UK - Cost-cutting pressures at traditional investment consultancy practices are beginning to cause delays in client services.
Schemes have told IPN’s sister publication, Professional Pensions, the largest investment consultants are now failing to provide reports on time – with some filed up to one week late.
One pension fund manager, a client of Watson Wyatt, said delays were starting to creep into the service.
He said: “Investment consultants are overworked and there aren’t enough consultants in the market.
“The UK is not as well-diversified a market as the US.”
EMAP group benefits manager Ralph Turner added that while he had no problems with his scheme’s investment consultant, also Watson Wyatt, he had heard of other pension fund managers who were experiencing difficulties.
Turner suggested pension funds should look for “hungry advisers”.
And he added: “Perhaps some of the hungry advisers are in middle-sized companies, rather than the big-boys.”
Society of Pension Consultants president Donald Duval said the problems could be blamed on “cost-cutting pressures” rather than a shortage of consultancies in the market.
“Poor service in the pensions industry sometimes is to do with shortage of staff, but it can also be with people trying to cut costs and provide service with inadequate staffing levels.”
A Watson Wyatt spokesman said: “Delays happen in an industry where information is shared and exchanged between various parties and it would be incorrect to attribute tardiness to one party only.”
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