Sole Trusteeship


Sole trusteeship is a key part of our business. We currently have the largest portfolio of sole trustee clients and the highest number of trustees working on them in the market. Where a sponsor chooses to have their scheme run this way we can offer experience and a strong governance structure, giving comfort that they are appointing a professional trustee with experience and a demonstrable track record in sole trusteeship.

We will provide a named client team who we think best matches a client’s needs. Within our wider team we have an unparalleled diversity of experience that they can draw upon as a situation demands including former actuaries, lawyers, covenant advisers, corporate financiers and most stops in between.

Why appoint a sole trustee

Among the many reasons a sponsor or trustee board might appoint a sole trustee are:

  • To speed up the decision making process – Decisions are made by a single trustee rather than a board which will invariably lead to a quicker decision making process.
  • Difficulty filling trustee board vacancies – It is becomingly increasing difficult for sponsors to find individuals who are prepared to act as a member nominated or employer nominated representative on trustee board.
  • Increasing regulatory and legislation changes – The increasing complexity of pension issues can make it difficult for lay trustees to spend sufficient time on pension matters.
  • Conflicts of Interest – The existence of conflicts of interests which can create difficult situations for member and employer nominated representatives.
  • Time savings – To free up time of member or employer representative to concentrate on the sponsor’s ongoing business.


What are the advantages and disadvantages of sole independent trusteeship

Whilst it important to understand the benefits a scheme and sponsor might achieve by moving to a sole trustee, it is equally important to have a balanced view of the model thus understanding its disadvantages. In the attached paper click here we outline some of those advantages and disadvantages which you should consider.

Professional Standards For A Sole Trustee

From 1 July 2019, new standards were introduced for all those individuals and firms who act as a professional pension trustee. With regard to sole trusteeship the standards state:

1. A sole trader should not accept appointments as a sole trustee.

2. Any firm accepting such appointments must be able to evidence that they have:

  • Sufficient resourced and appropriate governance arrangements to mitigate the additional risks and responsibilities.
  • An Audit and Assurance Faculty (AAF) 02/07 report .
  • Formal written procedures for fraud prevention, maintenance of continuity of service and peer review of key decisions.
  • A process to ensure that there are a minimum of two accredited professional trustees directly responsible for each sole trustee appointment.

The standards have changed the sole trustee landscape and it is therefore important that any firm acting as a sole trustee can clearly evidence compliance with these.

Capital Cranfield’s sole trustee offering fully complies with the professional trustee standards.  

What distinguishes the Capital Cranfield sole trusteeship model

There are five key differences between us and our competitors:

  • With around 80 sole trustee schemes we are constantly told that we have the largest current sole trustee portfolio.
  • With over 20 of our trustees having sole trustee cases within their portfolio we have the largest talent pool of trustees in this area.
  • We are the only professional trustee firm that has a dedicated Head of Sole Trusteeship who overviews every aspect of sole trusteeship for our business.
  • We have a Sole Trustee Committee, who with the Head of Sole Trusteeship, constantly challenge our model to ensure it remains relevant in the changing pensions landscape.
  • We host Sole Trustee Forums and Workshops with advisers to challenge the “norm” and understand how the market is evolving.


In the Media

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