In an attempt to translate investment jargon into plain English, Britain's National Association of Pension Funds unveiled two new “made simple” guides at the annual NAPF Investment Conference 2011 earlier this month.
“Hedge funds made simple” and “Stewardship made simple: Practical steps for pension fund trustees in applying the Stewardship Code” tackle two issues deemed especially relevant now to U.K. trustees, said David Paterson, London-based head of corporate governance at the NAPF who helped draft the latter publication.
Generally less than 30 pages long, the guides attempt to give trustees a quick survey of certain investment issues within a short period of time.
“We try to take a balanced approach, for example, addressing what the risks are and what the costs are — information that's not always available by providers,” Mr. Paterson said in an interview following the launch.
For example, the publication on hedge funds includes both the potential benefits of hedge funds to deliver less volatile returns compared with equities, and a list of risks that need to be considered. Fees — an ongoing concern for institutional investors — are outlined.
“The aim is to educate,” Mr. Paterson added.
Further information on the NAPF's “made simple” series is available at https://ols.napf.co.uk/ membersarea/shop/layout6.asp.