decision-making, such as an independent view and diversity of opinion will also be addressed.

Key learning points

  • Understand the changing regulatory environment as it relates to sustainability governance
  • A look at the different governance challenges, such as ESG, Climate risk and value for money or assessment of value
  • Knowledge of the data available that can help drive good sustainability governance
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Cyber security

Synopsis

Cyber security is the application of processes to protect data and individuals from cyber attacks. For trustee and fund boards, knowledge and processes around cyber security is another pillar of good governance. It’s also a critical board-level issue for asset managers and a critical issue for pension schemes in limiting the potential financial impact of a cyber attack on the scheme and the members themselves. We’ll look at the different types of cyber security risks and bring together a practical example of what a incident response plan looks like, based on our expertise in this area, and points to consider in understanding what makes up a cyber footprint and what measures need to be put in place to protect data.

Key learning points

  • General understanding of cyber security
  • Knowledge of the many forms of cyber security risk
  • Tips to help mitigate against a cyber-attack
  • Expanded focus on governance
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Not sure which training is right for you? We’re here to help.

Please contact the team if you would like to book one of these training modules for free.
We’ll deliver them virtually or if possible, face-to-face.

 

 

Latest webinar

All webinars

Governance on fund boards

We assembled an expert panel to talk about governance and the challenges around access to data within the asset management sector.

The webinar addresses themes such as fund board governance, data gaps and opportunities

09.06.22  —  1 Hour

Watch the replay now

Governance on fund boards

Meet your trainers

  • Pat Sharman - Managing Director, UKPat Sharman

    Sustainable Governance and Custody

  • Michael CallariMichael Callari

    ESG, Climate Risk and Cost Transparency

  • James ParishJames Parish

    Custody

  • Claire LinaneClaire Linane

    Compliance and cyber security

  • Kate KyleKate Kyle

    Custody and cyber security

  • Scott FosterScott Foster

    ESG, Climate Risk and Cost Transparency

  • Glen TownsendGlen Townsend

    Custody, Tokenisation and Administration

  • Sam MabreySam Mabrey

    Depositary and oversight


Related news

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Following the recent survey by CACEIS to fund professionals, it was really encouraging to see that 83% of respondents cited the potential for reputational risk if climate commitments are not adhered to. Although awareness of climate risk and its impact on the investment world is rising, our survey highlighted several challenges still confronting asset managers and fund boards, particularly around the implementation of a climate risk and governance framework, and the availability of the necessary tools and skills, including data, to fully monitor and manage climate risk.

Pat Sharman - Managing Director, CACEIS UKFor fund boards, several questions remain. For example, does the flow of data and management information finding its way into the boardroom arrive in a consistent format? Do board members feel sufficiently informed to make sense of it? Furthermore, to what extent are other functional business areas – such as audit and risk – viewing climate change as a key operational risk? And do fund boards require their own set of data as part of their monitoring and oversight responsibilities?

What happens at board level is also critical. Our survey highlighted that around one-third of asset management boards are now overseeing the process of integrating climate considerations into business and risk management processes. From an industry perspective, there needs to be more recognition of treating these considerations as a climate-related financial risk, much like an operational or traditional investment risk.

This demands a broader understanding of climate risks across different functional areas within an asset manager or host authorised corporate directors. It’s no longer purely the domain of portfolio managers – we believe the risks need to be understood by compliance, risk and internal audit teams. This requires broader company-wide access to more data and reporting. However, encouragingly, 21% of survey respondents highlighted the development of an educational framework to upskill key employees across all functional areas as a business priority. It’s also important to note that we also expect more pension scheme trustee boards will enforce their climate policies on the service providers they use, which will include securities administration companies and asset managers.

Data is key to keeping fund boards informed

Access to good data can be a challenge for fund boards. Only 19% of respondents in our survey mentioned that they had adequate reporting in place to provide full disclosure on climate risks.

Fund boards require a workable reporting framework that tracks environmental, social and governance (ESG) and climate exposure at a granular level. This means having access to information on material risks at a security level, rather than relying on higher level information at portfolio level, which really does not tell you that much when you are required to make informed, robust, and fully accountable governance decisions.

Building such a reporting framework means fund boards need to get their hands on good quality data. This includes carbon data and ESG risk data at a portfolio, sector and a security level, allowing fund boards to see where the main risks are, and giving them the informed confidence required to carry out their fiduciary responsibility. As we look at stewardship – or duties of care and responsibility – fund boards should also be reviewing the voting and stewardship policies of the funds they are responsible for, which can only be achieved with access to quality data and information.

Is a lack of good quality data an issue? In summary, no – our survey respondents made it clear sufficient data already exists today. However, 79% of respondents cited the lack of a consistent methodology as their biggest concern in building a climate risk reporting framework. We recognise that there are different companies supplying data on ESG and climate risk, all with their own methodology, and the challenge this presents in terms of consistency and uniformity. Our survey suggests fund professionals already recognise the need to take climate commitments seriously, and are prepared to play a more prominent role in creating meaningful change.

Pat Sharman, Managing Director - CACEIS Bank, UK Branch