Mercer ranked as the top investment consultant in the UK market (see full list below), having topped three of the four category areas: ‘quality of research’, ‘servicing’ and ‘innovation and development in DC’.
The only category Mercer did not top was ‘willingness to take on board ideas or products’ in which it lost out to Redington.
In second place overall was Towers Watson, which ranked strongly in ‘willingness to take on board ideas or products’ (third) and ‘quality of research’ (second).
LCP meanwhile came in third place ranking second in two categories: ‘servicing’ and ‘innovation and development in DC pensions’. In the 2011 consultant survey, Mercer again came first, with second and third positions occupied by Towers Watson and Russell Investments, respectively.
1. MERCER (13.61)
2. TOWERS WATSON (12.80)
3. LCP (12.50)
4. RUSSELL INVESTMENTS (12.00)
5. HYMANS ROBERTSON (11.79)
6. AON HEWITT (11.51)
7. REDINGTON (11.49)
8. JLT (11.35)
9. CARDANO (11.24)
10. BFINANCE (11.07)
11. P-SOLVE (10.93)
12. CAMBRIDGE ASSOCIATES (10.86)
13. BUCK CONSULTANTS (10.38)
14. CAPITA HARTSHEAD (9.43)
15. STAMFORD ASSOCIATES (8.02)
Deb Clarke, global head of investment research at Mercer: “Innovating and communicating while striving constantly to produce high quality research are central to meeting the needs of clients. We also appreciate that our organisation has to evolve to meet changing needs; to this end, for example, we brought our strategic and manager research teams together in 2013 and formed a multi-disciplinary DC Group. We hope through collaborating successfully with the investment management community we will continue to bring new investment techniques and strategies to market.”
John Belgrove, senior partner at Aon Hewitt: “We are now spending more time, with more people, on researching managers globally than we have ever done before. We always ensure the managers and products we rate in whatever jurisdiction receives full feedback of our views. Undoubtedly, some asset management houses will feel we should spend more time working with them, but our first priority is that we extract the most value for our clients by focusing on the most relevant asset opportunities and the managers we think are most likely to succeed.”
Ken Willis, partner and head of corporate investment consulting at LCP: “We’re pleased to have been recognised for our servicing, quality of research and product innovations during 2013. Looking ahead we believe that LCP’s membership of the Global Investment Research Alliance (GIRA), as well as further investment innovations, will continue to help us spot new opportunities, broaden our research and enhance our client service offering over the coming year.”
Pete Drewienkiewicz, head of manager research at Redington: “We are delighted to rank first in ‘willingness to take on board new ideas and products’ and we’re working to improve our rankings across the other categories. We have appointed Lord Hutton as adviser to help design resilient and sustainable DC solutions and are advising one client (with over £5bn DB assets) on its DC default and manager selection.”
Christophe Caspar, CIO multi-asset solutions at Russell Investments: “We are thrilled that the quality of our manager research has been recognised. It is a vital component in our broader multi-asset investment approach.”
Richard Dowell, head of UK clients at Cardano: “We don’t consider ourselves to be a typical consultant. We have a very focused approach to helping our clients achieve a steady stable growth in their funding ratio with no nasty shocks. Given our focus, we sometimes have a different approach to working with external managers.”
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