Season 3 Episode 28:
It’s not about “what”, but “so what” with Graham Jung

Our viewpoint

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This week we speak to Independent Trustee Director Graham Jung from Ross Trustees. We cover Graham’s advice to consultants and asset managers working with trustees, including key things they miss and the questions trustees should be asking right now. We discuss why Graham believes trustees are not the impediment to better decision making they are sometimes seen as, and reflections on what’s changed over Graham’s career in investment.

Links mentioned:

We discuss:

  • Graham’s blog entitled “12 things to ask your investment consultant & asset manager” – why these questions, why now..
    • and why Graham says to consultants: “don’t just tell me what, tell me so what”
    • How consultants and asset managers need to expose their thinking on the big questions and how this affects their clients – not just replaying what happened
  • Which managers should trustees hear from and how often
  • Interest rates and inflation are clearly key themes, we discuss how Graham sees these being handled by investors and the questions they should ask on this
  • Where Graham thinks trustee groups should spend their time and focus in wrestling with all these questions
  • Strategic observations: the benefit of trustees being nimble and the challenges of strategic asset allocation in this environment
  • What consultants and asset managers miss / or get wrong
    • Why picking up the phone and pitching a product doesn’t work in this market – be comfortable saying you don’t have something that fits
    • Speak trustees language, understand the pension fund industry
    • Be comfortable disagreeing
    • And, service is vital – managers will firefight very well when things no going well, but the industry is interconnected, don’t underestimate that
    • Poor, unthinking service is an easier way to put yourself on the sidelines than maybe even performance

What's one thing to take away

Trustees are not the impediment to better decision making – it’s lazy to assume they are.

The most underappreciated thing about investing?

Even the world’s very very best investors are right 55% of the time and wrong 45% of the time. So even the best investors are wrong nearly 50% of the time. Recognise that and prepare to revisit decisions, you can’t be definitive. Your discussions this year may look silly and naïve in a year’s time.


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