UK - The £2bn South Tyneside Metropolitan District Council Tyne & Wear Pension Fund has gone out to tender for an investment consultant.
Watson Wyatt currently provides investment advice to the scheme.
Tyne & Wear loans and investment manager Ian Bainbridge said the scheme had planned to tender both its actuarial services and investment consultancy contracts this year.
And while it had to bring forward its tender for actuarial services following Watson Wyatt’s departure from the market this April, the tender for an investment consultant was part of this planned review – and not as a result of dissatisfaction with the consultant.
The Tyne & Wear Pension Fund replaced Watson Wyatt as its actuarial consultant with Hewitt Bacon & Woodrow in August.
Bainbridge said Watson Wyatt was being invited to tender for this mandate and he believed it would be a strong candidate in the process.
The £1.8bn Essex County Council Pension Fund also plans to market test its investment consultancy brief – most probably through a tender process.
It also currently uses Watson Wyatt as its investment consultant and stressed the decision was in no way due to dissatisfaction with the firm – but instead in line with good practice.
Essex County Council group manager of investments Martin Quinn said: “We believe that it is best practice to market test our services and it is also in compliance with the Myners investment principles.”
Essex replaced Watson Wyatt as its actuarial consultant with Mercer Human Resource Consulting last month.
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