Punter Southall Group has launched a new workplace pensions and savings business as part of its wider growth strategy.
The business called Punter Southall Aspire brings together the consultancy's defined contribution (DC) consulting business; investment research firm CAMRADATA and member communication service Aspire to Retire. It follows the group's acquisition in October last year of Ashcourt Rowan Corporate Solutions from Towry Law.
The combined business will offer a full range of technology-driven workplace services, including pension provision, consultancy, investment research and member communications. It launches with 800 clients and with offices in 11 key locations across the UK including Edinburgh, York, Manchester, Birmingham, Bristol and London.
Butler said he had been quietly hiring some key roles into the business in the last few months in preparation for the launch. He is keen to grow the business, and make acquisitions similar to Ashcourt over the coming years, which could include a combination of technology and innovation in investment communications and governance.
Chief executive Steve Butler said: "Employers are being expected to play a growing role in helping individuals save and plan for their retirement yet policy and regulatory changes do not make that easy. Our ambition is to help employers build rewards and benefits that attract and retain the best, and make workplace savings simple and accessible for all"
He said DC consultancy needs to adapt to the new landscape where smaller companies are coming on board to auto-enrolment (AE). "Some providers have lacked a bit of innovation in what they've been offering. There's not a lot of thought for solutions for people at retirement and post retirement."
He added: "It is not just about DC consulting nor arranging pensions anymore; it's much more than that. Now we're entering a point where companies that need to do AE are smaller, and not able to have a bespoke product that we had for the larger clients. So we need to look for solutions for those clients - more package-type solutions rather than specific consulting work, and leveraging technology for what they want rather than our bespoke consulting space."
He also believes the DC advisory world is too focused on the employer and that the future is about the employee, and how their needs are going to be met. The new business is built around the following key areas that he thinks employers need: investment advice; help around employee communications; and help around governance.
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