UK - Capita Hartshead has launched a new investment consultancy service which aims to provide a range of advice services for both defined benefit (DB) and defined contribution (DC) schemes.

Philippa Aaronson has been appointed to run the new consultancy, which has been created to offer trustees and employers services such as asset liability modelling, advice on pension scheme buyouts, investment guidance and generic information to scheme members, as well as advice on DC investment issues.

Mike Addenbrooke, managing director of Capita Hartshead, said over the past year the firm has seen a "marked increase" in the number of companies "seeking to manage their pension liabilities" using tools such as enhanced transfer values for deferred members, or winding up schemes altogether.

"Investment advice is becoming more significant to trustees in the risk management of their DB schemes. Our new advice services for schemes and their members build on our strong experience in these areas," he added.

Prior to joining Capita Hartshead, Aaronsen - who is also a qualified actuary - spent 13 years leading the regulated practice at Aon Consulting, and also launched the advice practice for the Quantum firm of pension advisers.

She will be supported in her new role by two teams, led by senior investment consultants Simon Bastock and Tony Strong,  which sees Bastock specialising in advice using asset/liability modelling software and quantitative fund manager research, while Strong is responsible for the advice on multi-manager investments.

Aaronson pointed out the "significant changes" occurring in the pension market, - including the "huge interest" in closed DB schemes and an accelerated move to DC schemes - "make this an ideal time for us to launch the investment consultancy advice practice".

"In particular, schemes going through transition have a greater need both for investment advice around buyouts and for guidance to their members on the proposed changes and the options available to them. In our experience, these aspects are critical to the success of the transition," she added.

In separate news, consulting firm Lane, Clark and Peacock has launched a new office in the Netherlands, alongside operations in Belgium, Switzerland and the UK. The Utrecht office will be headed by Henk van Embden, Evert van Ling and Jeroen Koopmans.

Van Embden and van Ling previously ran the Netherlands practice of Buck Heismann while Koopmans joins from CommonSense Actuaries where he was managing director.

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