UK - Watson Wyatt has lost out to Hewitt Associates on the back of pharmaceuticals giant GlaxoSmithKline's (GSK) decision to consolidate its existing UK defined benefit pension arrangements, with Hewitt as the sole investment consultant.
Since the merger of GlaxoWellcome and SmithKline Beecham in 2000, both sets of legacy arrangements continued to operate separately, with Watson Wyatt advising the GlaxoWellcome pension fund and Hewitt advising SmithKline’s fund.
A spokesperson for GSK said: “Because we’ve now merged, those two separate investment pools have become one and we only needed one provider to manage that, hence Hewitt taking that forward.”
She stressed the GSK pension funds had good business relationships with both consultants, but said that Hewitt had “won out” in the end.
Under the new arrangement, GSK said the combined £4bn in DB assets will be invested in a single common investment fund.
Additionally, Hewitt has been appointed as the investment adviser to both sets of trustees with respect to their defined contribution investments, which total £400m.
Commenting on the appointment, Rob Collinge, senior vice-president benefits at GSK, said: “We are now looking forward to working with Hewitt as our sole investment adviser, which we believe will provide consistency of investment advice across our UK pension plans.”
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