London,2 October 2018 – the Big Three investment consultants - Aon, Mercer and Willis Towers Watson - have agreed to take part in top-level talks, hosted by governance specialist IC Select, to develop a strategy to show whether they provide value for money to their advisory pension scheme clients.
The other consultants who have so far agreed to participate in the first round of talks are Cardano, KPMG, Redington, River and Mercantile, and Momentum. Discussions with further firms are ongoing.
CMA Report marks turning point in drive for transparency and good governance
London, 18th July 2018 – Advisory firm IC Select welcomes the CMA provisional decision report and support the decision not to split up the investment consultants which we felt would have been detrimental to the investment services that many pension funds receive from them.
Peter Dorward, Managing Director, IC Select, commented: “Overall we believe the report and the process of discussion with the industry has changed attitudes towards transparency for the better by investment consultants and fiduciary managers. The remedies proposed will ensure that as the process moves forward from here, these transparency gains are not lost”.
London, 1 June 2018 – Third party evaluators of fiduciary management Barnett Waddingham, Hymans Robertson, IC Select, KPMG, Lane Clark & Peacock and XPS Investment have backed the Fiduciary Management Performance Standard.
They believe that all Fiduciary Managers should have the capability to comply with the standard, or explain why this is not the case.
Mallowstreet, the social network for pension schemes, recently asked their membership whether trustees need a fiduciary management performance standard. The result was 100% in favour - a rare consensus.
Investment Consultant Tenders in Sharp Decline
London, 21 May 2018 – Around 2.7% of pension schemes retendered for investment consulting services in 2017 – less than a sixth the proportion of a decade ago - according to a survey of 1,000 schemes, worth £697 billion, by oversight and selection specialist IC Select.
This is a marginal increase on the 2.5% of 2016 and 1.6% of 2015. But these proportions mark a sharp decline on 18.6% of 2008. Retenders have been bumping along at a low level over the three years despite growing scrutiny of investment consultant expertise and questions over the level of tender activity.
IC Select’s survey of schemes on their database also showed 1.5% of schemes ended up changing their consultant, against 11% in 2008, marking a steady decline over ten years. The changes stripped out scheme mergers, and entries into the Pension Protection Fund.
Peter Dorward, managing director of IC Select, said: “It is surprising the level of tender activity over the last three years has been so low. This follows the spread of de-risking plans, which has added to the complexity of investment affairs and, potentially, ties schemes more closely to incumbent advisers.”
London, 16 April 2018 – Advisory firm IC Select has launched a performance-measurement standard to help pension schemes compare the skills of fiduciary managers hired by trustees to make investment decisions on their behalf.
The IC Select Fiduciary Management Standard has been published amid unprecedented regulatory scrutiny of investment consultants. It has been backed by 14 providers including the world's largest consulting firms Aon Hewitt, Mercer and Willis Towers Watson. The others comprise BlackRock, Cardano, Charles Stanley, Goldman Sachs Asset Management, JLT Investment Solutions, Kempen Capital Management, Legal & General, P-Solve, Russell Investments, Schroders and SEI.