What is fiduciary oversight and why is it important?

by Jean-Pierre Laporte October 01, 2013
A "fiduciary" is a person who has undertaken to act for another in a particular matter in circumstances which give rise to a relationship of trust and confidence.*

By definition, INTEGRIS is a fiduciary of its clients as a result of the Pension Benefits Act. Fiduciaries are held to the highest standard of care known under the law. They must be loyal, not put personal interests ahead of their clients and not profit from this relationship unless the clients consent ahead of time.

In practical terms, and in the specific context of a personal pension plan, the fact that INTEGRIS is a fiduciary provides clients with the following advantages:

1. INTEGRIS negotiates fee reductions from service providers associated with the personal pension plan. Group discounts are passed on to individual clients.

2. Fees charged by INTEGRIS are capped.

3. INTEGRIS puts the services of its Chief Strategy Officer, Chief Compliance Officer and Pension Officers to the client’s and advisor’s disposal to handle any issues that might arise. This relieves investment advisors of the burden of becoming expert in the pension field and thus provides protection from errors and omissions.

4. INTEGRIS acts as the ombudsman of the client when issues or difficulties are encountered with service providers.

5. INTEGRIS follows a policy of complete transparency with respect to fees and administrative decisions by giving clients 24/7 access to all records of the plan.

While many companies in the financial sector use trust as a marketing tool, in the case of INTEGRIS, acting in the best interest of our client is part of our DNA.

*Bristol and West Building Society v. Mothew [1996] EWCA Civ 533, [1998] Ch 1 (24 July 1996) per Lord Millett