Jonathan Stapleton looks at the firms who were advertising in the first editions of Professional Pensions and how the consultancy, asset manager and provider markets have changed over the past 20 years
The pensions market has changed considerably over the past 20 years - and firms that were well-known to trustees and scheme professionals in 1997 have quite often undergone several mergers since.
But who were the key players advertising in Professional Pensions when we launched in February 1997, what were the products and services they were promoting and what has happened to them since?
Mergers and acquisitions
Hill Samuel Asset Management was a big advertiser during PP's early years but merged with Scottish Widows Investment Management to form Scottish Widows Investment Partnership in 2000 - a business that was bought by Aberdeen Asset Management in 2014.
GAN Fund Managers was another big advertiser in the first weekly editions of PP. GAN was owned by Groupe des Assurances Nationales (GAN), a French insurer that was taken over by Groupama in 1998.
Dibb Lupton Alsop was another advertiser from the edition that has undergone some change since. The law firm - which placed an article in the 6 February issue looking at the alienation, forfeiture and bankruptcy aspects of the Pensions Act 1995 - saw its name shortened to DLA at around the turn of the millennium, before undergoing a three-way merger with Gray Cary and Piper Rudnick at the start of 2005, becoming DLA Piper in the process.
Another advertiser in the first issue was Singer & Friedlander International Asset Management; the investment arm of Singer & Friedlander, a firm that was later bought by Kaupthing, the Icelandic bank that collapsed following the 2008 financial crisis.
The asset management business of Kaupthing Singer & Friedlander was then bought by private client investment manager, Williams de Broe (WDB).
Other big advertisers in our early editions included Capel-Cure Myers (which was later acquired by Old Mutual); Gartmore (which was bought by Henderson in 2011); NatWest Investment Management; Nikko International Capital Management (the firm known as NICAM, which later merged with Nikko Securities Investment Trust & Management to become Nikko Asset Management); Abbey Life; F&C Asset Management (now BMO Global Asset Management) and Hogg Robinson (which later rebranded to Entegria before being sold to Duke Street Capital to form part of the Xafinity Group).
Morgan Grenfell was also an early advertiser. At the time, it was a very high profile name in institutional asset management but was later affected by financial irregularities in some of its investment funds, which resulted in a £2m fine, the resignation of five directors and a high-profile trial involving one of its fund managers, Peter Young.
Morgan Grenfell's asset management business later became part of Deutsche Asset Management, which itself was partially acquired by Aberdeen Asset Management in the 2000s.
Consultants also featured in our pages - with Hewitt Associates, Buck Consultants and Russell all in our earliest issues.
There were also a lot of insurance names in the first few issues of PP - including Guardian Royal Exchange (later bought by Axa); Norwich Union (now part of Aviva); AMP; and Sun Life.
Not all change
However, while there has been lots of change over the years, there has also been stability and there are a number of advertisers in the first editions of Professional Pensions that retain the same name today.
Schroders, for instance, was a regular advertiser in our early issues, promoting its global research capabilities; as were Legal & General Investment Management, which was promoting its range of pooled index funds. They were joined by Generali Employee Benefits, asset manager First Quadrant, and Russell.
When we launched as a weekly magazine in February 1997, job adverts were a large part of the magazine as well - and we had many issues in the years that followed with 15 or more pages of job vacancies.
Those advertised in the 6 February 1997 edition of PP included positions for administrators at £15,000 per annum plus benefits; roles for pension consultants at "up to" £35,000 and actuarial roles were being advertised at up to £75,000. There was also an advert for a pensions manager with "excellent knowledge of group personal pension contracts" at £35,000.
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