US - Consultants in the US have been told to brace themselves for major changes in the consultancy profession with specialisation and adaptability becoming the keywords for success.
Richard McEvoy, principal, Mercer, said traditional defined benefit (DB) consulting would decline over the next couple of decades and possibly in an even shorter time span.
In spite of this, McEvoy forecast the demand for retirement consulting would escalate as the baby boomers grew older and consumers exceeded producers.
He said: “That is going to require consultants. What form that takes I don’t know. It’s going to change beyond belief. It’s both exciting and scary at the same time, you have to be adaptable.”
McEvoy added: “I think we will also see a number of specialists in different areas that will stick to what they are doing even though it’s a declining business.”
Responding to McEvoy’s comments, Christine Tozzi, office practice leader for retirement consulting, Watson Wyatt, San Francisco, said the need for consultants to be pro-active in the future will be even greater than it is today.
Tozzi said: “It’s going to be up to us to help our clients monitor and project the funded status of their retirement plans.
“The link between assets and liabilities is important because it drives funding and financial reporting.”
She added that following new legislation, consultants had been involved with helping clients negotiate the complex new rules and understand what the key implications for their plans were.
She said US consultants were also helping consultants align their benefit programmes with their business objectives and this trend would continue.
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