UK - Standard & Poor's, the US rating agency, has unveiled a new service aimed at helping UK trustees assess major risk decisions facing defined benefit schemes.
Pension fund trustees, whose role and responsibilities are increasing significantly under new legislation and the application of the Myners’ principles, will be provided with an independent and objective way to assess risk decisions.
The new initiative is expected to enhance information that trustees have about performance of fund managers and investment strategies.
Francois Veverka, executive managing director of Standard & Poor's in Europe said: We are providing trustees with the independent analysis they need to negotiate with scheme sponsors and advisers more effectively, and to make more balanced decisions in the interests of scheme members.
It will help bring a new level of transparency and accountability to a very opaque and complex sector. It is a service we are ideally placed to perform, because we are independent of the decision making process.
The services ensure a consistent analysis of the decisions made within pension funds whilst encompassing the unique aspects of each fund. The main elements of the new services assess the credit strength of the sponsor, the liability and asset assumptions underpinning the strategic benchmark and implementation of the investment arrangements.
The new services, which are scheduled to be launched in May 2004, will be in conjunction with WM Company, the investment performance evaluation subsidiary of State Street Corporation.
The company will contribute its experience of pension fund evaluation and analysis to the new range of services providing both the quantitative assessment of individual manager performance and investment analysis of individual pension funds.
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