Consultants: Changing Roles

Investment & Pensions Europe

Global Head of Pensions, Brian McDonnell, contributed to IPE’s survey of pension consultants across Europe and beyond on how they are responding to changes in the wider pension sector:

McDonnell said: “Increasingly, whether we are retained to serve a scheme’s entire portfolio or a portion of it (for instance a private investment, hedge fund or real assets mandate), we are acting as the primary decision-maker for investment implementation, and are accountable as such. We have evolved into a very engaged and directive investment management role for many relationships, as opposed to purely consulting or providing investment office support.

While this change is a function of many external factors impacting plan sponsors, we have welcomed it, and aligned our resources accordingly, as we believe it leads to better outcomes for schemes and beneficiaries.

As markets continue to become more complex and schemes’ investment objectives more challenging to achieve, expert and active management of the total portfolio and nimble access to alpha-generating strategies is critical. This is driving this new investment management model for many pension schemes.

Economic and market conditions, regulations, and scheme demographics create new needs. We continue to anticipate what is ahead to the extent possible, identify the solutions needed, rigorously inspect them, and integrate them efficiently within each scheme’s construct. While strategies and tools may change, success will always be dependent on having the best global unconflicted resources to deliver on portfolio construction and management.”

Read the full article here.