Season 4 Episode 6:
How to decide when the stakes are high with Chris Martin

Our viewpoint

You can listen to our podcasts online via the player below or search for 'Investment Uncut' and review, rate and subscribe on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Pocket Casts or SoundCloud

Today we’re talking decision-making with Chris Martin who is an independent trustee and Executive Chair at ITS with over 30 years of experience working with pensions boards and committees to make better decisions for members’ best interests.

Chris shares some of the key ingredients to good decision-making in this setting drawing on his experience of advising schemes, particularly those in stressed situations. We cover the need to think live in the room, be mission-driven and prioritise functional working groups focused on outcomes rather than grand set-piece meetings. Chris also covers his key asks of consultants and asset managers. 

Links mentioned:

We discuss:

  • ITS celebrated 30 years this year! We discuss some of Chris's reflections on the journey over that period 
  • Chris has worked a lot with pension schemes in stressed situations – we discuss how this impacts decision-making and how boards need to operate 
  • Decision-making under pressure: Chris shares his thoughts on: 
    • Frameworks/principles 
    • Group dynamics  
    • The role of sub-committees and group size 
    • The role of the Chair 
    • Pitfalls to watch for 
  • Some of Chris’s top tips:
    • Do your thinking live in the room
    • Focus on pragmatic solutions
    • Be mission-driven and leave your ego at the door
    • Prioritise working groups with key stakeholders over grand set-piece meetings, and outputs over standing agendas
    • Set expectations around behaviours
    • How Professional corporate sole trustee can be made to work well
    • Think about board composition
    • When saying less is more
  • We discuss the subtle art of managing competing stakeholders and tips to ensure all stakeholders are represented at key stages 
  • We talk about how to get the most out of expert advisers without totally giving over the decision-making framework to them 
  • Chris shares his key asks of consultants and asset managers based on his experience: bring all your ideas don’t apply too strong a filter of what you think will work, don’t bring ideas just because they are flavour of the month and don’t spend too long on backward looking information, work more in real time

What’s one thing you would like listeners to take away from this: 

Stakeholders working together with an agreed strategy, with the advisers working together to help execute it.

What is the most underappreciated thing about investing?

There’s not a single right way of doing it and not a single right way that’s an easy solution across all situations.

Any recommendations for good books or podcasts:

How to access our podcasts

You can access all our podcasts across all major audio platforms via computer or devices.


Apple Podcasts

Pocket Casts


Each LCP investment uncut podcast is for information and marketing purposes only and does not constitute any form of investment or financial advice or a financial promotion (under the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000). All views expressed by the podcast hosts and guests are purely their own opinions and do not represent those of LCP, its clients or affiliates. Our podcast listeners should always seek independent financial or legal advice before making any financial or investment decisions. Please refer to the Legal Notices section on the LCP website for further information.​

Our investment thinking

Our investment thinking

Insight hub

The latest recommended reads from our investment experts. From in-depth guides to quick-to-read blogs, we explore a range of themes to help you keep up-to-date.

Enter the hub