Almost half of UK defined benefit schemes use a fiduciary manager, according to research from Aon Hewitt.
The consultant and fiduciary manager's annual survey of the market, which canvassed 230 schemes with £181bn in assets, found 46% reported using a delegated manager.
This is up from just 18% in 2011, and contrasts with other research which put the proportion of schemes with fully delegated fiduciary mandates at one in 20 last year.
Aon said the strongest growth was in schemes with £1bn or more in assets, with just over half of those surveyed (51%) using full or partial fiduciary management, up from 22% last year.
Head of European distribution Sion Cole (pictured) said: "It has been a common misconception that fiduciary management is used mainly by small schemes. This year's survey shows that while this remains the case for full fiduciary management, we are now seeing strong growth in take-up from mid-sized and larger schemes on bespoke mandates."
Cole said almost seven out of ten respondents (69%) preferred to measure the success of their fiduciary provider based on the scheme's specific investment objectives, rather than using an industry-wide benchmark.
He said: "There are calls in the industry for a fiduciary performance league table of some sort. We are not against this concept but believe if poorly constructed it could be misleading. Fiduciary management is a bespoke solution that varies between providers and within providers.
"Each pension scheme is also unique in terms of its size, make-up, investment objectives and beliefs, for example. For a meaningful comparison to be made both the parameters of the solution and the pension scheme characteristics need to be the same, or very similar, to draw sensible conclusions."
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